Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Back to the me-made jeans!

I've been avoiding this for a while. The original idea of drafting my own jeans pattern just completely halted my jeans making dream, as I could not be bothered to make multiple toiles to iron out the flaws. Time is precious at the moment and so is my denim!

Luckily Burda have come to the rescue! A lovely lady over at Simplicity/New Look got in touch following the NYLon '14 meet-up to ask if I wanted to choose a pattern from their site to for free. Now, I'm not going to be cool about this as it was FREE people. This is my first ever bloggy freebie and let me tell you I love free stuff more than anything, so I am VERY excited...

First of all I wanted to try out the amazing fit pants, but they didn't have that it in stock, so instead I went for Burda 7863, which is currently in the sale y'all.


Now, the denim I have in my stash to make my jeans is a beautiful handloom denim from Merchant and Mills (find here), a completely non-stretch denim. The pattern calls for stretch, but I decided this would be ok and toiled a couple of sizes up. Guess what? This completely worked and the fit was great!

Inspired by my beautiful cloth and a link that was left on 'What Katie Sews' blog ages ago (who incidently has made numerous pairs of really cool jeans) I have decided to construct my jeans entirely by hand. The link to my artist inspiration is here. It seemed fitting to approach my handloom fabric with a gentle and sympathetic touch. I imagined a machine finish would completely offset the balance. After only a couple of days, I am almost half way there! If you go back and look to my inspiration and then to my efforts you will see that my stitching is not nearly as fine, but I think the end garment is going to be very pleasing and tactile.

Below is some hand finishing on the outside leg edges. Instead of overlocking I have blanket stitched with a strong thread (the same thread used everywhere)


 Pocket detail - I overlayed another piece of denim on my pocket piece to show off the red edge and whipstitched the top edge down


 Inside pocket detail...

 

Inside seams for the back pieces...


 This is a very therapeutic way of sewing and is easy to do around the babies (especially when one of them keeps waking in the middle of the night!!!). I would compare it to the difference between hand and machine knitting. Machine knitting can churn it out, but is noisy, anti social and very regular in finish. Like hand knitting, hand sewing is quiet, transportable and completely irregular. You can visibly see the hand that made every stitch, which is wonderful. I'm not sure how often I would replicate this process, but I definitely would try it again on a finer fabric. Still some way to go yet and my fingers are hurting a little, but looking forward to my finished jeans!

 In other news, new plants for the garden! So pretty!

10 comments:

Katie said...

What a lovely idea to make them by hand. I've been getting more into hand-sewing little touches (zips and hems mostly) and I really enjoy the process. A whole garment though, is a new level of patience!

Marilla Walker said...

Well, I do have ALOT of patience!!! Although seriously, it did take me a long while to decide to try it, as I wanted to be in the right head space first, but I've just gotten so bored of sitting at my machine lately. I guess it's because the sun is shining, so what better time to tackle a project like this?

JustSew Jenna said...

I cannot believe you are making your own jeans by hand, that is so totally amazing!! I would not have the patience! I am in awe and I can't wait to see the end result!

Caroline said...

Loving that you are hand-sewing your jeans. It's weird how divisive the hand v machine debate can be in teh stitiching community, personally I love hand-sewing adn do lot's of hem finishes, zips and facings etc on my daily commute on the train to work.
I am really looking forward to how they turn out! I bet your fingers get a bit sore from the denim - do you use a thimble?

Marilla Walker said...

Thanks Jenna! Having sewn loads and loads of curtains in the past I'm fairly speedy at it, but it's great and so accessible. No fancy pants machines needed, just a needle and thread!

Marilla Walker said...

Hi Caroline! I didn't even realise there was a debate! Personally I enjoy stepping away from the machines to do the hand sewing. Sometimes I feel a bit trapped to my sewing chair (because sewing is as important as breathing) ;-), so it's nice to have a breather and have a change of scenery. What a good idea to save it for the commute! I was never sat down long enough to do this, but great! I have never gotten on with a thimble. I prefer to sew through the pain resulting in a handy patch of hard skin (gross). I've not regularly hand sewn for so long that my fingers are now soft and therefore sore...

Scruffybadger said...

These jeans will be a symbol of the labour of liove you have invested in them. I think it's a wonderful thing to do and so admire you!!

Marilla Walker said...

Ah, thank you Winnie!

Sara said...

What a wonderful project! Your jeans will be so special and that pocket is beautiful!

Marilla Walker said...

Thanks Sara! Not too far to go now, just side seams, hems and waistband and then finished. The denim definitely makes this project feel worthwhile as it's gorgeous!