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Class Reviews > Build Better Jeans

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Posted by: quathy
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About quathy star
Member since: 6/3/06
Reviews: 17 (classes: 1)
Skill level:Intermediate
Favored by: 1 people
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Posted on: 11/30/09 1:37 PM
Rating: starstarstar
Review Rating: Very Helpful by 12 people   
Web site/URL: Build Better JEANS
From the class description: "Learn to make a classic pair of jeans with all the standard details. We will examine the specific tools and notions needed, look at a variety of construction options, and discuss style changes for your classic jeans. Your jeans will be custom-designed and custom-created! ...This class is best suited for Advanced Beginners. The most difficult of skills required in this class are Fell seams and Zipper insertion... Class is a combination of PDF downloads, Q&A boards and Interactive real time chat sessions with the instructors."

This is the third PR class I've taken from Shannon Gifford. It's worth noting that this is NOT a fitting class - you are expected to take the course with an 'already fitted' jeans pattern, although Shannon graciously helped with some minor fitting issues along the way. (BTW, for a great fit, I highly recommend another Gifford course, "Make a Pants Muslin.")

I used a jeans pattern drafted from Wild Ginger's Pattern Master Boutique. This is my first PMB pattern, and not knowing yet how to use the software very well, I drafted my own pockets, waistband, back yoke, and belt loops. (Wow! That makes me sound like a much better sewer than I am!) Here's another nod to Shannon, that I knew how to draft those on paper because of the Make a Pants Muslin class! And of course, I made a jeans muslin to test the pattern! :)

Shannon gave a list of notions before the class, so that we would be prepared with all the essentials. She walked us through the entire construction, giving many tips on how to build jeans that will last. We learned about the history of jeans, what makes jeans 'authentic' and what we might like to change for comfort or style. We learned how to design and arrange rear pockets - a major style factor for me - and how to alter the pattern to change the style of the pant legs (bootcut vs. slim, etc).

Is this class for you? It's rated 'Advanced Beginner,' which I feel is appropriate. You'll learn how to do the fell and faux-fell seams (which I'd never done before) and Shannon will walk you through zipper-insertion (I've done two pants flies prior to this class). I think if you show up with a jeans pattern that has been fitted to you, and you know the basics, you'll do fine. It will be helpful to know your machine well, and how it will handle heavy threads. We discussed some techniques during the class, but I like to be prepared.

Along the way, we listed several sources for denim, and discussed the differences of types of denim, and other fabrics that can be used for jeans (such as velvet, corduroy, etc). We listed sources for the notions, which can be hard to find, such as rivets and jeans buttons, and types of thread to use for topstitching and decorations.

Shannon provided a brief 'bonus' lesson on embellishment, which included bleach and color changes, distressing, fading, and many of the modern embellishment techniques I see in today's RTW.

I was really looking forward to this class, because I can shop for hours and never be satisfied with RTW jeans. My expectations were exceeded in this course - not only do I now know how to construct the jeans, but I also know what materials to use, and how to make great jeans that will last for many years, and tweak them for my personal style and comfort! I am SO excited about this!!!

If you've ever thought you wanted to go beyond the pattern instructions, take this course! You will be happy you did!!!

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patty v said... (2/9/10 8:46 AM) Reply
when will this class being offered again
Sharp said... (12/15/09 1:38 AM) Reply
I was totally sick when this class came up and so missed it, now I'm jealous. ;) Thanks for a thorough review!
SandiMacD said... (12/9/09 1:48 PM) Reply
Top notch review! I would like to sew jeans for my obese grandson (8yrs). Right now I buy and alter size 14's and they never look quite right. Thanks.
quathy said... (12/8/09 9:16 AM) Reply
Nancy, I haven't reviewed the jeans yet... I did 'complete' them, but I need to tweak a little because the legs are too wide for my taste. December is usually very busy for me with little sewing time, but I have a personal goal to finish them this month -- wish me luck!!! And hopefully I will remember to link to this class review in my PMB pattern review :)
Nancy Rhodes said... (12/7/09 8:31 AM) Reply
Your enthusiasm is contagious! The class sounds like a well thought-out program. Great review... did you post a review of your jeans? can't wait to see it. Thank you!
ryan's mom said... (12/1/09 7:23 AM) Reply
When I get the chance, I'm going to take this class! Great review of it.
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