Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Jean Contest - J. Stern 0037 AKA Operation: Owl Eyes

I have entered another contest despite the fact that life tries to throw curve balls. This one is the Jean Contest. After making a few pairs of pants out of the box, I wanted to make a pair that are ‘me’. I mean, after all, is not that the reason why we sew? I didn’t want another “I look just the other one” pair of jeans.

J Stern pattern

This is my second time making the J. Stern jeans. Here’s the first go at it.

The description taken from J. Stern’s website: Fitted jeans featuring classic 5-pocket styling
w/ optional back flap pockets, easy front fly zipper, boot leg hem and topstitching. Finished inseam 34”. Also, the waistline can be adjusted to sit at your natural waist. The boot cut leg can also be modified to the flare of your liking.


The pattern comes in sizes 6 to 16. I used the size 8 line. This corresponds to a 31 1/2 low waist and 38 1/2 full hip.

My final product does not look like the pattern photos because I made some very custom modifications to fit the bill of what I saw in my head. Had I made them right out of the box, they would have. Even though I have made them only once they are a TNT because they fit so well.

I didn’t use the instructions because I have made jeans before. I did however want to see if I could understand J. Stern’s fly and zip instructions again. I thought I would have understood them this time. Not so. I am pretty sure it’s my brain working on s-l-o-w. Other than that, the instructions are great.

What I like most is everything. The shaping, pieces, instructions, and the coin pocket. I also like how the pockets go all the way to the zipper. I learned that this is called ‘tummy control’ because the pockets are made from a woven and does not allow for any stretching of the pooch area. What I disliked is that the back rise is short for those of use with a little meat on the backside. I wrote on the pack that I needed to lengthen that area from the previous version but I forgot to do that. But that does not justify me to not like the pattern. I love it.

I used the same fabric from the last pair. I must like it because I ordered more from soon after I made the last pair. It is a black stretch denim that looks a little pre-faded. For the pocket bags I used some trash remnants from another project. It is a cotton shirting. I also used some embossed vinyl for the ‘leather’ parts.

There were tons of alterations and design changes. Where do I start?

1. I modified the front pockets to dip lower. That meant I had to change all three pieces. I made the pocket bag a tad bigger, too. Not that I use my pockets much but when I do, (like walking in the park) I want to be able to fit my license, cell phone, and a set of keys in there.



2. As I did on the last pair, I finished the pocket bags with bias binding. This gives such a neat finish. It’s not bulky either.


3. I changed the back pocket because I did not want a normal shape. I wanted something else.


4. I changed the flap. I made the point off-centered. To me, it’s to give contour detail to the rearview.

5. I did try and put in the zipper per instructions but once again I had bad results. In fact, I don’t know what kind of results I got this time. So, not wanting to deal with the pain and to get over that hill I decided to use the Jalie 2908 method. But by now I had already cut off the extra piece on the right side fly that’s instructed. I had to redraft it snd give it seam allowances and sew it right back on. I put the zipper tape to the line and not the zipper teeth. This hid the zipper well under the flap. Although it works, there is something that is just not quite right.



6. I used the waistband from Simplicity 9825. I love how it sits on my body and there is no problem with it gapping back there.


I didn’t want the normal thin band that are found on regular jeans. I wanted a wide band. This remedied the low back rise, too. 


At first I was going to make the waistband in the same vinyl embossed ‘leather’ but that meant a few big fat seams because it is kind of thick. I should have used it to make a covered headboard instead. I would have went ahead and tried it but I cut the pieces without seam allowances by mistake and they were too small. I took them apart and tried to sew them lapped, but they were still too short.



So, I ultimately decided not waste anymore pleather and cut the band in the denim and lined it with a blue cotton with butterfly designs I had originally supposed to use for my daughter’s sundress.


7. Last, I tapered the wide flare to more of a straight look. Well, they are not totally straight. At the hem, there was a total of 2 inches on each side taken off. So, front and back leg both sides is a total of 8 inches. I was going for the skinny at first but changed my mind right before I’d cut them. This was the easiest change in the whole process.



Oh, 8. I forgot about this one. I had sewn the center seam off to the right about (eyeballed)halfway of 5/8. When I topstitched, I topstitched to the left. I did this so that my topstitching could be on the center and not off to whatever side my topstitching ended on.



I have seen (in fact, I own a pair) jeans off-centered like this and it irks me. And 8a. I put my back pockets on last because I wanted to make sure they were centered and properly placed. Not too far up, down, close, apart. Angled correctly… Then I sewed the inseam. That made it easier to sew the back pockets.



and 9. I cut off 2 1/2 inches from the hem and hemmed them 1 inch. It was a double turn, 1/2 each.  

Of course, I would sew it again and of course, I recommend! Why wouldn’t I when I get such great results?

I had to make a quick dash and get a right now photo:  


Here are more photos that I could not figure out to place them in the blog.

120115_0006Almost forgot to change the shape.

120115_0007Glue became a friend because the pockets kept moving.

120115_0008Do I want the pocket flaps this way….

120115_0009Or this way?



120116_0001With or with out a tab?

120124_0000I guess it’s without the tab.

120116_0005With or without the yoke and wide band?

120116_0006Placement here?

120116_0007Or here? Many decisions.

120123_0002Trimming to seam allowance.

120124_0002Ready for the flaps.

I was supposed to wear this top with my jeans but that did not happen.

This is how I wore my new jeans.

120128_0001       120128_0006

The top is McCall’s 56651 Last seen here.

120128_0004        120128_0005

120128_0002Me and my husband, Chad. I don’t like this photo. Let’s take another one…

120128_0003 Ok, it’s better but not the best. I think it’s the sun. (Boy, does my head stand out! LOL)


No gaposis. And the buttons aren’t functional. I couldn’t get the buttonhole to work so I put a snap just under the tip to keep the flaps down.

120128_0009        120128_0010

Operation: Owl Eyes was adopted because my youngest son said my back pockets look like owl eyes.

Conclusion Great, great, great!!!

Be encouraged and keep sewing, Scheryka