I took Kenneth D King's Jeanius online course earlier this year; I managed to snag it at a bargain price. You can buy access from all sorts of sites, I got mine via Craftsy.
It is a rub off method for copying your favourite pair of RTW jeans. The process of actually getting the pattern, while involved, taught me lots about pattern drafting and I even bought new tools and gadgets to make the job easier. Once the pattern is drafted it is ready to use. I have made four pairs of jeans from the one pattern - each pair a little different from the last but the fit is getting better and better every time. It is interesting to see how different fabrics, especially those with a bit stretch, sew up differently from each other so there's always a bit of tweaking involved somewhere along the line.
I can sew the crotch area without worry. I've almost mastered the fly zip. Topstitching is still a bit wobbly and back pocket placement is somewhat random..... but I'm getting there.
A very non-stretch creamy moleskin type of fabric. Lots of faults but making these highlighted what areas need to be adjusted.
No. 2 Grey denim with a slight stretch. I wear this pair A LOT. Here they are hanging on the washing line alongside teenage son's.
No. 3 The fabric is the unbleached cotton twill from Raystitch purchased ages ago and I finally got round to putting it to good use. The jeans are a little 'heavy' - good for autumn/winter wearing though. When I'm not in the grey jeans I'm in these.
No 4 Finally and most recently the pleather pair. With these I straightened the legs and are my muslin for the real leather pair that I shall make one day when the world is perfect.
I've done a bit of serious research about leather this week and have found out this -
Garment weight leather comes in thicknesses of 0.6-0.9mm. Any thinner and it may tear, heavier thicknesses ( 1.2 - 1.5 cm) are used for biker jackets and really thick hides are used for shoes.
Leather is sold in hides by the square foot. There is a fairly simple calculation to convert yards/metres to sq ft. which means you can in theory make any pattern in leather. This is taken from Vogue Sewing Book, page 359 - the answer to my query was on my bookshelves all along! There are 13 sq ft to one yard of 150cm wide fabric. I need 1.8m or 2 metres to make life easy of fabric for these jeans
Metres = 2
multiply by 13 = 26
Multiply 26 by 0.15 for piecing allowance = 3.9. Even go to 0.2 to be on the safe side
26 + 3.9 = 29.9
So I need to acquire 30 sq ft of leather at 0.6- - 0.9mm thick for a pair of leather jeans.
Seems simple enough and so I went trawling the net for UK suppliers of leather hides almost ready to buy a traditional black or dark brown and this is when the next dilemma occurred. There is just too much choice! All the colours of the rainbow; pigskin, goatskin, calfskin, cowskin; leather, nappa, suede; smooth finish, mottled finish, embossed finished, metallic, patent and on and on.
So opinions please.... plain black or brown or a colour?
I'll get more wear from a neutral colour but I am tempted.....
Thanks to all of you who offered advice, hints and showcased your own leather sewing projects in the last post. As always, I appreciate your expertise and encouragement.
I've also just noticed, when the photos of jeans construction are placed in chronological order my hair gets shorter and shorter!