Extremes of Sewing AKA The 39 Steps!

Last week I made two skirts, very simple jersey ones, just two side seams and a waistband. This week I’ve gone to the other extreme and made a denim skirt with 39 steps in it!!

I’ve made this one before, it’s called the Clementine, it’s by Merchant and Mills in their denim range of patterns. It’s actually fairly straight forward, you just have to take your time and go step by step. Luckily all the fiddly bits like fly zips and pockets are stitched whilst the pieces are still fairly flat. The instructions are pretty clear, there’s only one bit that I had to read about three times, but I got there in the end.

I used a black denim from my stash, I bought it last year sometime at Fabworks in Dewsbury – £5 for 1.5 metres, a bargain! It’s quite a firm denim with a little bit of stretch. I nearly did all the top stitching in black but at the last minute I decided to use a variegated quilting thread in pinks and purples. It’s quite bright at the moment, but I’m anticipating that after a few washes with all the dark clothes, it will tone down a bit. The pockets are lined with a sewing themed fabric, I used the same fabric to line the waistband too so I didn’t have two layers of denim to contend with. Last time I made this skirt exactly to the pattern, I love wearing it but I always wish it was just a bit longer, so this time I added 6″ onto the length, I anticipated cutting it back once it was made, but I liked the long length, so I just did the usual jeans hem on it.

The pocket top-stitching is the first step in the whole procedure. Of course this means you have to decide what to put on the pockets. I ummed and arred for a while, last time I put an ECG on the pockets, but I couldn’t decide what rhythm to do – it’s got to be accurate when you’re a cardiac nurse!! The one provided in the pattern was a bit like an M, I decided to stylize it a bit and then had the idea of having my initials on the back pockets, M and C. I was pretty pleased with how they came out – my C could have done with being a bit lower, but it was OK. Then my OH looked at it, couldn’t see that it was M and C and thought it odd that they weren’t the same…well they’re staying!

The zip fly came out OK, I was a bit annoyed with my top-stitching as I thought I’d done it wrong at the bottom, catching in the zip, undid it and restitched it, only to realise it was right the first time, so I had to undo it again!!

As soon as I stitched the side seams up I tried it on and as expected (from last time I made it) it was too big on the waist but OK on the hips, I took in about 3/4″ on each side, tapering it off to the hips.

I had taken the precaution of not cutting out the waistband until I knew how much I was taking in. The waists are funny on jeans, there’s a left and a right, not a front and back, so I pinched a similar amount in the middle of each pattern, double checked the pattern was the right way up, cut it out and it fitted perfectly -phew!!

The only steps I haven’t done is the belt loops, they were to be added right at the end, I still might add them, but I knew I’d never use them and most of my tops cover the waistband anyway!

I tried to play thread chicken at the end and lost big time, with 5″ to go of the hem not only did my top thread run out, my bottom thread ran out too, I thought some thread had got stuck underneath so I had to take the needle plate off…only it’s the first time I’ve done this on my new machine, I ended up getting the instruction manual out to discover a weird piece of metal is actually a (not very easy to use) screwdriver!! Half an hour later…

Until the last half hour I was really please with my new machine, it coped with all the thicknesses of denim, made a very nice button hole too. I got the hang of using various settings for edge-stitching and top stitching. I set up my overlocker next to it so I could switch between the two machines and it worked really well, though in a perfect world you would have one machine set up with top stitching thread and another with sewing thread – there’s an awful lot of changing threads, I was so glad of the easy threading and automatic needle threader!

I’m really pleased with my new skirt, I really must crack on and make some jeans now!

About craftycreeky

I live in a busy market town in Yorkshire with my husband, kids, dogs and chickens. I love trying new crafts, rediscovering old ones, gardening, walking...anything creative really I started this blog after my New Year resolution worked so well. My resolution (the first one I've ever kept!) was to post a photograph of my garden on Facebook every day. My hope was that I would then see what was good in the garden and not just weeds and work, which was my tendency. The unexpected side-effect was that I have enjoyed many more hours in the garden. I am hoping that 'The Crafty Creek' will have the same effect. Happy creating!
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11 Responses to Extremes of Sewing AKA The 39 Steps!

  1. Wow! You did such a great job on this skirt! Your top stitching really add a nice finished look. Bravo!!😊❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  2. nanacathy2 says:

    Very smart indeed- I do like a denim skirt, and this is super.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Amanda says:

    You are clever! What’s the new machine? I’ve just bought a Juki and it’s quite different to my Berninas! Liking it though.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. tialys says:

    Well, you’ve done all the hard parts so jeans will be a doddle for you now.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. CurlsnSkirls says:

    I like a denim skirt as well, and also wouldn’t include belt loops. Well done, especially working through new machine settings on top of the involved pattern! 🌟🌟

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Laura says:

    Margaret, you can sew anything! And the fit is terrific! Bring on the jeans! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I love the MC on the pockets. One of the reasons you sew, I would think, is to have nice fitting, custom looks. This skirt is perfect. Who needs belt loops? I have only one belt that fits. ha…

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Sharon says:

    You must have the best wardrobe in town. Your work is great – the skirt looks perfect and fits beautifully. Stay well and safe

    Liked by 1 person

  9. That is an amazing skirt! You can make all your wardrobe if you like 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  10. kathyreeves says:

    What a great jeans skirt, Margaret. The fit is spot on and your top stitching is gorgeous. It looks like you’ve had a great time getting to know your new sewing machine. On to the jeans!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Well done! You look great! I love topstitching although sometimes it doesn’t come out as I expected!


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