Welcome to the first day of the MPB Jeans Sew-Along!
For the next few weeks we're going to be making jeans together. Whether you're a veteran or are sewing jeans for the first time, you're going to have fun and, I hope, learn something new about jeans and jeans construction.
Before we get started, a little useful info:
- If you haven't already joined the Jeans Sew-Along Flickr group, please do. The Flickr group is the best place to ask specific questions, not only of me, but of the other Sew-Along participants too. You can also post photographs of your projects there, or start a jeans-related discussion topic. You can join the group through Flickr, or by sending me an email directly (peterlappinnyc at gmail dot com). You don't have to be a member to view the photos and comments, but you do have to join to contribute.
- I'll likely be posting Sew-Along-related entries daily, which means I'll be moving along at a steady clip. Please sew at a pace that works best for you. There's absolutely no rush, and all the old posts will be accessible at any time. If you don't get started until most of us have finished, no worries. Work at your own pace.
- I'm using Kwik Sew 3504, an in-print men's jeans pattern. If you'd like to sew Kwik Sew 3504 with me, you can purchase this pattern through the Minneapolis-based Etsy Store Sewtropolis and domestic shipping is FREE. You'll get the pattern for just $11.99. The link is http://www.etsy.com/listing/
69609861/kwik-sew-3504-mens- jeans. (It currently shows the pattern as "sold." Please contact Sewtropolis through Etsy; my understanding is that they will provide more.) You are welcome to use the pattern of your choice and if you have questions I haven't addressed, you can post them in the Flickr group. If I can't answer them, most likely someone else can.
- I'm not making a true muslin but you may want to. Since denim has unique properties, like a tendency to stretch out with repeated wearing as well as to shrink in the laundry, there are benefits to making your practice garment with it, or with another similar twill fabric.
1. Familiarize ourselves with our pattern and read instructions carefully. Do you have all the supplies you need? Have you pre-shrunk your denim?
2. Study some RTW jeans that fit (if you have any). Tomorrow we are going to discuss fit and examine some commercially-made mens jeans closely. We're also going to take our measurements.
3. If you are confident about which pattern size you need, you can go ahead and trace and cut (or cut directly) the pattern pieces. If you're not, I'd hold off till we talk more about fit.
1. In my experience, Kwik Sew instructions are well-written and very detailed. Whatever pattern you're using, make sure you examine the measurements for each size.
I like to study the whole pattern and note how the different sizes are drafted.
I'll be using both dark indigo denim and white non-stretch denim -- two separate pairs. I've pre-shrunk them but may wash and dry them one more time (separately).
2. I have dug up some old jeans of mine and Michael's to use as models for construction, and to examine fit differences. Since just about everybody owns a pair of jeans, it's a great idea to study how they're made. Pattern instructions are useful, but seeing what a RTW pair of jeans looks like and how they are finished is invaluable. There may be details you'll want to copy from the RTW pair that aren't included in your pattern instructions. We'll be covering many of these details in the days ahead, including zipper flies vs. button flies.
3. Having sewn Kwik Sew jeans in the past, I'm pretty sure I'm going to be a size Small. Nevertheless, I have decided to trace my front and back pieces.
I used canary yellow tracing paper, a roll of which I purchased at my local art supply store. It's easy to work with and very sturdy.
Here's the earlier Kwik Sew pattern I've used in the past, 2123, from 1991. I originally took approximately 1.5" out of the rise of those. It looks like Kwik Sew 3504 has a lower rise right out of the envelope. We'll talk more about this tomorrow but remember: changes made to the front and back pieces also need to be made to the fly, fly shield and other corresponding pieces.
Friends, that's it for today.
Your assignment is to try on all the jeans you have. Which ones fit best? What's the difference between the jeans that fit and/or look best and the ones that don't? How high on your waist do you like your jeans to sit? Most people don't wear jeans at their real waist (the narrowest point) but rather a few inches below (sometimes many inches). Nevertheless, I've noticed some jeans companies (like American Apparel) are started to show vintage-inspired jeans that reach all the way up to the top of the waistline. Oye.
Tomorrow we're going to talk about fit and RTW jeans. If you have questions or comments, please leave them below, or in our Flickr group.
Have a great day and see you tomorrow!