sdBev's Pants!

Archive for the ‘DG2’ Category

I talked about the embroidery elsewhere. Here I want to discuss sewing; construction choices.

I’m using a remnant I think from the now defunct Mill Ends in Sioux Falls. I truly miss that store. They had a small section of designer fabrics –rejects for one reason or another. Like too much stock; didn’t use in time; or  crap for fabric. I also have a proclivity for upholstery fabrics. Many are  manufactured in much wider widths and are higher quality than  dressmaking fabrics; also surprisingly,  better priced. (For example, when I considered fiber and width, dressmaking silks were more expensive and of lesser quality than silks in the HomeDec dept).  This 100%, loosely woven canvas came from the upholstery remnants section of the store. Just barely 1.25 yards by 54″ wide. Just not enough for a pair of pants for my frame. Could have been a vest. In fact I think I did consider making it into a vest but never got that done. I need shorts now and I’m particularly interest in grey rather than black for summer.

This is a nonstretch fabric. It does not even possess the “give” of denim. I knew immediately I would be using Trudy Jansen’s 906 Fashion Jean. TJ906 is my goto pattern for nonstretch fabrics and has been or several years.  Long enough for me to have developed several variations. About a year ago, I developed what I call the DG2 Waistband..  OK, I didn’t really develop this waistband. I bought a pair of jeans from Diane Gilman and realized what a sweet waistline finish she had used. I got my french curve and a la Peggy Sagers, copied it.  Essentially, the front is extended at the top to include the waistband. The back yoke and back waistband are combined into a 2nd piece. The waistband pattern piece,  is retained as the facing. Front pockets are not used. They would be a PITA, but optionally stitching which suggests there is a front pocket can be used. (I didn’t this time).  DG2 uses back pockets. Sometimes I do sometimes I don’t.  Lack of fabric was the deciding factor this time and these shorts have neither front nor back pockets. I installed a zipper because hello nonstretch? I need a way to get in and out. DG2 sometimes uses a zipper sometimes not. With the 8″ of stretch in DG2’s jeans they don’t need a zipper.  I top stitched the back yoke seam. Mostly because it has a tendency to twist which can be irritating during wear.  I also did 2 rows of top stitching on the hem mostly because the first row wasn’t high enough to secure the edge. That edge would have rolled again being an irritant during wear. (I’m surprised at how many RTW details can be traced back to making a garment easier to sew or more comfortable to wear. Listen to the hawkers on TV and you’d think it’s all about beautiful you. Nope.) When I installed the facing, I used 2 rows to secure the bottom edge because hey that looks like real jeans but also to echo the dual lines of stitching along the  hem.

Must confess to one heart stopping moment during construction.  I’ve made this pattern so many times that I just assumed it still fit. About half of the shorts I’m wearing every day were made, I thought, with this very same pattern. My existing shorts are comfortable. They fit the way I want. I thought I had both the shorts and long leg versions nailed! My heart stopping moment came when I aligned the waistband with the top of the waist. The CF is marked 1.5″ from the cut edge. The entire waistband was not long enough to finish the upper edge! Even using the 3″ designed as beyond the CF.  What happened?  I don’t remember having this issue before. No remarks in my blog about a too short WB or too long waistline — even when using the very same DG2 waistband center front over/underlap. The only thing I can think of is that I did not cut and sew immediately.  I cut the pieces. Hung them while doing the embroidery and then stitched my shorts. The pieces hung for 2 days. I did not stay stitch or fuse, so it is possible that the waistline had stretched, I just doubt that it stretched 3″.

Instead of taking everything apart, adjusting and restitching, the way my Home Ec teacher would have insisted, I applied the facing, top stitched leaving the edges open along the zipper.  Then I threaded 1.25″ elastic through the channel created by the top stitching.

I stitched the elastic and the facing along the zipper and then again at the side seams.

I Frey Checked the edges of the elastic and trimmed close with my pinking  disk.

That stitching is enough to keep it all secured and the elastic evenly distributed.  The elastic cheat? It’s one I learned/developed several years ago when having to deal with an expandable waist and tailored pants. The elastic is undetectable. The waistline fits no matter how much I eat or how bad the IBS becomes.

I will not change the waistband at ATM. I will keep it in mind as a possible future alterations. What does concern me is that the side front and the side back do not match. After all this time,  I’ve made many pants and shorts, I don’t understand the mismatch. It would be easier to miss in a stretch fabric. I noticed it first with the cavanvas fabric because I had to stretch the sides slightly. Well more than slightly

The sides seams are  really rounded and bubbly. It does almost completely press out

However is evident in the side views:

Have to admit, even the back seems to be a little loose

(I may take these in just a bit after the first wear and launder.)

I looked carefully at my previous shorts and said “Darn. They’ve got it too.”.  Meaning that this excess length has been there a while and not the result of the DG2 waistband treatment.

Well despite that little issue,  I think these pants are just beautiful.  In retrospect, I wish I hadn’t taken the time for embroidery.  Canvas tends to pull free at the seams.  I did use a 2.5″ stitch length at the SM, N (which I think is also 2.5) on the serger. I don’t know what it is about canvas that helps it escape from seams. I just know that I feel a pang of regret realizing this canvas probably won’t last 2 seasons. This much beauty deserves a place in my closet for several years.

I want a second pair of jeans shorts. I also want to tweak the shorts pattern just a little, (legs are too long) and I want to try out a waistband treatment from my favorite Diane Gilman jeans.  From the outside my DG2  Jeans look like they have a typical contour waistband. In fact, I wore them several times before realizing it is a faced, cut-on waistband with top-stitching in strategic places.

I pulled out all the pieces from the jeans shorts just completed days ago.  I trimmed 2″ from the bottom on the leg. I think knee-length  dresses, tunics and shorts make me look shorter and stubbier.I think it’s just a proportion issue. Because I lengthen my dresses just enough to cover the knee brace, cut the tunics and shorts higher and the stubbiness goes away. Well, not completely because I am over weight and I am petite.

I traced the front and the yoke onto new paper and added 2-1/4″ (the width of my contour waistband) to the top of these two pieces:

I decided not to use front pockets, at least this first pair. I can get things ‘off’ with pockets so for a test garment I like to omit them.  But I do want to use top stitching to suggest there are pockets.  I traced along the top of the waistband and down the side seam about 8″.  Using my curve, I marked a hand opening.  then I trimmed along those lines to create this new piece:

After laying out and cutting my fabric, I align the new piece (now a pocket template)  with the side seam and waist of the front’s fabrics

and chalk along the bottom edge of the template:

I should mention, I’m already running the embroidery machine at this point.  I’ve found that I can maximize my time sewing if the embroidery machine can run while I’m doing other things. This combined with the lessor amount of embroidering I am doing, is becoming so successful that I may not need a stand alone embroidery machine.  I’ve chosen a leaf/vine like pattern and wanted more of a tone-on-tone effect vs the typical gold jean stitching. Of course I still wanted the embroidery  to show up.  My fabric is a dark grey blue. I chose dark blue grey embroidery threads but they read much brighter in the pics:

While the embroidery was stitching….

Normally, I would use the waistband pattern to cut both a waistband and a facing.  This time I needed only cut the facing. I also cut one interfacing.  I’m not sure that’s good or not. I prefer to interfacing both sides of the waistband and I won’t be doing that. I load sewing machine, serger and cover stitch with thread.  I serge-finish the side , waist and crotch before switching to the cover stitch and stitching along the chalked line of the fronts.  I proceed to insert the front zipper and stitch the two back pieces of the back leg together (I am using TJ906 with has a 2-piece back leg.)

At this point, both pockets have been embroidered. These faster embroidery machines are wonderful. I finish the pockets which involves hemming, and attaching to the back of the pant at the cover stitch machine. I use SAS to turn the edges under neatly and secure for the cover stitch machine.  I wanted to work on making the stitching at the point crisp. My bright idea was stitching to the point. Stopping and pulling the thread to the underside and repeat on the opposite side of the pocket.  Then tying the loose threads at the point and sealing with a drop of Frey Check on the underside.

I think it worked really well.  It is an extra step. Sometimes an extra step is worth taking.  I continued my usual construction routine with a few minor changes. I made my belt loops at the cover stitch as usual but I cut them 4.5″ long instead of 3″ so that I would be able to place them exactly as desired along the faux waistband. I also discovered that somehow in adding equal amounts to the top of the front and yoke made the back side longer than the front.  My first thought was I had put the yokes in backwards i.e. the deep end goes to center back and it’s not unusual for me to put the deep end on the side seam and have to rip it out. But, no, the yokes were correctly stitched.  I wondered if I did the calculation of how much to add correctly  (waistband width – seam allowances at leg top and waistband edge). I added the same to both. It shouldn’t change the overall length.   Did I trim the same amount of length from the leg bottom when adjusting leg length?  This is a close-fitting pant. My pattern pieces are really shaped. The excess, about 3/4″,  is not in the lower portion of the leg. It is between yoke and hip.  So I eased the front to the back

placed the leg over my pressing ham and steamed well.

Not perfect, but really good.  It perplexes me.  I used the same fabric and essentially the same pattern.  My only other thought is I had somehow stretch both side, back pieces. It’s something I need to watch for when I makes shorts again.

I added the facing and then top stitched through the denim and the facing fabric approximating a contour waistband.

Back

Inside

Note, I didn’t develop an overlap.  I’ll be wearing a belt, so these will probably stay up and closed. But I’m always uneasy about that and also added a tap and button to the inside:

Fit surprised me. I needed to increase the side seams 1/8″.  Why this time?  I used the same fabric last time and 3/8″ SA on the side and back leg seam.  This time the side seam needed to be 1/2″.  Other than that, fit is about as expected:

 

Which I know you can’t see because they are so dark.  Trust me, they look and feel pretty nice. I think the SOG should change on the yoke. It just didn’t feel right when sewing. My real issue is that all the top stitching I did, doesn’t really show up. I didn’t achieve the desired result i.e. copying the DG2 Waistband. My shorts look like a cut-on waistband. DG2’s looks like a contour waistband.  Maybe if I had used gold jean thread it would have been more apparent. I was copying DG2 as much as possible and she used the blue thread.  So for next time I’m purchasing jean thread in jean blue or jean black.  Also I think I also want to increase the tension so that the cover stitching tunnels just a little.  I think that would add to the illusion.