PatternReview Blog > Archives May 2013|
|PatternReview on Facebook: Advice for New Sewers||By DianeSev on 10/25/12 3:08 PM
We asked you: “When did you start sewing? How did you learn? What advice would you give to new sewers or people who want to learn to sew?”
"Take a class, take a chance, sew something you can't otherwise buy! Get inspired by fabric! I learned as a child, but I started because I was just inspired!"
"I learned when I was 10. Find someone who sews and ask them to show you, or if that isn't an option, take a class. Start simple and build from there."
"I learned by osmosis from my mom. Beginners: pace yourself. Don't frustrated if you can't make a perfect pair of jeans in the first year. This is a skill that takes lots of practice. Set yourself up to succeed, and keep trying new things. It is okay to fail sometimes. I've sewn for 39 years, and I still mess stuff up. No seamstress ever stops using a seam ripper--just ask one."
"Other than scrappy Barbie clothes, I started to sew fashion when I was 20. I was convinced to buy the most gorgeous fabric (not necessarily expensive) and a simple pattern. The fabric carried the simple garment, I got tons of compliments, and was encouraged and motivated to keep learning more and sewing more. Now it's my #1 passion after my family!"
"Like many, I started sewing Barbie doll clothes. By high school I was making my own clothes and haven't stopped. I agree - never be afraid to mess up as we've all had our share of things that didn't come out right."
"In my early 20s. Give yourself time. It gets easier after a while. Make what you love."
"I was maybe 10 or 11 and started helping my grandmother, who was an excellent seamstress. I started with mending, and she let me sew simple seams. I made my first garment when I was 14, and it was a wool jumper, complete with lined bodice and matching belt. I wore it proudly. Best advice, as others have said, is not to be afraid to make mistakes. Some things just don't turn out as you pictured. Some things are more challenging to fit. And sometimes you do bonehead things like scorch a piece of a linen dress in the middle of construction. You can shed a tear -- but just move on. It does get easier. And you learn that the best way to avoid doing bonehead things is to quit when you get tired!"
"I learned when I was about 12, then dropped it for many years and took it up again in my 40s. I suggest finding one good pattern you like and making it several times, with modifications if you like, so you can focus on perfecting skills rather than figuring out a new pattern every time."
"I learned to sew from my mom. Some of my earliest memories are of watching her sew. I don't know exactly how old I was when I started trying it myself, but I was pretty small. My advice is start with something simple and find someone who can help you learn that doesn't mind you asking a thousand questions, and don't be afraid to ask a thousand questions."
"I started in my 20s, sewing costumes for a small dance studio. I'm in my 50s now, and getting back to sewing after a long hiatus. My advice to those just starting it to take the time to make a new pattern in muslin first. Nothing worse than spending lots of time and money on a garment and having it fit poorly."
"I was 16 and learned from the manual that came with the sewing machine and reading the pattern. It was the cheapest machine that I could find (a Brother). My advice is to just jump right in and don't be afraid to make mistakes. I also advise to keep trying to improve step-by-step, books, magazines, videos, classes, whatever you can afford. The library will have the first three for free."
"I learned from my mother. She made clothes for both myself and my older sister. I remember my first 4-H project, so about age 8-9, making a Kanga and Roo (from Winnie the Pooh), I got in trouble for making something so hard for a first year (still have the pattern also). Also took home ec in junior high. Made the dress for my first wedding and have continued from there. And yes, the seam ripper is my best friend. Also if you have trouble upgrading your sewing machine as your spouse or significant other doesn't see it as anything special, mention it is the "tool" for your hobby, it works. I got a serger within a month, a new sewing machine 2 years later."
"I learned to operate a machine from my mother, but she didn't really teach me about fabric or patterns -- I had to learn that on my own. To new sewers: Don't give up. Just keep on sewing, even if you're not happy with the finished results at first. Anything worth doing takes practice."
"I also learned from my mother. I don't remember learning to hand sew specifically, but I do remember getting the Brownie badge for sewing, and the first time I used mom's sewing machine to sew a purse for my Barbie."
"Be careful learning from your mother. I think it seriously damaged our relationship. Beginning sewing can be a lot of tears."
"I learned to sew in school around the age of 10. My mother had sewn dresses, skirts and pant for us earlier, so sewing wasn't something unusual. Every child learns to sew, knit and do woodwork in school. Nowadays you can choose what you prefer, wood or textile. I started sewing clothes for my self in my twenties, but between 25-45 i made a paus. Now single I can focus.. :-)"
My mother was a seamstress and tried to teach me for years. It did not work. I took it up on my own later and loved it because of the compliments I would receive (ego) I would say, finish one great project, wear it, get compliments and then you will be hooked and then pass it on to others."
"I started sewing as a young child through Girl Scouts. My mom was a scout leader and we had a handsewing project of a baby saque jacket in flannel that we were donating to a local hospital. I didn't want to do the project and put it off as long as I could. Once I started I was hooked and have never stopped sewing...that was 56 years ago. How to learn? Work with someone, take a class, read a book and get going. The more you sew, the better you get. I love sewing, it is safisfying, rewarding, practical and therapeutic."
"I learned from my mom at a young age, although I didn't get serious until I was pregnant with my first child. My best piece of advice for new sewers - NEVER ever let sewing intimidate you! You can learn as much or more un-sewing and re-doing something as you can if it all goes together perfectly."
"I was taught by my mom and I loved it from the start. My advice would be to embrace the Internet, Google and an assortment of sewing books. I have learned so much and many ways to do the same thing from other people's blogs, tutorials, tips and experience with a pattern or fabric and now I try to share in return. Whenever I am stuck I go straight to the bookcase or google assured that I will find the answer (and sometimes several)."
"Well, since everyone else is giving mom credit, I feel remiss for not mentioning my mother, who had a long career designing children's clothes and was gifted in all the needle arts. "Give her enough wool and she'll knit a Volkswagen," my father would say. And yes, she was a tough teacher and learning from her was stressful! That's one reason I dropped it for so long. But now I really appreciate the good habits she (figuratively) beat into me. (And yes, I did tell her that.)"
"I grew up watching my mum sew all our clothes and I enjoyed that, so just naturally started sewing as a teenager myself, my advice would be learn to follow a pattern at first, that way you will learn a lot and be able to sew anything you like, well!"
"My mom was a child of the depression, you kept what you had, took care of it, tailored it, handed it down with love and made what you couldn't buy. When I was coming up there were no walmarts, kmarts, tjmaxx etc. Clothes cost money we did not have, so she made her three daughters' clothes. I got my first hardworking "toy" machine, and still have it, at 8...there have been very few times since that I was not sewing something!"
"I started sewing after and argument with my mom about the appropriateness of an outfit I wanted her to sew for me. She refused, I made it myself. I have to say this was a harmless way for my mom to let a strong-willed child "win" an argument and teach me something at the same time. My mom was very wise. My advice to beginners, find a mentor, join a charity sewing circle, or make friends with folks at classes. Yours new found peers will gladly teach you."
"My advice to newbies is to have fun with it and learn by creating something that you really want to make. Know yourself- you need a mentor, a social group of sewers or like independent learning. There are many avenues open to you. Keep the first project simple. Mine was a blue corduroy skirt in second or third grade. I had to prove I could hand see first--lots of buttons and hems and mending and ironing.
Mom helped on that shirt--probably more than I ever knew. I worked through the Girl Scouts sewing badge (my mom also was our Troop Leader). I recall being a young mother and my first invitation to the Lutheran Ladies Aid Society. We hand sewed (hemmed) baby receiving blankets for others. I had no money then and spent many a night transforming an old green sheet into a maxi skirt with only needle & thread. I found a piece meal job making hippie clothes for a local boutique - she loaned me a Singer. I was thrilled when my MIL passed on to me her portable Singer and set to work making my daughter clothes for kindergarten.
Ah, yes. Wonderful memories. Seeing strengthened me and got me through some very tough times. It's been my best friend in a way."
"Started sewing when I was 7 - I've been sewing over 50 years. UGH! I sewed all my little sister's clothes for several years until I started sewing her massive bell bottoms and "hippie" clothes. My mom put a stop to that right away. Since my Mom worked I did most of the sewing for the house...repairs, hems, pjs, etc. She taught me assembly line/fast sewing tricks that earned me a failing grade in Middle school Home Ec. (I didn't cut out the marking triangles and took too many short cuts.) Got the passing grade when my Mom wore a skirt,blouse, vest and jacket that I had made for her to a meeting with the principal and teacher. New sewists should sew, sew, sew. I made my niece practice on coloring book pages, sewing the outlines of the pictures to get practice on curves and controlling the machine speed and how to maneuver the machine and fabric so the stitching line goes where you want it."
Who taught you to sew? What advice would you give to a new sewer?
Leave a comment below.
Or, join the discussion on Facebook.
Do you have a question you'd like us to post on Facebook? Send your question to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include your PatternReview name.
9 Comments Login to Add a Comment
|Zipper Video - Class and Giveaway!||By DianeSev on 10/24/12 10:34 AM
We’re so excited about zippers! That’s right…zippers!
Why? Have you seen the new fashion zippers from Coats & Clark? They're so trendy, and they’ve inspired us to sew embellishments like Deepika’s rose in this video:
We’re hoping these zippers and the video inspire you too (more about that later!).
We’re offering a great new class, taught by designer Angela Wolf, on restyling with exposed zippers, perfect for using these new fashion zippers!
Called Restyling with Exposed Zippers, this video class will show you how to use the cute fashion zippers by Coats & Clark (did we mention it’s their 200th Anniversary?). Learn 5 different cool techniques to breathe new life into your garments! And don't forget that you can view this video class as many times as you want, now and in the future!
If you sign up for this video class now and use the coupon code COATS, you’ll save a bunch off the regular price of $39! The sale price for this class is $29 for FoPRs, $32.24 for free members. This coupon code is only good through November 15, so sign up now!
Whew! So much excitement! And now for more fun…
Post a photo of your fashion zipper project on our Flickr account AND leave a comment on this post, and you’ll be entered to win a bundle of Coats & Clark’s new fashion zippers! AND FREE Video Class! And if we select your project, you’ll be featured on our blog as well as Coats & Clark’s website!
So, all you creative sewists, get those zipper projects going! Let’s show everyone what PatternReview members can come up with!
***The deadline for this giveaway has been extended to November 30, so post and comment now!***
Sign up for Restyling with Exposed Zippers.
Post your fashion zipper photo on our Flickr account. Don’t forget to leave a comment below!
Have questions? Post to this topic in the Contest forum on the Message Board.
Happy 200th Anniversary, Coats & Clark!
9 Comments Login to Add a Comment
|PatternReview on Facebook: Making Your Own Jeans||By DianeSev on 10/23/12 2:35 PM
We asked you: "Have you ever made your own jeans? How did they come out? What were the tricky parts of sewing them?”
"Not yet, but plan to."
"I did make a few pairs and they came out good. I would say the hardest thing is the thickness of the fabric in some spots makes the stitching a bit tricky but with the right needle and a hammer you can tame the seams."
"I make all my own jeans, and am about to make the first pair for DH. With the right fabric and careful top-stitching, they come out great! I think the trickiest part is getting the waistband right. I've resorted to drafting my own contour band--the only way I've found to reduce 'the gap'."
"I too, make all my own jeans. I'm too picky for the poor fit of RTW these days. I think the trickiest part is getting the topstitching to look just right. As Diana said, a hammer is your best friend!"
"I think someone needs to come up with a sewing mnemonic for sewing steps, particularly for the fly. A sewing limerick would be fun too. I want to encourage all pattern makers to add a cute sewing memory helper to all involved steps."
"Yes, I make my own, especially after taking the Palmer Pletsch jeans course last February in Portland, Oregon. In 5 days I fitted and made one and a half pairs, and fitted t a further two, all in differnent fabrics, including one pair cut on the bias. Great fit and I get a compliment every time I wear them. That never happened with RTW."
"I just finished a great pair. I use (like everyone else in the world) Sandra Betzina's instructions for the fly. I just pulled a pair of RTW jeans out of the closet to go by. I set up a second machine to topstitch on. They are wonderful. Jeans are tight around the rear area. I'm not sure how to fit tightly, but then again, I'm "mature", so I may not need this!"
"I have remodeled many a pair I bought, re-cutting the waistband to accommodate my back porch. From scratch, not so well. It's that thickness issue. I will pay for someone else to do the side seam with the pockets and pockets and pockets."
"The sway back adjustment took me a while to feel confident doing. I love the detailing so the back pockets stitching of my jeans are always different and a creative challenge."
Would you like to sew your own jeans? Read Make Your Own Jeans - You Can Do It!
Have you ever made your own jeans? Leave a comment and tell us about it!
Join the Jeans Sew-along discussion on PatternReview.
Or, join the discussion on Facebook.
Do you have a question you'd like us to post on Facebook? Send your question to email@example.com. Please include your PatternReview name.
1 Comments Login to Add a Comment
|Member in Focus: Peter in NYC||By DianeSev on 10/22/12 11:58 AM
Your PR Name: Peter in NYC
Your Full Name: Peter Lappin
Member Since: 2009
Your Birthday: April 21
Your Blog: http://malepatternboldness.com/
How did you learn to sew?
I taught myself three and a half years ago, but I had a LOT of help from PR members. In 2009, I'd purchased a used Kenmore on eBay, with the sole intention of shortening pants and doing some minor alterations for myself. When I learned I could actually sew wearable clothes with it, I was hooked!
What aspect of sewing do you find most challenging?
I made a linen blazer for myself this last summer (which, I'm reminded, I still have to post on PR), and all the hand stitching was probably the most challenging aspect. I inserted the lining entirely by hand as the jacket had a back double vent and I couldn't figure out a good way to handle this with my machine -- not to mention that men's tailoring books generally have you perform this by hand.
Which sewing book do you refer to most often?
I use an old Singer Sewing Book from the Sixties quite a bit, along with my Reader's Digest Complete Guide to Sewing. But I own DOZENS of sewing books -- my latest is a PDF copy of Harriet Pepin's famous "Modern Pattern Design" from 1942, which I found for sale on Etsy. Fascinating! [Read Peter in NYC’s book reviews.]
What are your sewing goals for this year?
I don't keep annual goals, but I was proud of myself for finishing that linen blazer. I'd started a blazer once before and abandoned the project because I felt overwhelmed. Generally, I just sew whatever I feel passionate about in the moment. No pressure.
What are you sewing right now?
Right now I'm busy sewing Halloween costumes for my partner, Michael, and myself. He's going to be Aladdin and I'm going to be a very glamorous Scheherazade (think Maria Montez in one of those campy 1940's Universal Technicolor adventure films). Great fun. [See Peter in NYC’s review of Simplicity 4788 Men's Harem Pants.]
Pick your favorite pattern.
I sew almost entirely with vintage patterns. A favorite is Butterick 4712, a vintage men's shirt pattern from the early Seventies. It's my TNT pattern for shirts and I've used it at least two dozen times in the last three years.
How big is your fabric stash? What's in it?
My stash is not big because I live just a half mile from the Garment District in NYC, so I tend to buy fabric as I need it. I have about six large plastic storage boxes full of fabric, and that would include old sheets I use to makes muslins, unusual things I've found at my local flea market, fabric people have given me (readers of my blog, Male Pattern Boldness, have been very generous), and large pieces left over from completed projects. Of course, sometimes while shopping for a particular project, I'll find a fabric I can't resist (at a great price, usually, which is the reason I can't resist it), so I do have things waiting for the right project to come along.
What you love most about PatternReview?
Pattern Review was my one and only sewing resource when I started sewing, and I found members to be helpful, extremely knowledgeable, and supportive -- and I still do! I love the simplicity of the site -- it works well and I find it very easy to navigate. I especially enjoy the sewing machine reviews, as I am a big vintage sewing machine aficionado. I currently own about thirteen machines, but over the years I've bought and sold many, many more.
Any other hobbies?
I love to swim, I maintain a (near-daily) sewing blog, and am parent to two chihuahuas. I'm also an on-again/off-again actor.
Your profession, where do you live, etc.
I'm a former non-profit fundraiser, but currently I'm a very contented house husband. I live in Chelsea, in the heart of NYC.
What would PR members be surprised to know about you?
I'm actually something of an introvert.
Is there anything else that you'd like to tell us about yourself?
I'd like to encourage everyone to spread the joys of sewing to people they know -- especially the young (both girls and boys) who may not have been exposed to it in school. Sewing is such a creative, continually challenging, practical skill to know. It has enhanced my life in countless ways.
Read Peter in NYC's reviews.
20 Comments Login to Add a Comment
|This Week on Facebook||By DianeSev on 10/18/12 0:00 AM
We asked you: "How do you feel when you see someone's lifetime stash in a thrift store? What will happen to yours?"
"That's a very good question---I was in Haven Hospice Thrift store yesterday, and I was sad to see some old fabrics and small skeins of yarn in bins: the Crazy Old Spinster section of the store--I just said "no" and moved on."
"I would much rather see it in a thrift store than in a dumpster. When my Mom had to leave her home, I was in charge of clearing her sewing room (because my older sister would have used the dumpster option). Though my younger sister and I got a lot of her fabrics, etc., we donated a BUNCH to an organization that used the materials for their arts teaching program. A friend recently cleared her stash and donated to the local college theater program. We recently moved to a different state, and don't know what would happen to my 'stuff' when I die. Would like some suggestions so my collections can be used."
"We all have some plans for the fabric we buy, usually anyway. Some just never come to fruition. I think the fact that someone has moved on and donates to a thrift store is great. It's being used."
"I feel sorry for my kids to have to deal with it all. I do have a daughter who sews and one who like me thinks it will magically sew itself. They will probaby add it to their stash."
"My son has already laid claim to mine. I just have to keep reminding him that it's not his yet!"
"I just bought someone's collection of MaxiLock and WoolyNylon over the weekend. I always smile a bit to realize someone loved fabric and thread and things just as much as I do."
"When my mom passed away, we donated almost all of her quilting fabric to her quilt club with the request that they used it to make kids quilts for Mom's favorite charity. They made over 100 quilts and donated them in honor of my Mom."
"I feel like I hit the Jack Pot!!!"
"I think of it this way... When I leave this earth I'll probably leave a stash behind. I hope whoever ends up with it created wonderful, beautiful things!"
"Hopefully, it will go to my daughter."
"When my grandma moved out of her house, I remember her stash of vintage patterns and fabric going into the dumpster. I was about 12, and my heart still hurts thinking of the things I would love to have from that pile!"
"My stash is huge because it is really the combined stashes of several. When I cleaned my mother's house, I tried to have blinders when I was near the fabrics and patterns. I did bring home her sewing machine, notions, and trims."
"When my mother passed away, I donated all her quilting stuff to her quilt group; I kept what fabric and patterns I wanted and the rest went to her favorite charity, Goodwill Industries."
"It's a sad and worrying situation, I should use my stash!!!"
"I imagine mine will end up at an 'opp shop', although I do hope I get do leave only a small stash."
"I want to be buried in mine! But it really should go to charity shops."
"My daughter already looks around my sewing room and says "One day this will be all mine"...LOL!! I am doing my best to use it all!"
This question was inspired by a topic on PR.
What will happen to your lifetime stash? Join the discussion on PR.
Or, join the discussion on Facebook.
Do you have a question you'd like us to post on Facebook? Send your question to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include your PR name.
0 Comments Login to Add a Comment
|Prints on the Fall 2012 Runways by Angela Wolf||By Angela Wolf on 10/16/12 4:05 PM
This season's runways are filled with leather and fur, jeweled detailing, gold and silver glam, and vibrant prints, to mention a few. So the question arises, "Why such glamour?"
Marylou Luther states in her trend overview presentation for the Fashion Group International, "It's the economy in China, Brazil, Russia, Dubai and a few other places filled with abundance, where the women actually want to look rich. They've got it and they want to flaunt it."
All right then, let's see what's in store for the luxury end of dressing.
From left to right: photos from runways of Lanvin, Armani, Lanvin
Unique prints are shown in so many creative ways. Designers are rarely using the print as an all-over design. Instead, creativity and imagination is key here. Here are some ideas to dabble in this trend. Using the print fabric as a base of the design, lay out pattern pieces in the various directions of the print. This creates interest, yet is not too overwhelming. Consider combining pattern drafting and draping techniques with contrasting fabric textures. Refer back to the color blocking and mixed media tips from previous column. The same concept works perfectly here.
Here is a tag list of ideas to transform a print fabric into high-fashion:
- Add pleats
- Use color blocking
- Combine various prints and fabrics
- Tell a message with custom printed fabric
- Use lace or a sheer fabric as an overlay on parts of the print
- Add sequins or beading to parts of the design
- Cut the pattern design using different grainlines on the same printed fabric
- Add ribbon or trim as an accent to cut up the large print (similar to the Lanvin photo above)
If you are a little more of a conservative fashionista and want only a touch of print, try adding a color blocked tank or cami underneath a black jacket, or one my personal favorites, crazy silk linings. I have been doing this for years for my custom clients. In fact, I had one client who would insist on rolling up her jacket sleeves to show off the touch of color. Anything to make you smile...
Fabric and Other Colorful Ideas For the Season:
Fabric options are endless, but here are a few ideas to get you rolling:
- Silk chiffon
- Silk charmeuse
- Stretch knits
- Plaid fabrics
- Printed denim
- Printed cotton
- You can always print or silk-screen your own fabrics
Here are some patterns that would fit into this fall's fashion with prints…
This Burda jacket, sewn out of a brocade, is perfect for this season. The pants in the photo are the perfect length for this fall and Spring 2013; just make sure to wear cute shoes.
Vogue 8837 (above) is another great look for fall. The pants could be sewn from colored or printed denim, or the top can easily be embellished or color blocked with printed fabric.
This is a great skirt to combine plaid or print with another fabric. The length is right on for the season, and don't forget your tights and shoe boots.
Just remember that no matter what the economy is in your neck of the woods, if you know how to sew, the creative possibilities are endless!
Next month, I will shed some light onto the leather and fur trends for the season.
Join me on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest, or sign up for sewing tips and class updates on my blog.
Angela Wolf is the designer and founder behind ABO Apparel, Angela Wolf Ready-to-Wear and ABO Sport. An A-list clientele has given Angela more than fifteen years of experience dressing and fitting many diverse women and has enabled her to understand the different styles that compliment each individual woman.
Angela also has a new line of patterns. You can see them here.
See Angela's classes on PatternReview.
Join Angela on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and her blog.
Missed Angela's previous columns? You can still read them!
Oversizing the Runways
The Classic Skirts
The Top Fashion Trends for Fall/Winter 2012
Pantone's Color of the Year... Tangerine Tango!
Accessorize With the Scarf For Any Season
Fabrics for the Holiday Season
A Few Fall 2011 Fashion Trends
White, it's Everywhere... How to Wear It
How Will the Royal Wedding Affect Fashion?
A Touch of Glamour
The Love/Hate Relationship With the Popular Trends...Wide Leg Pant and the Skinny Jean!
Fashion Tips & Trends with Angela Wolf
0 Comments Login to Add a Comment
|Make Your Own Jeans - You Can Do It!||By DianeSev on 10/15/12 3:45 PM
Of all the sewing projects we tackle, jeans are the most intimidating, aren't they? We want professional results when we sew jeans...we don't want the homemade look! The double-stitching and rivets look like something we can't handle, and that puts off us right away.
And jeans are ubiquitous, aren't they? We choose them as a staple of our wardrobe, so we tell ourselves that if we can just perfect a pair, we can sew them over and over again and get a lot of use out of them.
All these issues led to an 85-page Jeans Sew-along on PatternReview, where members shared their experiences (and their frustrations) about how to sew a pair of jeans that fit well and look like they were sewn by a professional.
Choose a Jeans Pattern
If you're thinking of starting this project, you'll need to choose a pattern, a decision that means that you'll have to choose a style. As always on PatternReview, we read the reviews, and the top-rated pattern (second is not even close) is Jalie 2908 with 134 reviews. PR members chose it as the Number 1 Best Pattern of 2009.
Jalie 2908 - a Best Pattern of 2009 and still going strong!
Jalie 2908 produces a jean with a flared leg and a choice of waists: low rise and regular rise. And by all members' accounts, the directions and the fit are fantastic.
But there are other choices too, like Vogue 1034 (by Sandra Betzina), in either boot-leg or straight-leg versions. Several reviewers rated this pattern "A Great Wardrobe Builder."
Vogue 1034: a great wardrobe builder
Members also highly recommend J Stern Designs 0037 Misses' Jeans. (designer Jennifer Stern also teaches the PR class Blue Print to Blue Jeans).
annakeeton says of this pattern, "This is the first ever pair of jeans I have sewn and since this is the year of FEARLESS SEWING, this is my entry in the Jeans Contest...I am thrilled to have made my own jeans!" See what else annakeeton had to say in her review with detailed photos.
Other possibilities are J Stern Designs 0037W, Kwik Sew 3193 (another highly recommended pattern), Vogue 8774 (also highly recommended), and Kwik Sew 3315 (ditto).
Highly recommended jeans patterns (clockwise, from top left): J Stern Designs 0037W, Kwik Sew 3193 (another highly recommended pattern), Vogue 8774 (also highly recommended), and Kwik Sew 3315
If you go for the skinny jean or jegging, you may want to read what Angela Wolf said about these looks in one of her columns.
Above all, don't forget to read the reviews for the pattern you're interested in, so that the experiences of PR reviewers can guide you.
Pick Your Jeans Fabric
Once you've selected your pattern, you need to pick your fabric. The pattern instructions will guide your choice. For example, Jalie 2908 recommends "Stretch denim or corduroy with 20% stretch across grain (approx. 4% spandex)."
If you decide to use something different than the recommended fabric, read the reviews for the pattern to see what other members' experiences were when they chose a different fabric.
If your pattern simply says "denim", according to PR members, you want to choose a heavier denim (10.5-12 oz.) for fitted jeans. Lighter denim will fit differently around trouble spots you may want to "encase." Also keep in mind that stiffer denim can be easier to sew than washed "spongy denim". If you have your heart set on a lighter denim, you can always starch it to make it easier to sew.
Once you buy your denim, you should process it with 1 to 3 wash and dry cycles (and once or twice more after you hem them). Indigo denim can bleed for several washings and rub off on hands and other articles of clothing (Who hasn't ruined a white shirt this way? Tie-dye, anyone?) Some members recommend washing with white vinegar to stop the bleeding. Others say that a dryer sheet will absorb some of the dye in the dryer.
And don't pack the fabric in too tightly. As with a new pair of jeans, a tightly packed fabric can rub against the washing machine drum and wear away the dye in one spot. If you've got a lot of fabric, it's better to wash it in batches or in the bathtub.
Of course, denim comes in all colors these days. Perhaps you'd like to sew a pair in Tangerine Tango, this year's "in" color that designer Angela Wolf mentioned in a past column.
Buy Thread, Rivets, Buttons and Zippers for the Jeans
Supplies are your next concern.
Number one is thread. Members say that there are lots of threads available to you, but the one thread you'll probably want (and this thread gives jeans their unique look) is topstitching thread. The most commonly used threads for topstitching are Coats and Clark Dual Duty XP Heavy Duty, Gutterman upolstery thread, regular weight Gutterman thread, and Gutterman topstitching thread. You can get topstitching thread on Ebay at a cheaper price. Find out more here.
For that authentic jeans look, you'll also need rivets and jean-style buttons. You'll need between 4 and 10 rivets for placement on the front pocket edges, coin pocket, and back pocket. Members gave sources for rivets; you can find them here.
Rivets and contrast topstitching are a hallmark of the authentic jeans look.
And you'll need a zipper. Members point out that plastic and metal zippers are both used for jeans. Most popular is the Coats & Clark All Purpose Zipper. If you find that you need to shorten the zipper, do it from the top, the point at which the zipper meets the waistband.
Now Construct the Jeans, With PR Help!
Once you cut out your jeans pieces, you'll tackle the construction. You'll find lots of help on PR for putting your jeans together.
Some highlights of these tips follow.
- Members recommend using glue (that's right, glue) instead of pins to hold seams in place before you sew them.
- Invest in topstitching and edgestitching feet to create that professional look.
- Reinforce back pocket edge tops with a bar tack.
- Wash (and shrink) your interfacing before you apply it.
- Because each denim is different and will have a different fit and stretch, add really wide (about 1”) seams to the side so you have room to make adjustments.
See more tips here.
There are lots of helpful tutorials and articles to guide you through the sticky parts of constructing your jeans, including:
BrianSews' Waistband Tutorial
Sandra Betzina's Fly-front Tutorial
Emilie from Jalie's Gaposis Tutorial
Fitting jeans article
And the end result? Jeans like these:
Nan Kay loves Jalie 2908 so much that she has made several versions of it already! Read her review.
Consult the Jeans Sew-Along Forum
You'll find all this information and more in the Jeans Sew-Along forum. It's 85 pages long, but there's a wealth of experience in those pages!
For a shorter introduction to the process of sewing jeans, you'll want to read cabinbaby's digest of the Jeans Sew-Along pages in the forum Jeans Tips and Tricks.
Try sewing your own jeans. Before long, you'll be writing your own jeans review!
cabinbaby did her summary of Jeans Sew-along when it was 74 pages long, but members have been adding comments and questions since then. Feel free to share your experiences too!
See Jeans Patterns and Reviews.
See more Jeans Patterns and Reviews.
Visit the Jeans Sew-Along forum.
Read Jeans Tips and Tricks.
Read about the class Blue Print to Blue Jeans. Get notified when it starts again!
2 Comments Login to Add a Comment
|Who Won the Mini Wardrobe 2012 Contest?||By DianeSev on 10/16/12 9:59 AM
There are some of us out there who are really organized when it comes to our wardrobes. By that, I mean that we actually plan and coordinate what we’ll wear this season, clothes that actually all match!
And there are some who are even more organized and SEW a matching wardrobe. Kudos to them! And kudos to those members who entered the Mini Wardrobe Contest to do just that!
The rules were simple: pick a key item and sew 4 matching pieces. Oh, and sew them all in one month. J The rules suggested that contestants create storyboards to show the outfit combinations.
The results were wonderful! We wish we had wardrobes like these!
Congratulations to everyone in this contest, or, as contest manager Pinkytoo wrote in the discussion board, “Congrats to the 2 lucky winners and the 25 who tied for 3rd place!”
Now let’s meet the winners.
First Prize (by Member Vote): Lynnelle for her Mini-Wardrobe. Pictured: Simplicity: 2860 (Misses & Miss Petite Pants Amazing Fit Collection) and New Look: 6648 (Misses Knit Tops)
Lynnelle describes her mini-wardrobe entries this way: “Comfort meets urban chic? Nah. More like urban chick needs comfort...comfortable clothes, that is.” The fabrics she used were made of natural fibers, and three of the four patterns were TNTs.
Her colors for this mini-wardrobe are brown, cream and orange. For those who have never seen one before, here is her storyboard:
Her key item, as outlined by the rules, is a pre-owned brown cotton corduroy blazer. Here are her individual pattern reviews:
Top 1: Simplicity 2599 (brown floral silk charmeuse). A Best Pattern of 2010.
Top 2: New Look 6648 (orange shimmer rayon knit). A Best Pattern of 2011.
Skirt: BWOF 8-2005-102 (light brown & shimmer wool tweed)
Pants: Simplicity 2860 (light brown striped herringbone wool suiting)
These choices gave her eight outfit combinations, outlined in her main review.
She says, “I am quite happy with my mini wardrobe. Everything is comfortable to wear and suits my taste. I've entered this contest a couple of times in the past and am pleased to have finally finished!”
Second Prize (by Member Vote): Nancy2001 for her 'Casual Luxury' Mini Wardrobe
And congratulations to all our contestants!
We thank Vogue Fabrics for sponsoring this contest.
We thank PR member Pinkytoo for managing this contest.
Congratulate the winners and chat with other members about this contest.
Look at all the contest entries.
Never entered a contest before? It's easy! Our contest tutorial will show you how to enter.
Check out the current contests.
Going on now:
Why not enter?
16 Comments Login to Add a Comment
|New McCall’s: Party Time!||By DianeSev on 10/11/12 2:44 PM
By Noelle Mac
It is almost that time again! Time for holiday parties, family gatherings and winter dances…
McCall’s has some new patterns in their collection we think would work great for these events, and we would like to introduce them to you.
McCall’s 6653 is a top with long or short sleeve options designed to be cut on the crosswise grain of the fabric for a dramatic drape. Suggested fabrics include chiffon, georgette, cotton voile, sequined fabric or lame.
Try it in this awesome silk, embroidered with lurex leaves from Elliott Berman.
McCall’s 6647 is a true party dress with on-trend full skirt, cut-out back and short length. The skirt is cut on the crosswise grain to provide movement, and the bodice includes A/B, C and D cup sizes. Fabric choices for this dress would include chiffon, georgette, or tulle with an underlining in charmeuse or crepe back satin.
McCall’s 6645 has a close-fitting, lined bodice and midriff, bias skirt, and back zipper. There is a ¾ length sleeve option, as well as a longer, shaped hemline option.
This pattern is designed for lightweight, soft wovens, such as challis, crepe de chine, and faille. Choose a set of colors in the same tone for a subtle effect, or contrasting colors for a bolder look. Check out this enormous selection of silk crepe de chine colors from Emma One Sock:
See all the new McCall’s patterns!
0 Comments Login to Add a Comment
|All Kwik Sew Patterns only $9.99. Sale ends Thursday, October 11th||By Deepika on 10/10/12 10:26 AM
Kwik Sew 3-Day $9.99 Sale!
Now’s your chance to buy Kwik Sew patterns on sale for $9.99!
Choose from 100’s of patterns to sew all those things you’ve been meaning to, from everyday wear to holiday wear.
Accessories, activewear, baby clothes, coats and jackets, coordinates, costumes, crafts…they’re all on sale!
Buy your Kwik Sew patterns at this great price
before the sale ends on Thursday, October 11 at 11:59 PM EST!
- FREE domestic shipping for pattern orders of $25 for Friends of PR members.
- FREE domestic shipping for pattern orders of $50 for all members.
- Discounted shipping for pattern orders of $25 for International Friends of PR members (20% off!)
Join Friends of PR now to save an extra 10% off your order!
0 Comments Login to Add a Comment
|Tip 918: Mark Buttonholes with Ease||By DianeSev on 10/5/12 2:04 PM
I hate measuring button and buttonhole placement and have nearly quit doing it. Here’s what I do instead – this is one of those things that’s a lot easier to do than describe:
- Complete the top except for buttons/buttonholes and try it on. Using straight pins, pin the center front closed at the neck and at the fullest part of your bust (the top is likely to gap if there’s no button there). With other straight pins, mark those locations on the right front and remove the pins holding the top closed.
- If you have a long, loose fitting top that only needs four buttons, fold the right front down at the bust-level pin; the place on the center front that now lies under the neckline pin is the location for button #3; the place under the bust-level pin is the location for the bottom button. You now have four evenly spaced button locations marked and you never picked up a measuring tool!
- If you need more closely spaced buttons, fold the top so that the neckline pin meets the bust-level pin and put a mark at the fold (dividing distance between the two original marks). Now, fold the top at the bust-level pin mark the front opposite the neckline and second pins. You can keep folding and pinning button placement until you get as many as you need and they will all be the same distance apart.
Submitted by Lisa Laree
This tip is from 1,000 Clever Sewing Shortcuts & Tips.
Download a full chapter.
Royalties from 1,000 Clever Sewing Shortcuts & Tips go toward breast cancer research.
Read about our latest donation (thanks to you!).
Order it now, signed by Deepika!
Or, order from Amazon.
4 Comments Login to Add a Comment
|Choose the Winner of the Mini Wardrobe Contest!||By DianeSev on 10/4/12 10:49 AM
For the past four weeks, Mini Wardrobe Contestants have been working like mad, creating their 5-piece wardrobe. Now it’s your turn to vote for the wardrobes you love!
This is how the contest worked…
Contestants pick a key item, one they’d love to coordinate their new pieces with. Then they sew the matching 4 pieces.
There are more details in the rules. You can read them here.
Here are some tips to help you with voting:
- How well does the item fit the criteria stated in the contest rules? How well does it fit the spirit of the rules?
- Are the construction methods, including, but not limited to, seam finishes, lining techniques, etc., well-suited to the design? To the fabric?
- Is the fabric choice well suited to the design? Are the lining and interfacing choices appropriate?
- Is the review complete and well-written?
- Creative points. You may choose to give extra credit here for an entry that reflects additional creativity (embellishment, fabric choice, etc.) while staying within the nature of the original pattern.
- Complexity of the project. Relate this to the skill level of the participant. If a participant is a beginner, then a princess seam may get the same complexity level as an underarm gusset gets for an advanced.
We know you want to get started, so click here to go to the Contest Gallery, where you can read the reviews and vote.
See the Contest Report and other important links here.
Voting closes on October 10.
Your vote counts!
5 Comments Login to Add a Comment
Copyright © 2013 PatternReview.com® , OSATech, Inc. All rights reserved.
Connect on Previous Posts
Vote in the Accessory Challenge Contest!
The Great Gatsby in Fashion Giveaway
Member in Focus (Sewing as a Business): SheBear0320
Editorial Reviews of Angela Wolf’s How to Start a Home-Based Fashion Designer Business
PatternReview on Facebook: Sewing as a Business
Pantone Color Contest Winners
Simplicity 2-Day $2.99 Sale!
Sewalong - Summer Street Dress - May 15th - June 15th
Winner of the Eureka! Pants That Fit Giveaway
Using a Ruffler Foot – Construction: A Picture Tutorial by newmama