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Monday, September 8, 2014

The "Don't wait for perfection" denim Jedidiah pants

I have this rule of thumb, when I see bottom weight fabric that I like (or see some potential in) I buy 1.5 meters of it. I think it's more difficult to find pant-worthy fabric than other kinds designed for tops, and this is especially true if I want to sew something for D. I have the same rule for colorful / patterned masculine warm knits but these are impossible to source that early in the fall so I've yet to find fabric for our Finlaysons.

Anyway a few weeks ago we went fabric shopping together (!) and I came across some really nice blue denim with no stretch. Since I don't wear pants with no stretch, and since this nice fabric was too good to pass up I decided to buy 1.5, enough for Jedediah pants. 

The original plan was to re-draft the front piece (and the pockets) to make a jean-style pant. I wanted to use rivets as well, something I would like to try but never had the chance. But time past and I didn't touch the pattern yet. I'm lazy with drafting because it requires more floor-space and also I don't have tracing paper, so I either tape together printer paper, or use some other material I have which isn't optimal for pattern drafting at all.

Fast forward a few weeks and I read Emma's post about her 5 secrets to success, of which "don't wait for perfection" was three on the list. It isn't much of a secret, really. I think anyone who creates anything in their day-job is familiar with the struggle between wanting to produce the "perfect product" (now!) and the desire to FINISH a project knowing that the next projects will benefit from the experience gained in the previews ones. I found it difficult to let go of my idea with making a jean-style trouser but it had become clear to me that I rather make something now than wait forever until I find the time and patient to draft.

One change I didn't give up on was facing the back pockets. I've made this pattern in the current style 3 times before, and pressing under the seam-allowance on the back pockets gave me trouble each time. I don't like how the seam allowance is exposed inside the pocket, especially not on a pair destined to be worn by someone else whom I don't expect to take special care of his clothes. Usually I just serge the seam allowance, taking advantage of the serged edge to guide me with folding the seam allowance. This time I wanted to try something different with a completely faced pocket. I used some remnants from my stash and faced the pocket by sewing the self piece and facing piece right sides together around the entire pocket, leaving a small hole through which I could turn the pocket inside out. I didn't want the facing to show so I cut it a little smaller to account for the turn-of-cloth. Overall I'm happy with the result!

I tried flat felled seams but it didn't work out too well on the crotch seam. I think the fabric is just too thick to work with this seam finish. for the side seams I used binding, but forgot to finish the curved edge of the zipper extension. Also, as seen below, I didn't cut the top stitching thread after knotting it. I was too afraid it will unravel.

D likes his jeans and the fit is great. I changed the order of construction so that sewing the side seams was the last step before the waistband. I prefer this order because it allows for last-minute fit alternations on top of making inserting the zipper a little less complicated.
I added bar tacks on the front pockets openings. As illustrated in the below picture (he's raising his arms above his head) that's a point of stress on the pants. From the side the facing of the back pockets shows a little, proving my efforts to account for turn-of-cloth unsuccessful. I'll play with it some more on my next makes, what can I say, it's a learning process...

Despite all of the minor mishaps I think it's the most successful pair I made so far! And I'm glad I didn't wait "for perfection" with this make, It's the best fitting pair of jeans he now owns!

pattern (calculated cost per make):   1.52 $ *
fabric: 37 ILS = 11$
notions = 10.5 ILS = 3$
Total = 15.52$ (55 ILS)

* I bought the pattern as part of the Parkland Wardrobe Builder for a total of 27.5$, or for 9 dollars per pattern. I've made this pattern 6 times so far, so the relative cost for each make is about 1.52 dollars.


  1. That's a great looking pair of $15 jeans! I also love the Jeds pattern. I'm currently working on my 4th pair.

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