Category Archives: Jeans

How to Sew Exposed Zippers in Jeans and Jeggings!

With October’s Wardrobe Challenge including zippers, I thought now would be a good time to share a few easy ways to embellish with exposed zippers.

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A fun way to change the look of a pair of jeans is to embellish the leg with an exposed zipper.  Follow along:

angelawolfexposedzip1Supplies Needed:

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Step 1: On the wrong side of the fabric, mark the center of the pant leg (could be front or back, wherever you want the zipper).

If marking an existing pair of jeans, rip out the hem at least 5″ from each side of new mark. Press the fusible interfacing along the newly marked center line.

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Step 2: Mark the hem, hem allowance, and the length of the zipper opening down center of the pant leg.

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Step 3: Determine the width of the zipper opening (depends on the width of the zipper teeth).  Draw in opening, top edge, and then add a triangle from the center cut line to each corner (as shown above).

angelawolfexposedzip5Step 4: Cut along center marking.  Cut each triangle point (if you are worried about the fabric fraying, add Fray Check to the top corners)

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Step 5: Press the seam allowances back and press triangle tip up.

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Step 6: Line up the zipper with the metal teeth in the center of the opening.  Check the placement of the zipper stop and zipper tab.

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Step 7: Fold back the zipper tape and press in place at the hemline.

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Step 8:  Pin zipper in place.

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Step 9:  In this example, I am using standard polyester thread, cotton or silk thread would work too.  Set the sewing machine to a triple stitch and lengthen the stitch length to 4.0.  (Note:  if you don’t have this feature, use denim thread, straight stitch, stitch length 4.0)

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Step 10: Stitch along the edge of the zipper.  Open and close the zipper as needed in order to get the foot by the zipper tab.  angelawolfexposedzip17Step 11:  Notice how I have lined up the edge of the zipper foot with the metal teeth, a very easy to get a straight stitch  … or this would be a great time to utilize the laser vision guide feature on your machine! 🙂

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Step 12: Press up the hem with the tailor’s clapper for a crisp crease.  By the way, did I mention WAWAK Sewing is now carrying my tailor’s clapper!  Yeah!

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Step 13: Hem the jeans and move onto the other leg.

That’s it! Now this is just one quick, easy way to install a hidden zipper.  I will give you some more ideas next time.

Cheers,

Angela Wolf

 

WAWAK_SEWING  Angela_Wolf_DVD_Cover__70546_1405390138_1280_1280

Sewing Pattern Alterations – Fitting a Jean Pattern for a Round Stomach

Sewing jeans are really easy once you get the hang of the process, but fitting the pattern can be challenging. The next few posts are going to deal with exactly that, fitting various body shapes. This pattern alteration is needed if you have a fuller stomach, in the old days referred to as an apple shape.  Although, I am not sure where the fruit terms originated from, I really don’t like them.  I would rather be a glass!  Wine glass, red wine glass, martini glass, goblet, water-glass,  I think you get the idea.  It just sounds a little more glamorous than an apple or pear 🙂    Anyway, if you made up a jean muslin and the pattern fit great in the legs, hips, and tush, but you just can’t get that center front closed … here you go:

Fitting a Jean Pattern for a Round Stomach

1.  Tape the front pocket in place.  Start by drawing lines on your pattern (don’t cut yet):

  • Draw a line (green) across the hip and up to the tip of the side seam.
  • Draw 2 lines (purple) perpendicular to the green line,

Angela Wolf Pattern Alteration 12.   Cut along the green line, cutting up to the side seam put NOT through the edge.

Angela Wolf Pattern Alteration 2

3.  Slide the pattern open.  Look what happens, you just gave a little more room in the front tummy area in the width and height of the pattern.

Angela Wolf Pattern Alteration 3

4.  The upper waist curve is too extreme if left like this.  Cut each purple line, down to the green line, but NOT through it.  Slide each line open until the waist curve angles down more like the original pattern.

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5.  Redraw a new waistline and center front crotch curve (red line).

Angela Wolf Pattern Alteration 5

If you are having difficulty redrawing the front crotch curve, slide the pattern back together.  Mark the bottom edge of the facing area and trim off the front fly facing.  Follow all the steps and then tape the front facing back in place once the new center front is drawn in, lining up the facing with the marking on the pattern.  Draw a line extending the facing up to the waistline  ( I used this pattern piece, because I knew someone would ask about that).

Here is your new front pattern piece, use this for the front and left, of course one will have a front facing section and the other will not.  This is the same alteration for any pant style when you need a little more room in the tummy area.

How are your jeans coming along for March’s wardrobe challenge?  The judges are almost finished with February’s winners, hope to announce them this weekend.

SPECIAL OFFER FROM WAWAK SEWING!

Looking to stock up on jean sewing supplies – zippers, jean thread, jean buttons … WAWAK Sewing is offering $10 off the next order of $80 or more!  This offer is good until March 31st, use PROMO CODE:  WAGW314 when checking out.  What a great treat for the jean challenge!  Thanks WAWAK! 🙂

That’s all for today 🙂  Sun is shining and snow is melting, thank goodness!!!!

 

 

March’s Wardrobe Challenge … Sewing Designer Jeans!

wardrobe challenge marchWhat an impressive finish to February’s challenge, Ruching & Shirring. The photos posted on flickr are fabulous!  Take a second and click on over and see what these talented sewer’s came up with, such creativity!  And don’t be surprised if you see one of your photo’s on my blog, I have added  pictures from the wardrobe challenge flickr group to the right side of the page.  The photos randomly change, so enjoy previewing the outfits as they arrive  🙂

And the pinterest side of the challenge …  I periodically scan each of your “wardrobe challenge boards” and I must say, my mind is filled with new ideas to add to my apparel, what inspiration!  Don’t forget you can follow each others wardrobe challenge boards, inspire each other to sew 🙂  February’s winners will be announced soon, the judges are busy at work.  In the meantime, let’s talk jeans …

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March’s Challenge is to design, sew, and restyle jeans.  Many of you have mentioned a fear of sewing jeans.  The fit and the fly are the main concern, guess what – there are great patterns and so many resources to help you along, now it’s time to jump in!

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My online class Sewing Designer Jeans on Craftsy launched last October and we are just shy of 5,000 students.  Now that’s a lot of jean sewer’s  :).  This class walks you through the entire process of sewing jeans from cutting to the final hem.  And just to promote my Wardrobe Challenge, here is a 50% off for the entire month of March.  Worried about fit,  join my Altering Pants class on Patternreview (which is also on sale)  where you can post photo’s of your muslin for personal fitting advice.  Looking for a few free tips, refer to the jean category on my blog.  There are even video tutorials for sewing pockets.  Now you have not excuse not to give it a try.

Patterns

ThereAngela Wolf patterns 2013 -209 are so many jean patterns available now.  My Angel Bootcut Jean Pattern is my go-to pattern, I taper the legs for skinny jeans, raise and lower the rise, offers a contour waistband for fit and it’s easy to adapt denim with stretch or without.  The sizing currently goes up to size 16 (but I promise I am working on the sizing 16W – 24W sometime in 2014).  Use coupon code MARCHMADNESS for 20% off all jean supplies in my store (yes, that includes rivets, jean buttons, and the It’s Sew Easy jean dvd :)).  My two other favorite jean patterns … Jalie and Jennifer Stern’s ( I adore Jennifer, she is my jean buddy).  You can find reviews for both on PatternReview.com.

Well, that’s enough to get started!  This month I will share major fitting solutions for jeans and much, much more.  Check out March’s Wardrobe Challenge page (now located at the top right) for all the details on the pinterest challenge and flickr info.  Are you new to the challenge and need an invite to pinterest, email me info@angelawolf.com.  I would love you to join us!

Did I mention we have a new sponsor, Coats & Clark.  Yeah, just in time for denim thread!   Join me on Twitter to give a shout out of thanks to our sponsors:

angela_wolf_patterns001004  WAWAK sewing, Threads Magazine, Brother Sews, It’s Sew Easy TV, Coats & Clark

Well are you ready to give it a go?   Good luck!!!!!!

xoxo

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A BIG THANK YOU!!!!

Vote for me for Craftsy's blogger awards!I woke up this morning to an email that made me very happy and I have YOU to thank 🙂  Just so you know, you made my day!!!!!  In case you missed it, Craftsy is holding their 2013 blogging awards.  Round one of voting is finished and your votes placed my blog into the finals in the category of Sewing – Best Craftsy Instructor Blog.  There are only 4 of us and now another round of voting continues until October 29th – Of course I am hoping you will vote again 🙂

First, let me tell you how encouraging this was to hear.  Writing a blog and posting video tutorials does take up quite a bit of time, but I personally do so in order to  encourage you to sew.  Not only sew, but to sew clothes and sew clothes that look like they walked out of a boutique with a high price tag.  I have been sewing my own clothes for over 20 years (that just gives me a reason to buy more shoes and handbags LOL) and I love sharing what I have learned with you.

So what happens now?  There is a final round of voting that will end on October 29th and Craftsy is offering a free class to one of the lucky voters.  For me, I already feel like a winner.  As a special thank you for the support you have already shown and encouragement for you to vote again during these final weeks (bribery never hurts right :)) I am going to offer a few giveaways. Angela Wolf Bootcut Jean

Recently I offered a free Crafty class to my new Sewing Designer Jeans class that will launch later this month and a huge CONGRATULATIONS to the winner Marie C..  Well, the class doesn’t include a pattern.  Why?  Because maybe you copied your favorite pair in Kenneth D. Kings class or you already have a favorite jean pattern from my friend Jennifer Stern or you like the range of sizes in Jalie … just to name a few of my favorite reasons.  During the class, I will be using my  Angel Bootcut Jean pattern (my current pattern includes misses sizes 0 – 16 and I am diligently working on the women’s sizes 16W – 24W) and I even show you how to alter the pattern for a higher or lower waist (amongst other fitting issues).  So, it only seems appropriate to giveaway one of my jean patterns.  How can you win?  Pretty simple – let me know why you want to sew my jean pattern and please vote in the final round on Craftsy (remember you can win a free class on Craftsy just for voting).  Afraid of sewing jeans – no worries, it’s really easy.  Remember back when I showed you videos on how to sew pockets.  There are lots more, just scroll through my posts about sewing jeans.  I will announce the winner of jeans pattern on Monday and I will announce another “thank you” giveaway tomorrow.

Again, THANK YOU so much for making my day today 🙂  xoxo Angela

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Sewing Designer Jeans FREE CLASS Craftsy Giveaway!

sewing deisgner jeans with Angela Wolf

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I know you usually don’t hear about my new classes until the day they start, but not with this one!  Sewing designer jeans will start later this month on Craftsy and I am offering a FREE CLASS to one lucky winner. This class will take you from A to Z in sewing your own designer jeans.    Click here to enter!  (The contest closes at midnight on Sunday, October 6, 2013) and the winner will be announced next week.  Good luck!

So how did the shoot go?  Well, I was in Denver for the torrential downfall and it was heart wrenching to see the damage shown on the local news.  Fortunately downtown Denver fared with very little flooding despite the many dark, rainy days.

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The Craftsy studio has been redesigned since my last taping Creative Serging and I had a great team to work with!  The set was equipped with the best of the best, including the Brother DreamWeaver XE Innovis-VM6200D sewing machine.  Although these are long days of taping, when you are having fun, the hours fly by.

Angela Wolf Craftsy Sewing Designer Jeans 1

Below you can see 3 of the best jean tools in the sewing room … a pink hammer, sand paper, and a tailor’s clapper.  Not only will this class walk you through sewing a pair of designer jeans, I show you how to distress the jeans as you go.  Once you sew a pair of stylish jeans that fit perfectly, you will be hooked!  Enter to win a free class today.

Angela Wolf Craftsy 5

The blog has been a little quiet lately as I have been traveling A LOT lately … taping with Craftsy, It’s Sew Easy TV, and Threads magazine.  I will be back tomorrow with more photo’s and inside scoop on what’s coming out soon.   While you are at it … Craftsy is asking about your favorite blogs.  I would love your vote  🙂    Cheers, xoxo Angela

Fabric Manipulation … The Trend of 2013

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I have a new fetish for altering fabrics and I am on a mission to test some new and old techniques and see if they will fit into high-end fashion.  Embroidery is definitely high on the list,  and I am not talking about embroidered bunny’s on the front of my sweatshirt or his and her towel’s (although I have to practice somewhere  🙂   I am more thinking about using embroidery to create new fabrics and using that fabric in my garments.  A few ideas I am going to try:

  • attaching two unusual textures
  • quilting silk charmeuse
  • sleeve embellishment
  • embroidered jeans
  • embroidery + needle felting
  • distressing
  • adding faux fur
  • shirring

Just a touch of ideas and I am going to give them a try over the summer, looking into my fall wardrobe.  I don’t expect them all to be a success, but I know this will be fun!  So to kick off my experiment I thought I better learn how to embroider.  These jeans were my first embroidery project last May, not too shabby if I don’t say so myself.  The jean  pattern is an altered version of my Angel Bootcut Jean and the embroidery design I created on Brother’s Dreamweaver  .  Trust me, I had no idea what I was doing but these new embroidery machines tell you what to do!

I sewed the jeans in a little different order starting with the front and back pockets and then the outside seam.  A bit of a risk, after all that work, that the embroidery turns out awful.  Looking back,  you would think I would have tested the design on something, even a scrap of fabric.  I am too stubborn for that.  Each leg took 3 hooping’s and at first the total embroidery hours for both legs was tallying up to be 26 1/2 hours … YIKES!  Then I realized that each color would only embroider for a few minutes and I would have to keep changing threads (this is only a one thread embroidery machine, in case you might think I have the fancy one).   I decided to change the order of color, even if it altered the final design.

The embroidery design:  I changed the design from being a little larger in the top (1st hooping) a little smaller in the middle (second hooping) and really small at the ankle (third hooping).  Minus a few mistakes (which I won’t point out :)) I was really pleased with the final results.

One thing I learned with embroidering stretch denim – after you embroider, the denim doesn’t stretch.  Just keep that in mind and make alterations to your pattern to allow for that non-stretch, especially if you are sewing skinny jeans or jeggings.  I am planning on embroidering another pair of jeans with all one color of thread, I am thinking black fabric with silver thread or something along that line.

Any embroidery tips for me would be greatly appreciated, I have a lot of fabric I want to try (especially silk charmeuse).  There is so much to learn and take into account.  For example, embroidery thread.  There are a ton of choices, any advice on the what’s the best and why?  I would love to know the scoop!

Until then,

Cheers!

Angela

How to Hem Jeans with the Brother MuVit Digital Dual Feed Foot

Dark jeans are really in trend this fall so that means distressing with a hammer might not be an option.  I have tested the MuVit Digital Dual Feed Foot on the Brother Dreamweaver XE and believe it or not, after sewing over many thick seams there was not one skipped stitch!  The only thing I added was a #14 denim jean needle and various thicknesses of denim.  This foot is different from a walking foot, not only because it has a rolling belt, but the foot plugs into the sewing machine giving the foot it’s own brain … or something like that.  You can then adjust the foot by pressing a few buttons on the sewing machine.  I have to say technology is really making sewing fun and easy!

The video below shows you just how smooth this digital dual feed foot works and I even tested it on one of my new jean patterns.  Which by the way,   I am happy to announce my first two jean patterns are up and available!  Both patterns come with detailed sewing instructions in a book format, very easy to follow.  The other bonus that comes with both of these jean patterns is a downloadable PDF file, download to your tablet and you can enlarge the photos for detailed viewing.  The PDF file offers color photos and details on where to distress the jeans as you sew.  My goal is to help you sew jeans that fit perfect and look expensive 🙂  Enjoy and don’t forget about the previous videos on sewing jean pockets if you need a little extra help.  Hope you had a great Thanksgiving weekend, lot’s of family, food and shopping on my end.  Wait until you see my new shoes (and yes that’s plural!)  xoxo Angela

   

www.AngelaWolfPatterns.com

Brother™ has provided me with the DreamWeaver XE, but all opinions expressed are entirely my own.

How to sew topstitching that looks professional on jeans and jackets …

I hope you are all safe from hurricane Sandy and my heart goes out to all those affected.  We even experienced severe weather here in Michigan!   I made it to the beach yesterday and after getting stuck in the sand with our SUV, I was able to snap a few shots.  Unbelievable waves on Lake Michigan, over 20 footers.  I think I’ll pass on fishing for a few days 🙂

Lake Michigan during hurricane Sandy …over 20 foot seas!

Now onto sewing …. more specifically topstitching.  Topstitching jackets and jeans are not only a designer touch; this has become a main focus in today’s fashion.  The more creative the topstitching the more expensive your garment looks.  On that note, have you ever finished a great looking jacket only  to discover  you can’t find a matching color in the thick topstitching thread?  Would you like to hem your favorite jeans – again not being able to match the original jean thread color.  This video shows you an easy way to solve that problem, using two spools of Coats & Clark polyester thread and a #14 denim jean needle.  You will even get a peek at the automatic needle threader on the Brother Dreamweaver XE, yes it even works with 2 threads!  Enjoy 🙂

Brother™ has provided me with the DreamWeaver XE, but all opinions expressed are entirely my own.

How to Sew Designer Jean Pockets … Part 2 Adding the Coin Pocket

Here is part 2 for finishing off the front of your designer jean pockets.  This video will show you how to add a coin pocket, which is totally optional.  Sometimes I add a logo instead, just depends what kind of mood I am in 🙂   Of course I have to show off a few other features on the Brother Dreamweaver XE VM6200D, like using the V-Sonic PenPal to determine how wide my zigzag stitch will be – you really have to see it to believe it.  Now, I just have to finalize the last of the Angela Wolf Jean Patterns so we can ship them out soon, wish me luck!  xoxo Angela

Brother™ has provided me with the DreamWeaver XE, but all opinions expressed are entirely my own

Sewing the Front Pockets on Designer Jeans (part 1)

Another quick lesson on sewing designer jeans, sewing the front pockets.  I have broken this into two parts as this lesson will cover attaching the silk charmeuse lining and topstitching the pocket edge.  The next lesson shows how to add a coin pocket and closing up the lining.  To get started you will need your front jean pieces and the pocket lining.  You will usually find cotton as the fabric for the pocket lining, but I prefer to use something a little more luxurious, like silk charmeuse.  Because the silk is so thin you can’t see the pockets through the outside of the jean, not to mention the fabric feels awesome against the skin.

Again, experimenting with some of the new features on my Brother Dreamweaver XE VM6200D stitching this pocket is painless. First off, look at the size of the new “J” foot. (The picture has the original foot alongside the new foot).  The longer length really makes a difference when sewing across layers of fabric.  The foot glides across humps, thicker seams, even uneven edges as the pocket we will topstitch.  I call this a BIG plus!

Onto sewing the pockets … pin your silk charmeuse lining to the denim fabric along the curve of your pocket.  You can stitch from either side, I chose to stitch with the denim on the top so you can see the sew straight laser vision guide a little better.  I have aligned the laser with the raw edge of the fabric, allowing me to sew the entire pocket curve with a precise seam allowance.

Press the Pocket Lining … Turn the lining to the inside of the pocket and steam press, using the tailor’s clapper to permanently hold that crease (shown on video below).

Topstitch the Pocket Edge … Again, utilizing the laser light to make sure my first topstitch line is perfectly placed 1/8″ from the edge of the pocket curve.  Then I move the laser light to align with the previous topstitch line, but here is a new one for you.  I am able to use the v-sonic pen pal to touch where I want the laser light to move to.  You have to check out the video below to get the full visual of this unique feature, but simply put … engage the pen pal, touch the bed of the sewing machine where you want the laser light to shine, and hit OK.  That’s it!  Just imagine how easy sewing straight rows of topstitching will be 🙂

Brother™ has provided me with the DreamWeaver XE, but all opinions expressed are entirely my own