Jeans and jeans

Like a lot of sewists, I have a decent size stash and a long list in my head of future projects. 

But a few months ago, one Friday, I threw all those things aside because I was seized with inspiration to make jeans, that very weekend. I downloaded the Named Jamie Jeans at work that day, got the copy shop version printed at lunchtime, then stopped off to buy denim and a zip from Textile traders on the way home.

I bought pretty cheap denim, I think it was $6 a metre, and chucked it in the wash as soon as I got home, and cut the pattern out that evening.

This project is how all sewing projects should be really. I was just full of enthusiasm to have a real pair of jeans come together over a weekend. 

I didn't do anything too fancy in this project, I used grey topstitching - I prefer the look and it's so much easier not to have to swap between regular and topstitching thread when I only have one machine. I used the wrong side of the denim for the pocket detail and some quilting cotton for lining the pockets.

The instructions were pretty good, although I also relied on the Indiesew sew-along and found the instructions for doing the fly zip particularly good.

The fit:

I cut a straight size 42. I did the zip, inside seams and basted the side teams to test the fit. Tight! I knew these were skinny jeans, put also needs to be able to put them on. 
I let the seams out to 6mm and they were wearable, although if you're looking at the pics and thinking they don't look that tight, it's because the denim has stretched a lot and only partially bounced back with washing.

If I were making these again I would add a centimetre to each side seam and take a wedge out of the centre back to deal with the swap back gap but that's all.

I wear these jeans all the time. Jeans really are a breakthrough project for any sewist, because it's a garment that is seems out of reach when you first start sewing, and is actually quite doable. It's also a garment that you can make yourself for potentially a lot less cost than buying in ready-to-wear, and get a better fit. 

I've already made another pair of jeans, the Closet Case Morgan Jeans

I made this pair as an entry to the Indie pattern, and again, this was a pretty straightforward sewing experience, with little unpicking or head scratching, and I love how ready-to-wear they look once finished.

The fabric is lovely, rope-dyed lightweight denim from Potter Textiles in Perth. It was only $10.50 a metre. I cut a size 12 and didn't make any changes to the pattern.

Overall I found the instructions really good. I didn't have a clue how the button fly would go together but I found that by faithfully following the instructions as written, it all came together in the end. This is the first time I've been able to follow a pattern's fly front instructions without having to look up a youtube clip or a sewalong.

A few fitting hitches once I tried them on. The back yoke was gaping badly (a common thing for me) and the legs were way too tight. I let the side seams out as far as I could - the pattern has 1.5cm seam allowance and I think these have 6mm. I unpicked the centre-back seam at the yoke, including the top stitching and took a wedge, 1.5cm out of each side, tapering to nothing where the yoke meets the centre back. This was a bit of a guess but ended up working really well. 

This is first pair of jeans that have ever fit snugly at the back waist, and because of this I didn't add the belt loops as I don't think I'll need a belt to hold these up. I wear this pair even more than the Jamie jeans.

Making your own jeans great and you should totally give it a go.


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