Morden Work Pants Sew-along: Day 1 - Gathering Supplies
Welcome to the Morden Work Pants Sew-along! I (Adrianna) look forward to guiding you through the process to create your own rugged and beautifully fitted work pants! To create the Morden Work Pants I highly recommend you gather together a few specialty tools and trusted hardware. These will prevent unneccessary struggle when working with bulky seams and rugged material. Here I will walk you through the different things that you may need to install hardware, sew bulky seams, and embellish your pants.
- Tailor's Clapper: A tailor's clapper is a great tool to add to your sewing space if you don't have one already. The clapper helps to set seams when pressing to give a nice clean finish. You can also use the clapper on bulky seam areas to flatten the fabric so it will get under your presser foot easier.
- Seam Jumper: The seam-jumper or Jean-a-ma-jig tool is crucial to sewing over bulky seams on a home sewing machine, even heavy-duty machines. The Jean-a-ma-jig helps to raise the presser foot when stitching so it doesn't get caught on a seam ridge. When sewing my pairs of Morden Work Pants I used this tool not only on seams but for stitching the Variation 1 back pockets to the back. I will show in more detail how I used the tool later on in the Sew Along!
- Button: A no-sew jeans button measuring 1/2"-1".
- Pocket rivets: Rivets are optional if you are using a fabric other than denim since you could also just bar tack very securely at these pressure points but I don't think rivets are optional if you are sewing with denim. They are essential to creating the classic strength and appearance of jeans. Closet Core, Core Fabrics, and Kylie and the Machine have wonderful hardware kits that include zippers, buttons, rivets, and tools to install them.
- Optional tools to apply rivets: Some other tools you may use for installing hardware are a rubber mallet, which can be found anywhere from your local fabric or hardware store; and a rivet setter. Rivet setters tend to be a bit more pricey and harder to come across, but if you plan to use hardware details often, this may be a good investment as it is the easiest way to install hardware!
- Metal-toothed Zipper: If you can not find the size recommended in the instruction booklet, a longer zipper will do just fine! I will be showing you how to shorten the zipper during the sew-along. We carry 7" and 8" jeans zippers in our shop.
- Thread (Regular and Top-stitching): You will need regular polyester thread (which is stronger than cotton) to match the color of your denim and thicker topstitching thread in a pleasing contrasting color. Some of our test sewers successfully sewed their entire jeans using Gutermann Extra Strong Thread which is not quite as thick as topstitching thread. This allowed them to skip the hassle of re-threading their machine each time they needed to topstitch. My machine is never very happy when sewing with thick thread (it binds up when I backstitch) so I prefer to switch back and forth to ensure that my seams are strong and backstitched securely before I topstitch them. If using topstitching thread it is important to only use topstitching thread on the needle side of your machine, and regular thread in the bobbin. Most machines do not handle well with topstitching thread in the bobbin.
- If you are creating these pants for casual everyday wear, choose trouser-weight wovens (light to medium weight) such as twill, denim, canvas, and gabardine.
- Alternatively, use materials suited to the intended use of the pants. For example, for hiking, mountain biking or outdoor work wear pants choose water-resistant cotton or synthetic blends designed for active wear (such as Ripstop).
Here is some inspiration for fabrics and colors pulled from some of our favorite fabric stores mentioned below!
- Pocketing: You will need pocket lining fabric such as broadcloth, quilting cotton, or other strong, tightly woven cotton or cotton blends. If you are making your Morden Pants out of a heavier fabric you can also use the pocket lining fabric to make the fly facing.
Fabrications Ottawa - a great online shop that includes a stock of Cone Mills US-made S-gene denim in multiple weights!
Blackbird Fabrics - an online shop just across the water from me! Caroline often has a nice selection of denim in stock and occasionally gets in a supply of coveted Cone Mills.
Core Fabrics - Heather-Lou is known for her excellent women's jeans patterns. She stocks jean-making kits including all the notions you need and high-quality denim. They often sell out fast but you might be in luck snagging a non-stretch kit in particular since these are less in demand than the stretch denim needed for her Ginger Jeans pattern.
Simplifi Fabric - An online shop completely focused on organic and ecologically friendly fabrics! They have a great selection of denim and canvas.
Stylemaker Fabrics - An organized selection of denim in various weights and amounts of stretch.
Britex Fabrics - They have a few very well-priced Japanese selvage denim that is worth a peruse!
Fancy Tiger Crafts - A nice array of denim from various manufacturers - all well-labeled so you can compare the differences. I like the US-made bull denim choices in particular. Bull denim is dyed after weaving to produce a uniform colour (whereas regular denim features an indigo warp thread and white weft thread).
Merchant & Mills - A large range of high-end denim very suitable for men's jeans - you might like to make a mock-up first due to the price point of these quality fabrics!
Empress Mills - Some very affordable denim in a variety of weights. A great way to test out a pair of jeans without a huge investment!
Croft Mill - Another selection of affordable denim and some interesting choices including prints, pre-washed, broken twill weave, extra wide, etc.
Before we continue with the sew-along, make sure to pre-wash your fabric. If using denim, I recommend washing it with a cup of vinegar on fairly high heat to set the indigo dye and pre-shrink/pre-soften the denim...unless, of course, you are a denim enthusiast who wants to sew up a pair of raw denim jeans! In that case, you'll want to keep them stiff and saturated with dye by avoiding washing at all!
If you are using a pre-treated fabric or specialty outerwear fabric, such as water resistant canvas, you do not need to wash your fabric. Instead, follow the fabric care guides for your fabric.