Pattern Drafting Jeans Sew-Along: Week 2

Welcome! Welcome to Week 2 of the Pattern Drafting Jeans Sew-Along.

By now I hope you will all have drafted your Basic Trouser Block, so we can get started on the exciting bit- making the Basic Block in to our Working Pattern!

You will need to make decisions on the following. What sort of Pockets you would like at the Front, and whether you would like a little Change Pocket. What sort of Pockets you would like on the back of your Jeans- are they to be stitched decoratively? Would you like a Flap, are they to be shaped or even have a Zip? You’ll also need to decide if you would like a Button or Zip Fly Front. Now, I’m not insane so I shall be instructing how to make a Zip Fly Front however; there’s a great Tutorial on adding in a Button Fly Front here if you’d like to make one. The pieces of Pattern you need to draft are the same.

As you can see from the these images, there are many choices to be made and it is worth having a good look out there to make your decision. I like to look at things I normally wouldn’t be able to afford to see style and design elements I like and would like to add in to my Patterns!

I like to make a little sketch of my design- called a Technical Illustration- of all of the elements I like so that I know what I need to Pattern Draft…

jeans sew along bristol sewing classes

Now, I’m going super duper classic here and there are a couple reasons for that. The first is that it suits me, the second is Classic Jeans kinda go with lots of different looks and, as I have made a few tops recently I want something to go with them all! Finally, it’s so that you guys can see what goes in to a Classic pair of Jeans instead of getting all fancy pants and convoluted on you!

Once you have a Technical Illustration, you’ll need to make a list of the elements to be drafted. Mine are:

1. Front Pocket

2. Front Pocket Facing

3. Pocket Bag

4. Change Pocket

5. Fly Front

6. Back Yoke

7. Back Pockets

8. Waistband

9. Belt Loops

10. Front

11. Back

Phew! Sounds like a tonne of work, right? But it’s not, I promise! Next I sketch a little break down:

jeans sew along bristol sewing classes2

Which is all well and good but I am sure a few of you out there will be questioning a couple of these instructions! Pocket Bag? Change Pocket? Yoke?! Yes, these are things, and I promise I’m not making it up…

jeans front jeans back

The Pocket Bag is the piece to which your Change Pocket (the teeny tiny Pocket with lovely Rivets on it) is sewn. About one third of this is seen, the other two thirds are attached to the Pocket Facing and form the Pocket istelf. You can choose to make this in two parts (as I am) so that both the bottom part of the Pocket Bag and the whole of the Facing can be made from a contrast Fabric. Which is delicious!

The Yoke sits above the Beck section of the Jeans, but below the Waistline. You can pop additional fitting in to this (like moving the darts in to it, I shall be explaining this later) however; how deep or shallow will effect the look and determine where the Back Pockets sit. This article is an interesting read on this subject, and give some invaluable information regarding Yokes for different body shapes. Again, I’m sticking with kinda basic and going for a Straight V Yoke because I know it suits me best.

So, that all being said, lets get on to the really interesting part- drafting the Pattern Pieces! I’m going to post this in the next few days as it has turned in to a slightly longer post than I had be anticipating!

In the meantime, why not take a peek at some Jeans or Trousers you already own to get a feel for the Pattern Pieces we’ll be drafting tomorrow? How deep is the Yoke on those Jeans that fit so perfectly? Why do you like the Pockets on that other pair? Part of learning to Pattern draft is to take on elements of designs which work for you as well as looking good… there will be a reason you were-or are- attracted to certain designs and now is a great time to see what they might be.

See you soon Jean-sters, I’m looking forward to it!

**UPDATE: Because of some scheduling issues some posts haven’t gone live at the correct times. The Pattern Drafting Jeans Sew-Along will re-start soon **

x Happy stitching!



Wordless Wednesday

Internal finishing and detail on a pair of bespoke jeans. This service is available by appointment in Savile Row.

I’ve never really thought much about finishing garments for myself like this inside… after finding this I might have to channel some of this beautiful Savile Row detailing for my Jeans as I get a little over excited about using scraps of beautiful fabrics to make scrumptious Bias Binding! I also rather like the contrast pocket detail.

Have you drafted your Basic Trouser Block yet?

Happy stitching!

Introducing the Pattern Drafting Jeans Sew-Along!

I have been making my own Jeans and Trousers since I was about 16-ish, and I still remember the utter satisfaction- after another failed shopping trip to buy Jeans, any Jeans!- of rushing to my local Fabric Shop, buying the only Jeans Pattern available and making my first pair that very same day. They were great, I mean I’m sure they had a little wobble in the stitching here and there but even my Mum was impressed and I literally haven’t shopped for Trousers or Jeans since.

jeans sew a long

Blessed with my Grandmothers huge hips, as well as height it has always been difficult to shop for clothing. Fat or thin I have always struggled however; I was to receive a rescue of sorts that same year I was 16 when I toddled off to Art School to study Fashion and Textiles… dear reader, I was introduced to the mystical art of Pattern Cutting.

I honestly haven’t looked back.

Not only did it make sense in a way that made me happy, I was good at it! Have you ever had this happen? The simple joy of embracing a new skill and devouring all that you can? Heaven! I soon had students from the years above me asking for help and I think this was my first introduction to sharing ideas and skills, which I also loved. At the time I was obviously going to become a leading light in the Fashion World *ahem* and despite this not happening- mainly because I realized I wanted to work on film and a few years later toddled off to a different Art School to study Costume- I still adore Pattern Cutting and I want to start sharing this more here, especially after my enormously successful Pattern Month a few years ago.

Simply because I need some new Jeans myself I thought I’d start with Drafting a Jeans Pattern, Toiling and making the resultant Pattern up with tips on how to do so, fit and I am sure all sorts of further nonsense!

Sound good? Awesome!

I’m hoping to do this over the next month or so, starting today with Drafting the Trouser Block. If this is entirely new to you, you may want to check out my Pattern Month, which is a good introduction to all of this.

First off, I shall be using Winifred Aldrich’s Metric Pattern Cutting book, which is my bible! and, whilst I shall share some of the Pattern pages here, I do strongly suggest your buying a copy if this is a subject you are interested in. You can read more about why I think everyone should own this book here. After the last Pattern Month, I was asked frequently if I would email or post more pages from the book, but I will not due to copy right. Please buy the book, it’s brilliant!

jeans sew a long 2 jeans sew a long 3

You’ll need a Pattern Master, because these are the best tools when Pattern Drafting, along with a selection of Pens and Pencils as well as a Calculator. I use coloured Felt Tip Pens because if I make a wrong line, or want to highlight a line I can do so. I also find them nice to draft with because pencils can be a bit messy and I tire quickly of sharpening them!

There’s lots of information on how to use the above pages here, I would strongly advise reading it before joining in unless you are familiar with the Winifred Books. Firstly it is important to take accurate measurements as the Basic Blocks are to be made up to your measurements. It is imperative that accurate measurements be taken so that the Block fit as accurately as possible, with minimal changes needing to be made in the later stages of creating your Working Pattern.

For the Basic Trouser Block you need to take Waist and Hip measurements, then check which size these most closely resemble in the Standard Body Measurements Chart here. The measurements listed on the Basic Trouser Block can then be found on the Standard Body Measurements Chart. I have found that taking measurements from the Chart greatly increases the accuracy of the pattern and saves time! We will then draft the Pattern and make a Toile to make the Working Pattern and in future posts I’ll cover things like adapting the Basic Block to Fit, altering the Length and adding Style Lines.

It is not easy to measure oneself however; if no partner can be found use a mirror to ensure the tape measure is placed as correctly as possible. I have a few hints and tips on measuring oneself accurately here.

Well, as I have drafted my Basic Block already- I make this Pattern up quite a lot!- I shall leave you to Draft yours, and of course check out Jeans and Trousers you like on the internet to get an idea of what sort of a Pattern you’d like to make… retro… modern… button fly?… high waisted?… aah the choice is endless! Finally, this process won’t be too difficult I promise! If you are an Adventurous Beginner I am sure you will be able to follow along, and anyone can feel free to comment or ask questions as they need or want to.

I’ll give you a week or so to gather supplies and get drafting, I can’t wait to see what you all make!!

Happy stitching!


New poster! Dressmaking Classes in Bristol…

Aprils Poster


Some of the above only have a couple of places left, and the Bra Making Course is almost all sold out but I could squeeze one more person on to it! There are 3 places left on the Play Suit Course, which I think is going to be awesome as I have three different patterns including a super Retro 40s style Land Girl one! The UpCycle Sew Anything  and Vintage Summer Dress Courses are both booking up and have just three places left each… book quick guys!

I love all of the new Project Days I have put together too! You can learn how to make Pyjama Shorts, Patchwork or Machine Embroidery in just one day among other things, and for just £35 which is pretty darn spectacular if I say so myself.

You can still book most Classes and Courses for just a £10 deposit, please don’t hesitate to contact me with any questions!

Happy stitching!

Wordless Wednesday

1930s Informal Style; High waisted trousers and rounded shades

In honor of my Trouser Class right now, who’re sweating their Trouser Pattern as they fit, adjust and fit again (poor loves, but it’ll all be worth it in the end, I promise!), here’s this gorgeous 1930’s pic full of informal style, high waisted trousers and rounded shades… le sigh!

Happy stitching!