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Men’s Jeans Sew-Along: The Front Pockets

Today’s jeans sew-along post includes a fun bit of origami!  We’ll be stitching our french seamed front pockets.  Let’s begin by preparing the pocket facings.

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If you are sewing the Quadra Jeans, staystitch along the curved edge of each facing using a 5/8″ seam allowance.

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Clip along this curve to make it possible to press the seam allowance to the wrong side.

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Press thoroughly.  If you are stitching the Fulford Jeans, press the straight bottom and side of each facing under – there is no need to staystitch or clip because these edges are not curved.

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Place the facing on top of the pocket bag with wrong sides together.  Pin in place.

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Baste around the two unfinished edges and edgestitch along the curved folded edge (Quadra) or along the two straight folded edges (Fulford).

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Pin the coin pocket to the right pocket facing (if you were wearing the jeans).  You will know you’ve grabbed the correct pocket bag if the facing is attached to the top left.  Use the pocket placement markings found on the facing pattern piece to align your pocket.  Above you can see the Quadras photographed first and the Fulfords second.

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Edgestitch and topstitch around the pocket.

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Now we can attach our pockets to the jeans front!  Place the pocket on top of the jeans front so that the wrong side of the pocket bag is facing the right side of the jeans.  This will mean you cannot see your coin pocket if you’ve placed the pocket bag correctly.  Pin along the curved pocket opening.

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Stitch along the curved pocket opening using a 5/8″ seam allowance.

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Trim the seam allowance to 1/4″ or less so that the raw edge will be enclosed by topstitching later.

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Open up your pocket bag and jeans so that the seam allowances and pocket bag are together and the jeans front pushed out of the way.  Understitch – this means you will stitch through the pocket bag and both seam allowance layers.  The stitching is about 1/8″ from the original seam.  This understitching will prevent the pocketing from being visible from the right side of the jeans and will make the next topstitching steps easier.

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Above is how the understitching looks when the pocket is folded to the wrong side of the jeans front.Jeans front pockets-20

Finish the curved edge of the pocket by edgesittching and topstitching through all layers.

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Now that the pocket opening is finished, the next step is to finish the bottom of our pocket with a french seam.  If you are sewing the Quadra Jeans your french seam will be slightly curved.  If you are sewing the Fulford Jeans your french seam will be straight as pictured.

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Fold the pocket bag in half along the marked fold line with right sides together.  Make sure the bottom edge of the pocket is lined up and pin.  Stitch using a 3/8″ seam allowance.  The side seam stays free of stitching for now.

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Trim the bottom of the pocket so the seam allowance is only 1/8″ (pictured on the left above and in the photo below).

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Flip the pocket around so that wrong sides are together and your bottom seam looks finished.  Be sure to poke out the corner and press.

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Although the bottom of the pocket looks finished, you will notice there is still a raw seam allowance inside the pocket!  That won’t feel very nice when the wearer puts his hands in his pockets!  Close this up by stitching along the bottom of the pocket using a 1/4″ seam allowance.

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You’ve now completed a french seam!  To prepare the pocket for the next steps (so it doesn’t flap around), pin the pocket in place at the side seam and along the top of the jeans.

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Baste the top and sides of the pocket to the front of the jeans.Jeans front pockets-45

When we go to sew the side seams and waistband later on in the sewing process, the pockets and jeans front pieces will now be treated as one unit.  Your front pockets are done!

Next we will move on to sewing the yoke, the inseams and the side seams.

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Men’s Jeans Sew-Along: Setting up your machine and sewing the patch pockets

Today we begin to sew!  Let’s set up our machine with topstitching thread so we can complete the first step – sewing the patch pockets.

Load a full bobbin of regular polyester thread to use regardless of whether your needle is threaded with regular or topstitching thread.  Most machines create neater topstitching when the thick topstitching thread is only through the needle (and not on the bobbin).

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Set your stitch length a little longer than normal.  On my machine (the industrial machine pictured above), my normal stitch length is 2.5 but when I topstitch I increase the length to 3.5.  I used to only increase it to 3 but noticed that the results look more professional (and similar to storebought) when I use a longer length.

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Test out the stitching on a couple layers of denim.  Do you see skipped stitches, unbalanced tension or snarled threads?  You may need to change your needle, adjust your foot tension, or adjust your bobbin tension.  Tilly & the Buttons has a great post on troubleshooting these things that includes a detailed video.  A photo from this post is included above.

Is your machine all set?  Let’s get sewing!


 

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Let’s begin by assembling our patch pockets.  We’ll work on the back patch pockets and the coin pocket at the same time.  Press the top edge of each pocket to the wrong side 1/4″.  Press under again 1/2″ to enclose the raw edge entirely.

Edgestitch across the top of the pocket 1/8″ from the hem as pictured below.  If you are sewing the Fulford Jeans, create a second row of topstitching 1/4″ from the edgestitching.

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Alternatively, if you are sewing with a selvage denim, you might like to highlight the selvage on your coin pocket!  I did this for the Fulford sample by cutting the coin pocket out sideways (so the grain is going across the pocket rather than from top to bottom.  I placed the paper pattern piece so it extended 3/4″ over the selvage since I would not be hemming the top of the pocket:

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Press the remaining pocket edges under using the 5/8″ seam allowance.

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If you would like to reduce bulk and create a pocket with no raw edges inside, you can trim the seam allowances to 3/8″ or less so that they will be enclosed by the topstitching later.

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Now we are ready to attach our back pockets to the pants (we will be attaching the coin pocket in a later post when we construct the front pockets).

I like to mark the pocket placement on my jeans back pieces by using pins.  Place the fabric pieces with right sides together and place the paper pattern on top.  I then push a pin through all the layers at each pocket marking.  I then push a pin through the opposite direction using the sharp point of the first pin as a guide.

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I now have two pins going through the pocket placement marking.

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When I pull the layers apart, one pin stays with the paper and one pin stays with the fabric.  Now I add another pin to the top fabric layer so that both back pieces have their own marking pins:

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Place the top corners of the patch pockets so they line up with the marked placement points.  Pin the pocket in place and then create your topstitching as instructed.

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The Quadra Jeans feature tapered stitching along the pocket sides.  You might like to mark this with chalk to ensure you taper your topstitching evenly.

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The Fulford Jeans do not include tapered stitching so you simply need to keep your second row of stitching an even 1/4″ away from your first row.

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Finish off both the Quadra and Fulford pockets by placing a bartack between the two rows of stitching.  The bartack is a narrow zig zag stitch with very little length.  If your machine has trouble doing this or you do not have a zig zag stitch available to you, you can backstitch thoroughly using a straight stitch.  The results are not quite as pretty but will still give you the needed strength.

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Next post we will move on to our front pockets!  See you then!


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Men’s Jeans Sew-Along: Choose a size and test for fit

Today is the second day of our jeans project – we’ve selected materials, pre-washed our fabric and now we are ready to choose a size and get fitting!

Both the Quadra Jeans and Fulford Jeans instruction booklets include a handy page detailing how to choose your size.  Let’s walk through this visually.  First, have a look at the page below (or, for a higher resolution and larger text, look in your instruction booklet) and then we will look at photos of Matt measuring himself.

How to choose your size

You will notice that we need five main measurements.  There are other measurements included in the garment measurement chart but these five are the ones that most significantly effect the fit of the jeans.  Begin by measuring the man’s waist circumference:

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Make sure the waistband is at his narrowest point, or if, like many men, his narrowest point is no longer at his waist, circle the tape measure at approximately naval level.  When you purchase jeans in the store they will be listed using this waist measurement size.  As we will soon discover, a size 30 jean does not mean that the jean waistband actually has a circumference of 30″!  I’ll show you why in a moment.

Record the waist measurement in the chart within your instruction booklet.  Now lets move on to measuring the hips:

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Circle the tape measure around the widest point of the hips and seat.  This location can vary for men depending on the shape of their hips and bottom.  Again, make sure the tape measure is horizontal.  Record this measurement in your instruction booklet as well.

Now that we’ve collected both body measurements, let’s analyse which pattern size the man might match.  We will then proceed to collecting garment measurements to firm up our decision.

Matt’s measurements are:

Waist: 30″

Hips: 38″

I plan to sew him the Quadra Jeans and so below you will find the Quadra Jeans measurement charts:

Measurements

The size 30 body measurement chart lists a hip measurement of 37″ so Matt is a fairly close match to the size 30 but I might consider grading between sizes depending on how the garment measurements match the size 30 as well.

Let’s move on to garment measurements so we can make our decision…these measurements are based on the actual finished jeans and not on the body that fits into them.  To measure the inseam, you need to measure from the crotch seam all the way down to the hem with all wrinkles removed from the jeans:

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It is more accurate to do this when the jeans are off of the man and laid flat on the floor but it is important to see the jeans on the man too.  This is because, regardless of the man’s preferred fit of jeans, the fit on their body can differ greatly from man to man: Some men let their jeans sit low on their hips and others pull them up high.  Some men like a hem to touch the ground and others like their jeans quite a bit shorter.  Does the man wear his jeans so there is a lot of empty room between the jean crotch and his body (wearing ease)?  The tape measure should not push up into the crotch when measuring but instead simply measure to the end of the seam.  Record this measurement.

Matt’s inseam measured about 30″ so he may need a tiny bit of length taken off the Quadra size 30 (which have an inseam of 30 3/4″).  Since it is only small difference and since the jeans he was wearing are very slim fitting and short legged, I think I would cut out the Quadras as they are and adjust the hem when I baste the pieces together (instead of shortening at the lengthen/shorten line).  If the difference were greater (3-5″ or so), taking some length off from the line we provide on the pattern would allow you to preserve the shape of legs (important for the tapered Quadras, not as important for the straight Fulfords!).  We have a tutorial on how to lengthen or shorten a pattern piece on our website.

Now we will measure the rise of the jeans to determine where the waistband will sit on the man’s body.  For this garment measurement, you will need to measure the garment on the man.  It helps if the man is wearing jeans/pants with a rise that he really likes when you take this measurement so you can compare his ideal fit to the fit of our pattern.

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Have a look at the Rise measurement given under the size that most closely matches the man’s waist and hips.  Measure from the crotch of the jeans (again,  where the jeans naturally sit away from the body), up to that number (which is the bottom of the jeans waistband).  The jeans Matt wore had a rise of 8 1/2″.  This is a very close match for the size 30 Quadra Jeans which feature a rise of 8 3/8″.  This is encouraging news that indicates Matt will probably like the fit of the Quadras!  Place a pin or chalk mark or tie a string around the man at the height of the Fulford or Quadra rise to allow you to take the last measurement – the Garment Waistband.

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Circle the tape measure around the man exactly where you placed your Rise marking.  The tape measure should only be wrapped as snug as the man likes his waistband to fit.  If he likes a loose waistband that he cinches in with a belt, you might need to wrap it a bit looser than you usually do.  If he prefers to wear jeans without a belt, you might need to wrap the tape more snug to ensure the jeans will stay up unassisted.

Matt’s Garment Waistband measurement is 34 1/2″ which is a close match to the size 30 Quadra Jeans (which have a garment waistband of 34 1/4″).  Now you can see why the finished jeans will not have anywhere near a 30″ waist!  They will be 4 1/4″ larger than that!

Now it’s time to pick your size!  Keep in mind the following:

  • It is more important to match the garment Waistband measurement to our size chart than it is to match the body Waist measurement…the jeans will not be worn at the body’s natural waistline so it doesn’t matter very much if that measurement is larger or smaller than the size chart due to a belly or an exceptionally tapered waist.
  • Choose a size that most closely matches the man’s hips and the garment waistband.  Know that you may need to adjust the length of the jeans if the inseam measurement does not match your chosen size.
  • If the man’s Garment Waistband measures between two sizes, you will likely have a better fit if you size down.  You will still have plenty of room within the 5/8″ seam allowances to let out the waistband slightly if he needs a little more room.

 


 

Now that you’ve selected the closest size, you have three choices to test and adjust the fit as detailed below.  Alternatively, you can just sew them up and hope for the best…but I highly recommend taking the time to do one of these options since all of that topstitching makes it difficult to adjust the fit of the hips, legs and seat seam once the jeans are finished.  The waist can easily be taken in or let out though due to our two piece waistband (more on that later!).

Here are three fitting options:

  1. Adjust the paper pattern: Make adjustments to the paper pattern before cutting into fabric to suit the man’s inseam length and leg width preferences.  This is a good option if tiny changes are necessary but I would not recommend performing too many changes before actually trying something on the man!  Perhaps just grade between sizes at the hips or add/remove a bit of length.
  2. Mock up with different fabric: Cut out the pattern as is using a cheap mock up fabric (any stiff medium weight woven will do!).  You can then baste together the pieces quickly and try them on the man so that you can adjust the shape of the lengths, length of the legs, and shape of the seat seam while the mock up is on his body.  Transfer the changes to the pattern pieces and then cut into your real fabric.  This is a good option if the man’s measurements fall across several sizes on our measurement chart and lots of changes will likely need to be made.  This allows you to accurately see the fit on the man without any risk of ruining your fabric.
  3. Baste together the denim: Choose the size that is the most likely match and cut out the jeans in your actual fashion fabric.  Baste together the pieces to try on the man.  The pattern includes 5/8″ seam allowances so it allows you quite a bit of room to play with the shape of the seat seam, the curve of the hips, and the width of the legs.  This is a good option if only one measurement differs from our size chart – perhaps the man’s hips are quite a bit narrower than our proportions so you will need to take in the jeans along the side seams.

I usually choose option three when sewing our jeans patterns.  The last time I did this I snapped a few photos so you could see that I baste together at a later point in the sewing process than you might expect!

You can baste all the pieces together before you begin to sew (as I suggest in the instruction booklet), or, if you feel you will likely only need to tweak the fit in the hips a little and test to see if the waistband feels good on the wearer, you could do what I’ve done here.

I sew all the jeans details (back pockets, front pockets, yoke), sew the inseams and then stop.  I then proceed with the next stage of the sewing process (side seams) with a long basting stitch and the fabric with wrong sides together:

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I baste the seat seam as well (I did it right sides together in the photo below but I’d actually recommend wrong sides together so that the seam allowances are easier to see and manipulate when the garment is tried on):

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The fly is left open and unfinished.  To ensure the waistband can be sewn on accurately I press under the seam allowances.  The right side, when the pants are worn, has a 1/2″ seam allowance and the left side, when the pants are worn has a 5/8″ seam allowance.  In the photo below, the allowance on the left will be folded under 1/2″ and the allowance on the right will be folded under 5/8″.

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Lastly, I temporarily attach the waistband.  I carefully mark the buttonhole and button and then simply stitch together along the center back seam and then apply it to the jeans.  The button marking lines up with the folded edge of the fly and the buttonhole should be set 1/2″ in from the folded edge of the fly.

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Try the jeans on the wearer and pin or clip them closed so that the button and buttonhole marking overlap.  This will give you an accurate feel for how the finished waistband will fit despite having no fly extension, zipper shield or button to do up!  Pinch and pin any areas that need taking in or letting out…be careful to avoid over-fitting as the man still needs ease to sit and bend his legs!

If you have questions about fitting your jeans, please email me at info@threadtheory.ca or comment.  You can also join our Facebook community where many engaged menswear sewists are quick to offer advice the moment you post!

See you in a couple of days for our next sew-along post!  We will setting up our machines and sewing the patch pockets.

Download the Quadra Jeans or Fulford Jeans to join us in this sew-along.


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Men’s Jeans Sew-Along: Gathering Materials

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Today we begin the sew-along for our Quadra and Fulford men’s jeans patterns!  I’ll be walking you through the following topics with the help of many diagrams and photos:

Today (Oct 12th) – Gathering Materials – how to choose fabric and notions.

Oct 19th – Choosing a Size – how to measure the man and select an appropriate pattern size.  We’ll also discuss options to mock up your chosen size and how to make alterations to ensure a good fit.

Oct 21st – Set up and Patch Pockets – how to set up your machine, apply interfacing, and assemble the patch pockets.

Oct 23rd – Front Pockets – how to construct the french seamed pocket bags.

Oct 25th – Yoke, Inseams and Side Seams – how to sew these flatfell seams and the side seams.

Oct 27th – Seat seam and Fly Extension – how to prepare for fly construction by sewing the seat seam and adding on the fly extension.

Oct 29th – The Fly – I’ve taken loads of photos for this step and I know you can do it!!!

Oct 31st – Waistband – We’ll add the waistband on and discuss additional fitting options at this point.

Nov. 2nd – Belt loops and Finishing Details – how to assemble the belt loops, hem the jeans and apply the rivets.


 

You’ll notice that the sew-along schedule will give you a week to get your materials assembled and then we can delve into fitting and sewing.  Before we talk about materials, though, I want to give you a little bit of inspiration by showing you some of the amazing Quadra Jeans that our test sewers made!

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This nicely fitted pair was sewn by Dan for himself – notice how he’s paired them with a Strathcona Henley!

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Tina really took her time and added thoughtful details to the pair that she sewed.  I love the idea of adding a label on top of the leather patch!

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Kari sewed this pair for her partner, the dark fabric choice looks very smart paired with a button-up.

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And lastly, Zak sewed this Carhartt-colored pair for himself and took lovely photos at Hadrian’s Wall in the UK.  I travelled to view this wall many years ago when visiting family who live in Manchester so his photos bring back some great memories!


 

Are you itching to make your own pair now?  Let’s begin by assembling our jeans-making materials!  Looking at the Materials Required section of the instruction booklet, you will see that you need the following:

Self Fabric

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This is the main fabric you will use for the jeans.  Denim is, of course, recommended, but the jeans look great in a myriad of other fabric choices as well!  Try making a wearable mock-up in a readily available cotton twill, corduroy or canvas before investing in denim.

Denim can be tricky to source and can be fairly expensive when you purchase denim of high quality.  Fortunately, our jeans patterns can be made using a fairly wide range of denim styles including denim with no stretch or up to 2% elastane content.  Look for denims between 9-16 oz.  Ensure that your sewing machine can handle five layers of the fabric at one time using topstitching thread since this is how many layers you will be stitching when you add the belt loops to the jeans!  Some excellent online sources for denim are listed below.  Each link will take you directly to the part of the store where I found denim and other trouser weight fabrics.

Canada

Fabrications Ottawa – a great online shop which includes a stock of Cone Mills US-made S-gene denim in multiple weights!  This is high quality denim – the same denim that continuously sells out when Closet Case Patterns launches her limited supply jean making kits!

Blackbird Fabrics – an online shop just across the water from me!  Caroline often has a nice selection of denim in stock and occasionally gets in a supply of coveted Cone Mills.

Closet Case Patterns – Heather-Lou is known for her excellent women’s jeans patterns.  She stocks jean-making kits including all the notions you need and high quality denim.  They often sell out fast but you might be in luck snagging a non-stretch kit in particular since these are less in demand than the stretch denims needed for her Ginger Jeans pattern.

Simplifi Fabric – An online shop completely focused on organic and ecologically friendly fabrics!  They have a great selection of denims.  The 12.5 oz Indigo Blue Hemp and Organic Cotton Denim looks spectacular!

USA

Stylemaker Fabrics – An organised selection of denim in various weights and amounts of stretch.

Britex Fabrics – They have a few very well priced Japanese selvage denims that are worth a peruse!

Fancy Tiger Crafts – A nice array of denims from various manufacturers – all well labelled so you can compare the differences.  I like the US made bull denim choices in particular.  Bull denim is dyed after weaving to produce a uniform colour (whereas regular denim features an indigo warp thread and white weft thread).

Harts Fabric – A comprehensive selection of quite affordably priced denims.  I especially like the look of the wide denim which would save a lot of fabric when cutting out men’s larger sizes.

UK

Merchant & Mills – A large range of high-end denim very suitable for men’s jeans – you might like to make a mock up first due to the price point of these quality fabrics!

Empress Mills – Some very affordable denims in a variety of weights.  A great way to test out a pair of jeans without a huge investment!

Croft Mill – Another selection of affordable denims and some interesting choices including prints, pre-washed, broken twill weave, extra wide etc.

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Like I mentioned before, if you would like to try out one of our jeans patterns before cutting into your high-end denim, why not sew up a pair in a more affordable cotton twill or corduroy?  You’ll likely find a selection of trouser weight materials at your local fabric shop but, in case you don’t have a shop near you, here are some excellent online options:

Blackbird Fabrics – Currently there is a nice 8.5 oz Cotton Chino Twill in stock in various colors.  While this is half an ounce lighter than I recommend within the instruction booklet, it would make a great jean alternative for summer and it would be nice to practice topstitching on something a bit more light weight.

Stylemaker Fabrics – A US based online shop – there is no end to the options here!  You can search their “Pants” section and browse many pages of corduroy, twill, bull denims in many colors, suitings of all sorts and more.

RayStitch – A UK based online shop with a large selection of interesting fabrics.  I enjoyed perusing the Heavier Weight Wovens sections for all sorts of unique options for pants.

Pocket Lining

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This is a great opportunity to use a scrap of fun quilting cotton but any strong and thin cotton or cotton blend will work nicely.  Above you can see a beautiful Jedediah Pants progress shot by Duane of MainelyMenswear.  He’s chosen a kente cloth print for his Jeds.  Similar accent fabrics can be used for our jeans patterns.

Have a look at store bought jeans and you will see the pocketing is actually quite thin.  I usually prefer a quilting cotton weight so that the pocket bags are not a weak point in terms of wear.  I’ve also used scraps of shirting from past Fairfield Button-ups and scraps of flannel from past Eastwood PJS (shown below) with great success!

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Interfacing

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Choose a medium weight fusible that adheres to your denim or chosen self fabric securely.  The interfacing will be used for the Fly Extension, Zipper Shield and Waistband Pieces.  It can be black or white since thick denim will not allow the interfacing to show through to the right side!

 

Other Supplies

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A no-sew jeans button measuring 1/2″-1″.  We stock several types of jeans buttons in our shop.

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Six pocket rivets – these are optional if you are using a fabric other than denim since you could also just bartack very securely at these pressure points but I don’t think rivets are optional if you are sewing with denim.  They are essential to create the classic strength and appearance of jeans.  We have several types of rivets in our shop as well.

Thread – you will need regular polyester thread (which is stronger than cotton) to match the colour of your denim and thicker topstitching thread in a pleasing contrasting colour.  Some of our test sewers successfully sewed their entire jeans using Gutermann Extra Strong Thread which is not quite as thick as topstitching thread.  This allowed them to skip the hassle of re-threading their machine each time they needed to topstitch.  My machine is never very happy when sewing with thick thread (it binds up when I backstitch) so I prefer to switch back and forth to ensure that my seams are strong and backstitched securely before I topstitch them.  We will be discussing all sorts of tips and tricks for tidy topstitching later on in the sew-along!

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An optional 3 X 2 1/2″ decorative label – Most store bought jeans feature a leather-like label on the back waistband.  I love adding my own blank label as a way to draw attention to the fact that my jeans are not branded!  You can stitch a real leather label to your jeans or you can add a washable paper one.  We carry these in our shop for $2 CAD.  They are comprised of the same material that brands like Levis or Wrangler uses for their labels – this washable paper stands up to machine washing and drying at any temperature.

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A metal toothed zipper – if you can not find the size recommended in the instruction booklet, a longer zipper will do just fine!  I will be showing you how to shorten the zipper during the sew-along.  We carry 7″ and 8″ jeans zippers in our shop.  Oh, and don’t be concerned about the width of the zipper tape!  The pattern pieces are marked so that you will be able to place your zipper correctly regardless of the width of your zipper.


 

Before we continue with the sew-along, make sure to pre-wash your denim.  I recommend washing it with a cup of vinegar on fairly high heat to set the indigo dye and pre-shrink/pre-soften the denim…unless, of course, you are a denim enthusiast who wants to sew up a pair of raw denim jeans!  In that case, you’ll want to keep them stiff and saturated with dye by avoiding washing at all!  You can read about that whole philosophy here (be prepared to be lost down a bit of a rabbit hole!).


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It’s Back! Dintex and Merino Wool Pre-Sale

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Before we delve into the jeans sew-along (and have our baby, who is due next Wednesday!), I’ve done a little behind-the-scenes work to bring Dintex and merino fabrics back to the shop!

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Instead of launching these fabrics as a seasonal collection (as we used to do), we are making them available as a pre-sale.  This means you don’t have to worry that the color you want is sold out!  All you need to do is place your fabric order before Nov. 1st.  I’ll send the order to our supplier that day and will ship your fabric to you as soon as it arrives at our studio.  You can peruse the pre-sale now, or read on to find out more about these fabrics.

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Dintex fabric (pictured above) is a waterproof and windproof fabric (which is awesome) but, even better, it is also a breathable fabric.  When it is sewn into a jacket it will protect you from the elements and will not cause you to sweat!  Being from Vancouver Island, where hiking and ski jackets are our every day outerwear, I was thrilled when I found this high tech fabric to add to our shop a couple of winters ago!  And you were too!  We sold out quickly every time I re-stocked and received rave reviews about how it sewed up.   Here is the jacket I made for Matt using this material.

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He wears it as a 4-season jacket layered over a down jacket in the winter and over t-shirts in the summer.  He finds it very comfortable and loves the breath-ability.  He has had rain soak through the shoulders when wearing it on multi hour hikes but only in torrential rain situations…similar to how he would expect most rain jackets to behave.  I didn’t seal the seams on this jacket but you can learn how to do so by reading this informative blog post featuring Dintex and the Kelly Anorak pattern!

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Our merino fabric comes in two different weights – superfine 100% merino (pictured above and below) which is perfect as a base layer:

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And a merino blend featuring 8% merino wool, 48% polyester and 4% nylon which is a hard-wearing combo perfect for sweaters!

Fall Menswear Fabrics (23 of 12)

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Matt wears the Finlayson Sweater that I sewed for him frequently and, despite the fact that we wash and dry it with the rest of our laundry, it has retained a lovely amount of warmth and still looks quite sharp.  If you want the merino to keep it’s natural moisture wicking properties (provided by the lanolin) refrain from machine washing and drying but if you are not concerned about this, know that both the superfine and sweater weight materials machine and wash and dry very well.


In order to secure your fabric, please place your order before Nov. 1st.  You will receive an email when your fabric ships to you!  Head to the fabric section of our shop to see the many colors of Dintex and merino available.


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How to choose: Quadra or Fulford Jeans?

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With the launch of two jeans patterns simultaneously, we’ve left you with a tough decision to make…which jeans pattern is best for you, the Quadra Jeans or the Fulford Jeans? (The Fulford Jeans are pictured above and the Quadra Jeans are pictured below)

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Today I’m going to help you analyse these two styles so you can come up with a confident choice.  First we’ll look at the language I use to compare them, next we’ll compare them to a well known store bought jean, and lastly we will inspect the actual pattern pieces to see the differences in proportions.

Description of Fit

Quadra-vs-Fulford-Technical-Illustration

I describe the fit of the Quadra and Fulford jeans patterns using one paragraph on each product listing.  I’ve copied the paragraphs below and have made the key phrases bold:

The Quadra Jeans sewing pattern provides a subtly modern take on the classic straight leg jean.  This pair of jeans features a slight taper to the leg and extra room in the thigh to allow for lots of movement.  They sit below the waist as a moderate low rise.  Sew these jeans in denim with no stretch or up to 2% elastane to add just that little bit of additional flexibility that so perfectly suits an active lifestyle.

The Fulford Jeans sewing pattern is a truly classic straight leg jean.  This pair of jeans features a regular fit in the thigh and straight legs.  They feature a conservatively high rise reminiscent of vintage work jeans that sits just below the waist.  Sew these jeans in a rugged denim and expect to wear this hard wearing pair for years to come.

As you can see, there are differences in the lower leg, the thigh, the rise and the intended style.  Let’s take a closer look at these differences:

Quadra vs Fulford Thigh

Leg: The Quadra jeans (pictured above left) taper from the knee to the hem for an overall look that is slim.  The Fulford jeans (pictured above right) are straight from the knee down for an overall bulkier look.  The size 34 Quadras feature a 15 3/4″ hem width while the Fulfords feature a 16 3/4″ hem width.

Quadra vs Fulford Thigh Back View

Thigh: To make up for the slim fit elsewhere, the Quadra Jeans (pictured left) provide more room in the thigh to allow for comfort when sitting.  This means the difference between the thigh and calves is proportionately larger than the Fulford jeans (pictured right) which emphasises the tapered look of the Quadras.  The Fulford jeans are only slightly curved at the hip and quite straight through the thigh which emphasises the straight silhouette through the legs.  The size 34 Quadras feature a 24 7/8″ thigh while the Fulfords feature a 24 1/4″ thigh.

Quadra vs Fulford Rise

Rise:  The Quadra jeans (pictured left) are what is often referred to as “mid-rise” or “moderate-low rise” meaning they sit well below the natural waist.  The Fulford Jeans (pictured right) are a higher rise and sit just below the natural waist.  This means that the fly is visually longer on the Fulford Jeans.  The size 34 Quadras feature a 9″ rise while the Fulfords feature a 10″ rise.

Quadra vs Fulford Style

Style: While both jeans could be sewn in non-stretch denim or denim with up to 2% elastane, the tapered leg of the Quadras (pictured left) really pairs well with the added flexibility of stretch denim.  Stretch allows the wearer to feel completely unrestricted when bending his legs during physical activity (even though the fit at the knees and calves is fairly slim).  The Fulfords (pictured right) would be lovely and comfortable with a bit of stretch but the wearer would not notice it in the same way because the knees and calves are already allowed so much room.  Thick denim would not feel restricting when used for the Fulfords (though make sure your machine can handle the thickness before choosing anything too rugged!).

Fit Compared to Levis

Levis 502 vs Levis 501

Since Levis are such a well known brand, I examined their various styles when designing our jeans patterns.  I wanted to make styles that were comparable to their popular fits so that men could try on their store bought jeans before deciding which pattern suited them best.  The Quadra Jeans are similar in fit to Levis 502 (pictured left) while the Fulford Jeans are similar to Levis 501 (pictured right).

Pattern Piece Proportions

By placing the size 34 Quadra and Fulford pattern pieces on top of each other you can get a visual understanding of their differences and similarities.  In the following diagrams the Quadra Jeans are orange and the Fulford Jeans are white.

Front

Quadra-vs-Fulford-Front

The diagrams above show the difference in hem and knee width.  You can also see the inch taller rise on the Fulford Jeans.  While the Quadra Jeans appear narrower at the side seam, the inner thigh curve is less exaggerated providing slightly more room in the thighs than the Fulford Jeans (when paired with the back pattern piece).

Back

Quadra-vs-Fulford-Back

Here you can see similar differences to the front pattern pieces: The Quadras are narrower at the hem and knee.  They also feature a more exaggerated curve at the inner thigh.  Their hips curve inwards to create a closer fit where the yoke seam will be when the back and yoke are sewn together.

Yoke

Quadra-vs-Fulford-Yoke

The Quadra Yoke is considerably narrower than the Fulford and tapers dramatically towards the waist.  This allows for more shaping to create a slim fitting waist paired with roomy thighs.  The Fulford Yoke is angled less and is wider.  The overall effect of this yoke is to create a straight fit through the hips.

Front Pockets

Quadra-vs-Fulford-Pockets

The different pocket shapes don’t effect fit but are simply shaped differently to suit the aesthetic of each jean.  The Fulford pockets are angular while the Quadra pockets are curved.  The coin pocket is the same size for both pairs.

Back Pockets

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The back pocket pieces are identical for both the Fulford and Quadra Jeans and for all sizes.  We found that increasing the pocket proportionately with the size did not result in a flattering look.  The pattern includes five topstitching templates or you can leave the pockets free from decorative stitching as is often the case for men’s jeans.

Fly Pieces

Quadra-vs-Fulford-Fly

The Fulford fly pieces are longer than the Quadra fly pieces to suit the higher rise of the jeans.  You will also notice that the Fulford zipper shield is narrower which is a style difference that results in less heft and bulk at centre front when you sew this pair of jeans in a heavy denim as workwear.  Since the Quadra Jeans are not as likely to be sewn in very heavy denim, their wide shield will not feel too bulky and will, of course, more thoroughly protect the wearer from the zipper.

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To wind things up on a more personal note, you might be interested to know which fit my friends and family members prefer:

Matt Mike and Scott

Quadras: Matt, Mike (Matt’s brother), our friend Scott.  All of these men are fairly young and are used to wearing a lower rise and closer fit when it comes to pants.  They also like the Jedediah Pants over our Jutland Pants.

My dad and Matt's dad

Fulfords: My dad (who prefers roomy legs and the fit of our Jutland Pants over our Jedediah Pants) and Matt’s dad (he loves Levi 501s which I believe he is wearing in the photo above).

Now that we’ve analysed things thoroughly, I hope you are able to choose between our two new patterns easily!  Regardless of the pattern you choose, you will be treated to an incredibly thorough set of instructions and will be able to make jeans featuring every detail you would find in a good quality store bought equivalent!

Ready to choose?  Download the Quadra Jeans or download the Fulford Jeans.

And don’t forget, we always feature this offer on our PDF only patterns:  When the patterns are available in tissue format, everyone who purchased the PDF will be given the opportunity to buy the tissue version minus the cost of the PDF.  That way you don’t have to pay for both formats but you also don’t have to wait until the jeans are printed to get sewing!


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Just launched: Two men’s jeans patterns

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I’m so excited to share with you not one, but two new patterns today!  We have been working over the last year to create the perfect men’s jeans pattern and wound up creating two designs with different fits: Meet the Quadra Jeans and Fulford Jeans!

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Both patterns are available in size 28-50 which is a far bigger size range than our Jedediah Pants and Jutland Pants include!

I’ll walk you through the Quadra Jeans first:  They are part of the Parkland Collection which means they are a casual wardrobe staple tending towards a modern, slim fit.

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The Quadra Jeans feature a subtly tapered leg, a little extra room in the thighs, and a moderate low rise.

Quadra mens jeans sewing pattern-8

You can sew these jeans in denim with no stretch or up to 2% elastane for added flexibility.  They include all of the classic jeans details including a zipper fly, strengthening topstitching, flatfell inseams, rivets on high stress areas, and a jeans button.

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I’ve included a unique feature, as far as jeans go to make fitting easier for the home sewist:  The waistband is cleverly sewn with a center back seam (as you would often see in men’s dress trousers).  This center back seam features regular 5/8″ seam allowances so if you are sewing for a man with a fluctuating waistline or are sewing the jeans as a surprise gift, they are easy to adjust larger or smaller even after they are fully constructed!  The seam is completely hidden beneath the center back belt loop so the waistband looks like it would on classic jeans.

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The Quadras look great sewn in denim or other trouser weight materials.  I used Cone Mills denim with 1% elastane for our first sample and a cotton twill for our second sample:

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You can see the taper of the leg well in the photo below.

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Now you are well acquainted with the Quadra Jeans, let’s have a look at the Fulford Jeans!

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This is a classic straight leg design with just a slight curve at the hips (which can easily be removed if you would like to use selvage denim – I will go over this in the sew-along!)

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They include a higher rise than the Quadras (just below the waist) and a roomier fit at the knees and calves in a manner reminiscent of vintage work jeans.

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Just like the Quadras, they include all the details you would expect – lots of topstitching, a yoke, a coin pocket and plenty of bartacks.  They also include a zipper fly.

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When sewn in a brushed cotton they make a lovely casual trouser.

Fulford mens jeans sewing pattern-21

The Fulford fit was a bit unfamiliar to our younger model (my sewing friend’s obliging husband, Scott) as he is more used to the lower rise of the Quadras.  The Fulford rise, on the other hand, was exactly the height that Matt’s dad, Rick, is used to (who was photographed in the denim version of the Fulford Jeans).

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Here you can see the roomier fit in the lower legs due to the straight cut:

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Each pattern includes incredibly detailed instructions done using the same construction method as our Jedediah Pants and Jutland Pants (so if you have sewn either of those patterns, you will find these a breeze!).  I’ve more than doubled the amount of diagrams included compared to the Jedediah Pants since I know that many of us are very visual sewists.

If you are more familiar with the construction method included in Closet Case jeans patterns or a different order of construction from a beloved vintage pattern (for instance), you will be relieved to know that our pattern pieces will work perfectly well with other construction methods – just sub in your favourite set of instructions instead of using ours.

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That being said, I am very proud of the results our method produces and can’t wait to share the sew-along I’ve been working on with you!  We’ll be talking about fitting, I’ll share detailed photos of sewing the fly, and I can answer any questions you might have along the way…stay tuned for the start of the sew along in a couple of weeks (date tbd soon!).

In addition to our two new patterns, we’ve also dropped a myriad of high quality jeans-making notions and tools in the shop today!

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First up, we have beautiful blank Kraft-tex labels to stitch onto your jeans waistband:

Quadra mens jeans sewing pattern-11

Kraft-tex washable paper is back in stock by the 1/2 m for your bag and wallet making projects and I’ve cut some of it into perfect jeans labels so you don’t need to purchase more than the tiny quantity needed to add to your jeans.  I love to leave the label blank as a way to catch people’s eye…these jeans don’t have a brand name!  You could also print on the label with waterproof ink.  Each label costs only $2 CAD so it is a very affordable way to add a special touch to your jeans project.

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In addition to the Talon zippers we’ve stocked for many years, we now offer 7″ and 8″ Countess zippers in classic navy and brass.  The 7″ length is suitable for the Quadra Jeans sizes 26-38 while the 8″ is perfect for the Quadra Jeans sizes 40-50 and the Fulford Jeans sizes 26-38.

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Prym rivet kits are now available in the shop.  I’ve tested out many hardware kits while developing these jeans patterns and this is the set with which I am 100% pleased.  The included tools are good quality and make installation very secure with only the addition of a hammer and firm table.  I love that the rivets include two “right sides” – a smooth gunmetal side and a dimpled copper side.

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The copper set looks stunning against dark denim!

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We also carry a silver set which features the gunmetal alternative as well.  Each set includes enough rivets for four pairs of jeans!

To pair with the Prym rivets, you will find two new jeans button kits available, also by Prym.

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In the photo above you can see the silver button we’ve stocked in our shop for some time now.  In the middle is my favourite copper Prym button (measuring a classic 17mm).  On the right is the larger art deco Prym button (measuring 20mm) whose proportions are pleasing on heavy weight work jeans.  Both button sets include the necessary tools for installation and feature enough buttons to make many pairs of jeans.

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Lastly, if you plan to sew multiple pairs of jeans or if hardware application really makes you nervous, you’ll be pleased to find some installation tools in the shop!  The Prym pliers work for everything from rivets to snaps (they’re great for applying those plastic snaps to baby clothes…speaking from experience here!) and the tripod is an excellent choice for those with decreased dexterity (it stabilises the tiny pieces for you leaving your hands well away from the hammer).

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I hope you agree that our jeans patterns are filling a void in the world of menswear sewing and that you are excited to get sewing denim with me!

I’ll be sharing the details about the sew-along and also some of our wonderful test sewer’s versions on the blog shortly.

Choose your new jean pattern in our shop: Quadra Jeans or Fulford Jeans.