Warning: a smokin’ Frenchman is coming your way. Literally, he lit up a dart when I pulled out my camera to take pictures of his new jeans so pardon the French New Wave cliches coming your way (it’s a minor miracle that I finally managed to quit my social smoking habit after a few years with this walking advertisement for cigarettes, but I FINALLY DID IT SO YAY FOR MY LUNGS!)
After my post last week about the breathtaking sweater my aunt knit for me, it’s probably appropriate that I share some of the (rare) unselfish sewing I’ve done this year. These jeans have actually been over a year in the making. Last Christmas I tried to surprise him with a handmade pair, but they turned out to be comically too small (never casually ask your male partner what pant size they are and then expect that to be a useful metric for making them anything, FYI).
He has been fixated on a pair of custom overalls for some reason, and keeps nagging me to make him some; because the mental image of a full grown non-farmer man in overalls makes me giggle uncontrollably, I compromised with a new pair of jeans. This time around he knew it was in the works, and I took proper measurements and even made a muslin.
Since there are so few men’s patterns on the market, I was very happy to use the Jedediah pattern from Thread Theory. While the draft is for a classic chino pant, it was very easy to modify them into jeans by changing the slanted pocket on the front leg into the typical jean pocket opening, and then modifying the pocket facing accordingly.
Happy Sunday makers! Hope you’re having a lovely sunny day (whether you’re inside pouring over a sewing project or not!) Yesterday I had a few local ladies over to sew my upcoming summer pattern and we spent the day listening t0 70s classic jams while exploring new construction techniques. So basically a dreamboat Saturday. Her’s what you’ve been up to!
A wonderful reminder from Sew Liberated to “Breathe deeply while cutting. Breathe deeply while sewing. Sewing is slow, and the act of slowing down is a gift of mindfulness. Accept any interruption in the process as a gift to be present. Find joy in the process, and appreciation for the amount of time it takes.”
I live in Montreal. As a result, a wine bottle bike satchel is a mandatory bike accessory; I’d like to have a go at this Mood tutorial with some more luxe material like real leather.
Hey guys! We’ve been experimenting with some video stuff around the studio. For some things you really can’t beat a moving image to quickly and easily explain tricky steps.
Now that we’re carrying a line of jeans patterns and our new jean hardware kits, I thought it would be fun to shoot a video explaining how to install jeans hardware at home. This is one of the things about jeans making that can be a little intimidating (hammers! metal things!) but it’s actually my favourite part… It’s the moment where the things you’ve been labouring over turn into professional looking jeans. If you’re nervous about installing hardware, this video will hopefully demystify the process for you. Enjoy!
I am so, so guilty of the cardinal sin committed most frequently against makers, which was asking another maker to make me something. At least it feels a bit like a sin at this point in my life, when approximately everyone I’ve ever met has asked me to sew them something. I want to get Selfish Sewist tattooed on my forehead just to stop that awkward conversation in its tracks (I mean, I might make you something if its Christmas or you’re a cute baby or the love of my life, but that’s about it).
So, it was especially rich that I had the gall to ask my beloved Aunt Carol if she, you know, felt like knitting me something? Granted, this is one of my favourite relatives, the only person in the family I can talk books, cats and yarn with, and I asked at a time when my faith in my own knitting capabilities was very, very low. But lets be real; if asking someone to make you a pair of jeans or a swimsuit is a big deal, asking for a handknit sweater is almost as bold as extending a weekend long stay with a friend into a year of couch squatting. But, there’s a reason I love Aunt Carol as much as I do. She, unlike me, is not a selfish jerk and is happy to make things for other people. She told me to pick a pattern, and away I fell into the purled rabbit hole that is the Brooklyn Tweed website. I mean, if I was gonna go big, I might as well go all the way to the big top.
Happy Sunday makers! I had a full weekend off for the first time in a few weeks and of course, all I did was sew for two days straight… It’s a relief to know that even when I’m feeling a little burnt out with business stuff, sewing for myself is still a safe space to curl up and get cozy. I often worry about the effects of making my passion my business, and while there are definitely times when my personal sewjo is flagging (generally when I’m making sample after sample every day), right now is not one of those times. I’m drowning in ideas and am so excited to leave all my old leggings in the dust this spring.
In other news, my dear friend Monserratt was recently interviewed on Cashmerette about body image and sewing, and it was easily my favourite thing this week. I actually got a little choked up reading about her story and I highly suggest you check it out when you have a chance. This part in particular really resonated with me… what a wise lady:
To all curvy women along the same path I send this message: Don’t care so much about what others say, don’t let them define you. They are probably struggling with body image and other serious issues themselves. Don’t judge them. It is most important that you learn to accept, appreciate and love yourself, feel good with yourself and surround yourself with people who love you beyond what your body looks like. Treat yourself and others with compassion, love and respect. Be happy to have the body and health that you currently have, be confident that you deserve and can have all you want,
One of my favourite features of the Morgan Boyfriend Jeans pattern is the button fly. I love a good button fly (always the best thing about vintage jeans!) but I was really confounded by their construction until I took an old pair apart to figure out how they worked. Turns out, its not hard to sew at all! In fact, its probably easier to install than a fly front zipper since there are less steps and less zipper flipping, always the part that confuses my students.
If you want that classic vintage look (which looks especially cool when it distresses naturally over time and fades on the fly of the jean), the button fly is the way to go. It first showed up as the original closure on the very first pair of 501s in the 1870s; zippers weren’t invented until a good 20 years later. Traditionally the inner fly buttons are a little smaller than the typical jeans button; they are hard to source but luckily we now carry button fly kits in the shop in three finishes, so you can install the typical 17mm button for the main closure and use the 15mm buttons inside your placket.
Not everyone’s a fan though… I’ve been rewatching Seinfeld lately and I died laughing during this bit in “The Letter”:
GEORGE: (bursting out of the bathroom, fumbling with his fly) Button fly! Why do they put buttons on a fly? It takes ten minutes to get these things open!
JERRY: I like the button fly.
GEORGE: (incredulous) What?
JERRY: That is one place on my wardrobe I do not need sharp interlocking metal teeth. It’s like a mink trap down there.
Hey everyone! I’ve had quite a few requests for a Morgan Jeans tester round-up so I’ve pulled together some images of what people have been sharing if you’d like to see the pattern on a variety of body types.
Last week Morgan (the lovely pattern namesake herself!) shared her first pair and I was totally gobsmacked. I’m super crushing on the exposed button fly and would like to one hundred percent copy it on my next pair.
She also REALLY nailed the fit. Look how great these are from behind!
Oh pants. Does anything strike more terror into the heart of a sewist than these two tubes of fabric? Sometimes I’m not sure if people are talking about pants fitting or the apocalypse, for all the fear and anxiety tied up in it.
Can I be blunt? Chill out. While I think its commendable that a lot of people strive for fit greatness, I think far too many of us get so caught up by drag lines that we can’t see the forest for the trees (or the jeans for our knees!) Nobody else is paying that much attention to the back of your thighs and you’re still looking better than you do in RTW, so just take a big, deep, cleansing breath and be okay with it not being 100% perfect. If you need a reminder about why perfection and fear will ruin your sewing, read this post and stop talking yourself out of trying new things, or enjoying the things that you make.
Having said that, I did want to create a quick resource for common fit issues you may encounter with your Morgan Jeans. Technically these will apply to any pattern so hopefully you will find this helpful for pants-making in general. If you’ve made the Ginger Jeans before, adjustments may vary this time around since the draft is so different (they are not based on the same block, if you were wondering).
My biggest piece of advice for non-stretch jeans is to actually wear your first pair for a full day before you come to any conclusions. Denim can relax a great deal and things you notice when you first try them on might become non-issues once you’ve stretched out your seams a bit.