Make ready to wear looking jeans!

Jeans can be an intimidating sewing task, but they really aren’t that difficult and it is so great to have well fitting jeans for you or your little ones! No more plumbers crack when bending down!!!!! 😉

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With my recent release of the Cpt. Comfort Jeans I wanted to post about how to distress your new denim to look more like ready to wear jeans! I personally LOVE the distressed look! Although a super clean dark denim can look nice as a “dressy” pair of jeans like here:

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But for everyday, I just love the little distressed look… something about looking like Daddy gets me every time with my little guy!

So, lets get started on those great store bought look jeans!

You really MUST use a top-stitching thread for all your top-stiching if you want store bought look… I scoffed at my Mom the first time she told me it was a must… BUT she was right, like always!!

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You will use this heavier/thicker weight top-stitching thread in the top only and for top-stitching only. You will use regular thread in the bobbin and for all seams sewing the jeans together– yep, you have to rethread a lot ;). But it is absolutely worth it if you want ready to wear looking jeans! I promise!

You will also NEED a bigger needle designed for heavy weight fabric like denim or you will be breaking needles on those thick belt loops!… here is a single and double needle:

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Now, I only have one machine, so there is A LOT of switching threads and needles if I use the double needle. So, I will often just sew two lines with my single needle instead of switching to my double needle 😉

Now for the distressing, you will need some sandpaper! To be honest, I’m not sure the BEST kind of sandpaper to use… I asked my husband if he had some and used whatever he handed me 😉 Here is a shot of the kind I happen to use!

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The trick to distressing your denim is to do at WHILE you’re sewing the jeans! If you try to do it before it’s hard to gauge where the distressing needs to be. If you do if after you’ve top-stitched them then you will be breaking your top-stitching threads (ask me how I know that one 😉 ) see left top pocket with it’s broken threads :/ oops!

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So, I suggest sewing the jeans together with your normal thread, then distressing with sandpaper before you top-stitch. Here is my patch pocket sewn, turned right sides out, and distressed along the edges (and any other places I fancied at the moment). Then I top-stitched.

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Some areas are harder to distress before topstitching like back pockets, belt loops, any piece that you are top-stitching closed or onto the jean.  But I still follow the same steps.  I just fold and press, distress, then top-stitch onto the back piece.

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So have fun with a little distressing or A LOT! lol! I like a lot 😉 I end up with a mound of blue fuzz all my sewing room by the time I’m done!

Last is the button! I love to use “real” jeans buttons- and honestly, I always have been lucky enough to take them from my loving mother’s stash! But they are very easy to put on, just line up the two parts and hammer away! Yep, you’ll have sandpaper and a hammer in your sewing room for jeans!!

I’ve always used snaps, which are very common on ready to wear for younger children 🙂

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Full BOOTY Adjustment tips

So in my post about the Greenstyle Taylor Shorts I made myself here … I mentioned I did a “full butt adjustment”.. well because I have a FULL butt 😉

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Well apparently the apple didn’t fall far from the tree… because when I went to measure my LO for some cute Winter Wear Aviator pants, I shared about them here in this post …  his measurements all hit a size 2… but THAT BUM was a size 5! UH-OH! ha ha ha ha… so I flat measured the bum area to see how much ease the pattern had… I decided he did need more room then the size 3 had… so I went to work doing a full butt adjustment for my not quite 2 year old…I thought kids were easier to sew for?????

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I had lots of inquires about a more detailed blog post, so I thought I would share his… it is the same on any size pattern 🙂

It is a really quick and simple adjustment!

Take your back piece and splice it across where the roundest part of their/your booty is.  usually about mid rise on younger/athletic builds 🙂 You will want to leave the seam allowance! Here is a picture of his:

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Now when you go to cut, you will spread out the back rise however much you need to add for the bum… I added about 1/2″ to my LO’s after flat measuring and comparing to his measurements. 

Then you will need to “true up” the sides… since you’re adding length into the rise it wont match perfectly anymore, neither will the outer leg seam… Here is where you can customize your fit even more…

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For my Little Guy who still has a baby figure I didn’t want to loose ANY width on the waist or high hip… so when I “trued up” the outer leg I took the outer edge and added slightly straightening the line up.

When I adjust for myself, I have a small high hip and waist… so I don’t mind taking the inner angle and loosing some width up there.

(Looking back I should’ve taken another picture with a chalk line describing these… I will add those when I need to adjust a pattern for myself, or my little one!!)

I hope this helps those blessed with big bums! 😉

Petite and Tall Pattern Adjustment Tips

So… I’m tall… I mean… I’m TALLLLL 🙂

5’10” no shoes ha ha ha See me towering over my tiny mom?

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It makes finding RTW clothes a CHALLENGE to say the least… yes, I can pay an arm and a leg for “talls” but I want young trendy clothes!! So making my wardrobe is so rewarding for me!

So here are some tips for adding, or taking away length to a pattern for an adult… I’ve already posted how I like to do it for children here. But this method doesn’t work well for adult patterns, because all the sizes are made to fit an average height adult– for women most patterns are 5’6″… The “rule of thumb” is to add/take away 1/2″ for every 1″ that you are “off” the avg height drafted for.

So here we go!

Just like children’s patterns I DO NOT recommend only adding to the bottom hemline… it will make the overall garment longer… but it will not give you a great fit. If you are shorter or taller you need to add/take away length throughout the whole pattern!

This is my newest pattern the Pumpkin Spice Dolman as an example.

This is my pattern piece all taped together normally.

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Knit patterns are much more forgiving in fit… with that being said, the four places I recommend adjusting are: at the shoulder/armscye… just under the bust line… and just under the waistline… and at the bottom hemline

Adding throughout the pattern helps keep the bust, waist and hip where they actually hit you 🙂

Now this is my pattern piece ready to be adjusted—my patterns are no trim pages, so I can simply not over lap as much to add length—for petit you would overlap more to take length away.  I have made myself enough clothing to know how much I need to add to MOST patterns designed for average height– I add about 2 1/8″ to every shirt I make myself… 2 5/8″ to tunics…I even know how much I like in each spot– shoulders a scant 1/8-1/4″, chest and wasit area 3/4-1″, and bottom hem 1/2-1″.

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Here are two pictures showing how you can achieve this:

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The shoulder/armsyce can be done a couple ways– I like to take a smaller seam allowance there to add some length…   You can also splice your pattern straight across where the armsyce is and spread your pattern… I only add about 1/8-1/4″ to mine, but that tiny difference makes SUCH A HUGE difference in how a shirt fits me!

For the chest and waist you can only do with overlap patterns like mine, I simply untapped it, and moved them down, adding what I needed, and retaped that section.

Or you can (with any pattern)… splice it straight across and measure what you’d like to add.

Shortening is the same method, you would just be overlapping instead of adding.

Now all you need to do it cut out and “true up” the sides… since you’re adding or taking away length the sides will not line up perfectly… you will just match them up and straighten them out with your new length.

Repeat process for the other pattern pieces 🙂

Ta-Da!!!! Now you have a shirt that will FIT you! ALL over! 🙂 I could never find this at the store that would actually cover my booty!

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This hasn’t been the cutest blog post, BUT I hope it helps you fit your body shape better, so you can enjoy making yourself some great fitting clothes!! 🙂