Saturday, December 1, 2012

Topstitching jeans & jeans details

Thank you for all your sweet comments about my first pair of jeans!
I wore them 3 days in a row then washed them in the washing machine and line dried.
They held up and didn't fall apart, yay!

I wore them to work yesterday (I never wear jeans to work) and my coworkers were saying things like "they look like you bought them in a store."   Ahhhh....delightful words to any home sewist's ears! 

(Does anyone else remember The Cosby Show episode where Denise Huxtable made a yellow polo shirt for her brother and it didn't turn out so well??)

I thought I'd share with you how I did the topstitching.
The "secret" is in the edgestitching foot, which I had never used before except briefly at a workshop at the ASE.

I bought a variety pack of feet for my machine off ebay this summer and it happened to include the edgestitching foot. Otherwise I think it would have been a lot more work to get nice looking topstitching so close to the edge.

the edgestitching foot
The edgestitching foot

The edgestitching foot has a flange that is your guide. Place your fabric edge right against the flange,  move your needle over so it doesn't hit the metal of the foot, and enjoy perfect topstitching!

dramatic reenactment of edgestitching foot
Dramatic re-enactment of how to topstitch with the edgestitching foot.  Of course I was using jeans topstitching thread when I sewed this for real...

Also I thought I'd share how I decided what design details to include. I piled up all of my RTW jeans on my bed.
my RTW jeans pile
Then I would "flip through" my jeans collection to compare/contrast how different manufacturers sewed the various details on the jeans, which then helped me decide what elements I wanted to include. I went back to the pile at every step!
it's easy to flip through my RTW jeans pile!
For example, my Old Navy jeans use two topstitching thread colors....I decided NOT to do that.
Also, some jeans had flat felled seaming on the inseam and others did not.
Plus the coin pocket was an area of interest on some jeans and not others.  Some manufacturers sew a little label into the seam of the coin pocket, or extend the topstitching of the coin pocket all the way up to the waistband.

Usually out of my jean pile, most would be done one way and then 1 or 2 pairs of jeans would have a different technique or style.  Very interesting to see.

This is my favorite pair of jeans as far as detailing goes.  It has embroidery all down the leg.  But these jeans are too big on me.

again, loving the embroidery on these jeans
Eddie Bauer jeans circa 2005
I am looking to get another sewing machine in the new year....maybe I should get one that does sewing and embroidery so I can recreate this detail???
love this embroidery on these jeans
I have already cut out my next pair of jeans from this pattern--using "uncut corduroy" (i.e. corduroy without the wales).
my next pair of jeans:  corduroy
I'm a little worried about the brown color being too light and the nap being easily crushed, but let's see what happens. It all starts with me rethreading my serger in
my neighbor's tree
Be well!


  1. I now dub your the OFFICIAL JEAN MAKING QUEEN. You should teach a class! I need corduroy jeans - they've been on my list for years. MMMM hopefully this year if I can get through some of the other things on my never ending list.

  2. Love your jeans. I am eating up your posts and planning a pair of jeans of my own.
    I have a sewing and embroidery machine. If I were to do it again I would buy a separate embroidery machine. Switching back and forth wastes time and energy and mojo!

  3. But of course! Who can forget the Gordon Gartrelle knockoff?!

    Maybe I should sew a pair of jeans to get the sewjo flowing again.

  4. I have a real "foot fetish" when it comes to sewing machine feet. I have many and every one of them does exactly what I want it to do. They are such fun!

  5. Lovely, lovely, lovely. When you get a new machine, really look into embroidery. You won't be sorry (of course I'm prejudice here).

    When I get my jeans posts up ~ you'll see how fun it can be.


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