1000 Things to Do with a Sewing Machine, Craftsy courses, Denim, DESIGNIN' DENIM, Fabrics, Pants, Sewing, sewing courses

It’s distressing.

Let me tell you what I have been doing off and on for the last couple of months…

Way back, way, way back in the beginning of December, I started a Craftsy course, “Sewing Designer Jeans” with Angela Wolf.  I enjoyed the course and was excited to start my own jeans.  I had in my pattern stash my Vogue V2948 pants pattern, which I did my pants fitting course with, and my Vogue V8774 jeans pattern.  I just couldn’t not use the Vogue pants pattern, since my Pants Fitting Shell was so comfortable, but I would have to take the pockets and the fly front from my other Vogue pattern, V8774.

Nice dress! Thanks, I made it!!
Nice dress! Thanks, I made it!!

I had purchased my supplies previously, with plans to make my own jeans some day:  #220 grit sandpaper and a handheld sander for “distressing”, zipper, Jeans buttons and rivets, Denim and topstitching sewing machine needles, and topstitching and regular threads in a “jean yellow” and a white.

Nice dress! Thanks, I made it!!
Nice dress! Thanks, I made it!!

I picked two fabrics out of my stash – a blue denim 96% cotton/4% lycra and a black denim of unknown fibres.  Now I have learned that cotton distresses better than polyester, so the black denim obviously had some polyester in it.

Nice dress! Thanks, I made it!!
Nice dress! Thanks, I made it!!
Nice dress! Thanks, I made it!!
Nice dress! Thanks, I mad
Nice dress! Thanks, I made it!!
Nice dress! Thanks, I made it!!

Seriously, I literally counted how many “rubs” I was giving each fabric just to see the outcome.  It took six times as much to get any visible results on the polyester blend and this is the best result I got.

Nice dress! Thanks, I made it!!
Nice dress! Thanks, I made it!

Oh but the cotton/lycra blue denim distressed so well!

Nice dress! Thanks, I made it!!
Nice dress! Thanks, I made it

Did I start sewing then?  No … then I tested my topstitching sewing needle and thread and stitch length with my denim fabrics.  I used my 1/4″ foot and my blind hem foot to make the stitching line straight and practiced with different stitch lengths.  I liked #4 length on my sewing machine.

Nice dress! Thanks, I made it!!
Nice dress! Thanks, I made it!!

On the right was a #3 stitch length (not long enough) and on the left was a #4 stitch length (just right!).  I made a note of the stitch length I liked because I knew once I started I would forget what it was!

Nice dress! Thanks, I made it!!
Nice dress! Thanks, I made it!!

Looking good!

Nice dress! Thanks, I made it!!
Nice dress! Thanks, I made it!!

I also tried out some different decorative stitches on my sewing machine to create a design for my jeans and I made note of which ones I was going to use.

Nice dress! Thanks, I made it!!
Nice dress! Thanks, I made it!!
Nice dress! Thanks, I made it!!
Nice dress! Thanks, I made it!!

Now I was ready for assembling the patch pockets.  I used a fusible interfacing first on all 4 pocket pieces and then ironed the tops of the pockets down 5/8″.

Nice dress! Thanks, I made it!!
Nice dress! Thanks, I made it!!

Then I sewed the tops of the pocket flaps down along the short 5/8″ seam allowances and carefully turned them the right way out.  More ironing – all along the tops and edges at 5/8″.

Nice dress! Thanks, I made it!!
Nice dress! Thanks, I made it!!

Now I hear some sewists use fabric glue too when assembling patch pockets, but I prefer to assemble them with a bit of sewing to secure the folded top edge and a lot of ironing.  I’m pretty happy with the result and I do love the distressing!  Too bad the black denim doesn’t take to it as well as the blue denim.

Nice dress! Thanks, I made it!!
Nice dress! Thanks, I made it!!

More fun, designing the stitching for my patch pockets and choosing which stitches I would use.  I put my ideas on paper first and then made a template for drawing my curved lines with my new Chaco Liner.

Nice dress! Thanks, I made it!!
Nice dress! Thanks, I made it!!

I placed, marked and measured many times where I wanted my patch pockets on my jeans, just to be sure, and here is the finished result.

Nice dress! Thanks, I made it!!
Nice dress! Thanks, I made it!!
Nice dress! Thanks, I made it!!
Nice dress! Thanks, I made it!!

This was a lot of fun!  I almost wish I could make more jeans pockets, but I better move on to the next steps – back centre seam (flat felled!) and the front pockets and front centre seam.  I’ll post about those steps when I get them completed.

In the meantime, Happy Sewing!

46 thoughts on “It’s distressing.”

  1. I love how much thought (and fun) you’ve put into designing these pockets. The stitch you’ve chosen looks great. I need to take a leaf out of your book and learn to enjoy slowing down!

  2. The pockets look great. I purchased a store bought denim jacket for my husband and the distressing looked crappy. I don’t think machines can do as good a job as hands on distressing. I took the jacket back. Looking forward to seeing the end project.

  3. The pockets alone look amazing – I can’t wait to see them once they’re attached to the jeans! I must admit, the idea of sewing jeans rather terrifies me, so I’m always impressed at people who tackle such a project. Have fun with it!

  4. I’m impressed with the sanding, that’s something I never would have thought of. I’m procrastinating over starting my Crafty Jeanius course, I need to pull my finger out and now I’ve seen your pockets it’s got me thinking….

      1. Well I’ve just watched how to start making a copy of the pattern and making up the toile so tomorrow evening I’m going to start. I’ve been putting it off as they feel like such a big job but I just need to break it down in stages – just like the course online – and not get myself too overwhelmed!

  5. This is amazing Linda… 🙂 Those pockets are so original and funky.. can’t wait to see the pants all together.. 🙂

      1. I started watching it! It’s impressive! I just need to get cracking and actually make some jeans. Also got ginger jeans pattern! Soon! Famous last word!

  6. Hi Linda, isn’t distressing fun?!? I love the whole process of decorative stitches and coming up with designs as well as the distressing. Your pockets are beautiful! Can’t wait to see more! 🙂

        1. Nice to know, because I am still going through the Wolf one. I watched it once through now I am doing it step by step. I love the Betzina pants, I intend on making some office pants with that pattern. Thanks for stopping by, I haven’t heard from you in a while! Time to get back to my blog reading now, I’m behind!

  7. Can you make me back pockets? Those are seriously amazing! I’m about to start a corduroy pants project too – which will also be a slower project. I can’t wait to see how these turn out – and am excited to follow along. I’m impressed with the distressing too – would never have thought about that!

  8. I love making my own jeans they fit so well but I never do the felt seam I really don’t care for them. I will need to try one of those hand sanders that you have as well.. thanks for sharing!

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