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Feb 12, 2015

Next up: Blue Jeans!



Now that I've finished my white jeans, it's time to work on a pair of blue jeans -- my first in years.

Parenthetically, am I the only one who still calls jeans dungarees?

This time around I'm using a lovely medium weight denim and combining two different colors of topstitching thread to keep things interesting, if not quite as groovy as the pants pictured in the ad up top.





I threaded my Kenmore 158.141 with the blue thread and my Singer 201 with the gold thread and I'm moving back and forth between machines.  It's actually kind of fun and I like the result:





By the way, this is the first time I have ever attached my back patch pockets before completing my pants, and let me tell you, it is a whole lot easier.  I already know where I want my pockets placed since I just finished my white pants last week.  In fact, everything is easier this time since the process is fresh in my memory.





Also new for me: rivets.  Would you believe I've never successfully installed a rivet in my life?  I'm hoping to do so this time around.  I have an assortment of rivets (and jeans buttons) to choose from, so I just have to figure out how best to install them.







Will there still be time to make one more pair of pants this month?  We'll see.  I received my copy of Simplicity 4971 (below) in the mail last week and have made a few basic alterations to the pants pattern, but I'll need to make a muslin of at least the two fronts and two backs to make sure they are a flattering fit.





And that's it!  I wasn't able to make much progress on the jeans today since I had other things going on, but I do hope the finish them soon, so stay tuned for updates.

Have a great day, everybody!

21 comments:

  1. Those jeans look like they will be loads of fun. I can't wait to see finiished project.

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  2. Looking great so far! And I'm in awe of the 70s stylist who did the Jeans Joint ad. Everything in it is so weirdly perfect.

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  3. You are the topstitching master AND the two colors of thread is genius.

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  4. Dungarees… I suspect it might be a regional thing. I grew up in California, and thinking back really far, I think that we called them bluejeans before they were just 'jeans.' Sometime during elementary school I remember reading an Archie comic book and wondering what the word 'dungarees' meant. The story line was another confusing thing, but anyway, definitely, no one around me was using the word. Always make me think of Archie these days...

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  5. Peter, I accidently found you two lovely Vogues mens patterns. Check them out. https://www.etsy.com/listing/109465460/vogue-american-designer-1620-bill-blass?ref=shop_home_active_14 and this great one

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  6. Your jeans are looking great so far!
    About rivets etc.: Try on a scrap first. It's not difficult to insert rivets but you have to make sure you are not trying to apply them in an area where the fabric is piled up in a stack as high as the rivet's spike (that has to get flattened a bit to allow the rivet to lock). And I would definitely recommend using an awl (or even just the sharper pin from a jeans button) to make the holes for the rivets. It's really difficult to get them through the fabric without some form of pre-drilling and I don't like those hole-punch tools. Their holes are too big for rivets and they always cut through the threads. An awl only pierces some threads but mostly squeezes a way through the weave.

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    1. And the reverse - test to make sure the rivets you are using aren't too thick for the thickness of fabric you're putting them through. I had to re-make the flap of a messenger bag once!

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  7. I'm shocked you've never played with rivets before! They're so fun. I did a post during the Ginger sewalong (http://closetcasefiles.com/ginger-sewalong-pt-14-installing-denim-rivets-buttons/). The only thing is that you have to trim them down to just a millimeter above your denim or else the post punctures the rivet head. There seems to be some degree of smooshing against the head no matter what. I think it's hard to avoid if you don't have a proper press.

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    1. Oh thank you, you have saved my ...jeans. I have experienced rivet failure, for these very reasons, and it is almost jeans time again.

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  8. They look great so far, Peter! Can't wait to see them all finished.

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  9. I watch the Great British Sewing Bee (love it!) and was confused the first time they made "dungarees" - it's their word for overalls!

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  10. I agree with jetset about the Jeans Joint ad -- love everything about it.

    In looking at the pic of the stitching up close, I'd say the Kenmore is more than holding its own against the vaunted 201 and that's saying quite a bit for a utilitarian zig-zag machine. These jeans are looking very nice.

    As for 'dungarees', you're not alone. A quick search on eBay reveals quite a few use the term. I have a pair of Signature Levi's that uses it on the label, although I think it's a deliberately retro marketing term. It seems to refer more to work pants than casual pants, whatever the brand. 'Dungri' is East Indian/British Empire in origin.

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  11. Dungarees is English for the jeans with the bib and straps attached - Australians (and I think Americans?) call them overalls... I am sad you aren't using the lovely contrasting pockets :)

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  12. In England, "dungarees" have a bib and shoulder-straps. They are not flattering, generally. Children used to wear them -- they are ideal for babies who crawl, since the straps stop the trousers from being pulled down. "Overalls" are a full cover-up in once piece -- trousers, long-sleeved top -- worn by garage mechanics, etc..

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  13. I love your two top stitching colors. Please please post about rivet insertion! I haven't successfully inserted rivets, either!

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  14. As always, Peter, your craftsmanship is superb! Can't wait to see the finished product.

    But as to the "Jeans Joint," if I were wearing those pieces I'd be wringing my hands like the guy at right, too!

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  15. A couple of technical questions: do you use the topstitch thread in the bobbin as well, and do you use a topstitch needle or a jeans needle? They look fab!

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    1. I use topstitching thread in both places; I use a size 14 or 18 needle.

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    2. Thanks for that - I was having trouble on some cotton drill trousers (bobbin thread was bunching underneath) and I'm now going to re-do the back pieces following your advice

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  16. Dungarees is what we called jeans in Massachusetts when I was a kid. When I moved to WA in 1967, I found out they were called jeans.

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