Welcome to the Jedediah Shorts Sew-Along - Thread Theory Design Inc.'s very first sew-along. This sew-along spans over two weeks with four posts a week during which we photographed and explained the sewing process for the shorts variation of the Jedediah Pants pattern.
Each post involves about half an hour to two hours of sewing. You can follow along at our speed or go at your own pace as the links for each post will remain posted in the list below. That way, if you didn't have time to join in the sew-along when it was announced or if you make versions of the pants or shorts in the future, you will always be able to refer back to the posts that you found most helpful!
This sew-along began on August 15th. 2013.
- Preparations - Fabric Requirements, Garment and Body Measurements, making bias binding from a vintage handkerchief
- Assembling Your Pattern - this post was made using the Newcastle Cardigan pattern but the techniques and tips hold true for the Jedediah Pants
- Lengthening or Shortening a Sewing Pattern Tutorial - Learn how to adjust the length of the Jedediah Pants before cutting into your fabric
- Grading to Create a Custom Fit Tutorial - If the body measurements given aren't a perfect match, consider grading to create a custom fit!
- How to Save Fabric when Cutting out your Shorts or Pants (guest post by Meg of Made by Meg)
- Cutting out Fabric (Thursday, August 15th) - 1 1/2-2 hours
- Sewing the Slash Front Pockets (Friday, August 16th) - 1- 1 1/2 hours
- Sewing the Back Patch Pockets and Back Yoke (Saturday, August 17th) - 1 1/2 hours
- How to Sew the Back Pockets with No Interior Raw Edges (guest post by Katie of The Creative Counsellor)
- Sewing the Outseams with contrast binding (Sunday, August 18th) - 1 hour
- Sewing the Inseams (Thursday, August 22nd) - 1/2 hour
- Sewing the Fly - We made a video for this post! (Friday, August 23rd) - 1 1/2 - 2 hours
- Sewing the Belt Loops and Waistband (Saturday, August 24th) - 2 hours
- Sewing the Hem and Cuffs (Sunday, August 25th) - 1/2 hour
- Check out everyone's finished pants and shorts on our Jedediah Pinterest board!
Now that our Jedediah Pants pattern is out to test sewers, Matt is eagerly anticipating putting on his pair of "Dream Shorts" after a successful sew-along! In case anyone might be interested in a little back story: The Jedediah Pants pattern was named after Jedediah Island, a spectacular boating destination in the Straight of Georgia off of Vancouver Island, B.C.
Since the Jedediah pattern was designed to produce Matt's DREAM pants and shorts, the name Jedediah is only fitting since this island is where he proposed and became engaged to his DREAM girl!
In preparation for the Jedediah shorts sew-along I thought it would be helpful to include a post that would provide everything a sewist needs to buy their fabric and notions in time for the sew-along start date on August 15th! Below you will find the materials required page straight from our instruction booklet PDF, as well as the garment and body measurements for easy reference.
I have purchased my fabric already (a sturdy but soft coloured denim in royal blue) and today I prepared my bias binding. As you can see in the materials required chart, I have estimated 5.5-6 meters. This is a very generous estimate as this is how much you will need if you are binding all major seams (aside from the flat-felled inseams). If you plan to just bind the outseams you will likely need something closer to 1m per leg.
To make my binding, I used a vintage handkerchief (part of a collection given to me by my great grandma!) and Colette Pattern's amazing and fabric-saving tutorial to make continuous bias tape. This method is perfect for making seam binding because it doesn't use very much fabric but, because of this, also results in binding with a lot of seams. These seams might not look very nice when used as trim on the outside of a garment, but they aren't really noticeable when used as binding on the inside.
My handkerchief was a 20" square before I cut it up and made 4.3m/4.7 yards of bias tape. Instead of cutting 1" wide strips of fabric as the Colette Pattern tutorial suggests, I cut 2" wide. This made 1/2" wide binding which I find to be less fiddly to use.
You don't need to make your own binding for the sew-along as store bought will work nicely...but I love how the possibilities of prints and colors are endless when you make your own!
Good luck fabric shopping! I was overwhelmed with the enormous collection of twills and denims at my local Fabricland...I hope you have the same huge choice of summery fabrics!
Today we will be cutting out the pattern pieces from our fabric. If you haven't already assembled your pattern pieces or determined the size you will use, refer to these past posts for some tips and tutorials. Before cutting out your fabric, be sure to wash and dry the material (using the same temperature and settings as you will be using when washing the finished shorts). Iron your material and lay it out, folded in half with right sides together and the finished selvages lined up. I like to pin the selvages together so that I don't have to worry about the fabric shifting and cutting the pieces out off grain while I cut through two layers.
Now that our fabric is all cut out, today we will be sewing the first step - the slash front pockets!
To sew the slash front pockets, first of all, we need to attach the two separate facing pieces to each pocket lining. Pocket Facing #1 will become the visible front of the pant when the pocket is complete and Pocket Facing #2 will be the inside edge of the actual pocket so that a person viewing the pants from behind won't see the pocket lining fabric poking out.
I've prepared the facings by ironing the seam allowance (5/8") under to make a finished edge. Do this to the straight edge of Pocket Facing #1 (the large piece) and the longest edge of Pocket Facing #2 (the small piece).
To attach the facings to the pocket lining, I laid the pocket lining right side up and pinned the pocket facings to it (also with right sides up). I lined up the raw edges with the raw edges of the lining and pinned it all in place.
I've basted along the raw edges (within the 5/8" seam allowance) and edge stitched along the folded edge of the facings.
Now it's time to attach the pockets to the front of the pants! To do this, I've placed the Pant Fronts right sides up and the pocket lining right side down. I've pinned and sewn along the angled edge (that will form the edge of the pocket).
Here is a close up of the angled edge. All the other stitching you can see in this photo is the basting and edge stitching that was used to attache the facings. The stitching we just did is along the left hand side of the photo. I've graded the pocket seam to make it less bulky in the end, but if you prefer, you could serge this seam or even bind it so that you have no raw edges when you've finished your pants.
Now that our pocket seams are graded or otherwise finished, we will under-stitch along this seam so that the pocket linings and facings don't roll to the outside when the pants are being worn. To do this, I've stitched through the pocket lining/facings and both seam allowances but NOT the pants front. I've lifted up the pocket lining/facing in the photo below so that you can see the seam allowances hiding underneath...but in real life, of course, I would stitch close to the seam with all of the fabric flat on the bed of the sewing machine.
Like so :)
And another view of me under-stitching (this term used to mystify me when I was a novice sewist so I'm being extra thorough so that anyone who's found themselves confused by written instructions explaining under-stitching need no longer be confused!):
Once we've finished under-stitching we can press the pocket seam with right sides together.
And this is how the finished, under-stitched pocket edge will look from the inside:
After a quick water break...
We are ready to finish the bottom edge of the pocket by sewing a french seam. I've gotten my bearings before starting the process by folding the pocket lining with right sides together along the notched fold line. When folded, Pocket Facing #1 lines up with the side seam as you can see from both the right side and the wrong side in the photo below:
Next I've flipped the pocket lining in the opposite direction along the crease I just made and folded the pocket lining with wrong sides together. In that position, the bottom of the pocket lining (the bottom edge in the photo below that includes both the pocket lining and the bottom of Pocket Facing #1) is ready to be pinned and then sewn using a 1/2" seam allowance (visible on the left in the photo below). The pocket pictured on the right in the photo below is attempting to show you the next step: I've trimmed this 1/2" seam allowance to 1/8"...super tiny!
Now I've turned my pocket right side out so that right sides are together and I've pressed it all flat. Then I've enclosed the raw 1/8" seam allowance by stitching along this edge again, this time using a 1/4" seam allowance. And the french seam is done!
The french seamed slash pocket is complete! Sewing day #1...check!
Katie of The Creative Counselor, the skilled sewist who created this version of the Jedediah Pants, has kindly shared with us an alternative way of sewing the back patch pockets which results in absolutely no raw edges and a very strong pocket - both things that I want in a pocket, that's for sure! Be sure to check it out!
To create the version I've included in the Jedediah Pants instructions, simply follow along here! With our stitching templates handy, we will first transfer the pocket stitching design.
We'll do this by placing layering both pockets together (wrong sides together) and putting the template on top. Choose one of the mountain-shaped stitch lines (I picked the highest) and place pins at the highest and lowest points of the line.
Now flip over the three layers and place pins in through the other direction exactly where the first three pins extend from. Pull off the stitch template and replace the three pins you pulled off with it.
Pull apart the two pocket pieces, leaving a set of pins in each piece. On the right side of each pocket, I've transferred the top highest stitching line using chalk and a ruler to 'connect the dots' between each pin.
With only the top stitching line transferred, I like to sew along this line and then use the markings on my sewing machine bed to measure the distance to the next line. You could simply mark the next two lines with chalk as well but I find it is trickier to make really straight topstitching when I am trying to follow a line instead of watching the measurement on my sewing machine and it's relation to the presser foot. You choose! Either way, each stitching line is about 3/8" apart.
After creating the decorative top-stitching, we are ready to start sewing the pocket. To begin this process, I've used two scraps of binding to finish the top edge of the pocket. I've placed the wider side of the binding on the bottom and the narrower side on the top and then sandwiched the pocket piece in-between the two. I've stitched, catching all three layers.
To create the top corners of the pocket, we must fold along the notched fold line so that right sides are together and then stitch, using a 5/8" seam allowance from the folded edge down to the edge of the binding. Next, I've trimmed along this stitched line so that the seam allowance is 1/4" wide:
Once both pocket corners are trimmed, turn out the corners using something pointy (a knitting needle is good for this!) and press under the rest of the pocket edges at 5/8" seam allowance to match the edge created by the sewn corners. Once done, you will have something that resembles a pocket front!
All that we have to do to finish the back patch pockets is stitch along the top edge of the pockets, 1/2" from the top and then place them on the pant Back pieces. Here is how I ensure that the pockets are level and in the correct place (nothing worse than lopsided back pockets!): First I pin them on using the markings that we made when we cut out the fabric to line things up.
Here is a closer look:
Then I lay the the pant Backs with right sides together and fold back the fabric to see if the pockets are sitting directly on top of each other. If they aren't, I adjust the pins and check again.
Once accurately pinned, we can top-stitch the pocket in place. I like to create a triangle of stitching at the top corner of each pocket for added strength. I do this by beginning stitching 1/2" from the top of the pocket, stitching on an angle to the top of the pocket, over to the edge of the pocket (1/4" away) and then down the side, continuing to the other top corner and reversing the triangle process. Here is a close up so you can better understand what I'm talking about (ignore the yoke above the pocket, we're doing that next!):
Phew! We're done the patch pockets! Take a breather and then we're on to the flat-felled back yoke (I told you it was a bit of a long day!).
I've started the back yoke by pinning the Yoke piece to the top edge of the pants Back with WRONG sides together. The widest part of the yoke is towards the center of the pants (where the sharply curved seat seam is).
Now, lets stitch this seam at 5/8" and then grade the pant seam to 1/4". Be quite precise in this grading as it makes the next steps easier...and be sure to leave the yoke seam at a full 5/8"!
Next, we press the seam open - this will help to create a crisp and straight flat fell seam.
Now, we press the seam towards the yoke:
And then we fold the 5/8" seam down so that the raw edge meets the raw edge of the 1/4" seam in the centre. This is a bit fiddly - careful not to burn your fingers!
Next, we flip the whole package over so the seam allowance is sitting on top of the pants Back (not on the yoke) and the raw edges are hidden. I've pinned it carefully in place to move the pants to the sewing machine.
Lastly, we edge stitch along the folded edge to create the flat fell seam - doesn't it look nice? And it's super strong!
The back pockets are done, the yoke is done and our snacks are done...and tomorrow is an easier day during which we sew the side seams!
Today we have another guest post treat - this time from Katie, the author of the blog, The Creative Counselor. She is the test sewer who made this version of the Jedediah Pants. She used a gorgeous recycled hemp and organic cotton blend and widened the legs to create a totally different style of pants than our slim fit originals - I love how well these pants display the versatility of a well fitting pants pattern - all you have to do is adjust the width or length of the legs to create endless varieties and styles!
Now, lets get ready to sew our side seams - a pretty easy and satisfying set of steps!
Please note: Within newer versions of the Jedediah instruction booklet you are instructed to sew the flat fell inseams prior to sewing the outseams - this is because many people find flat fell seams require a bit of careful sewing! It is easier to sew the flat fell seams first when you can spread the pant legs flat. After finishing your inseam you can add binding to the outseam as the instruction booklet suggests. The sew along shows you how to sew the outseams first and the inseams last - both ways are perfectly acceptable and you can choose which order works best for. Which type of seam feels easier to you? Flat fell or bound seam? Sew the difficult one first and the easier one second!
The sew-along is different from the instruction booklet because I changed the instruction booklet after the sew-along took place (based on customer feedback). The majority of you find flat fell seams to be a little more difficult than bound seams...thanks to everyone who gave their feedback! It is so helpful to me and to all menswear sewists! Ok, ready to get back to the sew-along?
First of all, we'll pin our Pant Fronts to our Pant Backs with right sides together along the side seam (the edge with the gradual curve).
Do you have your binding ready? If not, here is my post on making binding from a vintage handkerchief to help you out, or you can simply use the store bought variation. You'd be surprised how little fabric it takes to make a good sized piece of binding so you could always root through your scraps and use any 10"X10" piece of thin woven material (make it easy on yourself and choose something that maintains a crease well!). If you make extra wide binding like I did, then you will need four 10"X10" squares worth of binding for the side seams (leaving you with a few extra small pieces that you could use later on for the zipper shield).
Now we will pin the binding to one of the side seams (you can start with either the front or the back). Place the narrower edge of the binding on the side you will sew so that the wider edge extends under, sandwiching the seam allowance and reaching farther towards the stitching than the narrower top piece. This will give you a bit of lee-way when you sew to ensure that you catch the bottom layer of the binding.
We can now sew the first edge of the selvage and repeat this process for the second edge (and also for the second leg). Ta-da, beautifully bound seams! Won't these look impressive and colourful when the wearer is putting on his shorts?
After admiring our bound seams for a while (and giving them a final press to flatten out the binding), we can take a few steps to strengthen the front pocket area. You can sort of see the finished side seam and the strengthening stitches below but we will zoom in for a closer look in a second.
To make the bar tacks, you can either use a very tight zig-zag (like a button hole stitch), or do what I did here and stitch for 3/8" using a straight stitch and then reverse and stitch again...and again...and again. I've placed my bar tacks 5/8" from the waist at the top of the pocket and just below where the bottom of the pocket meets the side seam. That way the pocket won't split open or bag out when it is constantly under pressure from being filled with hands and change and keys.
I have edge-stitched, catching the back seam allowance, 1/8" from the side seam along the back of the pants until 1" below the pocket. I then back-tacked for a long ways and reversed and sewed several times to echo the look of the pocket bar tacks.
There! That wasn't so bad! Now, I wonder if you will be tempted to bind EVERYTHING the way I am? It's so simple and yet so effective (and a great way to use up scraps!). Do you like to make your own binding or do you tend to use store bought? Have you ever used one of those neat little binding tools that fold the fabric for you as you iron? I've never had a chance to try one but, since my binding never seems to turn out completely uniform, I certainly am intrigued. See you next Thursday when we sew the inseams!
Eeek! Today is the big day! We have been working away in secret for a couple weeks now in order to prepare for today's post...and here it is: A You-Tube video on how to sew the fly!
We hope that you like it and find it more helpful than photos would be. This is our first time (ever!) making a video so it is far from being professional quality (we have already learned so much that we want to do differently on the next one). And, since I'm really shy, I just have to say - please excuse my nervous awkwardness in front of the camera...it was terrifying!
After yesterday's success with the fly, you're ready for anything, right? Well here's what we have coming at us today: The belt loops, the waistband and then, the button/closure on the waistband. A big day! But it's totally achievable (and couldn't really be separated) because the belt loops are finished after the waistband has already been started...so before you know it all you will have left is hemming!
This is it! The last day of the Jedediah-Shorts Sew-along! Today we'll be sewing the cuffs, or if you prefer, sewing your 3/4" hem. To accompany us as we finish our epic sewing process is some epic Gregorian Chant. Is this not what you usually listen to while sewing? Well you should! Nothing like solemnly belting it out along with the rest of the choir while you victoriously finish the final step of a project :)