Monday, July 1, 2013

Finished x 9 + 2!! And my First Hand-Worked Buttonhole!

Holy cow, peeps! I was crazy productive this weekend! Not only did I finally finish my linen jeans-style trousers, but I sewed 2 wrap skirts, 2 tote bags and 4 simple knit tops. I also cut two additional bags and finished two knitting projects. Seriously, that is 9 sewing and 2 knitting projects complete! (Happy dance!)

Long story short: I'm on a doctor-ordered week off from running/yoga/PT/all things strenuous. Since I baked up a storm last weekend and had no plans, I had nothing to do but sew and knit all weekend long. And my mojo showed up with her game face on. Yeehaw! Who knew I could be so productive with no other hobbies fighting for attention and a roster of easy projects?

The only problem: I haven't photographed any finished projects yet. However, my show-and-tell for today is some finishing steps on the trousers including my first ever hand-worked buttonhole.

Buttonhole: done by hand.

When I decided to go with a jeans-inspired look for these trousers, I thought they needed a jeans button. However, my sewing machine has had problems with waistband buttonholes in the past. So, I decided it was as good a time as any to learn how to do a buttonhole by hand. Thankfully, Sunni wrote a great tutorial. My buttonhole is not particularly pretty, but it is functional and I think (hope) it will hold up.

See, not so pretty up close.

I hand overcast the hole before stitching in order to deal with the fraying and bulk of this particular fabric and it's underlining and fly pieces. Trying to get evenly and closely spaced stitches remained challenging. I can't help but feel that on a thinner, less ravel-prone fabric this would have been significantly easier. Thank goodness for my thimble.

Since we are looking at the waist, I should add that my idea of turning the waistband to the inside to use as a facing and then adding a row of gold topstitching to create an ersatz waistband worked out very well. I had to shorten the zipper a bit and, overall, the fly area is not as neat and pretty as it was before, but the waist now sits where I want it and the crotch length looks much better.

Before: Real waist band

After: Ersatz waistband and jeans button (bad lighting)

One unintended side effect of raising the crotch/waist was much less length at the hem. Fortunately, I had planned on a deep hem, which all but disappeared. However, doing a faced hem added the length I needed for a nice deep hem that I top stitched.

Faced hem from the inside.

And top stitched from the outside.

I'm glad these trousers are done. They were much more work than anticipated. Hopefully, it will be sunny enough tonight to snap a few pics and get a final post up! Stay tuned because there is a lot more to tell this week with all my finished projects!


Clio said...

Hurray! Finished objects! Beautiful buttonhole -- and the buttonhole stitch, with its nice little bead of knots along the opening, really does hold up better than zig-zag machine buttonholes. Happy Independence Day to you and yours.

Clio said...

I really liked the buttonhole stitch! It definitely feels sturdy. Back atcha!

Clio said...

This was my most productive weekend eh-ver. I have no idea how it happened.

Clio said...

Wow! And here I thought I was all productive since I finished a (very simple) dress in one day yesterday. Amazing progress!

Clio said...

I end up doing most of my jeans buttonholes by hand---they're not pretty either, but they hold up well and don't give me the bajillion headaches trying to do them by machine does.

Those look super comfy. Can't wait to see the whole thing!

Clio said...

They look pretty good from what I can see in the photos! I did hand-bound ones on my 40s overalls. They took awhile, but I think they were worth it for sure. Boo on machines not doing well with buttonholes.

Clio said...

Thanks! The way these trousers came out, they could also be from the Rosie the Riveter era, like your overalls!

Clio said...

You do them all by hand!?!?!? OMG. I bow down to your jeans supremacy.

Clio said...

In fairness, I didn't sew anything challenging except for the finishing steps of the trousers.

Clio said...

Well, I usually TRY by machine. It's only one buttonhole per pants, c'mon! Takes less time than hemming by hand would :)

Clio said...

You did a great job with the trouser jeans, which are my favorite jeans to wear.