vado jeans sew-along: back pockets & yoke


Welcome to our penultimate post, for the Vado jeans sew-along!

So far we’ve assembled our supplies and cut and marked our pattern. We created our front pockets, then made a kick-arse zip-fly.

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 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.


Pocket time!

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:

Kai-Jeans! Selvedge Denim

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):

Vado Jeans Sew-Along

Slow and steady, for these stitches:

Vado Jeans Sew-Along
Press, press, and press! Then fit the pockets onto the back right side, using thread tacks for placement:

Vado Jeans Sew-Along

And stitch!Vado Jeans Sew-Along
Vado Jeans Sew-Along

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!

Vado Jeans Sew-Along

And finally – as you can see in the above picture – I serge-finish the top edge and crotch curve of the jean back, threading my serge-tails into the wrong-side of the serge.

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:

Vado Jeans Sew-Along
Here are my back pieces, ready to join to the front!

Vado Jeans Sew-Along
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:

DEM JEANS Sew-A-Long: Back Pockets & Yoke


Next, we join our outseams:

Vado Jeans Sew-Along
And then press them open, or toward the back of the jean. I like to use a presscloth here (well… I use a presscloth an awful lot!) to make sure not to press in any indentations:

Vado Jeans Sew-Along

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:
Vado Jeans Sew-Along


Go ahead and serge-finish this inseam!

Vado Jeans Sew-Along

(Or stitch-and-pink it, if that’s how you roll!)Vado Jeans Sew-Along

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:

Vado Jeans Sew-Along

You’ve done it! You have the body of the jean, finished! One more post to go!

Party Birds

As always – if you have any questions at all, please email me, find me on Facebook, or post here! See you in a couple days to finish up our pants!

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