Friday, 20 April 2012

Best Ever Boyfriend


The next pair of jeans were a combination of all that's been learned so far: crotch fitting, leg width, facings and waistband, pockets and the properties of denim.  I managed to acquire some selvedge denim, not easy and not cheap, for this pair. Made on 36" wide weaving looms the selvedge edge has a smooth finish with a little red stripe that marks it out as being special. Selvedge jeans are some of the most expensive RTW because the fabric is so narrow, you need at least 3 yards and there is a lot of wastage in commercial terms. 

The word selvedge comes from"self-edge", the natural edge of a roll of fabric. The looms weave fabric with one continuous cross thread (the weft) that is passed back and forth all the way down the length of the bolt. As the weft loops back into the edge of the cloth it creates this “self-edge” or selvedge. The selvedge does not fray like cloth made on a modern, projectile loom that has separate wefts, that leave an open edge. Selvedge denim is made on old-style shuttle looms that are limited to 31" - 36" wide.  During the weaving process, the weft shuttle goes back and forth as one continuous thread, rather than as individual threads. As a result, selvedge denim has a clean edge. Modern, single thread weaving has a frayed edge.  The selvedge edge is usually stitched with a coloured thread. 




My denim is 14oz weight, which is quite heavy and stiff, even after three hot washes. I chalked up the pieces just to make sure I had enough to do. I bought 3 yds and the only thing you have to straighten are the outside legs along the selvedge -then you don't have to finish the outside seam later.          

It's de rigour darling to fold up the hemline to show off that selvedge while wearing.



Top stitching on the back pockets, yoke and just partly down the outside seams to hold them all together while under pressure of wearing.

The inside facings were made of the scrap from the Stepford top.
I put some rivets in too. I love using tools for dressmaking: you need a hammer and an awl and it's a wee bit scary because you're putting holes in a finished garment!



OK -  the money shots!




And you know, looking back over this mini adventure in jeans construction I'm not really sure this style is for me. I like tight, boot-cut / flared type jeans. I think they make legs look longer and the flare at the hem balances out the flare at the hips (if you know what I mean?). So I signed up for Craftsy's Jean-ius lessons with Kenneth D King. This is reverse engineering - or in technical terms a rub-off - from an existing garment to get a pattern. I happen to have a pair of Armani jeans that I'm going to try and replicate but you need tools for this project and I don't have any. So I'm off to buy the pattern drafting bits and pieces and then we'll see..........



Thanks for reading. Ruth

10 comments:

  1. well however you feel about these jeans it an awesome piece of handiwork resulting in very professional pair of jeans - look forward to hearing how you get on the KDK's reverse engineering project

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    1. Thanks Pauline - you're doing Chanel and gorgeous things and I'm doing Levi workwear! LOL

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  2. they look Great on you!

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    1. Thanks Chris for dropping by and taking the time to comment too.

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  3. Those are extremely flattering jeans! I, too, am taking the KDK course...but won't have time until June. I have my organza, jeans needles, etc and at least 3 pairs of old jeans I'd like to rub off. I am going to copy some boot cut Levis, some straight leg cords and maybe a pair of riding jeans.

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    1. That's an ambitious project you've got going on there - good luck with it and look forward to seeing the results.

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  4. Gorgeous jeans. I think they look great on you. Beautiful work.

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  5. The jeans look great. I especially like the selvedge detail. Small details can make such a difference. That striped tee is just killer. Love it!

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  6. Those jeans are just overtly great !!!!!!!!!!! ahh one day I might sew jeans.

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  7. Thanks for such a great post, I love reading what you write. And your jeans look really really great. Well done!

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