24 February 2014

BWOF 11-2009-125 (funky bellbottoms): Complete

This seemed like the project that would never end.  Fortunately, it has.  Unfortunately, it's not my best work.  I'll definitely rock (ring?) these bells, but there is definitely room for improvement!

(top:  McCall's 6078, jacket Jalie 2559) 

Fabric/Notions:
  • 2 yards of medium to heavyweight denim
  • 7" metal zipper
  • topstitching thread
  • fusible interfacing
  • 7 metal jeans tacks
  • 80/12 universal needle for seams
  • 100/16 universal needle for topstitching
  • fabric scraps for pocket and belt loop lining
Pattern Instructions:  Typical BWOF word maze.  I didn't really follow them since I've sewn jeans before. In this order, I:  sewed the front and back vertical seams, inserted the zipper using the instructions from Jalie 2908, sewed the back crotch seam, and topstitched the inseams (described below).  I sewed the side seams, waistband, belt loops, and hem as usual.

Alterations and Fit:  Originally, I started with size 44, but took off so much (about 3 inches total) from the  seams, I probably ended up sewing size 40.  That's good news considering I picked up about six pounds (!!!) from my most recent ailment.  Ugh.  Comfort food played a big role in the weight gain...but still...six pounds? 

I removed a total of five inches of length:  three in the leg area (1.5 above and below the knee), one from the hem, and one from the waist.  Although removing the extra inch from the waist helped in positioning the jeans on my waist where I like it, I could stand to remove about another inch because the front crotch is still too long.  Is this a thing with Burda pants? 


Topstitching (A Lesson in Faking It):  With four godets on each leg, I didn't think the jeans would look right with topstitching only on the outer seams.  This meant I would have to topstitch one of those seams in a tube.  I tried it with basting stitches and gave up around mid-thigh.  There was just too much fabric bunched up around the needle.  There just had to be a better way to get the same effect without the hassle.  

My solution?  I faked it.  Before sewing the inseams, I topstitched them while they were flat.  I sewed a guideline on the seam line and topstitched 1/8" to the outside of this line.  Then I sewed and topstitched the side seams as normal.  Lastly I sewed the inseams, taking care to keep an even seam allowance so that the line of topstitching would be visible and even.  You know what?  The faked topstitching lines look MUCH better than the real ones.  Figures.


I ended up pressing all of the vertical seams open because I didn't like how much bulk was created around the godets.  There are areas where there is a little bit of bulk, but it's not too bad.


Construction:  I relied heavily on Katie's (Kadiddlehopper) blog post to sew this pair.  I took cues from her on topstitching the seams and lining the pocket flaps/belt loops. 

The only thing that gave me problems was sewing the buttonhole.  My machine did not like doing this at all.  I sewed a few practice buttonholes only to have to pick out the 'real ones' twice.  The final attempt resulted in a buttonhole that's about 1/4" too small.  The jeans tack still fits, but it's a struggle and I don't know how secure this will be in the long run.  

In pottery, if there is an area of the piece that is imperfect, potters often use something (a design, chattering, or more clay) to cover it up.  Picking stitches 0.4mm long is a PITA.  I couldn't pick them all, so I covered them up with a little decorative stitch.  Meh.  Like I said, not my best work.


Conclusion:  I'll wear these jeans, but I doubt they'll be in the regular rotation as much as my other jeans.  Despite trying them on during construction, they're still too big in many places.  Even though this is a very distinctive style, I will probably sew them again just to get the fit and sewing right.  I am by no means a perfectionist, but I know I can do better.

Peaking out from the jeans are leopard print patent leather flats.  I *love* this look, but hate that the flats are uncomfortable.  O_o  They have soft soles too!  Ugh!

More pics:




Up next:  I have no idea.  I need tops, so maybe that's what I'll work on next. Until next time, peace!

17 comments:

  1. Love your bell bottoms. Takes me back to the 70's when I was a wanna be stylish teenager. Shame they are a bit big on you as they are really funky.

    And thanks for giving me the link to the Jalie necklines. I have printed it out to use.

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    1. Thank you! I wore them today and they held up pretty well. I had to wear a belt, though. The real test will be at the rink. We shall see.

      You're welcome for the link. I love Jalie's method and successfuly have used it a couple of times.

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  2. I think these look great! But I know/understand the "I know I can do better" feeling. Take a breather from the pattern and sew an easy knit top or two as a palate cleanser.

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    1. A palate cleanser is definitely in order. After wearing them today, I felt pretty good. I might revisit another version of this pattern.

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  3. These look terrific. I love your design improvement on the buttonhole ;).
    I made two pairs of these for my daughters and found them very large as well -most unusual for Burda in my experience.

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    1. Thank you! Ahh yes. I referred to your blog and pictures as well. The idea of the the topstitching design came from you! Thank you so much.

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  4. From what I can see I really like them. Maybe you'll like them better after a couple of washings and wearings. I hope so.

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    1. I like them. =) I got lots of complements on them at work today. They're a bit big, but definitely wearable.

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  5. Lynn...whoa! It is official...YOU ARE A HOT MESS!!! I love these! You ROCK!!! I'm ordering this from Jalie.... Wow...these are very cool!!! When you say "they're a bit big," does that mean you just need to widen the seam allowance? Let me know...Vita (uhhh...yeah...I'm a fan!)

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    1. LOL. =) By 'big', I mean I need to start with a smaller size. I took larger seam allowances, but I notice that the vertical seams aren't quite centered. E.g., the back vertical seams appear to rotate toward the inner thigh because I took a larger seam allowance there. Also, I can take these jeans off with out unbuttoning them. =/

      Jalie doesn't make this pattern, but I think the vertical seams can be added to any jeans pattern and the flare exaggerated to mimic bellbottoms.

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  6. I really like them...brings back good memories!

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  7. You did a wonderful job. That was a whole lot of work. You are the Jean Queen in my book!

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    1. Thanks Faye! I didn't mention how much crazy un-sewing I did with this pair. Even still, I love making jeans. =)

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  8. Okay so I tried to comment previously (from work - that's what I get) but could not! L....L....L you have outdone yourself here! These jeans are to live for. FAB! Can you enter them into some kind of contest or something? Imma need you to have some type of jeans sew a long or something...I want a pair!

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    1. Thanks Terri! I really like them - mistakes and all. Nah. I'm done with contests for a while. I just want to sew. Maybe I'll join or host a sew along.

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  9. That was very clever with your fake topstitching. VERY clever! I think they look good!

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Thanks for commenting! I appreciate and read them all - even if I can not personally respond.

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