Friday, July 6, 2018

Pattern review: Jedediah Pants by Thread Theory in Wide Wale Corduroy

I've had the Jedediah pattern for a while now, but we've recently begun stocking the Thread Theory pattern range at The Drapery, so it was time for a review. I have made several pairs of the shorts for my teenage sons, with great success. This was my first time making full-length trousers from the pattern, but really the sewing is no more complicated because all the detail is above the knee!

The 'brief'
The 17y.o. wanted corduroy trousers and was very taken by our wide wale cord. I asked him to find some reference pictures for his 'vision' of the ideal shape, to help me pick the pattern. In the end, after some research, I went back to the good old Jedediahs because I knew they fit him well, and I thought a couple of minor adjustments would achieve the style he wanted: a bit baggy, yet fitted in the waist, and tapered to the ankle.

What did I change?
I changed the front pockets to a higher, curved jeans-style opening. If you would like to do this, remember you also need to change the shape of the pocket facing, which is in 'self' fabric and attached to the pocket lining. It's the bit that shows above the pocket opening. In hindsight I should have made my pocket facing a little bit wider at the top because the lining wants to peek out. However a strategic rivet is helping to keep everything in place.

I also changed the leg shape a little: narrowed a bit at the hip (the Jedediahs have the slightest hint of jodhpur about their roomy hip and slim leg, on my long thin teens), and then widened a little at the inseam and outseam through the lower thigh, knee and upper calf, tapering to the original narrow ankle. My changes were extremely un-technical... just re-drawing lines and making sure the back alterations matched the front.

The instructions have you flat fell the inseams and bind the outer leg seams, which makes for a great feature, especially in the shorts with rolled up cuffs. For reasons I can't actually remember (probably accidental), I flat felled both inner and outer leg seams. It was tricky to do the second side but I like the finish.

For a slightly more jeans-like vibe (and because I am in possession of a large pack of rivets), I added rivets on the back pockets as well as front.

Sewing them up
I find the Thread Theory patterns to be beautifully drafted and the instructions are excellent, resulting in a satisfyingly professional-looking finish. Additionally, they have great online sewalong blog posts to help with each step, so if you get stuck at any step there's plenty of information and helpful photos. I was grateful to my past self for writing a few notes in my instruction booklet, especially around the fly insertion. Once I had my head around it, the fly insertion was the simplest and most fuss-free method I've used.

Having said that, I had a little trouble with getting the fly to sit straight once I'd attached the waistband. I think this was more in my waistband sewing than the fly. I hadn't checked how the waist ends met at the top of the fly, and the buttonhole end was sitting a bit higher. So when I attached the waistband evenly all the way around, the overlapping buttonhole end also sat higher. I did some unpicking and adjusted this and it's much improved, although not perfect. Just a little something to keep in mind next time.

One of the lovely tailoring details in the Jedediah Pants is the easing of the front leg into the back. You're instructed to use an iron to give the fabric a bit of a stretch in specific places to assist the easing, and the result is a natural leg shape that accommodates a knee bend with comfort. (I guess the only drawback of this would be that a plaid fabric would not match front-to-back, so no plaid pants!)

The corduroy behaved itself beautifully and has washed and worn very well.
You can see the slight wonkiness at the top of the fly here, but fortunately Mr 17 is not into tucked-in shirts!

The critical question

Did they meet with the teenager's approval? Why yes! The proof is in the wearing, and these have been worn at almost every non-school-uniform or pyjamas opportunity since they were finished. I'd say that's a thumbs up! (It's hard to photograph teenagers 'in the wild' so pardon the casual/messy pic below but it's proof of the wearing!)


PATTERN: Jedediah Pants by Thread Theory
FABRIC: 100% Cotton Wide Wale Cord in Tobacco (3 colours available)
SIZE: 30
ALTERATIONS: pockets and leg, as detailed above
COMMENTS: Pleasing contemporary, slim-shaped pants or shorts. An excellent base pattern for minor style alterations. I've had great satisfaction from sewing shorts and pants that look really polished and have been worn a lot.

- Jane & Fiona xx

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