Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Sewing the Yoke - Style Arc Misty Pull-On Jeans Sewalong

Friends, here is our next step in the Style Arc Misty Pull-On Jeans Sewalong.

Step one in the pattern states, "With right sides together sew the back yoke to the top of the back, follow the notches, press the seams upward and twin needle the yoke edge."

I am going to make no assumptions about your sewing prowess.  So let's start with the idea of putting the right sides together.  Hopefully, you went with a denim that is not as crazy as mine.  The right side of your denim is the side that you would be able to see when you are wearing the denim.  Are you following me?

With right sides of the back pattern piece and the yoke piece together, make sure that your double notch lines up.

Putting Double Notches Together - Style Arc Misty Pull-On Jeans

I pinned the fabric at the first notch.  Then checked the edges of the fabric to be sure the seams lined up correctly.

Notched Seam Allowance - Style Arc Misty Pull-On Jeans

This notched edge (above) is where I intend to start sewing.  I aligned the notches at this edge and pinned my pieces together.  I will be honest in that I don't normally pin seams, but I wanted to take that step, because I feel that it is important to many beginners.  Did you figure out that Style Arc gives you a notch to show what your seam allowances are?  Yep, that little notch is 3/8 of an inch in, and let's you know this is where you should start your sewing.

Seam Notch Allignment - Style Arc Misty Pull-On Jeans

On what will be the far end of your seam (the center back edge), there is a notch in the yoke, and no notch in the back pattern piece.  At this end of the seam, it is important that your fabric line up at the seam, so you will have an extra little triangle of fabric sticking out above the notch.  That is proper alignment.  You didn't do anything wrong.  If that little triangle annoys you, just snip it off after you have sewed your seam.

Now that you have gotten your pattern pieces ready to sew together, it is time to get your sewing machine set to sew this seam.

Lightning Bolt Stitch - Style Arc Misty Pull-On Jeans

 I am using the #4 lightning bolt stitch on my machine, though the #5 zig zag would also be perfectly acceptable here.  The point is you want to pick the stretch stitch that you prefer.  Some people will also sew this with a straight stitch, but to do that you have to stretch your fabric to its max stretch as you go, and I don't suggest that method for beginners.

Serger Sewists - If you are using your serger, this would be one of the seams that you want to serge.  Just make sure you use the 3/8 inch seam allowance instead of the normal 5/8 you get with most patterns.

Schmetz Universal Needle - Style Arc Misty Pull-On Jeans

Let's get a proper needle in our machines now.  I chose the Schmetz Universal 80/12 needle for this project.  Though this is a stretchy material, at it's heart it is woven.  So, I went with the universal needle.  As for size, my denim isn't thick or heavy and I am using normal everyday thread, which is why I chose the 80/12 size.  If your denim is heavier (more denim like) you may want to use the Jeans Needle in the 90/14 size.  If you are using a knit jegging material, go for the Stretch Needle in the 90/14 size.  Let me know if you have any questions.

Now it is time to thread our machines (I hope we all already know how to do that), and get started.

Throat Plate 3/8 Seam Allowance - Style Arc Misty Pull-On Jeans
I have aligned my fabric so that the seam allowance notches are centered with my needle, and my fabric lines up at the 3/8 inch marking on my machine's throat plate.  I did tack back and forth to anchor the stitch.  Just be careful if you decide to do this, because your machine may want to eat the fabric.  Ask me how I know!  Now, just sew your seam all the way to the center back edge.

Puffy Seam -  Style Arc Misty Pull-On Jeans

Once your seam is finished your piece(s) will look something like this from the right side.  Can you see that there might just be a pair of pants coming together yet?  This seam is going to need to be flattened for proper finishing.

Iron Setting - Style Arc Misty Pull-On Jeans

Get out whatever trusty iron you use, and set it for the Silk setting.  I want it a little warmer than synthetic, but I don't want to melt or compromise the lycra in my fabric, so nothing warmer than silk just to be on the safe side.

I will be ironing from the wrong side (inside) of the pants.  This is the, "Press the seams upward," part of the instructions.  So you are taking your seam allowance and folding it upward towards the top of the yoke piece.  At this point you want to press your iron on to your fabric for 5 seconds.  No steam needed.  As you move across the seam with your iron make sure that the seam is being pulled taught so as to lay flat.  In other words pull at the yoke piece with one hand, and the back piece with the other so that your stitches are flat against the ironing board and no extra fabric is beneath the seam line.

I used my clapper after every pressing.  The clapper will help to quickly draw the heat out of the fabric and keep your seam crisp.

Pressed Yoke Seam - Style Arc Misty Pull-On Jeans

After pressing your seam will appear flat like this.  Note how the pattern of my fabric is aligned across the seam because of how I lined the notches up when I was laying out the fabric.  This was discussed in the Cutting Out the Pattern post.  

The final step in this phase is to twin needle the yoke edge.  Here are some things you need to know about how this step went.

Schmetz Universal Wide Twin Needle - Style Arc Misty Pull-On Jeans

I used a Schmetz Universal Wide Twin Needle.  You can decide how wide you want your twin seam to be, but to me this looked the most like RTW jeans.

I threaded my twin needle according to the directions for my machine.  All machines are different, but I did do a tutorial a while back on twin needle sewing.  You can read that tutorial here.  It might help.

Twin Needle Alignment - Style Arc Misty Pull-On Jeans

I am not trying to break my arm patting myself on the back here, but look at that pattern line up across the seams!  I lined the seam up with the 1/4 inch line on the left side of my universal sewing foot.  By following that line, my stitches will stay straight, and my folded under seam allowance will stay under the needles.  Make sure to check that your seam allowance is still folded in the proper direction.

Stitch Length/Twin Needle Function - Style Arc Misty Pull-On Jeans 

I decided on a 3.5 for my stitch length and set my machine for twin needle stitching.  I like this length for top-stitching on jeans.  Now, just sew the length of the seam with your twin needle.

Serger Sewists - If your machine has a coverstitch capability, you will want to use that function here, instead of a twin needle in your straight stitch machine.

Once you have sewn both of your pattern sections (left back/yoke and right back/yoke) you are finished with this step, and should have something that looks somewhat like this.

Finished Back and Yoke Pieces - Style Arc Misty Pull-On Jeans

Your pieces may look a little rippled.  That is fine and normal.  If you give them a little stretch the seams will look flat and wonderful, just as they will look stretched across your backside.

Friends, tell me am I being too in depth here?  I don't want to bore you all to tears, but at the same time, I want even a beginner to be able to understand the process here.

Next Step:  Sewing the Back Pockets


  1. I'm not a beginner, but I wanted to comment to say that your writing is both detailed and clear. Which is a tough combination to achieve. Nice work!

    1. Thank you Birdmommy! That is what I am going for, so I am glad to know that it is coming across.

  2. Alicia, agree with Birdmommy. I've never twin needled before, so this has been a great help! Thanks so much :)

    1. Thank you Ashley, I am so happy that I am able to help!

  3. You are not going into too much detail! I am so thankful for all your help. I had been planning to make these jeans before I found out about your sew-along, and I had no idea how little there is in the directions in the pattern. I'm a beginner and I would have been lost. Thank you!