Guys I did it. I survived my first ever attempt at sewing jeans. I know, I can’t believe it either. I’m still in shock.
But, the big question you must be asking (apart from, dude how can I give you a virtual high five), is was it worth it?
Let me just say right now, jeans aren’t easy. They’re totally achievable, immensely satisfying. But it’s not something you could knock out in an afternoon. Well, not me at least.
I chose the Named Clothing Jamie jeans pattern. Possibly not the easiest jean pattern for a total novice. Scratch that, these really are not the best choice for a beginner (I’d imagine Closet Case File’s Ginger jeans have a much simpler construction).
But you know what, I love the pattern.
Those feisty front seams and slanted side pockets just do it for me. I also love the shape of them. So I kinda made a rod for my own back there, but in a good way, if that makes sense.
I have to say I would be nowhere without Allie’s excellent sewalong over on Indiesew. Honestly, she made it all so much less painful then it could have been.
And to be honest, there were some painful bits. I had some epic battles with the pockets and the front pieces. No fault of the pattern, just me being a dullard.
If you look, the outer front sections of the jeans (the front section with the pockets) are the wrong way round. The pockets should be slanting down towards the hip, not up.
I’m not sure what happened there really, just that I had a real mental block when it came to attaching the two sections that make up the front piece. Neither the pattern instructions or the sewalong could help. Bah.
I contemplated seam ripping the whole thing, but I’d already top stitched the two front pieces. And it was already my second time assembling the pockets. So I just ploughed on.
Sometimes you just have to cut your losses and moved forward, right?
Apart from these pocket placement shenanigans everything else was really straight forward (more on construction and some tips can be found below).I’m still not 100% happy with the fit.
I mean look at all those smile lines around the rise. Ugh. Actually don’t look. Not quite sure how to fix that, but I think it has something to do with the rise curve. Back to the drafting board me thinks.
I’m most proud of the fit around, well, the back (not sure I’m loving the way my rear fills up that whole shot there, but hey, sewing blogger problems, right?)
The curve around my waist is pretty spot on and I think it’s pretty flattering. There’s still a few more lines here then I’d like, but I have no idea how I would fix that. And besides, I sewed me some jeans, so, I win at sewing 🙂
So, back to the question. Is it really worth the hassle?
This was probably my most satisfying make of 2016. Sure there’s still plenty I need to learn, but it’s been a real positive experiment – wonky pockets and all.
If you’re a competent sewer (which I would define as knowing your way round a zipper and be willing to have a go) then you should definitely, 100% put jeans on your 2016 sewing hit list.
Pattern: Named Clothing Jamie jeans Fabric: a stretch denim in a grey colour way from Backstitch in Cambridge
What changes did you make to the pattern or construction?
I sewed a straight size 38. I then used the baste and fit method (explained by Allie in her sewalong) to make a few adjustments, including changing the shape of the waistband to make it less arc shaped and much (much, much) more of C on it’s side – thanks to a sway back and relatively small waist to hip ratio.
I also took in some fabric along the side seam. Though in truth I should have been bolder and taken in more. The recovery is really poor, so the jeans get baggy after just a few hours. Definitely worth being bold adjusting the fit.
I skipped the belt loops. I don’t really like wearing belts and figured my adjustments with the waistband would compensate, which they do mostly.
What did you learn?
What didn’t I learn?
And I can sew jeans. For real. It’s not scary, just a few different techniques to learn. Sure jeans are never going to be a quick sew, but they are immensely satisfying.
What are you most proud of?
Dude, I sewed some jeans.
The top stitching is not clear – I used the same colour thread so I could be safe. I think I was more scared of this than anything else, since I’m usually so slap dash. But I kinda now wish I’d gone for a contrasting colour since my topstitching actually came out alright.
What will you do differently next time?
I would love to do this pattern again. I love the shape and the front seam detail. The pocket detail’s also pretty sweet, especially if you get it the right way round 😉
But I’m pretty keen to try some different styles as well.
I got given Closet Case File’s ginger jeans for Christmas and am raring to make a pair of high waisted skinny jeans in black stretch twill or dark blue stretch denim.
I’ve also got my eye on Baste and Gatherer’s funky looking Birkin flares for summer (perfect, right?) and her soon-to-be-released skinny jeans.
Let’s just say I’ve caught the handmade jean bug and there’s no going back!