A Bit of a Slip Up
Posted on Sunday the 6th August 2017 by Alison Jane
Things don’t always go smoothly when sewing – I have had some real disasters. But it’s all a learning process ….. there’s nothing at all wrong with these jeans except that I chose a fabric that didn’t have the right amount of stretch and therefore these lovely coral Eleonore jeans are too small for me and haven’t been worn yet. I say ‘yet’ as there is always the possibility that I may go on another diet specially!
This coral Denim Fabric is really nice. It’s stretch denim but sometimes the description of ‘stretch’ fabrics on a website isn’t quite detailed enough to make an informed decision before ordering and I often take pot luck. Sadly this time it didn’t work out and this denim isn’t stretchy enough for this pattern. However it would make up into lovely dungaree dresses, skirts, less skinny jeans and jackets.
The colour is a salmon pink I think, although it’s called coral …. always difficult to describe a colour as it’s so personal. Lovely for summer. It’s nice to sew, doesn’t fray and presses beautifully. I made it up into one of my very favourite patterns … the Jalie Eleonore Jeans Pattern. These are pull on jeans with back pockets and a faux fly and front pockets. The only modification I make to the pattern is to use 2 inch elastic in the waistband as I find that more comfy and secure round my tummy.
These jeans are a very straightforward make with lots of lovely finishing touches which make them look like regular jeans, perfect with longer line tops and tunics because of the lovely skinny leg.
I use a denim needle for the seams and a topstitch needle for the decorative stitching and all seams are finished on my overlocker so that they look neat with turn ups. I always use a darning needle to thread the tail of overlocking thread back through the line of stitching to stop it unravelling when finishing off the faux fly. And the bar tacks on the fly stitching are made with the narrowest and shortest zig zag stitch and they help to secure the fly extension inside. The front faux pockets are genius and look so good I think. I always try to ensure that my topstitching lines meet up at the centre crotch seam.
I learnt a lot of wonderful jeans sewing techniques when making my Closet Case Files Ginger jeans – this little craft hammer is invaluable for ‘bashing’ down multiple layers making it easier to achieve neat top stitching. I use the hammer a lot now on many makes to reduce seam joins and then use the clapper to really make them flat.
Going over tricky layered parts when sewing denim is made a lot easier by using a ‘hump jumper’. This little bit of shaped plastic enables the presser foot to maintain the same height so it doesn’t skip stitches when top stitching over seam junctions.
I have recommended the Eleonore Pattern to so many people – it’s really brilliant and multi sized for adults and children. But it is clearly printed on the front of the packet …. ‘it is VERY important that your fabric has at least 20% stretch across the grain'. My other pairs have been made with Stretch Cotton Fabric and are a perfect fit.
But don’t worry, these gorgeous jeans will be going to a very good home!
Happy sewing – I hope you fall in love with the Jalie Eleonore jeans too. There are lots of gorgeous stretch cottons on the Minerva website that would be perfect, but my advice would be ‘if in doubt, phone up and ask about stretch percentage’. Or alternatively, try going up a size in the pattern to compensate for the smaller amount of stretch.
Back next month with something very pretty xx