The “Raindrop” Jeans
This week’s challenge was to take inspiration from nature. I took a raindrop as inspiration for the embroidery design on the pockets of these jeans… I’m pretty bad at hand-embroidery so I drew first with chalk, then sewed by machine, and lastly added hand stitching. Don’t look too close!!
Fabric: stretch denim, leftovers from these Clovers (in this project, the fabric is not dyed)
Pattern: Jalie 2908, low-rise jeans pattern
Notions: zipper, so much cotton thread, little bit of fusible interfacing
Time to complete: about 14 hours
First worn: for these photos, and then the whole day afterward
Wear again? Yes! After applying fray-check to some of the edges.
Total Cost: ~12 EUR for fabric (half of what was left from the Clovers, zipper I had on hand, and thread I had on hand.
The Challenge: Take inspiration from nature.
Okay. I’m so glad these are done and that they work (for the most part). I’m still muffin-topping a bit, but it was expected. The fabric should stretch a bit with wearing and not recover, as I discovered when I used it for the pair of Clovers earlier this year. So these jeans should fit in about a week. :D
I’ve been working on this pair since the cropped hoodie project and my first real encounter with the stretch needle. I’ve since bought a whole pack of stretch needles. These jeans were an experiment to see if I could even make a pair of jeans that don’t look like some crazed-hack-job, and I know now that it’s possible. One must be a top-stitching zen master, but it can be done. I really have to hand it to the illustrators and tech editors of the Jalie pattern because they made it so clear, and they really do guide you step-by-step through the process of getting in all the details that go into a pair of jeans. With a bit of confidence from this pair, I think I’m ready for blue jeans next! I have dark blue denim reserved to make this pattern again, and the next time, I’m making them even better!
Here’s what I learned…
- top stitching can be very tricky over multiple folds of fabric, be sure to have a guide on your presser foot clearly marked or a guide on the fabric
- those bar-tacked reinforced areas are there for a reason (oops- my fly began to unravel as soon as the stretch denim felt the pull of my mighty thighs). I quickly tacked where they said to.
- I have to add a little extra fabric on the thighs (like 1/4″ to 1/2″ total)
- the stretch needle is a must for this stretch denim, otherwise one suffers from skipped stitches
- I have to move the button hole over about 1/2″
- top-stitch only once to define the fly otherwise it looks funny
- pay attention to the orientation of the belt loops when attaching the waist yoke. It is troublesome to undo and redo them.
- marvel at your new jeans! Whah-bam!
I tested the jeans and cycled around in them and they feel just like normal jeans. They fit pretty well, and the stretch denim relaxes a bit with wearing. They look best when worn with a belt, but stay up fine without one.