Been stitching like one possessed here. To cut to the chase – the jeans are together but for waistband, hems and a bit of top stitching. And they fit! The pattern is spot on but for the half inch I always have to lose in the back waist length, how lucky is that!

Fellow sway backs will recognise it. On rtw jeans I have to take a dart and pinch out in the back waistband too, and skirt side seams hang forward unless I lose some back length.

First intentions were to top stitch in black, but it just disappeared in the pattern. I went with red after trying a few other combinations and colours. Its actually two reds on different spools threaded together, with black in the bobbin thread. And a Janome topstitch needle.


I started with the back pockets, which have some fusible interfacing on them to help get the turnings to behave, and machine tacked the turnings under. 

Then I stitched them onto the backs.

Next, I stitched the back yokes RS together onto the backs.

Then I stitched the front side piece to the underpocket, RS together

And the top pocket to the pocket opening facing, trimming away the excess after finishing. Normally, I’d be overlocking those edges, but said overlocker is having an off day. I’m using zigzag as you see.

Then the zip.

This is the right front, RS up, with the fitting line marked with a couple of pins. The zip is on it face down.

It gets stitched along the side of the teeth nearest to the cut edge. The stitching doesn’t have to be especially close to the teeth here. I used a zipper foot, but you can get away with using the standard foot for this step. The eagle eyed might be able to see the stitching in this picture, mid zip tape. I can’t do those natty arrows more computer savvy bloggers use yet.

Then the zip is flipped face up and the left front is stitched to it, close to the teeth on the other side, taking an eight of an inch or 3 mms or so less seam allowance than you have. Or to put it another way, so that the fitting line is a little way from the stitched line. This stage is better done with a zipper foot, and the stitches close to the teeth. The stitching and the zip teeth will be hidden under the overlap, that’s why you make that fold slightly toward the seam allowance side. I keep the grown on bit on this side as well. 

Next, the only slightly tricky part to this method. The crotch seam gets stitched from the bottom of the zip for a short distance – about an inch and a half, 3.5 cms. My zip is too long so I pinned the end out of the way to do this – it gets cut later. Stitch a zip guard to the left side on the turnings only. Its useful having the extra turnings of the grown on bit here.

Then, the right front is folded on the fitting line and pinned to the fitting line of the left front, covering the zip. Keeping the zip guard clear, top stitch the fly on the right side. A paper guide for the shape is handy. This stitching can be at any width which clears the zip teeth.

This is a Shoben and Ward method, and it has the big advantage of getting the zip in with the front pieces flat. My right side is pinned across here, ready for the top stitching. I ran a machine tack on the shape first.

Pocket opening faced back, turnings clipped and then I understitched the turnings to keep them tidy. The top stitching on the fly is just visible at the bottom right of the picture.

The bottom pocket seam is done as a french seam for strength and neatness. This is how the side piece lines up to the under pocket on the inside. The wavy bottom seam forms the bottom of the pocket. 

Finished pocket opening.

Then the side seams  got stitched and top stitched. I’m departing from convention on my leg seams. Its a fake run and fell for the side seams and an open seam on the inside leg. My rtw jeans have run and fell inseams and crotch seam. That’s ummm four layers of compressed denim meeting in the middle?

Off to get the waistband and hems done now.


About jay

I design and draft patterns
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