Hello. Here I am again with another blog post… I know, so soon after my shirt placket post – can you tell I’m obsessed?!
This one’s definitely going to be a mini-series. I’m making jeans, well, denim shorts, it’s the same thing. And rather than blurt it all out in one (ridiculously long) blog, I thought I’d break it down and focus on just a few bits with each post. That’s how I’m making them, a bit at a time, so I figured I’d share them that way too.
My pattern is the Ottobre straight leg jeans patten. I’ve made it before (Here!) and am happy with the fit. This time I’ve decided to pull out all the stops and do everything ‘properly’ ie: flat felled seams, proper topstitching thread and French seamed front pockets.
I’ve got a reel of Gutterman topstitching thread and a Schmetz topstitching needle. I’m sewing the regular seams with black all-purpose thread and size 90 needle, switching to a 3mm stitch and the topstitching thread & needle when the seams are visible.
I bought and washed my fabric. I’ve traced my pattern, cut out my fabric and applied iron on interfacing to the waistband, left-fly-facing and curved pocket openings. I’ve also overlocked the raw edges of the coin and back pockets.
So, first things first: what design to put on the back pocket…?
I tossed around a few ideas and settled on a sewing machine… Inspired, right? I drew a simplified version of my Janome and cut out a template. After chalking it onto an off cut and having an initial tryout I was ready to go…
As it’s Pride Month (London Pride is on July 7th) and I LOVE my rainbow thread, it was a match made in heaven! For maximum effect I decided to zigzag the design on. I did the main outline with stitch length 0.2mm and width 3.5mm. 7mm width for the ‘bobbin’ and 6mm for the winding dial on the side.
For the ‘screen’ and perspective detail I set the width to 2.5mm then finished off with the needle, starting at 6mm then changing to 3mm.
After a quick pat-down with a damp cloth, I’m pretty pleased with that…
I’m only doing one, the left back one… I don’t want to over-do it. So now to get the pockets onto the jeans…
Fold over the top to the right side, stitch the fold at the seam allowance then turn the corners right side round. Double topstitch the top opening and press the seams in on all sides. (If you don’t have an overlocker/ serger, you can trim the seams now so that the raw edge is caught between the twin rows of stitching that hold the pocket in place).
This is how I make sure my pockets match up: I pin the first pocket in place using the pattern markings:
Then I lay the other pocket face down on top of the first…
Then I carefully lay the next pattern piece on top of that and put a couple of pins through all layers…
Flip the whole thing over then you can lift up the top piece allowing you to pin the 2nd pocket in place…
Flip it over again and remove the pins holding all the layers together. Check they’re even, then sew them on.
I got a bit creative with my topstitching, you can too or just some simple bar-tacks will reinforce the top corners.
As I was being particularly diligent, I even used my new Awl to pull the threads through to the wrong side to tie them off.
I don’t know about you, but I think that’s enough excitement for one day! I’ll be back soon flat-felling the yokes and seat seam.
Until then, Happy Sewing!
Notes to self:
- Keep cut pieces safe to avoid fraying.
- Remember to switch to 3mm for topstitching (& back after!)
- Drink a glass of water every time you change from regular to topstitching thread. Stay hydrated!
- Get them finished in time for London Pride!
Hey, me again
I tried searching your blog (and Google) before pestering you again about your rainbow overlocker thread, honest!
I’ve finally got to the stage where I need to order some new overlocker thread (for the first time) and it’s really like to do some rainbow overlocking, inspired by your posts.
I shall be grateful if you will let me know which spools you put the thread on, is it on both loopers or just one? I’m just wondering how you get the rainbows to match up (if they do?) if it’s coming through now than one spool of the machine.
Thank you for your help. I linked to your blog in my latest post and I think the site should have pinged you about that, hope that’s OK?
Ahh Lewis, that’s you! Hi there 👋 thanks for your message! I’m sorry I didn’t get notified about the message, or the link! But thank you for both! 🙏
I put the rainbow thread on both loopers and keep grey in the needle. Shorten the stitch length to make the colours more dense if you want to. They don’t really need to match up (which I’m sure would be impossible to orchestrate!) because they’re on either side of the seam – so I wouldn’t lose any sleep over that 👍
Al the best
Very nice! You always get awesome results, clean and neat and I know first place how it can be difficult with sturdy fabrics like jean. Bravissimo
I really like the hydration idea. Your method of aligning the back pockets is really neat – I’m much more haphazard! And finally, that sewing machine is fabulous – it should be an emoji…
I wish there were some sewing emoji!
Thanks for the pocket tip that will prove to be very handy, looking forward to following the make as I have only recently started making trousers/jeans. Love your notes to yourself as when adding buttons on shirts I keep forgetting to drop the feed dogs so must stick a note as last time broken needle and button.
Thank you, I’m glad it’s useful. Good luck with your trousers/jeans making 👍🤞🙏
There are so many things to remember that (sadly) I think only become 2nd nature after doing them for YEARS!!
Show off!! LOL!!
(I am teasing you as I’m 61 yr old mom with adult sons) (((HUG)))
But truly this is so inspiring! My 17 yr old daughter (adopted) let me use the rainbow thread on her pants, my 14 yr old son (birth) politely declined. :o)
I am going to beg one of the teens (also raising 2 granddaughters 15 & 16 ) to let me try a similar design on something I refashion or make them.
I’m not a pocket person but this is to die for!
(p.s. 11 kids still at home, 7 grown, 3 in Heaven)
Haha, although I like to think I’m ‘sharing my story’ … isn’t all blogging just showing-off really?! 🤣
Thank you, I’m so glad you’ve felt inspired 😊🙏
Wow, that’s quite a family! Lots of sewing opportunities then!
All the best,
Your just too fun to tease! Thanks for being a good sport! :o)
Love your tip to get pockets even….I’m a great lover of eyeballing it😄
Haha, yes, if they LOOK even… they must BE even… right?! 👍🤣🙏
You just keep on giving. Excellent and yet more inspiration 👏
Thank you! Glad you enjoyed it! 😊👍🙏
I really love what you did!! This represents you completely perfection!! My husband would love if I add some details to the clothing I sew for us. I applaud your creativity. Thank for the thoughtful inspiration.
Thank you so much! You should give it a go! All it takes is an idea and a steady hand! 👍🙏😊