A little while ago MrA & I were whisked off to the Isle of Wight by our CousinA and MissM. It was a lovely relaxing weekend (also bracing, as MissM & I dipped in the cool waters of the Solent!) the nearby slipway doubled up well as a backdrop to photograph my entry for this years Simplicity Sewing Challenge which was an unexpected bonus!

We had great company, great food, some desperately needed great sleeps and some rollercoaster evenings of cards… No TV, no ipad, no radio… perfect.

One afternoon in Ventnoor, stood at the foot of what looked like a 3 mile stretch of charity shops (MrA’s idea of heaven…) I couldn’t help but Google ‘fabric shops near me’ and found Rainbow Fabrics just around the corner!

They’re closing down December ’17 so get your skates on if you want to catch the last bargains!

I got some lovely check wool for £3 a metre and a nice thick black denim with a tiny bit of stretch for £7 a metre. As well as some shirting and plenty of bits and bobs. A good sack full of goodies for £35. Not bad.

I’ve made a couple of pairs of jeans before. This is my most in-depth blog on construction, if you’re interested. I stylised a heart monitor blip to look like my initials on the back pockets of those ones.


I made another pair by hacking the chino pattern from the Japanese sewing book Men’s Clothes For All Seasons. I haven’t blogged about them yet, but I did get to write about them for SewSewDef Magazine.

I particularly love the pocket on these ones…

… And now I feel I’ve got the fit working, I recently leapt straight into making a new pair.

The big decision was, what colour topstitching and, most importantly, what back pocket design…?

I drew a few sketches, and MrA picked this one…

Cool huh?! And really easy too… I chalked it on and used the triple stretch stitch to mimic topstitching.

To be honest, the fly isn’t brilliant on these, but overall I’m really pleased with them. The denim was so thick that the stitches would sink into the thicker seams. My machine handled it ok, it was me! I struggled over the cross seam on the yoke, but later on I remembered to use a bumper to help start me off. It was indispensable while I was sewing the tops of the beltloops; just a folded piece of fabric to keep the foot level when you start…

Here they are in full… I’ll update with a pic of me in them as soon as I can get a good one… maybe next time I’m in Ventnoor…!

As you can see on the back picture, I got some weird marbling after pre washing. I hoped this would fade on the next wash, but it didn’t. I guess it’ll just spread in time and I can call it Character. We’ll see.

I’ve got more denim in my stash, and a specifically purchased topstitch thread waiting in the shadows, so you can be sure this won’t be last you’ll hear from me about jeans!

Until next time…

Happy sewing.

Notes to self:

  • Remember the bumper for thick seams.
  • Don’t launch straight in (even though it is a TNT pattern) … remember every fabric is different.
  • Try loosening the tension a bit and lengthening the stitch with thicker fabric.