Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Classic jeans for my husband from a new pattern company

Copy of my PR review

Pattern from e-sewingpatterns.com, Classic Jeans (it was a free pattern for test. You can download one pattern for free and then, if you want to download a second one, you must comment on your download - if the downloading process was ok, if collating the pattern was ok etc. I commented that I had some problems in assembling the pattern - some columns made out of A4 sheets didn't exactly match other columns and I received good feedback. They told me that I should set my printer for Letter size, even if I print on A4. Haven't tried it yet, but it might indeed solve the problem I had).

Pattern Description:

Men's traditional 5-pocket jean, slim fit that´s narrow through the seat and thigh, have zipper fly, waistband with belt carriers, back yoke, back patch pockets, front pockets, a coin pocket, flaring below the knee to a well-defined boot cut, sits at the waist

Pattern Sizing:
First I downloaded size 32 and made a muslin, and it was really too loose on the waist and hips, and the crotch too long. I've then downloaded a size 30 and it's funny, even if it's for a waist measurement of 76 and my husband's waist is 84 cm it fits perfectly at waist (I measured the waistband when closed and it's exactly 84 cm)! They do say that the pattern is constructed for 3% x 3% shrinking fabric, but this would mean that the actual waist would be 78, not 84. Don't get it, but I'm glad it fits. I might download a size 28 and discover to my amazement that it pretty much fits without modifications! :)

It's the first pattern I see that it's designed for fabric which wasn't previously washed. Now, my fabric was washed already. And not only that but I discovered lately that almost all fabrics I buy do not shrink or shrink infinitesimally. I don't know if it's because they are pre-washed before selling (kind of doubt it) or because we seldom use dryers in my country and in many European countries that I know (I never use one, I hang everything to dry)...

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
Yes, it does.

Were the instructions easy to follow?
Instructions? You must be kidding me. Here are the instructions (all of them): "1. Serge edge pieces. Add fusibles or interfacing to respective pieces. 2. Prepare/stitch waistband. 3. Prepare/stitch belt loops. 4. Prepare/stitch back pockets and stitch them at each back piece. 5. Prepare/stitch facing pocket at lining pocket pieces at the each front. 6. Prepare/stitch the minipocket and stitch it at right front. 7. Join/stitch back yoke pieces at each back piece. 8 Stitch back pieces at back center. 9. Stitch zipper at front center and close to crotch. 10. Close/stitch by side edges. 11. Stitch waistband at waistline and stitch belt loops. 12. Close inside legs. 13. Stitch hem. 14 Do buttonhole and add button. 15. Do final details and press"

The translation is quite poor of course, but I do not mind that as much as I mind the shortness and ambiguity of instructions. I'm also a bit amazed that they instruct you to stitch the waistband to the pants and add the belt loops before sewing the leg inseams but... whatever. My advice is not to attempt to sew these if you do not have an idea what you should do, because you cannot count on the instructions.

Anyway, I did it my way and used again Sandra Betzina's method for a fly-front zipper. Everything was ok. Not a very complicated pattern, just lots of topstitching. The notches were off too but this might be because of me printing on A4 sheets instead of Letter.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I wanted to try a classic five-pockets jean, especially after making some jeans for me and discovering I can manage quite well the topstitching (previous attempts at jeans, many years ago, failed exactly because of my topstitching).

Fabric Used:
Very nice and smooth cotton twill, medium weight.

Pattern Alterations or any design changes you made:
Took in the side seams, starting below the yoke with about 1 cm. Took in the back crotch with about 1 cm. Shortened back and front crotch by about 2.5 cm.
Also, the pocket bag is far too big, it extends far beyond the front fly, so I've cut out a big part.
Shortened the pants with 5 cm (and they say the pants are designed for a 176 cm height. Well, my husband is 178 cm and the pants are faaar too long). They don't say how much the hem allowance is, but I made a 3.5 cm hem. Go here to see how I've modified the pattern - you'll see the actual pattern pieces and the thin black lines are my modifications lines. The extra will be cut away.

See here a close-up of the front pants, with three pockets, studs instead of rivets, topstitching etc.

See here a close-up of the back with yoke, back pockets embellished with topstitching, waistband, loops etc

See here a close-up of the hem and the double topstiching on the leg inseam.

Regarding the waistband, I sewed it using the tutorial made by Kathleen Fasanella - see it here. She designed the tutorial for sewing a cuff to a shirt's sleeve, but believe me, it works wonders for a waistband too! What a unbulky, simple application, I really liked it.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
Well, after making these changes (not a lot of them and not very painful), the pants fit really nice and I would love to make them again. I love their line and I think that this pattern could be easily adapted to linen for instance, for a pair of nice summer pants (ditching the pockets, yoke and all the topstitching, of course).

I must say that I'm really very proud of these pants, my mother told me that it's not nice to brag about yourself, but I really find they are one of the most professional-looking items that I've made. The topstitching looks really good. I used a special jeans needle (size 100), extra strong jeans thread in the needle and regular thread in the bobbin. No twin needle, just two rows of topstitching. My stitch guide foot was a great help in this - see it here, together with my jean-a-ma-jig - see it here.


Summerset said...

They turned out great! Thanks for bringing this to our attention, I'm going to click over there now and check it out.

dawn said...

Wow,they look great! Sounds like it was quite the adventure. Kudos!

Vicki said...

They look fantastic. A lot of work though witht the rivits and topstitching. Must go and check the site.

Tany said...

GREAT, GREAT job, Laura! The fit is perfect!!!

Laura said...

Thanks, Summerset, Dawn, Vicki and Tany! It sure was an adventure but at least the end result was worth it!
I must try now a women's pattern from this company to see how the fit is.

christina said...

You *should* be proud of these jeans, they look like they came out of a trendy store, and the fit is great. Wow, you set the bar high for the rest of us!