Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Jeans - What I Know So Far

Here are the front leg pieces from the two McCall's patterns.  I don't think the story needs a lot of words.  This is why I wanted to compare them.  And the back pieces:
Seeing there was a such a significant difference, I compared both patterns to my Eddie Bauer (EB) jeans.  The Misses' pattern, size 18, is fairly close to the jeans.  The finished leg bottoms are about 2" larger on the pattern than the EB jeans.  That can be changed.  Also, the back pocket is shorter on the pattern, too short.   I am going to borrow the back pocket from the Women's pattern as it is almost the size of the back pocket on the EB jeans. I selected a piece of unpleasant grey polyester and sewed the muslin.

I didn't bother to sew on the waistband as it is a straight strip of folded fabric.  The finished height measurement is similar to that of the EB jeans.  Had the waistband been curved, I would have tested it on this muslin.

By the way, the muslin fit well.
I tried out the topstitching thread.  Of course, right after I ordered it, I read (just about everywhere) that upholstery thread should be used for topstitching jeans, not topstitching thread.  Huh? 

Deflated, I decided to use it anyway and threaded the Bernina, using one of the size 18 jeans needles and all-purpose thread in the bobbin.  It seemed to do fine.  I haven't played with it on the denim yet - waiting until I have scraps.  The seams are not flat felled in the pattern instructions.  I think that will be acceptable, except for the crotch seam.  If you look closely at the above photo (near the center), you can see white thread showing at the seam.  And that is without a body putting stress on it.  As you know, I do not have a flat fell foot. It is not necessary to have one to do a flat felled seam, just easier.  The challenge, if I try a flat felled seam, will be the center back yoke seam, where all of those layers come together. 

This first pair of jeans is really an experiment and I don't know if flat felled seams should be the focus of the testing.  Right now, I'm thinking good fit and appropiate style are what I need to be concerned with.  But, what good is that if I bust the seam the first time they are worn?

Do you think the ole' Bernina can handle all these layers of heavy denim?  Cross your fingers....

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