~ Mimi's Adventures in Crafting ~

The musings and adventures of a "forty-something" wife and mother whose inner-artisan has been reignited. Enter my realm and enjoy....

Monday, November 16, 2009

M5142: The Finishing Touch

I am in the home stretch…starting off with my belt loops I did not make them according to the pattern or with the directions that the instructor of our “Build Better Blue Jeans” course gave us. I wanted to eliminate a few layers of bulk so once again I matched up to what my RTW jeans had. I still utilized the belt loop  pattern but cut it a little longer being as I wanted to use a thicker belt for these jeans and you need to account for that. I folded and pressed wrong sides together then brought the raw edges into the fold and pressed again. I unfolded the fabric and serged the length of the loop piece ½ way between the first fold and the second fold. I then folded the raw edge in first with the serged edge over it thus making a loop of three layers. Being as my jean fabric is so dark I stitched with my conventional machine down the center of the loop to hold the layers together then topstitched the loop on each edge. Set aside.

Moving on I opted to do a “Rocketboy Waistband." You can find information on this on page 31 of the Jeans Sew Along thread on Pattern Review. I modified some of his techniques being as he utilized glue on a good portion of his band and I prefer not to. The M5142 has two band options of which I chose the one piece band in matching up to my RTW’s.

Up first the interfacing:

I used a fusible interfacing but in an unconventional way. Being as the waist seam is 1” I folded the band on the fold and pressed lightly on the fold only to fuse together. I trimmed 1” off one side then pressed remaining side down being sure not to touch the exposed fusible with the iron.

I then trimmed ¾” off the exposed fusible edge.

Fold the denim waistband, wrong sides together and press. Open back out and mark the 1” seam line on the wrong side then trim 7/8” off of the other edge. I left 1/8” for turning ease and too make sure the band gets caught when topstitched.

Turn band over so your cut edge is face up

Mark a ½” line from the fold.

Stick down the basting tape along this line, peel and stick your fashion fabric down right sides together along the basting tape line. Do 6-8” at a time then peel some more and stick down until complete. 


Flip the band over, open flat and darken your fold line with your marking pencil/pen. You will be stitching close to the fold on the side that was previously trimmed. Do not stitch on the 1” seam side of the fold. I matched the fold up with the center of my foot and offset my needle from the center position and stitched.


I removed my basting tape and pressed the fashion fabric towards the cut side of the denim. Because you stitched approximately 1/8” away from the fold you will now have a small amount of jean fabric that will be showing.


Flip your band over having fabrics laying flat. Now press your fashion fabric over your trimmed edge encasing the raw edge being careful not to press out the center fold.

You will notice my fashion fabric is over the center fold line; I trimmed it down to 5/8” and pressed it down with stitch witchery.

Take your interfacing and place inside the fold with the fusible side down against the 1” seam line. Close the band to set the interfacing in place, it will shift a small amount away from the fold. Open out again, press the fusible down. I remarked my 1” stitching line on the interfacing.


I used the rotary cutter to cut my waistband and fashion fabric out in doing so I cut them with some extra length to deal with any fitting issues. Make sure you leave an appropriate amount over-hanging each end by the zipper opening before sewing the waist seam. Stitch your waistband to the top of your jeans.

Trim and grade your seam allowances. Sew the ends of your waistband at the zipper and fly guard, trim, turn, press and then I hand stitched the waistband down.

Topstitch ¼” around the edge. My RTW’s were edge stitched but I knew I’d have issues going through the layers and opted for ¼” topstitching instead. Cut your belt loops to size, fold over edges and stitch to the jeans according to your preference. I bar tacked mine down based upon the RTW’s.

With the extra piece of fabric that was cut off my waistband when I attached it I practiced making buttonholes with my automatic buttonholer. Oh…it came beautifully(my pic is a little blurry)…but when put to test on the jeans themselves…it was a…NO GO…due to the layers of fabric and the foot getting stuck so I had to go with making a buttonhole the old fashioned way. It came out ok…not the best but it will work. Besides it is only going to get covered up by a belt anyway.

Finally…THE HEM…

Whooo Hooo….a completed pair of jeans that actually fit my long legs!!!


Please Note: Measurements were based upon the M5142 pattern seams and you will need to adjust those measurements according to your patterns seam allowance.

Update: 11/18/09

I've mentioned throughout my posts on these jeans that I was taking an online sewing class (Build Better Jeans) offered through Pattern Review by Shannon Gifford of Sensible Sewing.  I know I set up links on the "Mail Call" post but I don't believe I've added any other links.  Please visit these links for more information.  The class was very informative and the instructor was extremely helpful and had wonderful materials that you could print out and keep for future reference.

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