I’m not sure how to begin this post. I’m still overwhelmed with the fact that I made myself a pair of jeans. I guess I’ll start by saying I never thought I would be making jeans. I figured there were things you sewed and things you bought. Jeans fell into the things you bought category. The more I sewed clothes the more confidence I gained. I also started noticing more and more sewists making themselves some very flattering jeans. Maybe I should give it a try… Why not?
I ordered Jalie’s stretch jeans patterns and some denim from Mood Fabrics a couple of years ago. I didn’t make a note of the weight of the denim which is too bad because it s perfect. Even with the pattern and denim sitting in my stash I was still finding excuses not to make my own jeans. When I joined the RTW Fast in December I was going to buy a pair of jeans before the Fast began. I stopped myself from doing this figuring that I should use the Fast to challenge myself. Here’s how I started the process:
- I read countless reviews and noticed sewists having a lot of success with Closet Case Patterns Ginger Jeans as well as Jalie jeans.
- I ordered the Ginger Jeans pattern and compared both the Ginger jeans and Jalie jeans patterns to all of my RTW jeans. I was on the floor of the living room with a tape measure, both patterns and all of my jeans.
- I was going with the Ginger jeans but changed my mind at the last minute because I decided that since I had such success with Jalie Eleonore jeans I would stick with Jalie for my first jeans. The Ginger jeans will be the pattern I make next year.
- I had my husband take front and back pictures of me wearing all of my jeans so I could compare the fit to the jeans I was making at every step of the way.
- I used the fitting guide that was part of the Ginger jeans pattern as well as Pants for Real People by Pati Palmer & Marta Alto to help me fit my jeans.
- I contacted both Julie Starr and Dorcas Ross, fellow sewists, who both made the Jalie jeans, to get their input.
I’ve never fretted over a sewing project as much as these jeans. I finally told myself to get over it and get going.
It took me about a week to come up with a design for the pocket. Pinterest was a big help with that.
My trick when topstitching is to use my open-toe embroidery foot. I line up the edge or the seam, depending on where I’m topstitching, to the inside of the foot. This method has consistently given me good results. I basted the edges of the pocket to make sure the lining didn’t peek out. I baste A LOT when I’m sewing. I made a note of this on the picture below in case anyone was wondering what the diagonal blue stitches were. I used a size 16 Denim needle to sew my jeans.
I chose to make the regular rise jeans. All of my current jeans are low rise and I wanted to add jeans with a higher rise to my closet. I was apprehensive about making the regular rise jeans.
I was nervous that I would wind up with Ed Grimley pants. Fortunately I didn’t.
My jeans are not perfect but they are good enough for a first attempt. I have black denim lined up for another pair. I’m so glad that I finally gave jeans making a try. They were not difficult to sew. Fitting was the challenge but by reading and basting it all came together. I’ll go ahead and say it: I’m proud of myself!