Welcome to our penultimate post, for the Vado jeans sew-along!
Today? We tackle the back pockets and yoke!
Compared to our last entry where we installed a fly, back pockets and yoke are super-simple.
Before we get started, I want to point out that back pocket shape, size, and placement are extremely important for the look of jeans. Using a curved edge, or higher or lower pockets, or wall-eyed or close-spaced pockets, changes the look entirely (this about.com article is, generally, a decent guideline to get started). Shown here: a lovely pair I made; next time I’ll move the pockets in at least 3/4″, and up about 1/2′, and see what I think.
The only way to mess about with back pocket placement is either by practice, a muslin – or baste-fitting. In the latter option you would first create your pockets – but don’t attach them yet. Install your yokes, then baste together outseam and inseam and try on the jeans. Have a friend or family member take a picture of your basted jeans from, but make sure you also photograph the same angle with your favorite pair – for perspective. Place your finished pocket in a few different positions and take photos.
Keep in mind you can topstitch just about any design to your pocket – as in these kai-jeans I made a while back, shortly after watching a tentacled-monster movie:
But for today! Plain ol’ Levi arcs. I interfaced the top (facing width plus a half inch), then serge-finished. For my topstitched arcs, I traced using white chalk. It was barely visible, as you can see – if you like, you can use a darker chalk or a fade-away marker (note too, the red mark in the seam allowance I use to designate my pocket inseam):
Slow and steady, for these stitches:
Press, press, and press! Then fit the pockets onto the back right side, using thread tacks for placement:
I like to pull my topstitching threads to the backside of the work then knot them, and pull them into the inside of the jean. This way they are completely hidden!
So let’s install our yokes!
Remember – we marked our center-back, and right-side-up positions for our yoke pieces. We also finished the yoke outseams. Now, we simply sew them right-sides-together onto the jean. Then steam press, and topstitch. A reminder: multiple topstitching lines, heavy stitching lines, and large topstitching allowances telegraph “rugged” or blue-collar look; fine-line stitching (or no stitching) as an edgestitch, are more of a dress trouser look. I chose a 1/8″ fine stitch:
If you have chalk – mine was too faint to notice – you can use a (clean and separate from other duties) toothbrush to take out the chalk:
Next, we join our outseams:
Now, the inseams. I pin with whatever leg seems a little less full (sometimes there is a very slight difference, usually due to cutting inaccuracy or differences in bias stretch along the curves) facing up. I then stitch from the hem to the crotch, backstitching at the beginning and end of this steam, then just lift up and do the next leg, repeating all backstitching:
Go ahead and serge-finish this inseam!
Finally: turn one leg inside out. Insert the right-side-out leg into that leg, and stitch up that crotch seam! Pay particular attention to your yoke topstitching, so it lines up well:
You’ve done it! You have the body of the jean, finished! One more post to go!