Actually, I started two projects, but the thing is, they're very similar.
One is a re-make of these jeans, my all-time favorite trouser jeans, that have seen such better days it wasn't really a surprise when the center back seam did a splitter on me while I sat on the floor at Barnes & Noble (reading sewing books - ironic?). They had gotten really tight (washing machine keeps shrinking things, eh), and you can kind of see how the silk inside the waistband had deteriorated over the years of washings. I'd already decided I was going to cut them up to make a "pattern" and try to re-create them when they died.
I went to Hancock's and bought an inexpensive piece of rose stretch denim. Rose? you ask. Yes, rose. I don't tend to like denim sold by the yard, it's never the same as denim you see on ready to wear, probably because of the washing/weathering techniques the RTW companies use after construction. So I thought a nice rosey pair of trouser jeans would be fun.
I also have an awesome independent pattern for a pair of trousers with a yoke back that I wanted to make and the perfect stash fabric for them - a stretch denim with this interesting weave, kind of like vertical slub lines running through it? I'd read on Gorgeous Fabrics' blog about laying out stretch fabrics overnight before cutting them out, so I actually did it this time. I laid the denim on my parents' pool table to let her breathe, and then cut the pants pattern the next time I was out at their house. It rested for a long time. I'm currently resting the rosey stretch denim, and hope to have it back home by the end of the week. Initially I thought I'd make both pair of pants in an assembly line but sadly I don't think it's going to work out that way.
I so love making pants. Not because they're easy, just because I wear a lot of pants. And I'd really like to get better at some of the techniques, like curved waistbands, pockets, zippers and fly extensions, not to mention fitting. I put the zipper into the denim pair tonight while watching Sandra Betzina's fly front zipper video tutorial (pretty good, but sadly lacking any description of what side she's talking about?) and it went really well. Now all I have to finish is the side seam pockets and I'll be ready to model them for you. Sounds pretty easy, right?
Hah!Side seam pockets are a really difficult area for me. I can do welt pockets till the cows come home, but sideseam pockets? Totally foreign. I'm still trying to visualize the steps in my mind before I attempt to do them on the machine. That's kind of how I work, I lay in bed at night thinking through the process before sitting down at the machine to do it. Am I the only one who does that kind of thing?
That's also kind of why shirring was so frustrating for me - there's no technique to learn, it's just straight or zig-zig stitching, and it wasn't turning out right! I understand when a fly zipper doesn't turn out right, but straight stitches?
So if all goes well by the end of the week I should have two new pair of pants to share with you. Maybe I'll just wear them around the house, we'll see. Sometimes my dreams are much better than the reality.
And if the rosey trouser jeans fit well, I'll try to post up a pattern for others to adjust to their own measurements and use. Now I just need to learn how to draw....