With October’s Wardrobe Challenge including zippers, I thought now would be a good time to share a few easy ways to embellish with exposed zippers.
A fun way to change the look of a pair of jeans is to embellish the leg with an exposed zipper. Follow along:
Step 1: On the wrong side of the fabric, mark the center of the pant leg (could be front or back, wherever you want the zipper).
If marking an existing pair of jeans, rip out the hem at least 5″ from each side of new mark. Press the fusible interfacing along the newly marked center line.
Step 2: Mark the hem, hem allowance, and the length of the zipper opening down center of the pant leg.
Step 3: Determine the width of the zipper opening (depends on the width of the zipper teeth). Draw in opening, top edge, and then add a triangle from the center cut line to each corner (as shown above).
Step 4: Cut along center marking. Cut each triangle point (if you are worried about the fabric fraying, add Fray Check to the top corners)
Step 5: Press the seam allowances back and press triangle tip up.
Step 6: Line up the zipper with the metal teeth in the center of the opening. Check the placement of the zipper stop and zipper tab.
Step 7: Fold back the zipper tape and press in place at the hemline.
Step 8: Pin zipper in place.
Step 9: In this example, I am using standard polyester thread, cotton or silk thread would work too. Set the sewing machine to a triple stitch and lengthen the stitch length to 4.0. (Note: if you don’t have this feature, use denim thread, straight stitch, stitch length 4.0)
Step 10: Stitch along the edge of the zipper. Open and close the zipper as needed in order to get the foot by the zipper tab. Step 11: Notice how I have lined up the edge of the zipper foot with the metal teeth, a very easy to get a straight stitch … or this would be a great time to utilize the laser vision guide feature on your machine! 🙂
Step 12: Press up the hem with the tailor’s clapper for a crisp crease. By the way, did I mention WAWAK Sewing is now carrying my tailor’s clapper! Yeah!
Step 13: Hem the jeans and move onto the other leg.
That’s it! Now this is just one quick, easy way to install a hidden zipper. I will give you some more ideas next time.
Sewing jeans are really easy once you get the hang of the process, but fitting the pattern can be challenging. The next few posts are going to deal with exactly that, fitting various body shapes. This pattern alteration is needed if you have a fuller stomach, in the old days referred to as an apple shape. Although, I am not sure where the fruit terms originated from, I really don’t like them. I would rather be a glass! Wine glass, red wine glass, martini glass, goblet, water-glass, I think you get the idea. It just sounds a little more glamorous than an apple or pear 🙂 Anyway, if you made up a jean muslin and the pattern fit great in the legs, hips, and tush, but you just can’t get that center front closed … here you go:
Fitting a Jean Pattern for a Round Stomach
1. Tape the front pocket in place. Start by drawing lines on your pattern (don’t cut yet):
- Draw a line (green) across the hip and up to the tip of the side seam.
- Draw 2 lines (purple) perpendicular to the green line,
2. Cut along the green line, cutting up to the side seam put NOT through the edge.
3. Slide the pattern open. Look what happens, you just gave a little more room in the front tummy area in the width and height of the pattern.
4. The upper waist curve is too extreme if left like this. Cut each purple line, down to the green line, but NOT through it. Slide each line open until the waist curve angles down more like the original pattern.
5. Redraw a new waistline and center front crotch curve (red line).
If you are having difficulty redrawing the front crotch curve, slide the pattern back together. Mark the bottom edge of the facing area and trim off the front fly facing. Follow all the steps and then tape the front facing back in place once the new center front is drawn in, lining up the facing with the marking on the pattern. Draw a line extending the facing up to the waistline ( I used this pattern piece, because I knew someone would ask about that).
Here is your new front pattern piece, use this for the front and left, of course one will have a front facing section and the other will not. This is the same alteration for any pant style when you need a little more room in the tummy area.
How are your jeans coming along for March’s wardrobe challenge? The judges are almost finished with February’s winners, hope to announce them this weekend.
SPECIAL OFFER FROM WAWAK SEWING!
Looking to stock up on jean sewing supplies – zippers, jean thread, jean buttons … WAWAK Sewing is offering $10 off the next order of $80 or more! This offer is good until March 31st, use PROMO CODE: WAGW314 when checking out. What a great treat for the jean challenge! Thanks WAWAK! 🙂
That’s all for today 🙂 Sun is shining and snow is melting, thank goodness!!!!
I woke up this morning to an email that made me very happy and I have YOU to thank 🙂 Just so you know, you made my day!!!!! In case you missed it, Craftsy is holding their 2013 blogging awards. Round one of voting is finished and your votes placed my blog into the finals in the category of Sewing – Best Craftsy Instructor Blog. There are only 4 of us and now another round of voting continues until October 29th – Of course I am hoping you will vote again 🙂
First, let me tell you how encouraging this was to hear. Writing a blog and posting video tutorials does take up quite a bit of time, but I personally do so in order to encourage you to sew. Not only sew, but to sew clothes and sew clothes that look like they walked out of a boutique with a high price tag. I have been sewing my own clothes for over 20 years (that just gives me a reason to buy more shoes and handbags LOL) and I love sharing what I have learned with you.
So what happens now? There is a final round of voting that will end on October 29th and Craftsy is offering a free class to one of the lucky voters. For me, I already feel like a winner. As a special thank you for the support you have already shown and encouragement for you to vote again during these final weeks (bribery never hurts right :)) I am going to offer a few giveaways.
Recently I offered a free Crafty class to my new Sewing Designer Jeans class that will launch later this month and a huge CONGRATULATIONS to the winner Marie C.. Well, the class doesn’t include a pattern. Why? Because maybe you copied your favorite pair in Kenneth D. Kings class or you already have a favorite jean pattern from my friend Jennifer Stern or you like the range of sizes in Jalie … just to name a few of my favorite reasons. During the class, I will be using my Angel Bootcut Jean pattern (my current pattern includes misses sizes 0 – 16 and I am diligently working on the women’s sizes 16W – 24W) and I even show you how to alter the pattern for a higher or lower waist (amongst other fitting issues). So, it only seems appropriate to giveaway one of my jean patterns. How can you win? Pretty simple – let me know why you want to sew my jean pattern and please vote in the final round on Craftsy (remember you can win a free class on Craftsy just for voting). Afraid of sewing jeans – no worries, it’s really easy. Remember back when I showed you videos on how to sew pockets. There are lots more, just scroll through my posts about sewing jeans. I will announce the winner of jeans pattern on Monday and I will announce another “thank you” giveaway tomorrow.
Again, THANK YOU so much for making my day today 🙂 xoxo Angela
I have a new fetish for altering fabrics and I am on a mission to test some new and old techniques and see if they will fit into high-end fashion. Embroidery is definitely high on the list, and I am not talking about embroidered bunny’s on the front of my sweatshirt or his and her towel’s (although I have to practice somewhere 🙂 I am more thinking about using embroidery to create new fabrics and using that fabric in my garments. A few ideas I am going to try:
- attaching two unusual textures
- quilting silk charmeuse
- sleeve embellishment
- embroidered jeans
- embroidery + needle felting
- adding faux fur
Just a touch of ideas and I am going to give them a try over the summer, looking into my fall wardrobe. I don’t expect them all to be a success, but I know this will be fun! So to kick off my experiment I thought I better learn how to embroider. These jeans were my first embroidery project last May, not too shabby if I don’t say so myself. The jean pattern is an altered version of my Angel Bootcut Jean and the embroidery design I created on Brother’s Dreamweaver . Trust me, I had no idea what I was doing but these new embroidery machines tell you what to do!
I sewed the jeans in a little different order starting with the front and back pockets and then the outside seam. A bit of a risk, after all that work, that the embroidery turns out awful. Looking back, you would think I would have tested the design on something, even a scrap of fabric. I am too stubborn for that. Each leg took 3 hooping’s and at first the total embroidery hours for both legs was tallying up to be 26 1/2 hours … YIKES! Then I realized that each color would only embroider for a few minutes and I would have to keep changing threads (this is only a one thread embroidery machine, in case you might think I have the fancy one). I decided to change the order of color, even if it altered the final design.
The embroidery design: I changed the design from being a little larger in the top (1st hooping) a little smaller in the middle (second hooping) and really small at the ankle (third hooping). Minus a few mistakes (which I won’t point out :)) I was really pleased with the final results.
One thing I learned with embroidering stretch denim – after you embroider, the denim doesn’t stretch. Just keep that in mind and make alterations to your pattern to allow for that non-stretch, especially if you are sewing skinny jeans or jeggings. I am planning on embroidering another pair of jeans with all one color of thread, I am thinking black fabric with silver thread or something along that line.
Any embroidery tips for me would be greatly appreciated, I have a lot of fabric I want to try (especially silk charmeuse). There is so much to learn and take into account. For example, embroidery thread. There are a ton of choices, any advice on the what’s the best and why? I would love to know the scoop!
Dark jeans are really in trend this fall so that means distressing with a hammer might not be an option. I have tested the MuVit Digital Dual Feed Foot on the Brother Dreamweaver XE and believe it or not, after sewing over many thick seams there was not one skipped stitch! The only thing I added was a #14 denim jean needle and various thicknesses of denim. This foot is different from a walking foot, not only because it has a rolling belt, but the foot plugs into the sewing machine giving the foot it’s own brain … or something like that. You can then adjust the foot by pressing a few buttons on the sewing machine. I have to say technology is really making sewing fun and easy!
The video below shows you just how smooth this digital dual feed foot works and I even tested it on one of my new jean patterns. Which by the way, I am happy to announce my first two jean patterns are up and available! Both patterns come with detailed sewing instructions in a book format, very easy to follow. The other bonus that comes with both of these jean patterns is a downloadable PDF file, download to your tablet and you can enlarge the photos for detailed viewing. The PDF file offers color photos and details on where to distress the jeans as you sew. My goal is to help you sew jeans that fit perfect and look expensive 🙂 Enjoy and don’t forget about the previous videos on sewing jean pockets if you need a little extra help. Hope you had a great Thanksgiving weekend, lot’s of family, food and shopping on my end. Wait until you see my new shoes (and yes that’s plural!) xoxo Angela
Brother™ has provided me with the DreamWeaver XE, but all opinions expressed are entirely my own.
I hope you are all safe from hurricane Sandy and my heart goes out to all those affected. We even experienced severe weather here in Michigan! I made it to the beach yesterday and after getting stuck in the sand with our SUV, I was able to snap a few shots. Unbelievable waves on Lake Michigan, over 20 footers. I think I’ll pass on fishing for a few days 🙂
Lake Michigan during hurricane Sandy …over 20 foot seas!
Now onto sewing …. more specifically topstitching. Topstitching jackets and jeans are not only a designer touch; this has become a main focus in today’s fashion. The more creative the topstitching the more expensive your garment looks. On that note, have you ever finished a great looking jacket only to discover you can’t find a matching color in the thick topstitching thread? Would you like to hem your favorite jeans – again not being able to match the original jean thread color. This video shows you an easy way to solve that problem, using two spools of Coats & Clark polyester thread and a #14 denim jean needle. You will even get a peek at the automatic needle threader on the Brother Dreamweaver XE, yes it even works with 2 threads! Enjoy 🙂
Brother™ has provided me with the DreamWeaver XE, but all opinions expressed are entirely my own.