My mother-in-law, Sue, has been quietly working away on her own version of the Jedediah Pants and blew us out of the water when her husband, Rick, arrived for Thanksgiving dinner in the absolutely spectacular results! She used a high-end cotton twill from Gala Fabrics in Victoria, BC and carefully applied all the lessons that she learned by following our sew-along. We took a few photos that day of Rick wearing the finished version, and Sue graciously sent in some of her own as well as a review so that we could show you her very successful return to the sewing world after a several decade hiatus! Without further ado, here is what she wrote to us:
Hi Morgan and Matt,
I just wanted to send a note to let you know about my experience with sewing the Jedediah pants. I noticed a few people who commented on your blog about being a bit afraid to take on what seems to be a more difficult project, and I thought my experience might help sway them to give it a try.
I have not sewn an article of clothing since I made my high school graduation dress in the 1970s… Don’t bother doing the math, suffice it to say that was a long time ago! I never took any formal sewing training, but was just taught by my mom and through my own experimentation. Your enthusiasm for sewing and designing has been infectious and has inspired me to pick it up again, and it was the sew-a-long that gave me the confidence to get started back again. One would think that pants would be a tough project to wet your feet with, but in reality, with the well fitting pattern, great instructions, the video for the fly installation, the feedback from the sewers, and the ability to write in and ask questions, it was amazingly simple.
I wasn’t able to start the pants until well after the sew-a-long was finished but that had it’s benefits, as I was able to read all the instructions, comments and feedback before even cutting out my material and was therefore able to incorporate the suggestions that others had made. I actually started out to make shorts, but when I laid the pattern out, I had so much material left, I thought why not see if I had enough for pants, and sure enough I did. I know you made the comment that the allowances were generous to allow for pattern matching, and this worked to my benefit, as I had no pattern.
I used Katie’s method of sewing the back patch pockets to eliminate the raw edge inside, and I added my own touch by interfacing the pocket to give it a little more strength. I sewed the inseam before the side seam, as this made more sense to me. I’m glad I did this, as I had a little trouble with the flat felled seams. The material I used was an organic twill and it really wanted to fray, so folding it over and sewing with the smaller seam allowance was a little fiddley. If I had done the leg seams in the reverse order, I would have had to do “fake flat felled seams” as you had suggested when I wrote in. They would have looked the same, but I would know they were fake. Also, I didn’t use seam binding as I thought it would become too bulky (and because I was too lazy), but I am still happy with the finish of the pants. If I made them again, I might be tempted to bind just the inner waistband as I like the finished look of the ones I’ve seen.
I found the pattern pieces really fit together well. The only markings that didn’t make sense to me were on the ends of the waistband, but then I figured, as long as I had enough room for a seam at each end of the waistband, there wasn’t a problem, and it all went together well. The fly went in without a hitch, just by following step by step, the video and written instructions. The most difficult part of the pants was the buttonhole. I did several test buttonholes that came out beautifully of course, and then the real one was not so good. I think it was because of the bulk of the waistband seam, that my auto buttonholer on my old machine couldn’t hold the material firm enough to keep it correctly aligned. I will do as you suggested and use a hook closure, and hubby always wears a belt, so no one will be the wiser.
The pants seemed to sew up quite quickly (even though it took me about a month overall as I was only able to pick them up for little bits at a time) and I was able to break the project easily into manageable pieces. I am really pleased (and hubby is too) with the overall result, and I must say that this is the first article of clothing that I have ever sewn that looks store bought, and fits extremely well. I will most certainly be testing out more of your patterns in the future, and I think the men in my life will be quite happy about that!
Congratulations, Sue, on an excellently finished garment! We look forward to seeing your versions of the rest of our patterns!