DEM JEANS Sew-A-Long

dem jeans: craftsy discount!

DEM JEANS Sew-A-Long

I’ve made no bones about loving Kenneth D. King’s style and teaching works – and, as pertains to this sew-a-long, his jean cloning Craftsy course (but you don’t have to take my word for it!). In fact, the course was so good, that my very first pair turned out flawless! The class is not only fun, but it showcases cloning techniques that are non-destructive to the original garment – and that can be used for almost any garment, not just jeans.

Jeans (Jean-ius Class On Craftsy)

So here’s the good news, sew-a-long buddies. If you’re interested in this great cloning class to make jeans from your own favorite pair, Craftsy has agreed to partner with my students and offer a partial refund on tuition. The class is valued at $44.99 and is often on sale. But dem jeans students can take the class for $14.99! You can’t beat that!

If you want the refund, email me at kelly AT hogaboom DOT org and I’ll give you instructions to get going!

Remember, our sew-a-long starts in just a week. Please review your materials list – and don’t be shy about asking any questions.

Make sure to add a badge to your blog, and to subscribe to the sew-a-long updates!
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Forever In Blue Jeans: Back Pocket
DEM JEANS Sew-A-Long

save the date! DEM JEANS SEW-A-LONG, june 1 2015

DEM JEANS Sew-A-Longtop ten reasons you’re gonna want to join my

dem jeans sew-a-long

1. You can make better-fitting, better-looking, and longer-lasting jeans than you can buy. Yes, custom jeans for yourself. And yes, they look better than what you can buy retail. And after your first pair, you’ll realize it’s easier than you thought!

2. What’s your poison? Trendy raw denim, or selvedge denim? Looking to bring high-waisted acid wash into your life? Trying to emulate that awesome pair of white jeans you had in middle school? Want a pair of “boyfriend fit” in just the right dusky grey – or waxed deep indigo? Want to line your cuffs with your favorite old band t-shirt? Or stencil an awesome motif on the backside?

Yes, you can have your cake and eat it too.

I can help you plan your jeans out, so you get exactly what you want. Send me an email – and be prepared to put aside some time and energy.

Now, if this sounds overwhelming or intimidating, start smaller: make a pair using a standard pattern. You will get used to construction methods, before trying your own custom-fit – and you can gift your first pair to a friend!

3. These jeans are ethically-produced. The vast amounts of retail jeans out there are made at the expense of workers in other countries, without regard for quality of life, and rely on pillaging environmental resources in other countries. These jeans will also last longer, further extending your clothing dollar. Use the money you save on retail jeans to buy ethically-produced retail jeans! Or make ethically-produced jeans for your friends, family, or clients!

4. Once you start shopping for good denim you will be hooked. I ain’t gonna lie. It’s like a drug. Denim, even good denim, is affordable, it feels great, it lasts a long time, it is beautiful to look at and dare I say, fondle! – and the scraps make beautiful quilts (or potholders, or teddy bears, or, or…).

5. I don’t like to compare prices – because custom-fit, ethically-made, perfect jeans with tailor-level detail simply aren’t available on the market at all –  but this is one case where a simple high-end home project is cheaper than high-end jeans. A lot cheaper. Even buying ethically- and organically-produced fabrics, you come out ahead.

6. My sew-a-long: you aren’t going to find better close-up photography and a more in-depth tutorial than mine (ask my previous students). My background in technical writing and knowledge of clothing construction means you will be rolling your eyes at the level I geek out on these! (all the while appreciating the meticulous detail!). And my photographs are important for jeans – the beauty is in the topstitching and technical detail, really.

7. Your jeans can be made for your body, as-is. Tired of jeans that don’t fit right, or too-long cuffs, or jeans too tight at the thigh? Yeah. And those high-end brands? Definitely not made in a diverse size range. Need I say more?

8. Once you’re finished, you’ll have a pattern made to perfection. It’s worth the time to create this template. Because forever after, all you need is a few yards of denim in your house, you can make up jeans whenever you’re feeling lonely. The jeans will be your friend. They won’t let you down.

9. You have a mentor the whole way. (That’s me!). I figure if Jalie Patterns (I’m not worthy!) thinks my sew-a-long is good enough for their professional site, you’ll probably be pretty pleased with my help too. You can ask questions via Skype, text (if we’re down like that), comments here, and email.

10. ASSES. Your ass looks great in jeans. Seriously. It’s true. A pair of well-fitting jeans, is a friend to asses everywhere. Look, someone had to say it!

So LET’S DO THIS!

 

***

If you’re a novice stitcher, you may be thinking There’s no way I can pull this off! 

But – you can.

You’re gonna need to invest a little bit of money – and a lot of time. And you will feel like a million bucks when you are through!

Here is what you will need for this sew-a-long. Please read carefully. Some items may need to be ordered online; for instance, Kenneth D. King’s class on cloning jeans requires a small tuition, requires supplies, and takes time to complete.

Feel free to post any questions to the comments – or email me:

a pattern
I strongly suggest you take the time to prepare and do one of the following:
 
trace your favorite non-stretch pair using the methods outlined in the Craftsy course Jean-ius! by Kenneth D. King; or
purchase any pattern and use this straight-size pattern, without alterations, as your first-run template – to get used to sewing jeans.
 
denim
any kind of raw, selvedge, or cotton denim works. We are making non-stretch button-fly selvedge jeans for this course (I buy from Pacific Blue Denim). If you want to work with stretch denim, make sure your pattern is drafted and adjusted properly for this. Be sure to buy adequate yardage; I always buy enough for two pair of jeans.
 
contrast fabric, 1/2 yard
100% cotton or linen woven works best. We will be making the pocket bag, belt facing, and button-fly detail with this fabric. Consider something that looks good on both sides, for best pocket effect.
 
rivets and snaps &/or buttons (optional)
you will need four buttons and ten rivets; buy a few extra to be sure. I buy mine from castbullet.com.
 
stitch witchery or thin fusible web
this will help us get a perfect waistband
 
sewing equipment
sewing machine(s) – can handle buttonholes and perform a zig-zag stitch
 
thread: high-quality cotton-wrapped polyester, in both construction color and topstitching color
 
serger (optional)
 
denim and/or topstitching needles, in the size appropriate to the fabric
 
an awl, hammer, and wire cutters (for rivet- and button-setting)
 
steam iron and ironing board
 
beeswax & strong needle for button-sewing (if you use sew-on buttons, as opposed to hammer-set)
***
 
Make sure to add a badge to your blog, and to subscribe to the sew-a-long updates!
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Forever In Blue Jeans: Back Pocket
Letterman Jacket (Bundle Up Boy Blog Tour)

preppy like that!

As mentioned last post, across the internetz many (mostly)lady-bloggers are sewing up a batch of boy patterns for a blog tour of the designs. The patterns are all PDF indie designs, have a wonderful size range of 3 months to size 16, and they are all featured on an extended sale until the first. I was honored to be asked to participate. The 25th I submitted my first entry. Today, I bring you: 

The Letterman Jacket!

Letterman Jacket (Bundle Up Boy Blog Tour)

So for today: I am The Letterman Jacket by Fairytale Pattern Design. I’ll be discussing them here and in my Flickr tagset.

Letterman Jacket (Bundle Up Boy Blog Tour)

Letterman Jacket (Bundle Up Boy Blog Tour)

The pattern: if you think about it, a Letterman jacket is a simple garment (certainly simpler than the last jacket I made). What makes it iconic and beautiful are the fabrics used, the details (the distinctive ribbing and collar or center back zip hood), and the patches. Almost any raglan jacket could be easily changed to a letterman jacket. That said, it is wonderful to have a simply-drafted pattern and it was easy for me to modify it for a facing and lining. This particular pattern comes in size 4T to size 16 (please please please let a client request a wee 4T) – a generous size range.

 I made a size 8 in girth and a size 12 in length for my lean green bean boy! I also hand-knit cuffs, hem band, and neckband:

Letterman Jacket (Bundle Up Boy Blog Tour)

 

My welt pockets are perfect! Exactly no one is surprised. That said, some fabrics are far more lovely to work welt pockets in – and melton wool is definitely in that category:

Letterman Jacket (Bundle Up Boy Blog Tour)

Letterman Jacket (Bundle Up Boy Blog Tour)

 

Finished with a wonderful gold slipper satin and antique brass snaps:

Letterman Jacket (Bundle Up Boy Blog Tour)

Letterman Jacket (Bundle Up Boy Blog Tour)

Letterman Jacket (Bundle Up Boy Blog Tour)

And one of my favorite bits: a custom chenille patch:
Letterman Jacket (Bundle Up Boy Blog Tour)

Letterman Jacket (Bundle Up Boy Blog Tour)

All in all, a successful venture with a very simple, trusty pattern.

Letterman Jacket (Bundle Up Boy Blog Tour)

You can learn more about the Bundle Up pattern package below – or visit all the blogs that are showcasing the different patterns. Y’all know I tend to draft my own stuff, but these patterns are pretty fabulous and most of them have a great size range. Enjoy!

 
R. Gray, 2 Shirts

2 shirts, 1 client

So what’s up? Me? Nothing. Just hanging out with this super-handsome dude.

R. Gray, 2 Shirts

R. Gray, 2 ShirtsThe shirts aren’t his; he’s just the model here, being professionally good-looking.

Back views:

R. Gray, 2 Shirts

R. Gray, 2 Shirts

Both these shirts were conceptualized by a client, and ordered and paid for about three weeks ago. The client was very specific about what he wanted: sleeveless with pseudo-distressed detail at hem, sleeve, and pocket, a contrasting inner yoke, and one shirt with traditional placket (the blue) – the other with a polo-style placket (the red). 

I selected the fabrics – a Kaufman double-cloth for the blue, and a mid-to-heavy flannel for the red – and sent them for approval before ordering. For the inner yoke I selected very fine pima shirtings – they feel fabulous and I can’t wait to use them for my own children’s shirts. Below: the inner yoke (cut on bias) against the twill side of the double-cloth:
R. Gray, 2 Shirts

 

 

Some of the pseudo-distressed detail on the pocket front.

R. Gray, 2 Shirts

The inner workings of the blue shirt. I love the elements of color and the sturdiness of the garment. It will wear well, and long. At far right you see the bias-bound armscye edges. A technique I’m planning on using again:

R. Gray, 2 Shirts

 

 

 

At the top of the placket: a hidden 3/16″ snap for a formal-look when employed:

R. Gray, 2 Shirts

 

And now, the red flannel. My first-ever polo placket and it went very well (I used the Timmel “rugby neckline” article, which I’ve preserved with permission of the original author). Notice the plaid matching – the collar is symmetrical, and the placket is placed on a perfectly-centered front piece. Actually plaid matching is so very interesting to me because* there are many ways to match plaids and often some plaid-matching involves sacrificing other plaid-matching!

R. Gray, 2 Shirts

Inner yoke on the red shirt:

R. Gray, 2 Shirts

Some fray-detail on the front pockets. This detail will fray more upon washing. Wooden buttons – and of course, I included a spare:

R. Gray, 2 Shirts

Absolutely no serge-finished details – so the inside of the shirt looks as good as the outside. Below: the french-seam side seam:

R. Gray, 2 Shirts

And finally- the prototype for some business cards (I get asked often enough) as well as a new site design!

R. Gray, 2 Shirts

* I am a dork

Tiger-Striped Undershirt

tiger-striped undershirt (1 hour, $3)

I’m right smack-dab in the middle of tailoring work for clients. After cleaning up my last project, I gave myself permission to spend about an hour on this li’l fella:

Tiger-Striped Undershirt

I simply traced one of Nels’ undershirts – which took about five minutes – and then cut a front and back from a tissue-fabric recently acquired from Britex fabrics. This wonderful 100% cotton knit is so, so beautiful – semi-sheer, lightweight, and rather fussy if you don’t know what you’re doing. Fortuately, I do.

The back, in true undershirt-style, features more of a racerback/cutaway design than the front:

Tiger-Striped Undershirt

A closeup – super-closeup – so you can see the very light and almost slubby texture of the knit:

Tiger-Striped Undershirt

 Summer sheer fabrics are wonderful. You get a great look and coverage, but it feels like you’re wearing nothing at all – especially given the kinds of seam-finishes a bespoke tailor is capable of.

Time to get out on the bike!

Tiger-Striped Undershirt

 

My Son

doing Life right

My Son's Daily How-To Booklet

Nels makes up little booklets of “how to” on how his day goes. Here’s his latest iteration – published with his permission, which is pretty cool. As you can see from the cover above, at first he wouldn’t even let me look in the book, let alone publish it here. He didn’t want photographs of the inside but he let me list the contents here:

1. Pray for this day [includes best-ever stick figure depiction of “prayer”]

2. Exercise! [another great stick figure]

3. Brush your hair & teeth [no more stick figures, guess he got tired ofd drawing them]

4. Wash your face

5. Shower

6. Eat breakfast

7. Do 5 chores

8. Listen to music

9. Play outside

AT NIGHT:

10. Watch cool movies

11. Put retainer on

***

In other news: yes, I made Nels’ “bowling-style” shirt in this photo I just took of him, before he left for a friends’ date. I don’t think I ever took pictures of it when I put it together (and when I searched on my blog, I found this piece from five years ago – #LOLsob!). It has the name “nels” monogrammed on the front left using free-motion machine-stitching. The shirt is constructed in Kaffe Fasset shot cotton, features coconut buttons from Fashion Sewing Supply, and has been washed, dried, and worn many many times since I made it:

My 10 Year Old Son, This Afternoon(Bun-Bun the rabbit’s inadvertantly-discarded raspberry at lower-right)

Today: working on a waxed canvas jacket, and prepping an awesome dinner from the Tex Mex cookbook Nels and I bought Ralph.

Gimme Some Slack! Post 6

gimme some slack! post six: side seams, cuffs, and waistband

Thanks for joining up on the Gimme Some Slack! Sew-a-long. We are on the final stretch! This is the second-to-last post. The final post will be one with the slacks modeled on a child. If I can find a child! I am looking for one.

gimme-slack

Today is going to be all about steam pressing and wonderful, slim cuff and waistband finishes. This is an image-heavy post – 53 images – not because the techniques are difficult, but because I want to show you in detail the exacting work required to get beautiful, wearable, and very comfortable results.

Our progress so far: last month I posted the supply list and timeline, and earlier this month I posted our preparations, including creating our pattern. On the sixth I posted our methods for marking, cutting, and interfacing our fabric pieces. For post four we constructed the darts, front and back, and the pockets, front and back. And in post five, we constructed a totally killer, low-bulk, and beautifully-finished fly front.

Thank you to all who’ve participated, and emailed or commented suggestions and corrections to this sew-a-long. And remember – I am available to support via email, blog comment, and Skype! I will Skype support any stitcher through the months of June and July 2014.

gimme some slack! post five: fly front

gimme-slack

Aw yeeeeeah. Sh*t’s about to get real.

Our progress so far: last month I posted the supply list and timeline, and earlier this month I posted our preparations, including creating our pattern. On the sixth I posted our methods for marking, cutting, and interfacing our fabric pieces. For post four we constructed the darts, front and back, and the pockets, front and back.

Now before we get started, I ain’t gonna lie. This will be the trickiest session. We are putting together a TOTALLY BOSS fly front, using my favorite method. It’s gonna get intense, y’all.

Before we proceed: thank you to all who’ve participated, and emailed or commented suggestions and corrections to this sew-a-long. And remember – I am available to support via email, blog comment, and Skype! I will Skype support any stitcher through the months of June and July 2014.

gimme some slack! post four: darts & pockets

gimme-slack

Good afternoon, or evening, or whatever time it may be for ye!

Our progress so far: last month I posted the supply list and timeline, and earlier this month I posted our preparations, including creating our pattern. On the sixth I posted our methods for marking, cutting, and interfacing our fabric pieces. Today we will be constructing the darts, front and back, and the pockets, front and back.

Thank you to all who’ve participated, and emailed or commented suggestions and corrections to this sew-a-long. And remember – I am available to support via email, blog comment, and Skype! I will Skype support any stitcher through the months of June and July 2014.

Gimme Some Slack

gimme some slack! post three: cutting, marking, and interfacing

Gimme Some Slack

Hello my awesomesauce stitching fiends! Today we get to handle our fabric in earnest. This is big fun as it turns out!

To bring you up to date: last month I posted the supply list and timeline, and earlier this month I posted our preparations, including creating our pattern.

Remember – I am available to support via email, blog comment, and Skype! I will Skype support any stitcher through the months of June and July 2014.