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Welcome to the new era of menswear sewing. Go ahead and create something exceptional!


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Jutland Sew-Along: Adding Strengthening Details

IMGP2804I’ve finished my two pairs of Jutland Pants for the Jutland Sew-Along!  The finishing touches were lots of fun – I really enjoyed transforming Matt’s regular pair of canvas Jutlands into ‘waxed designer trousers’ with Otter Wax :P.  He’s been waiting in eager anticipation for these pants and I think they’ll be getting a lot of wear!

Today I’ll share some of my thoughts on rivets and strengthening details with you and I will show you a detailed step by step of my Otter Wax application process.

Strengthening Details

Let’s start with a few stitching techniques that you might not find suggested in most trouser pattern instruction booklets (but that can be easily added to any pair of trousers even after they are finished!):

  1. The side seam edge stitching:  Press both seam allowance towards the back and edge stitch through all layers.  This will prevent pants from ripping or stretching out after heavy front pocket use.IMGP2809
  2. The fly ‘bartack':  On this pair I’ve just back stitched excessively at the end of my faux flat fell seam.  You could also do a narrow zig zag stitch (i.e. a buttonhole stitch) for a very professional detail.IMGP2807
  3. The faux flat fell seat seam:  This is much easier than stitching a real flat fell seam along the crotch of the pants and it allows you to position or even clip the seam allowances at the base of the fly so that both the seam allowances and the fly sit flat.IMGP2813

Otter Wax Application

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(Before Waxing)

This is how Matt’s Jutland Pants looked before I added Otter Wax or a button.IMGP2775

I decided to apply Otter Wax to Matt’s Jutlands before attaching the jeans buttons and rivets because I figured the metal hardware would be tricky to wax around and I didn’t want to fill the rivets with pools of wax by accident!  All the same, if you wanted to wax a finished pair of jeans or trousers, you could trim a small chunk of wax off of the bar and use it to get into tight areas.  You could also melt any excess wax off of the rivets and button by using a hair dryer.  For this pair of pants I ended up using 1 1/2 bars to create one medium-heavy coat of wax.

Otter Wax recommends rubbing the wax into the fabric and then simply leaving the garment to cure for 48 hours.  I like to speed up the process considerably and also add a couple layers of wax by pairing the heat caused by friction with the heat of a hair dryer.  Here is the technique that I’ve grown accustomed to:

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Prep an area of fabric by heating it with a hair dryer.  I work on one section at a time when waxing a large project – you can even leave the project partially finished for days on end and come back to it when you have a few spare minutes.  Even though the finished area will have cured, you can simply wax the remaining area and you won’t be able to notice where you left off once the whole garment has cured.

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Hold the area taught with one hand and rub the wax on with the other hand.

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Rub until enough wax has transferred onto the material to fill the weave of the fabric (this is just a suggestion – you can make your coat of wax as thin or as thick as you would like to create a variety of appearances and levels of water resistance!).

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Heat the waxed area with a hair dryer and rub the partially melted wax into the fabric.  I really like how deeply the wax sinks into the fabric when it is melted like this.  The fabric becomes stiffer and the final product feels very dry (and in no way sticky).  You’ll notice that skipping the hair dryer and simply leaving the garment to cure by laying it flat to ‘air dry’ will create a different effect – the wax sits closer to the surface of the fabric and fills any divets caused by the weave of the fibers to create a fabric with less/different texture.

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Continue this process until the entire garment is waxed!  Here are the pants at the half-way point – you can see the very different texture created by the wax:

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Here are the finished pants:

IMGP2794At this point, you could leave it to cure even further than it has or you could proceed to add a second coat of wax.  Sometimes I like to wait a few days to make sure the project is fully and completely cured before adding a thin ‘touch-up’ coat.  This way I can make sure the project is fully water resistant without getting carried away with my second coat and wasting a bunch of wax.

Now that Matt’s Jutland Pants are waxed, they need to be cared for differently than a regular pair of pants.  They can’t be put in the wash of course, because the warm water and soap would remove the wax!  Instead, the waxed pants need to be brushed with a stiff bristle brush to remove dirt.  They can also be placed in the freezer overnight to kill any bacteria and remove any smell (put them in a ziploc bag so they don’t take on whatever smell your freezer might have…mmm frozen soup and lasagna jeans).  If this all sounds a bit weird and maybe a little unhygienic to you, not to worry!  You could carry out this method of cleaning for as long as you can stand and then periodically hand wash the pants by turning them inside out and washing in cold water with a delicate soap designed for hand washing.  Keep in mind that this will likely remove at least a little bit of your wax coating so it is a good idea to keep a bar of Otter Wax on hand to touch up your pants after you’ve hand washed them.  Either that, or you can embrace the gradual wearing of your waxed pants – you’ll notice that as the wax wears off it has greatly assisted in the creation of the coveted worn creases that denim enthusiasts strive for!

There is a considerable history/group of enthusiasts attached to the practice of waxing pants.  Here are a few intriguing links to immerse you in the crazy world of waxed jeans!

  • Heather Lou mentions last year’s waxed jeans craze in her Ginger Jeans Sew-Along post about personalizing your jeans.
  • A YouTube video demostrating how to wax jeans using Otter Wax – so relevant!
  • A post on waxing a variety of fabrics and a discussion of waxed garments from a practical rather than ‘fashion-statement’ standpoint – I linked to this great post when we first launched Otter Wax in our store.
  • A discussion about the various techniques suggested for cleaning waxed jeans on Fashionista.

 Rivet Application Tips:

Once I finished waxing Matt’s Jutlands, I added rivets to both pairs of pants.  Here are some tips to accompany Matt’s rivet application tutorial.  Keep in mind that, unlike Matt, I’m not very skilled at wielding a hammer so these tips are catered towards people who might be hesitant about using woodworking tools in the sewing room:

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  • I find the only way I can successfully and strongly apply rivets is to use a very solid metal backing when hammering them in place.  Without the backing my rivets don’t grip very tightly and sometimes fall off after a while.  With the backing, they are SUPER strong.  We use this scrap piece of metal (you can find similar pieces at junk yards, scrap metal stores, or even at hardware stores which often have metal chunks sold as though they were a ‘cutting board’ to use during metal work projects).  Alternatively, you can use the fiddly little metal backers that are often sold with snap and rivet kits in the sewing store.  If you plan to make lots of pants featuring rivets, I highly recommend getting yourself a nice solid and heavy piece of metal – it works WAY better!IMGP2811
  • While Matt warns not to hammer too hard when applying your rivets and jeans buttons for fear of tearing through the metal (especially when attaching jeans buttons), I found I had to hammer harder than I was expecting.  That being said, start by hammering your first rivet gently, pause and see if you can pull the rivet apart, and if you can, increase the strength of your hammering gradually until there is no way you can separate the two rivet pieces.  It’s better to air on the side of caution than destroy your little rivet with excessive force!IMGP2818
  • Be creative with your rivet placement to create ‘designer’ pants.  I tend to skip change pockets altogether (and have not included a pattern piece for this tiny little pocket with the Jutland Pants pattern) because big manly fingers have such trouble accessing anything placed in that pocket so it just goes unused.  We didn’t want to limit you when using our Jeans & Pants Essential Notions Kit so we included six rivets – enough to secure a change pocket and the two front pockets just as you would find on classic denim jeans.  You can use these six rivets anywhere you like though!  I decided to apply six rivets to my uncle’s back pockets to make them SUPER strong :)

Thank you for joining in on our Jutland Sew-Along!  I hope you’ve had time to finish any pairs you intended as Christmas presents.  I’ll be posting my two pairs of finished pants next week and would love to feature yours on our blog if you have a chance to email or post photos!  Email us at info@threadtheory.ca or #JutlandPants.


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New Women’s Pattern Release! Camas Blouse

Thank you for choosing to be a maker

Thread Theory is two years old today!  To celebrate our second birthday we’re launching a pattern for women!

Camas Blouse

With this pattern, we want to thank all the women who have enthusiastically supported our sewing pattern company over the last two years (our customer base is surprisingly 95% female!).  We couldn’t have asked for a more helpful, appreciative, patient, and supportive group of customers.  Right from the very start when we were just planning our pattern designs and learning how to blog we’ve always felt that you really have our backs!CamasBlouse-4 cropped

During the last two years we’ve really noticed a theme among women choosing to sew menswear – most of you seem to really be proud and thrilled with your menswear projects but, at the same time, view them as a bit of a sacrifice because they minimize the time you have to sew for yourself.  The Camas Top is a thank you for taking this time to sew menswear! So thanks – and the pattern is 15% until Wednesday!
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Some of you might remember from blog posts over a year ago that the Camas Blouse is one of the designs I came up with for the clothing line that I created in design school.  I wanted to create a blouse that is simultaneously elegant and super comfortable.  It features shoulder and back yokes and gathers that allow the main blouse to float over the body.
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It can be sewn in a large variety of knits or stretch fabrics.  The shirt will look really different depending on the weight and drape of your fabric choice.

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The blouse includes slim sleeves and a subtly curved hem that can be tucked in or worn loose over skinny jeans.  The narrow placket can be sewn with functional buttons (the instructions include tips for adding buttonholes to knits), snaps or as a false placket with decorative buttons to create a slip-on blouse.

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Well, thank you so much for giving us a wonderful first two years!  We’re really excited to see your versions of the Camas Blouse!  Happy sewing!


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Jutland Sew-Along: Creating the Waistband

During today’s update for the Jutland Sew-Along I’ll be showing you how to sew the waistband onto the pants.  This is how your pants will appear when you are ready to begin assembling the waistband:
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To create the waistband, place the waistband and waistband facing with right sides together.  Pin along one edge.IMGP2707

Stitch along the entire length and press the seam allowance towards the waistband facing.  Grade the seam allowances so that one is shorter than the other (I grade the thicker fabric shorter).  Under stitch along the entire seam.IMGP2710

This is what your waistband will look like from the wrong side:

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Finish the raw edge of the facing with bias binding, seam tape or by using a serger or zig zag stitch.IMGP2712

Now it’s time to attach the waistband to the pants!  Place the waistband and pants with right sides together.IMGP2713

Grade the seam allowance (I like to grade the pants seam allowance shorter than the waistband) and press the seam allowance towards the waistband.
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Here is what the graded seam allowance looks like at this point:IMGP2721IMGP2724

Now it’s time to finish the waistband corners.  Position the waistband and waistband facing with right sides together.  The seam allowances should sit next to the waistband facing.IMGP2725

This is what your waistband will look like from the waistband side:IMGP2728

Stitch along the waistband edge using a 5/8″ seam allowance.
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Trim the seam allowance to 3/8″.  Don’t clip the corners though!  Keeping a 3/8″ seam allowance along this seam will add strength and structure on this high stress area.IMGP2739

Pinch the seam allowance and waistband facing:IMGP2741IMGP2748

Flip the facing so that the the wrong sides are together.  Keep the seam allowance pinched as you do this so that a fold is formed at the top edge of the waistband:IMGP2749

Here is how the fold will look at this point:IMGP2742

And a nice square waistband corner will result!

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Now it’s time to finish the waistband facing.IMGP2745

Fold under the waistband facing for several inches on either waistband end:IMGP2747

Pin the rest of the waistband facing in place.IMGP2751

To finish the waistband facing, topstitch 1/8″ from the waistband seam from the right side.IMGP2753

And you’re done!  The only thing left to do is top-stitch your belt loops in place and add a button and buttonhole!IMGP2757


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Jutland Sew-Along: Adding Buttons to the Welt Pockets

Here’s the latest little addition to the Jutland Sew-Along!  I won’t add the Jutland Sew-Along Schedule as the first photo on this post as I clearly am not following it anymore :P.  Things have slowed down to a realistic pace because Matt and I are busily prepping for a new pattern release this coming Monday!

Anyways, to explain the origins of this tutorial: Before the Jutland Pants pattern was released I had created a welt pocket tutorial which I put up on our website Tutorials section and on the Fabrics-store blog as a guest post.  I don’t believe that this tutorial was ever added to this blog though!  Today I’ve revised the original tutorial to include directions for adding a button hole and button for fancier Jutland Trousers.  Here it is on the blog for you:
side view

Welt pockets often have the bad reputation as being scary and difficult to sew.  While it might take a little while to make perfectly square corners and until the origami folds become second nature, they really aren’t that difficult…it is just a matter of doing the right step at the right time.  And here are all the right steps laid out in photos for you!

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For these shorts I used the Jutland Pants pattern which includes all necessary pieces.  In case you are working with a pants pattern that doesn’t include welt pocket pattern pieces, here are some guidelines to make your own.

For each pocket:

  •  Welt rectangle – one interfaced rectangle that is about four times the height of your welt and a couple inches wider.
  • Shallow pocket lining – one shallow pocket piece (either shaped like mine is or just a shallow rectangle that is the same width as the welt rectangle) made out of thin cotton or some other pocketing material.
  • Deep pocket lining – one long pocket piece that is shaped to match the width and bottom of your shallow pocket piece and is tall enough to extend past the top of the pants (mine was 12″ tall)
  • Pocket facing – a rectangle approximately the size of your welt piece that will be top-stitched to the deep pocket lining to act as a backdrop for the welt pocket (so that you don’t see the pocketing fabric behind the open welt).
  • Interfacing – A square of interfacing that is larger than your welt rectangle piece to apply to the trousers.

Okay, now that we have all of our pieces cut out and interfacing applied, we can begin to assemble the pockets!  On the top third of the wrong side of the welt rectangle, mark the finished width and height of your welt (you can choose this based on your preference or use my measurements which were 5/8″ tall X 5 1/2″ wide).  If you are sewing the Jutland Pants, you can use the welt template that we’ve provided.

Draw markings on welt

Draw markings on your interfaced trouser pieces as well – make sure you mark both the right and wrong side of your pants.  If you are sewing the Jutland Pants, use the provided marks to choose your welt placement.  You can use chalk or you can use thread basting to create your markings.

Draw markings on wrong side

Here is my basting stitch:

Baste along markings

And the view from the right side (make sure to stitch thoroughly at the corners so that they are very accurate):

Close up of basting

Line up your trousers with your welt piece, right sides together.  Your markings will come in handy here to make sure everything is lined up precisely.

Pin welt to pants

Using a very short stitch length for added strength and precision, stitch along the long edges of the welt rectangle.  Stop and back stitch precisely at each corner.

Stitch along marked lines

Here is a close up to show you how carefully you should stitch over the marked lines:

Close up of stitching

Now press the loose sections of the welt to help things fold crisply later on.  Here I am pressing the top of the welt:

Iron welt downwards

And pressing the bottom of the welt:

Iron welt upwards

Using sharp little scissors, cut along the center of the welt and stop 1/2″ from either end.  Cut on a diagonal towards each corner, clipping as close to the stitching as you dare!  The closer you get, the crisper your welt corners will appear later on…but be warned – if you snip beyond your stitching your welt will have little holes in each corner!

Cut slit with Y shaped ends

Close up of Y shape

Turn the welt to the wrong side of the garment so that you are left with a rectangular window on the right side:

Welt hole from right side

And the loose fabric on the wrong side:

Welt hole from wrong side

Now is a great time to remove all the basting thread!
Remove bastingTo reduce bulk later, flip up the bottom of the welt and press the seam allowances that are hidden underneath open.

Press seam allowance open

And now press the sides and the top of the welt crisply flat (isn’t linen lovely to press?).  If you’d like, you can press the seam slightly towards the wrong side of the garment so that it isn’t visible from the right side.

Press sides of welt

Turn the garment on the right side to press all four corners carefully – you can pinch and pull them a little to make them look perfectly right angled.

Press top and sides of welt

From the wrong side of the garment, create an accordion fold with the welt rectangle so that the folded edge meets the top of the welt window.  Press the folded edge crisply.

Press the welt from the back

From the right side of the garment, your welt will look almost finished!

Press the welt

To keep the welt in place, uncover the sides of the welt by folding over the trousers.  You will see a little triangle of fabric and your accordion fold.  Stitch as close to the base of the triangle as possible through all layers except the trousers themselves.

Sew across triangle

Your welt is finished!  Now it’s time to add the pocket bag so that it doesn’t open up to display underwear (unless you’ve made yourself some perfect Comox Trunks that you really want to show off :P).

To add the pocket bag, first place the shallow pocket lining with right side down on top of the welt.  Line up the top pocket edge with the bottom of the welt.  Stitch using a 5/8″ seam allowance.

Attach small pocket lining

Finish with a serger or a zig zag stitch:

Serge bottom edge of welt with pocket lining attached

Press pocket lining downwards:

Pocket lining pressed downwards

At this point you can add a button hole to your welt pockets if you desire.  I made a separate pair of pants to demonstrate how to do this:

At this point in the welt pocket sewing process, stitch a vertical buttonhole below the welt through the main pants and the single layer of the pocket lining.  I stitched mine over the bottom of the Jutland Pants dart.

To prepare the deep pocket lining, first press under the long edges of the pocket facing 5/8″:

Ironed pocket facing

Top stitch the pocket facing to the deep pocket lining.  You will want to place this facing so that it lies directly over the welt pocket when the bottom of the deep pocket lining is lined up with the bottom of the shallow pocket lining.

Pocket facing topstitched to lining

Line the pocket pieces up with right sides together and pin in place through all layers of the welt folds (but not through the trousers themselves).

Pin pocket to pocket lining

Stitch around all pocket edges using a 5/8″ seam allowance.  You won’t need to stitch up to the top of the deep pocket lining because no other layers extend this high.

Sew around pocket edge

This is how your pocket will look at this point:

Finished pocket underside before serging

Finish the edges of the pocket with a serger or a zig zag stitch.

Finish pocket edge

To prevent your welts from sagging in the middle, fold down the top of the trousers to expose the little seam allowance between the trousers and the pocket pieces.  Stitch through the seam allowance and all the pocket layers.

Sew across top seam allowance on sewing machine

If you are adding buttons and button holes to your pants, this is the point that you can sew on your button!  Open up the pocket and position the button directly under the button hole.

And that’s it!  A finished welt pocket!  With a button:

Or without a button:

close up of welts

Now you can add them to just about everything!


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Jutland Sew-Along: Sewing the Fly and Gusset

Schedule

I’m back!  Sorry for the delay – Matt and I decided to slow the schedule down and got ourselves wrapped up in Christmas decorating, Christmas gift making and a rum and egg nog or two over the last few days.  I hope you don’t mind!  I’m stretching the remaining details of the sew along a few more days so that the posts aren’t so overwhelmingly long.

Today I have the photographed fly tutorial for you!  I’ve sewn the fly using an alternative order of construction.  In the instruction booklet for the Jutland Pants (and the Jedediah Pants) the pants are sewn using my preferred method: The side seams and inseams are sewn first before the fly is tackled.  I like this method because it allows me to warm up to sewing the fly!

Some people prefer to sew the fly at the very start of the pants sewing process so that they can work with flatter pieces and less bulk.  This is totally doable with any pair of fly front pants regardless of what the instructions suggest.  Keep in mind though, that if you are adding cargo pockets to the Jutland Pants, you must still make sure to sew the side seams before sewing the inseams so that you are able to top stitch the cargo pockets to the flat, spread open legs over the completed side seam.

At the end of this post, I’ve photographed the gusset sewing process.  I have not tried adding a gusset using the order of construction that I suggest in our instruction booklet.  I think you would still be able to add one but it seems to me that sewing the pant front and pant back as separate panels first and then adding the gusset when attaching the panels together along the inseam is the simplest approach.

How to Sew A Fly

Let’s get started!

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Begin by sewing the crotch seam.  With the pants front right sides together, sew from the inseam up to the zipper placement notch on the fly extension.IMGP2551

Sew the crotch seam on the pants back as well.  Sew these using a flat fell seam if desired.  You can also sew this seam with right sides together and then push the seam to one side and top stitch and edge stitch in place (this is a faux flat fell seam).
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This pair of pants is going to be lined so, since we’re sewing the fly first, the process of adding a lining also includes a different order.  Sew the crotch seam in the lining just as you did for the exterior of the pants.  Bind, serge or otherwise finish the lining and self fly extension edges.IMGP2593With the exterior and lining wrong sides together, attach the lining to the pants only along the fly extensions – baste it in place within the seam allowance down to the curve of the fly extension.IMGP2594

There are two notches at the top of either fly extension.  Press along the entire fly extension using these notches as a guide.  The right front of the pants (if you were wearing the pants…so the left side in these photos) is the underside of the fly and needs to extend 1/4″ past the crotch seam.  Use the closest notch to center front as a guide.  The left front of the pants is the upper part of the fly. Press the left front fly extension using the second notch as a guide (furthest from center front) so the folded edge is even with the crotch seam.
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Now it’s time to prepare the zipper shield!  Fold the zipper shield in half and bind the raw edge.  Stitch the left side of the zipper to the zipper shield along the middle of the zipper tape.

Note:  In the Jutland instructions I’ve suggested to bind or serge the raw edge of the zipper shield to reduce bulk if you are creating work pants using thick fabrics.  If you are using thinner fabric, you could fold the shield with wrong sides together and flip so right sides are out.  If you do this, you could stitch the zipper to either edge of the shield.IMGP2601

Pin the zipper to the right side of the pant fly (if you were wearing the pants…so the left side in the photo above!).  Before stitching, make sure that the lining fabric is fully folded along the fly extension…it tends to unfold itself even after ironing!

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Stitch the zipper in place using a zipper foot.  The photo above is how your pants will appear from the underside at this point.IMGP2611

Now it’s time to attach the zipper to the other side of the pants front.  Fold the zipper shield out of the way.IMGP2618

Pinch the loose fly extension and the zipper.  Move the rest of the pants out of the way (ignore the stitching in this photo!  I decided to take it after already stitching the zipper in place :P).IMGP2617

From the wrong side of the zipper, stitch along the zipper tape.  Catch only the zipper extension (again place the lining in the correct position.  Make sure it doesn’t slip out of place!).
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The last step when sewing the fly is to top stitch!  Pin the fly closed at center front at the top of the fly.  Draw a chalk line to create your desired fly shape.  End the top stitching guideline just below the metal zipper stop.  Before top stitching, move the zipper shield out of the way (fold it to the left).  Now follow your chalk markings and top stitch.  Back stitch thoroughly at center front.
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Move the zipper shield back in place.IMGP2619

Create a bar tack or simply stitch forward and backwards often below the zipper stop to reinforce the base of fly – there is a lot of strain in this area.

How to Sew A Gusset

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Now that the fly is finished, lets add the gusset!  Pin the gusset to the pants back with right sides together.  Stitch.IMGP2625

Create triangular notches in the gusset seam allowance and clip into the pants seam allowance to allow the curve to sit smoothly.  Grade the seam allowances.IMGP2630

Press the seam allowance towards the gusset.  Top the seam allowance in place to strengthen the seam.

IMGP2633With right sides together, pin the entire inseam in place (make sure that, across the gusset, the crotch seam along the front and back line up!  You’ll see that I didn’t do a perfect job of this in a little bit…woops!).  Note that, if you are sewing the cargo pockets, you will want to sew the side seams before sewing the inseam.IMGP2639Once the inseam has been sewn, clip into the gusset seam allowances so that the curve sits flat.

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Create a faux flat fell seam by pressing the inseams towards the back.  Top stitch and edge stitch along the entire seam.

Sew the gusset in the lining in the same manner.  Sew the side seams and inseams separately from the exterior pant shell.

Ta daa!  A completed fly and gusset!

Over the next few days we will be working on the waistband, adding buttons to the welts on the second pair of Jutlands that I’ve been sewing for Matt.  Then I will be adding Otter Wax to Matt’s Jutland pants, and adding rivets and extra reinforcement stitches to my Uncle’s Jutland Pants..


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Jutland Sew-Along: Customizing Pockets

Schedule

For today’s sew-along post, let’s talk about pocket customization!

Mountain Pocket Top Stitching Design

First off, due to popular demand, Matt and I have created a template so that you can re-create the mountain top stitching that I added to the Jutland Pants from our photoshoot.

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To use the pocket template, open it in your browser and print it full size.  The template is the largest patch pocket size.  Place the pocket template over your pocket fabric.  Trace the design with a tracing wheel or mark relevant points with pins and then ‘connect the dots’ by free hand drawing between each pin.

I used jean-weight top stitching thread for my pockets but if you would rather use regular polyester thread, you can create a more subtly visible design or you can stitch over your design two or three times to make the design more pronounced.  You could even use two or three different colors of thread as you re-trace the design to create a bit of depth and visual interest!  I only added this stitching to the right hand pocket so that the pants were asymmetrical – but you can do whatever you wish (or create your own design!).

Creating a Screw Driver Pocket

Variation Two of the Jutland Pants includes two slim cargo pockets with flaps that feature velcro closures.  These can be handy for carrying small items such as screws, nails or even dog poop bags :P.  I designed them so that they would not look bulky and hang off the pant legs awkwardly (as I find some cargo pockets are prone to).

(Various pant leg pocket styles on Kühl Pants.  Click on each image to see a larger version.)

While symmetrical cargo pockets are pretty standard on this style of pants, don’t let this limit you!  Why not create your own pockets perfectly suited to the wearer’s needs? Replace one cargo pocket with a welt cell phone pocket, a zipped pocket, a large pleated patch pocket, or, as I am about to show you, a long screw driver pocket!

This pocket is very long and large enough to hold screw drivers deep within the pocket so they don’t slip out.  If you would like to create a shallower pocket so that it ends well before knee level, simply slice off the bottom of the pocket template.

To use the screw driver pocket template, download it and print it at full size.  This template does not include seam allowances but it is graded for all pant sizes so first, to prepare your pattern piece, cut out your desired size and add seam allowances to all edges.

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Cut two pocket pieces from your fabric.  The pocket is double layered for strength and ease of construction.  If you would like to reduce bulk you could cut one pocket from your self fabric and one from your thinner lining fabric.

The pocket sits on the back leg of the pants so you will need to construct the pocket and stitch it to the pant leg before stitching the side seam.  Note that this is long before you add the cargo pockets as directed in the instruction booklet (the cargo pockets are top stitched in place over the completed side seams).  You will also need to add the screwdriver pocket before adding the back patch pockets.

Okay, time to sew the pocket!

Stitching lines

  1. With right sides together, pin the two pocket layers together.  Stitch along the pocket opening, the back edge and the bottom edges of the pocket (the areas indicated with an orange stitching line in the image above).  Do not stitch along the remaining pocket edges.IMGP2538
  2. Trim and grade the seam allowances to reduce bulk.
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  3. Flip the pocket so right sides are out and press flat.  Top stitch and edge stitch along the pocket opening.IMGP2545
  4. Pin the pocket to the pant leg so that the raw pocket side lines up with the pant side seam, the pocket bottom lines up with the cargo pocket placement dots, and the top edge overlaps patch pocket placement marking.  Baste along the raw edges within the seam allowance.  Top stitch and edge stitch along the finished edges.IMGP2546
  5. Continue constructing the pants as directed – add the back patch pocket so it overlaps the top edge of the screwdriver pocket.  Stitch the side seams.  Note that the layers of the screw driver pocket and the knee patches will possibly create too much bulk to create flat fell seams.  You can simply stitch the seam and then create faux flat fell seams by pressing the seam allowances to the back and then top stitching and edge stitching the seam allowances in place.

See you tomorrow evening for the biggest and most detailed post of the sew-along!  We’ll be walking through all the steps necessary to sew the fly on both pairs of pants, insert the lining in Variation 2 and add the waistband.

 


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Jutland Sew-Along: Adding a Gusset and Removable Knee Pads

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Today we’re going to talk about creating removable knee pads and we will be adding a gusset to the Jutland Pants!  I’m adding both of these features to the heavy work pants I’m making for my Uncle.  My inspiration is the brand of pants my Uncle likes to wear (Kühl) which always include a gusset.

Creating Removable Knee Pads

Let’s start with the easiest job today – I’ll show you how I’ve altered the knee patches to create pockets for knee pads!  You can use these to insert store-bought knee pads or you can simply add some padding of your choice.  I bought some foam alternative from my local fabric store which is really just a lofty synthetic batting.  I cut two rectangles the size of the knee patch minus seam allowances.

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To make the knee patches into pockets I bound the top edge and then pressed it under 5/8″.  If your fabric isn’t overly bulky you could fold the raw edge under instead of binding it.  I avoided this because I didn’t want to add that much bulk to my side and inseams.  I finished this edge by top stitching and edge stitching along the fold.

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Next, I added the velcro to the top edge of the knee patch and stitched it in place using a rectangular stitch pattern as pictured above.

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I folded under the bottom edge of the knee patch and pressed as directed in the instructions.  I Placed the knee patch on the pant leg so that the finished edges matched the provided notches.  I marked where matching velcro needed to be added to the pant leg and removed the knee patch.  I stitched the velcro on to the pant leg.

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To finish my knee pad pocket, I pinned the knee patch back in place and basted within the seam allowances along the side seam and inseam.  I top stitched and edge stitched along the bottom horizontal edge.

Remember to leave the top edge free of stitching!  You now have a pocket to which knee pads may be added and removed while the pants are worn or washed.

That was a pretty easy way to warm up…so now lets move on to a little pattern drafting!  Let’s create a gusset:

What is a gusset?

Let’s talk a little about what a gusset is and what purpose it serves.  A gusset is a diamond or triangular piece of fabric that is inserted into a garment.  This piece of material can be added for several entirely different reasons:

Gusset underarm

(Photo of underarm gusset from blog Reves Mecanique)

  • To add room and flexibility:  A gusset can be added to the underarm of a tight woven dress as in the tutorial on Gertie’s Blog For Better Sewing or to the crotch of jeans such as the famous “Chuck Norris Jeans” to add width without loosing structure and a close fit.

Chuck Norris

(Photo of advert from Chris’s Invincible Super-Blog)

  • To prevent seam allowances from creating bulk: A gusset can be used to prevent many seams from meeting in one area.  Lulu Lemon’s ABC (anti ball crushing) Pants, designed to be all-purpose trousers for active men, use a gusset to prevent the Centre Back, Centre Front, and both inseams from meeting at one point.  When a person is crouched or sitting smooth fabric will press against them rather than a big mash of seams.  You can see a review of the pants complete with a look at the shape of the gusset in this YouTube video.

gusset

  • To add strength: A gusset is a good way to add strength at high stress points.  The diamond or triangular shape disperses the stress to it’s various points rather than allowing the stress to concentrate at the one area where all the seams join.  The All American Clothing Company provides two photos and a description explaining how the stress is dispersed when sitting.
  • To save fabric: The use of gussets on plus size pants is quite common as a fabric saving measure during manufacturing.  Adding a gusset, as you will see in the tutorial below, causes the crotch curve on the pants Front and Back pieces to be considerably reduced.  This makes them far easier to place side by side on fabric as they are much more rectangular in shape and narrower than classic pants pattern pieces.

How to Draft a Gusset

For my Uncle’s pants, I decided to create a gusset that does not add a lot of extra room in the crotch since this was not necessary for the pants to fit him well.  I mostly just want to disperse stress and add a little bit of flexibility.  Since this is the case, it was necessary for me to remove fabric from the pants Front and Back before adding it by sewing in a gusset.

Gusset Tutorial-01

Since the Jutland Pants include seam allowance, it is a good idea to mark all the seam lines on the pattern before beginning any pattern alterations.  When altering the pattern, only work on the actual pattern and don’t work within the seam allowances.

  1. Once all seam allowances are marked, draw in the desired shape and size of your gusset.  My shape is indicated by the orange shading.  I created a gusset that was 4″ along the inseam and then is larger in the back of the pants than the front.  I made mine small enough (I hope!) that it won’t be visible when the pants are worn because the entire gusset will be hidden in the crotch.
  2. Now that the actual gusset area is marked, you need to add new seam allowances to the pants before cutting the gusset area off of the pattern pieces.  You can see the new seam allowances indicated with black lines.  Remember, they are being added to the pants pattern so they will cut into the gusset shape that you just drew.  I connected this new seam allowance with the existing inseam seam allowance and the crotch curve seam allowance.
    Gusset Tutorial-02
  3. Trace the two gusset pattern pieces onto new paper (using tracing paper or by holding the pattern piece up to a window and tracing with regular paper on top of it).  Remember that the gusset shape is the orange shaded area.
  4. Once your gusset pattern pieces are recorded (NOT before!) you are ready to cut into the Jutland Pants Front and Back.  Cut along the new seam allowances that you created.  Your Pants Front and Back pieces are now complete.Gusset Tutorial-03
  5. Above is a diagram explaining how the gusset elements that you traced onto new paper merge to become the actual pattern piece.  You will see that the shapes don’t fit together perfectly to create a diamond (the skinny slivers have a gap in the centre as you can see in diagram one).  This is okay – by adjusting the shape slightly you will be adding a little more room and thus flexibility into your pants.  You can either trace around the rough diamond shape to create a pointed diamond or you can round the corners as I have for what I hope will be a more pleasing gusset shape reminiscent of the Lulu Lemon ABC gusset.  If you would like to cut your gusset on the fold, you can do so (as in diagram 3) because it is symmetrical!  Oh…and don’t forget to add seam allowances to your gusset pattern piece!

I will be covering how to add the gusset into the Jutland Pants on Friday when I show you how to sew the Fly and Waistband (that’ll be a big post!).  This is because it is easiest to change the order of construction when adding a gusset.  In the Jutland instructions the fly is constructed near the end of the pants sewing process (so you can work up the confidence for that step!) but, for my Uncle’s pair of pants with a gusset, I will construct the fly and crotch seam first, add in the gusset and then sew the side and inseams.

In the meantime, come back tomorrow for a free pocket embroidery template and a screwdriver pocket template!

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