Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Jeans Alteration

I've been trying to keep track of the Jeans Sew Along posts on Pattern Review, but with 31 pages of posts and many threads going on at the same time, I'm having a hard time figuring out who did what with which pattern and who needs what kind of information.

I did read a post about gaping issues at center back with pattern 2908. I posted a reply that contains a link to pictures I took of my Gaposis Fix.

I decided to put the link here too since some of you probably don't know about the Jeane Sew Along but still would like to see how to do a quick alteration for this fairly common fitting issue.

Monday, March 16, 2009

2908 - Stretch Jeans Pattern

Our new Women's Stretch Jeans Pattern includes BOTH low and regular rise. The jeans has a back yoke, patch back pockets, flared leg and is designed for stretch woven fabric. Many of you might wonder if this pattern would work with regular denim. I'm not a big fan of non-stretch jeans and have not tried the pattern with regular denim. Since there is negative ease on the pattern, you would have to go a few sizes up for sure, but I don't know how much alteration would be involved.

THE CUT
The low rise is 2-3 inches below the navel (in adult sizes) and regular rise is at the navel. The difference between low and regular rise is barely noticeable for little girls because we don't think low-rise jeans are appropriate for kids.

The waistband is cut on the bias. This is great because it adds a little more stretch and is more comfortable. If you are running short on fabric, you can cut it across or along the straight grain.

THE FIT
This pattern is very close fitting through the hips. No bumps and lumps. Here's a picture of me (and my fuller thighs) wearing the low-rise version in size V.



Here is another picture of a lady wearing size FF. Her waist measurement corresponds to size FF, but her hips were closer to size EE. Since she wanted extra ease on the hips and thighs, we made size FF as is.



THE FABRIC
Not all stretch denims are created equal. Some have more spandex than other, some are stiffer, some have 4-way stretch. I would say that the more stretch the better. However, I try to stay away from thin / lightweight stretch denim that shows every little "post-baby-detail" :)

The fabric you see on the pattern cover is from Fabric.com just enter "stretch denim" in their search box and you will see what they have left.

This pattern works great with stretch corduroy too! They did have some on Fabric.com a while ago, but it seems to be all gone :(

For the pocket lining, we used stretch cotton poplin scraps we had in our stash, but you don't really need a stretch woven for that.

Because denim shrinks quite a bit, PRE-TREAT YOUR FABRIC AT LEAST TWICE before making your jeans (washer + dryer if you plan on putting your jeans in the dryer of course).

THE NOTIONS
Thread: For the topstitching, we used the same thread we used for the construction but using a triple straight stitch that made the topstitches look "thicker" without going through all the trouble of switching threads all the time... It takes more time than a regular straight stitch, but a lot less than re-threading and it looks pretty good :) We used the serger to finish the seams edges before topstitching to prevent fraying.

Buttons and rivets: We used snaps for the little girl's pants (and glued some pink rhinstones on the snap - she loved it) but made a buttonhole (it can be quite a challenge for some machine sewing a nice straight buttonhole through the waistband) and used a "shank" button that looks more RTW for the adult's jeans (and mine :)). We did put rivets on both jeans. It looks really professional and reinforces pocket corners.

Zipper: We used coil zippers for all jeans because we had many on hand. You could also use a brass zipper for a more RTW look.

Interfacing: We used fusible knit interfacing for the waistband (interfacing cut on the bias for stretch) and fly extensions.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

2907 - Cloth Diaper Pattern

Our cloth diaper pattern includes 2 diaper styles and 1 diaper cover pattern in 8 sizes (from preemie to toddler)

A) POCKET OR ALL-IN-ONE DIAPER
My absolute favorites! We tried hundreds of different diapers in the last 8 months and I found that having a waterproof diaper not only looked better, but it is as simple to use as a disposable diaper. Those types of diapers is even accepted in daycare!

The pattern is the same for both styles. The only difference is that the soaker layers are sewn to the inner fabric for the all-in-one diaper. There is an opening in the back to insert a soaker pad (pocket diaper) or turn the diaper inside out (all-in-one diaper) to reduce drying time.

Both feature hook-and-loop closures and laudry tabs.

Now for the pros and cons... Pocket = "Ikea" diaper :) You need to insert the soaker pads into the pocket before and remove it from the pocket before washing the diaper.


All-In-One... Always ready to use, but most all-in-ones take forever to dry because the soaking layers are trapped under a layer of waterproof fabric... I even ripped a fancy store-bought diaper apart after 1 hour in the dryer. At that point, the inner fabric (against baby's skin) felt dry but inside - surprise! - the soaking layers were still a little damp... not good... We had to come up with a better all-in-one than that!

That's how we came up with the idea of leaving the pocket opening in the back to turn the diaper inside out!



Another great thing is that with the opening, you can add doublers inside the diaper for more absorbancy. Adding it on top of the inner fabric also works, but it tends to move around a little.

Cloth diaper making might scare some people off. Well, there is nothing to fear! Not only will you save money making your own diapers (all-in-ones and pocket are usually around $15-$20), but you will be very proud when eveyone starts asking where you bought those fancy diapers :) We even put my boyfriend (who had never used a sewing machine before) to the test. Fabric, pattern, instructions... He successfully made a beautiful pocket diaper on his first try without any help from us!



B) FITTED DIAPER
This one is all-flannel so it needs a waterproof diaper cover. It's great for baby pictures (Henri was only 2 weeks old... so tiny!) and a good choice for moms who want to avoid synthetic fabrics for their baby's diapers. For great absorbency, prefold diapers can be used. This is a very economical alternative too when you cannot find a good deal on cotton flannel :)

For flannel, we used hook-and-loop tape (Velcro) for tabs, but my favorite for this style was one I made with stretch terry. I didn't sew any Velcro and used a Snappi fastener instead (it would work with prefold diaper material too). It's very easy to use and it save some sewing time. Although fitted diapers are pretty popular out there, they are not my favorite because they take quite a while to dry and need a waterproof cover (which ends up looking a little bulky).

FABRICS AND NOTIONS
There are many great online stores selling diaper-making fabric:

Wazoodle (Great diaper fabric selection. Their ProCare barrier fabrics makes the best washable bags for soiled diapers and they have pretty much all the notions you need!)

Kids In The Garden
We used her bamboo velours and suede cloth for inner fabrics. Lots of printed PUL too. Most fabrics can be bought by the inch - great for first prototypes!
Very Baby Their micro terry is our favorite soaking material. Our favorite combination for the soaking pads are 3 layers micro terry + 1 layer Zorb for stiffness (from Wazoodle). They have lots of notions too!

A little piece of advice... No matter which style or fabric you are using, I strongly recommend making a pile of contoured liners (1-2 layers of leftover flannel). This is also included in the pattern. Liners make diaper cleaning easier and avoid stains on the inner fabric.

Also, when you make diapers, start with the two sizes closest (smaller and bigger) to the baby's weight. Try them on, experiment with fabrics (natural, synthetic, organic, thin, thick...) before making the whole set.

Any questions? :)

Friday, March 13, 2009

Here They Are...

The new patterns are now available for pre-order and will ship on March 24th. I will post more details about each pattern over the next few days. If you have any questions about the patterns, please leave a comment and I'll make sure to answer it in the posts.

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

584 Reviews and Counting...

I checked today and there are already 584 Jalie reviews on Pattern Review! I really want to thank all of you who take the time to sit in front of a computer (after hours cutting and sewing) to share your passion with the world.

I'm proud to annouce that the person who writes the 600th Jalie review on www.patternreview.com will win a free Jalie pattern. With the upcoming collection being launched very shortly, you could get a new pattern for free!

Now I have to start thinking about a cool idea for review #1000... Any suggestions? :)

Monday, March 2, 2009

And the Winner Is...

Since we had a few anonymous comments in the list, I decided to print out the names of all the people who entered the contest and have Henri eat pick the name of the lucky winner.

Congratulations to Kelly who won a copy of pattern 2007. Kelly: Please email your address to mail (at) jalie.com so we can ship the pattern to you. Thanks!

Good news! The new patterns are being folded this week and we have almost completed the photo shoots. The new collection should be available soon!