Sunday, 2 June 2013

Sew Liberated Skinny Jeans - preparation...sharpening the axe?

“Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.”

Abraham Lincoln

Some sewing projects require more preparation than others.  I am going to try and share my process of making the Sew Liberated Skinny jeans.  The pattern itself seems simple enough and I think I will be spending more effort on the preparation than on the actual sewing.  Hmm...let's see, shall we?  So far, I have been getting my grubby mitts on the material and notions. 
1. Twin needles
The pattern calls for twin needles.  I have to admit that until a couple of years ago I just thought people sewed two extremely neat parallel rows of stitches and I was in awe of their skills.  Stupid me!  It's a twin needle.  Twin needles have been on my vague to-try list since this discovery and I am happy that the skinny jeans pattern has pushed me to actually buy one and try it out.   I bought mine from Jaycotts. At first I was did I thread two threads?  Thanks to the onders of the internet,  I found a tutorial that I liked here .  Now I am waiting for half term holidays to end and for a peaceful day when I can try out the twin needles.  I have read that you may have to play around with the thread tension before getting it right.  Any twin needle advice?

2. Stretch denim
Buying the denim was a frustrating process all of its own.  I am picky about denim.  I saw some lovely cross hatch denim at Stone Fabrics but I prevaricated too long.  When I rang to order it, I found it was sold out.  I nearly bought some lovely denim on ebay, but my paypal stopped working.  I rang a local-ish fabric shop as I didn't want a wasted journey...their denim wasn't labelled stretch and they couldn't tell me if it was or not.  I went in the end for this dark blue denim from Fabricland.  I was sorely tempted by their scarlet stretch denim and their apple green. Maybe if the pattern works I will try again in red denim.  I have washed the denim and it's waiting to be ironed.

3. Stretch fabric
Oh, I am stumped now. I need a heavy/medium weight stretch fabric for the waistband.  I have no such in my you think a charity shop sweatshirt would do? Or a charity shop tracksuit - if I hack off the waistband and re-use it?

4. Sizing.
I think I have the right size now....I am worried about getting the size wrong.  I have been measuring and reading the size chart. 

That's it so far.  Any advice?  


  1. Hi, I've just finished sewing Burda 7863 skinny jeans. As for the sizing, Carolyn at Handmade by Carolyn wrote that when she tried the Burda pattern, she first took a pair of jeans that fitted her well, and just measured the pattern with the jeans' front and back. I did the same with my pattern, and boy that helped! I would have otherwise sewn a size bigger! You could do the same :)
    As for twin needles, the Burda pattern didn't call for them, just sewn two rows as you also wrote, but I did think about getting a twin needle for next time, as it would have saved me a lot of time. I will write a nice review and some tips about that, maybe tomorrow :)
    As for the other fabric... I can't help, as my pattern didn't ask for a different fabric.
    Happy sewing! :)
    Mary @

    1. Thank you for the sizing tip - that is such a good idea. I am looking forward to reading your review of burda 7863. I am thinking if these jeans go okay, I may get brave enough to try some "proper" jeans!

  2. I've sewn with a twin needle a lot, and my machine has a special button to press....only I sometimes forget and don't notice the difference!! So I just tend to get on and go. The advice I would give, not to fill you with any additional anxiety, is that it's a real pain to unpick!
    It's a good idea sharing your process and questions a,one the way....good luck next stage!

  3. Very brave to tackle both jeans and twin needles!I bought a twin needle about two years ago and have successfully managed to put off experimenting with it ever since.
    I like the sound of scarlet denim.

  4. Go girl! I can not wait to see the skinny jeans. x x x

  5. Oooh, what a fun project! I'm excited to see how these turn out! I don't have much advice to offer as I've never made jeans and I bought a twin needle a few weeks ago but have been too chicken to give it a go!