Finished Object (Finally!): Cherry Blossom "Blues"

Top-stitching done.  I like the subtle use of grain and the layered top stitching.  This is the truest color of all the pictures.

I won’t go into how much unpicking this pair of jeans involved.  Perhaps it’s just because I never made grown-up jeans before (Just Oliver + S ones).  I don’t wear jeans, or “blues” as Lila calls them, too often but I noticed a distinct gap in my wardrobe.  All of a sudden I was making jeans from a Burda pattern I made last month.

The other pants fit great, they are my go-to casual pants at home which is great except I made them for work.

Black pants: not stretch material

Blues: verrrrrry stretchy heavy denim

Result: Weird fit for the stretch.

Very weird.  I thought I was being clever by “fixing” the back crotch curve on the pattern.  I should have left it alone.

I pulled up the CB and stitched the waistband down over it, like a lapped seam.  Worked pretty well.

CB seam on the left.  It took several times to position properly.  I nipped in the side seams about 1/2″ on both sides to accommodate the stretchy fabric.

Finished jeans:

I think they make me look stumpy.  Just a little bit.  The waist gaps slightly too, but I couldn’t take it in any more without doing some major surgery.  By that point I was over it, I’d had enough fussing around with making it fit.  It’s alright and probably better than I could get if I went shopping.

Shopping… At some point in the dozens of hours spent unpicking top-stitching, I thought how I’d rather sew them than make them despite the problems.  I thought about every time I found jeans that fit, but the styling or the wash was weird or I didn’t like the buttons.  Or the times I found jeans I liked, but not my size.  Or they were too expensive.  Grr.

These jeans cost less than $20.  I approve of the wash and the construction.  The fit is good enough.

Bias binding on the waistband facing.  I didn’t like the raw edge Hong Kong finish on my last pants, I vowed to make amends on the next pair.  These are carefully folded under, I even bought a 1/2″ bias tape maker at long last.  I resisted for a ridiculously long time, putting it down to being a “gadget;” they’re great!  Huge time saver.

A quick word on H.K. finishing the back crotch seam:  Husband has a hard-wearing pair of Gap corduroys with H.K. finishes on the inside.  The pants first inspired me to learn how to finish pants that way.  I constantly puzzled over the fact that the back crotch seams were neither trimmed nor clipped yet still laid nicely pressed open after wear.  My own attempts thus far yielded cranky seams that want to lie one way or the other.  This time I stretched the curve as I bound the edges.  It only stretched the seam allowance, and allows it to sit nice and flat.

I thought jeans should have a fly.  I’m not sure how this one went together, I made it up from several sets of instructions.

These will be my trend item.  Dark denim, there among other various trends.  Not sure the cut would win trendiness, but I’m not bothered.   Trend trend trendy trend.

Jeans are hard.  Stretch denim acts like stretch demon sometimes.

I used plenty of inspiration from the net, which led to me spending time twiddling to get some detail right.  For me, it is a motivation killer to stop and twiddle.  I like to twiddle once, at the beginning.  Then I sit and sew.

I did use the second variegated thread, I’m not sure how much you can tell without being told.  I used King Tut quilting thread, it has a certain bright quality in the light.

Notes to future self for top-stitching: You won’t get it right the first time.  Use a fresh denim needle.  Use your quilting foot with the guide torn off.  Use a slightly longer stitch length.  Work slowly, doing your best.  It will still slip sometimes and that’s ok.  Go back to the trouble spot and sew just that section.  Leave the unpicking to the end, that way you can leave the best stitching.  Pull the threads to the back of the work and tie it off.

Muchos gracias to Nerdy Seamstress for your advice and help on how to style jeans stitching properly!  You were right about everything!  These would look like crap without you.   I’m intrigued by how little I knew about jeans sewing.

Comfy jeans, fit into my lifestyle and general personal style, they came out almost like what I had in mind, so I’m happy.  Also, they mark a sort of “drafting” milestone: for the first time I used different pockets from the pattern and the size, shape, and placement worked out perfectly.

Wardrobe up to this point:

I need to add two bottoms.  I thought one would be a linen skirt for work, another a pair of shorts.  I just doubled the number of pants I own, might as well go out on a limb and sew some shorts, right?  I need a top, too.  It’s cut and awaiting my pleasure.


  1. Congrats on sticking with them despite all the headaches, because they turned out really nice. I really like the pockets, especially the tab with the button. The variegated topstitching looks beautiful! I wasn't sure how that would look when you were describing it, but I like the subtlety of it. :)

  2. Pingback: Finished Object: Not A T-Shirt « 3 Hours Past the Edge of the World

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