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!