May 2, 2011

These things Are Tedious

Put a bird on it!
So today is the first day of Male Pattern Baldness' Jeans Sew-along, which is serendipitiously timed with this week's class project for jeans. Mine are due Wednesday night, however, so I may not get the full advantage of sourcing working knowledge from all the participants. As you can see from my pockets pictured at left, I'm already knee deep in denim. I went with white top-stitching, and decided to machine-embroider a trio of seagulls on each back pocket.

Our teacher doesn't believe in providing us with any instruction on how to sew the garments we draft for class. This is all well and good if you have sewn these items before (one of my classmates sews for Vera Wang — fancy!), but if you haven't, it's a stretch to work out the most logical way to assemble a complicated thing like jeans. If you were working from a pattern, you would have detailed assembly instructions. Me, I will mostly be looking at the jeans I already own to figure out in what order I should assemble.

This is where I was hoping the jeans sew-along at Male Pattern Baldness would lend a hand. 

I'm all set to start assembling today. The pattern is done. My pieces are all cut out. And after the too-big pants fiasco from my last project, I decided to take the tedious extra step of stay-stitching all curved pieces. And with hips and a butt like mine, that's pretty much ALL the pieces. There's not a straight seam to be found in my pattern. See?
I take shortcuts whenever I can, but I learned a valuable lesson in sewing my first pair of pants. My pattern was good, but the fabric stretched as I sewed. The result was sloppy-looking, baggy pants (which I eventually managed to salvage into a cute, decently fitting pair of trousers, but not without ripping out a lot of stitches). And the whole point of drafting a pant pattern to fit yourself is to attain the perfect fit. It was disappointing. 

So this time around I stay-stitched all around each piece so they will hold their shape as I sew. Sewing books and patterns will tell you to do this along necklines and armholes, in particular, because they are very curved and can stretch out during sewing. Stay-stitching is like a stabilizer, and helps your garment remain the shape it's supposed to be. It's easy to do: just straight-stitch 1/4"-1/2" from the edge of all curved seams:
Straight-stitching the yoke
Once you make a pair of pants, it's hard to believe that any company can make money selling an item of clothing so complicated. Stay-stitching 14 pieces took me an hour. Of course, I am slow as molasses compared to someone who does this all day long for a living. But still, I will never take my yoked five-pocket, fly-front skinny jeans for granted again.

No comments:

Post a Comment


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...