Another Bigger, Better, Redder On Jeans~

January 18, 2018 0 Comments

 Another pair of Red on Jeans. I’m pretty darn proud of this pair. They did not come without a little bit of drama, tho. I was riding high from my last post; I’ve broken thru the ceiling to a higher skill level and beyond words to describe how that makes me feel. It’s a true Zen/Nirvana thing. To find peace and joy, find something you love, and then get gosh-darned good at it. Sewing does that for me. It puts me in the zone.

I knew I would love this. I just knew it. I was in a Target, I believe it was, and saw a $99 Brother sewing machine…it just called out to me. Something inside me said “I will really enjoy knowing how to do that.” I went from the $99 Brother to the Juki HZL-F600, a very nice machine but I never….mmmmmmmm…..bonded (?) with. I then fleeted up to the Bernina B560, a perfect machine for me.  Because I was learning how to sew jeans, I bought the Bernina 1008 mechanical so I could set it up just for the topstitching. I could never remember to reset the machine before/after topstitching: stitch length, tension, changing the thread out, etc. Sew a line of topstitching only to have to unpick it because the stitch length is too small. Turns out, the 1008 is a wonder of a machine. Just a tank! About a year and a half, two years ago, I found a Bernina Record 830 in amazing condition, including cosmetically-it’s one of those that did not have the plastic yellow on it, I bought from a dealer. Back story is a woman bought it years and years ago but never used it so it was like getting a brand new Record 830, I can’t love that machine anymore than I do. The 830 is in DC with The Husband so I can sew when I’m there, too.

{*NOTE TO SELF: Come up with a better nickname for him. “The Husband” sounds stuffy and that is just not who he is. He’s dynamic and bigger than life.}

The B560 is an outstanding machine and I am proud to own it, but because I’ve endeavored to be honest with myself here, if my house burned down tomorrow, I’d take the insurance money and replace all my machines with just the mechanicals. 

Back to the Better Redder on Jeans, I started this pair with the end result completely visualized in my mind, and if anything conflicted with that vision, I picked the seam out and did it again. There was one major boo-boo, attaching the back to the front. Somehow, the right leg got twisted. I don’t know what happened. Of course at first, I thought it had to have been that it had been cut crooked to the strait grain. But, as everyone knows, the fabric is doubled to cut 2 mirror images simultaneously, and I take great care to making sure the grain line on the pattern piece is parallel to the selvedge, so how could *one* of the front legs be just fine and the other one off grain? My intuition took complete control and inspired me to separate the front from the back and try to line them up again. I spent one whole evening unpicking 2 rows of topstitching on each of the inseams, the serger stitches, and of course, the original seam. The entire evening. My wrists ached and my seam ripper hand couldn’t move by the time I had them separated, but I did it. The next morning, I went into my sewing room and began again, lined them up (pinned them! Haven’t done that in a couple of years!) and saw that it wasn’t that one leg was cut off grain. Just somehow,  I skewed one of the legs during sewing and it twisted on me. I put them back together, seam, serged, topstitched. Took me all day, as I was very careful. You know, when that happened, I chided myself a little about getting too cocky and even reminded myself of how pride goes before a fall…from all the bragging in my last post…but then this afternoon, it came to me that I had a vision for what these jeans would be and I was true to that vision. That vision did not include one leg that was twisted half way around my leg. I could have quit and given up, thinking I had cut the fabric wrong like I did with the striped fabric, but I didn’t quit, and here we are, disaster averted.

Today, I attached the waistband, again with great care to try and get it as perfect as I could. Especially the corners where I turned the waistband. Still…not perfect…but…getting there…needs more work…what am I doing wrong???

Anyway, here they are:

Looks like JR is here to stay. Nothing new is coming to mind.


I changed out the serger thread to match. I will be doing more of this, the inside being as neat and tidy as the garment itself is strangely compelling to me. Loving the look!

Apparently, I’ve misplaced the new pocket pattern piece and didn’t notice that I used the smaller pattern piece until it was too late. I don’t care, it’s not going to dampen my enthusiasm for this pair of jeans.

Hand embroidered button hole…I’m getting better!  But the turning of the corner is *still* wonky! What am I doing wrong???


I have been taking a topstitching seam down the side of my jeans to catch the pocket and I love the effect. I totally stole that from other sewists, but I think I take the topstitching down further on the pant leg than I’ve seen others do.

What these jeans are crying out for is a red zipper…right? Red zippers are on order for next time. NOTE: the corner turned very nicely on the button side…still wonky on the buttonhole side. So, I guess I’m getting closer. God help me if I know what that thing is that made this one better than the other.

I sewed this pair with a 5/8” seam instead of my as per usual 1/2”. I’m so happy with the fit. They’re as close to perfect as I’ve gotten to date. It made the legs a closer fit but not like skinny jeans. Heaven help me, my skinny jeans days are far behind me. They look a bit more tailored to me. 

I’ve been thinking realistically about what my personal style is, lately. I want beautiful clothes but they have to be clothes I can live in. I really enjoy going around the sewing blogs to see the gorgeous dresses and whatnot but those garments wouldn’t work for me in my life. Life needs to be comfortable for me, here in my golden years. I RV. I like to get out in the Jeep and go up in the mountains. Jeans and flannel shirts are my preferences in the colder weather. Little sun dresses in when its warmer. 

I’ve got denim for 3 more pairs of jeans. I’m on the fence if I should go ahead and sew them up or take a break and make something else. Since I have that particular  something-else in mind, that’s more than likely the way I’ll go. 


It’s like a dressy flannel T-Shirt. I would make a few changes, tho, maybe tailor it just a little, the cocoon shape wouldn’t work for me, I’m afraid and…like…stay with me here…buttons down the back! The neck is large enough to make it a pullover, but I just see a button band and large buttons down the back, sort of a vintage thing. It’s easy enough that I can follow the line drawings so there’s no need to buy the pattern. I can already see several different versions in my head, so I’ll end up with a few of them. Once I get the muslin nailed, I think I could sew this up in a day. Nice, that.

I need to take a day and clean house tomorrow, and I haven’t sat down at the piano for any respectable time in a week and I seriously need to do that, but next time in my sewing room, I believe I’ll get started on the muslin for this. 

As for new changes…look at this! I found it on the interwebs and I really like it. You better believe I’ll be giving this 2-tone topstitching a try!

Contrasting color topstitching! Loving it!

Interesting idea….I like it, will probably do it as some point…but not so elaborate with the rivets and suede. The front pockets are cool, I like them quite a bit. I’m mostly liking the topstitching on either side of the insert. Yep. That’s in my future.

Well, that was my day. Finishing this pair of jeans and playing with Possum. He’s completely out of his shell and totally out of control. His personality is shining thru but the little guy needs some manners. The sooner the better. He’s 15 weeks and the biting is driving me insane. Because he’s such a little guy, I’ve resisted the urge to box his little ears and settle to just severely scold him instead. He doesn’t care, everything is a game to him but those little teeth of his are like needles! I always offer him a rawhide instead, (they are everywhere on my floors!) but I’m gong to have to get a little bit rough with him. My hands are raw! He’s drawn blood 3 times. The housebreaking is going great, Possum is pretty much there. A couple of accidents but I think it’s because I’m not tuned into him yet. He does come get me when he wants to go out, but I think I’m misreading the cues he’s sending. He comes prancing in to me and I tell him he’s a good boy, I pick him up and love him, pat him on his little head, put him back down on the floor and he struts out saying “Fine. Your closet it is, then.”

He loves, loves, loves the backyard. Loves to run. Every time he goes out, he turns into Insane Puppy and will just run like a crazy fool, good for me, he comes back into the house tired. He’s getting better with car rides, they don’t scare him so much. Again, good for me. I’m an RVer and if he wants to be a part of my pack, he needs to make that car ride adjustment. He seems to know what to expect when I load him up, and he seems to be getting more confident that at the end of the car ride, I am bringing him back home with me. He’s still a little cutie pie. I’m totally in love. Missing Goose and Simon doesn’t hurt as much. I can remember them now and smile. There’s  not such a big empty hole in my heart. Little Possum has filled it.

How Possum rolls. They see him rollin’, they hatin’.

Possum is at the foot of the bed just going to town on a rawhide. I’m fading fast. Stayed up way too late for too many nights in a row sewing and tonight, it has caught up with me. But I am contented. I am at peace with the Universe.

Good talk,

Jyps 🦋


Jypsea Rose