Quadra Jeans: My first make in Portland!

I’ve been looking forward to writing this post for about six weeks — and it’s been a long six weeks. My spouse and I decided on June 1st to pull up stakes in Sonoma County, California and move north to Portland, Oregon. We’d been mulling over the move for about 8 years. We fast-tracked the move and by the end of June we were unpacking in Portland.

I printed out the pattern for these Thread Theory Quadra Jeans in the first few days of June — before I packed up my printer — and I’ve just finished them in mid-July. Eric is modelling them with his Pixies t-shirt in the hopes that Charles Thompson IV will round the corner into the Peninsula Park Rose Garden and give us a thumbs up.


The rose garden is really stunning and so far it’s one of our favorite Portland spots.



Eric is also wearing the most punk mask that I’ve made him. It’s made from some cotton fat quarters selected by my new local fabric store: Bolt Fabric. The jeans fabric is a  lightweight grey denim from Joann Fabrics — definitely not too heavy for a hot summer day.



Just like so many other sewists, jeans-making has become one of my favorite activities. The Thread Theory instructions are a marvel. They are so clear and well illustrated. You really could know nothing about denim or jeans-making and just follow the instructions and have a pair of jeans.

The order of construction is different from the Sew Over It Mia Jeans that I made last. For the most part, it worked, but having to topstitch the fly after the crotch and side seams were sewn just did not work for me.


This mess is my third try! The first two were even worse if you can believe that. The bulky fly would not fit underneath my Singer foot and I wasn’t able to maneuver it with the whole pants onboard. Luckily, the Quadra Jeans call for a 7″ zipper, so this stitching is way down low.

Other than this, I had only one other mishap: I accidentally serged one of the pockets to a sideseam. It took a few minutes to sort out, then I ran it under the sewing machine and did a few bar tacks and Eric couldn’t tell anything had happened.

I installed the hardware on 4th of July, which was a great night to do it. There were explosions and fireworks going off all over my neighborhood so no one could hear me banging a metal hammer onto a cast-iron skillet.


I used the Button-Fly Hardware kit from Closet Core Patterns (formerly Closet Case), and also used the tutorial from their Sew Your Dream Jeans class.


I’m not crazy about the black topstitching. Halfway through the jeans, I switched to a natural white topstitching thread (visible on the waistband and belt loops) hoping no one would notice. I am crazy about the rivets, though.

Eric installed his own button. His favorite technique is to set the button back into a tiny anvil I got in a rivet kit and then hammer.


This was completed just after we shared some donuts from our neighborhood donut shop, Coco Donuts. Note below how fast our hands are moving to the donuts. It can’t be captured on film.

It was great to have one project I could work on during the entire move. My sewing machine and a few essential supplies were always with me. At the old apartment, the sewing machine was pretty much the only furniture in the living room. Here’s the new house the day after move-in. The folding table and chairs were borrowed from my brother-in-law before our stuff had arrived in a container.


Here’s the same room today (different angle). So much better!


I’m so glad to be back in a functioning sewing studio and ready to crank out some garments. I’ve got fabric on-hand for one or two of the patterns from the new Sew Over It: Summer Dreaming eBook. Watch for those very soon! -rp