reiny days and mondays

1 Comment

Navy Jedediah pants

Behold, my first sewing project for Kevin!


Kevin desperately needed casual pants. All he had in the way of pants were: dress pants and cargo pants that dated to his high school days. Which meant that all of his non-work pants were either camo, holey, or both. One pair even had an oh-so-classy peekhole right in the front.

It took me a really, really long time to sit down and make these pants for him. I believe I promised to make him pants about… six months ago? Since then I’ve made several dresses, a wardrobe of toddler clothes, and draped my entire house in seasonal fabric. And yet Kev had to endure his holey pants. I first went out and bought Simplicity 4760 at Jo-Ann’s. I cut out all the tissue paper pattern pieces, which then sat crumpled in my sewing room for a few months. Not to mention I was already giving this pattern major side-eye. A pattern sized for men and boys? Yeesh.

I was so close to gritting my teeth and cutting into my chosen fabric but then… Andrea posted about Thread Theory’s Jedediah Pants. I’d never heard of Thread Theory but I think there is ABSOLUTELY a dearth of good men’s sewing patterns and I’m so glad they exist to fill that void. Anyway, I scooted over and bought the Jedediah Pants pretty much immediately after I read Andrea’s post.

I printed and taped up the pattern pieces right away too. Then the pieces sat around for a while too.

I used navy twill from Jo-Ann’s (same as my Kelly skirt) and FINALLY started working on the pants in October, but then Halloween costumes and Christmas decorations came up. I also made an unwise decision and decided on a whim to use gold thread, simply because I was out of navy thread. In my head it looked REALLY awesome and I was envisioning nice preppy maritime slacks. As each stitch was sewn, I felt more and more like I had made a mistake. I kept sewing.

I had to take a break when I made Liam’s School Days coat and the entire time, the half-finished pants were in my line of sight. And they looked AWFUL to me. Something about the shade of navy and the particular gold thread I used just screamed “military reproduction” to me. Or Sailor Moon. Either way it was just not what I wanted and I resigned myself to the fact that I would be ripping out not only flat-felled seams, but SERGED SEAMS as well.

If you make mistakes like me, you will know that unpicking serged seams falls somewhere in the lowest circles of hell. Luckily, I got through it, but only just barely! I ended up not ripping out ALL the gold stitching, mainly just the inseams and outseams. I left the gold thread on the back yoke and the pocket details.

This time I used navy thread and I started to fall in love with the pants, finally!

I referred to the Thread Theory blog’s sew-a-long the entire time. I really liked having all the helpful tips as I went along – for example, several people commented that it was much easier to sew the flat-felled inner seams BEFORE sewing the outer leg seams. It never would have crossed my mind; in fact, I did follow the directions the first time and noted how annoying it was to sew the flat-felled seam in a tunnel, but since I ripped it out anyway, I had the chance to do it the easy way the second time. MUCH easier, and my stitches looked a lot better the second time.

Then tragedy struck. I was chatting with Kev while I worked on his pants and… I accidentally trimmed down BOTH seam allowances on the inseam (instead of one side, then creating a flat-felled seam.) I gazed horror-struck at what I’d done for a full minute before I started cursing fluently. Luckily it was also lunchtime so I ate (rather distractedly, I’m sure) while I tried to figure out how I could fix my mess. Eventually I decided to unpick the seam and resew the seam, lining up the new raw edges, so the right back piece of the pant is about 1/2″ – 3/4″ narrow than the front piece but… well it’s hardly the worst thing that could happen.

navyjedediah5I had a beautiful Armani Exchange button in my stash. Perfect!

After that, construction turned out fairly easy. I LOVE that they did a video to help with inserting the fly. Believe it or not, this is my first pair of pants with a fly… all of the pants I have made so far have been for L and they were all elastic/flat front waist pants. I definitely appreciated the extra help there!

navyjedediah3Ugh, ever heard of an iron, man?

A few fit notes that I need to make since I’m considering these pants a wearable muslin:

  • I should have sized down. The waistband fits about right but gets looser with wear. I should also take that into account during fabric selection.
  • I would widen the legs just a bit for dressier pants. They’re fine for casual pants.
  • The pockets gape like crazy. Kev says they look like wings. I think I need to tuck the pockets in just a bit more at the side seams.

navyjedediah2Back view – I think I could’ve taken in a bit more at the waist band and perhaps the seat seam as well.

All in all I am super proud of myself for getting through that! I already have plans for another couple of pairs… here’s hoping it doesn’t take me another six months!