Today I’m taking the baton for the Simplicity Hackalong in aid of the female cancer charity The Eve Appeal. If you’re not familiar with it, essentially Simplicity are harnessing the power of sewing to help raise awareness of the charity and the female cancers it deals with. Use any of the nine patterns from the Simplicity Pattern Hacking range, and join in a WORLD-WIDE SIMPLICITY PATTERN HACK-ALONG to help raise funds, awareness, and be in with a chance of winning some fab prizes. . Share your hack on social media using the category hashtags #hackalongday #hackalongpart or #hackalongvintage. Whichever one best suits your finished garment.
If you don’t use social media you can email your entry (don’t forget to include pattern number and category) to firstname.lastname@example.org
At the end of the Hack-Along Simplicity will select their favourites from your posts in the three design categories. There’s the chance to WIN Sewing or Coverstitch Machines from our friends at Janome and Goody Bags from Simplicity and our sister brands.
Simplicity will be making a contribution to the Eve Appeal for every ‘Hack-Along’ pattern purchased in the UK during the event.
You can find a full list of the patterns included and more deets on whats involved here.
For my own part I opted for Simplicity 8701. Wide-leg fly-front trousers, designed for woven fabrics. Some of the design hacking options this pattern offers include leg length variations, and instructions for distressing denim. I had the most AMAZing barkcloth weave denim to work with from Minerva Crafts. I also have these cut and ready to sew in a black stretch denim. And seeing as I’m completely in love with these….I’m hoping to finish the black pair within the next week…
For this pair I really wanted to show that pattern hacking doesn’t require you to have in depth pattern cutting skills. Starting with a base pattern, like these hackalong ones, you can completely change the look and feel of a pattern by making simple changes and additions. In this instance I wanted to demonstrate how size and placement of pockets can create a different style of jean to the envelope image. So instead of a 70’s bell bottom vibe…the use of a different style of pocket and topstitching gives these a more Utility/Carpenter jean vibe…
The back pockets are actually the same pattern piece used for the front pockets on the pattern envelope, except I angled the bottom corners a little. The oversized patch pockets positioned at an angle across the side seam are simple rectangles with the edges pressed in…
In order to sew the larger pockets over the side seams, I needed to machine baste the jeans together first to establish and then mark the pocket placement. Then remove all the basting, sew & finish the side seams first (different construction order to the pattern), apply the pockets, THEN sew the inside leg/crotch seam in one pass.
I had a real battle with the top stitching on this one and it can best be described as “rustic”. But actually it really works. And worth bearing in mind that your choice of thread for topstitching details can ALSO afford you th opportunity to hack different looks from the same pattern. I opted for tonal shades of blue and grey to pick up on the colours in the weave. But you could also use traditional orang/gold topstitch thread for a different vibe. Hell, bright red or pink or yellow. Why not?!
I used a metal zip for this make. And a little tip that may well save your machine….use pliers to remove the teeth that fall above the stitching line, before sewing on the waistband.
I also always ALWAYS use Closet Case Patterns fly zip construction method regardless of what the pattern says. It just works. Every time.
And lastly, when working with thick fabric like this denim…it can be helpful to use scraps of folded denim to create “shims” that support the side edge/back of the presser foot when edgestitching bulky details like pockets. It helps with feeding the fabric through the machine evenly and makes it less of a battle 🙂
So that’s me done! All that remains is for you to get your hack on! Head over to Simplicity for more details, snag yourself a pattern and get hacking!