Frustrated by my seeming inability to spend any large chunks of time at my sewing machine (i.e., no time to really sit down and quilt), I have been focusing on small projects that I can get done quickly. These pants I recently made up for Little Bear are a good example. They only took about 2 hours to put together.
I made these using Kwik Sew 3374. The details attracted me to this design: lots of topstitching, the little coin pocket, the front fly look, the back yoke, and the fact that they are simple, pull-on pants. I also really appreciate Kwik Sew sizing-- the patterns I've tried by them always seem to be roomier in the bum, making them great for cloth diapers.
As always, the Kwik Sew instructions were great. But it wasn't all smooth sewing on these pants. My machine did NOT like the topstitching thread. At all. I had the worst tension problems. And it was extra frustrating because I have used the thick topstitching thread in the past, but I've never had problems before. In the end I had to use my extra bobbin case so that I could really mess with the tension screw, I cranked up my top tension to 7, and I needed a longer stitch length (I used a 3). The needle definitely made a difference too-- I used a 90/14 topstitch needle (though if I had had a 100/14 on hand, I would have used that). I think I probably spent more than an hour messing with just the thread. I actually went through a whole spool just trying to get it to work. Ugh! In the end, though the stitch still wasn't perfectly balanced, at least it looked good from the top.
The other challenge for me on this project was the waistband. The instructions have you create a casing around the elastic all in one step. It made sense, and appeared easy enough. But I kept sewing through the elastic instead of creating a casing for it. So I ended up having to scrap the instructions and create the casing first and insert the elastic as a separate step. I think it might have been partly due to the denim I was using-- I just couldn't feel where the elastic was through the thickness of the fabric. I took the long way around, but it worked out just fine.
And Little Bear definitely seems fine with his new pants:
Now it's time to do some sewing for Big Bear!