New-to-Me Challenge: The Slender Bell Jean by Angela Wolf

No, your eyes are not deceiving you. This is number two of my new to me challenge items, and the one I had originally planned to make before I got distracted by the Kimono Jacket Pattern.

When I was looking through the list of indie designers in preparation for a little bit of indie sewing this month, I came across Angela Wolf, and was drawn to these jeans. Their shape was reminiscient of a pair of jeans loved long ago while I was at college, a beautiful pair from Moto that had lightning bolts embroidered on the back pocket. Sadly, the last time those fit were post glandular fever in my twenties, I no longer have those skinny teenage hips.

So…. JEANS! We can do this people! This pattern calls for denim with 2% elastane/spandex (I used this fabric from Joann), and goes together with the aid of a sewing machine and serger (although you could probably sub the serged edges for zigzag). The instructions were a little hard to get my head around to begin with, especially when it came to assembling the fly, but I made a practice pair to test the fit, and this helped A LOT. I cut a size 12, and used heavy duty thread for the majority of the seaming, with white and yellow topstitching thread for the details, which I purchased from Joann, along with a standard jeans zipper.

Threads

As a little homage to my ex-favourite pair of jeans (and of course the boy wizard), I embellished the pocket flaps with some little lightning bolts, then stitched a little bit of detail on the pockets too:

Slender Bell Jean Pocket Detail

The waistband and belt loops I stitched as directed in the instructions, and I lined the pockets with some bright bright fabric (leftover from a little something I might submit next week for the franken-indie challenge)!

Slender Bell Jean Waistband and Pocket Detail

The jeans I put together as a straight 12, but shortened them by 3 inches at the lengthen/shorten lines, then chopped another 4 inches or so off the bottom, as I have short short legs! The hem is just as directed in the instructions, folded up by 1 1/2 inches, then 3/4 inch turned back in:

IMG_0365

Until you sew together the side seam (pre sewing on the waistband), you can’t really judge the fit, but it is quite easy to make adjustments simply by tapering in the side seam at the knees/waist etc.

Action shots? Here you go……

Angela Wolf Slender Bell Jean

Big flare action!

Angela Wolf Slender Bell Jean

Typical not-looking-at-the-camera-blog-pose

Angela Wolf Slender Bell Jean

Profile view – check out those beautiful pockets!

I think they look pretty good, I like the look of the white topstitching on dark denim, kinda gives them a fancy “Yeah I paid $200 for these” look. The fit on me is a kinda relaxed type fit, which is what I like.

My verdict on the pattern? At first I found it very confusing. But I made a test pair to check the fit of the waist/hips, and that helped me make sense of it. For the most part I found it confusing because it was the first time I had ever made jeans, and assembling the fly is a whole new world! Otherwise the instructions are actually really helpful once you get your head around it, and they went together pretty easily, although it was quite time-consuming with all the steps required, and switching between thread and stitch length for topstitching.

One other still quite confusing bit is the notions list:

Notions

Another 4 buttons? – No, just the original 4 buttons repeated. Also the 1 yard of twill tape? What width? Luckily I had bought 2 spools of topstitching thread, as I would have run out otherwise, so it would have been helpful to have an approximation of how much thread was going to be required for topstitching. Running out mid-project would have been really annoying! Also, the pattern has 45 pages to it! 45! One BIG pattern!

Otherwise, I am LOVING these jeans! As previously mentioned, I have cut these in a very relaxed fit, even though the stretch denim could have probably handled a tighter fit, but I that is generally how I like them, and I like how they fit on me. But I would use this pattern again, and perhaps fit them more around the knees, then tapering out again to a nice big flare, and interfacing the waistband to give it a little more strength.

More pictures available on my blog at BakingMakingandCrafting.com.

22 thoughts on “New-to-Me Challenge: The Slender Bell Jean by Angela Wolf

  1. These are awesome! Love those pockets and the fit is flattering too. I’ve not yet had the courage to make a pair of jeans yet, but when I finally feel brave enough I’ll get this pattern!

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    • Really recommend it! The seams aren’t full flat fell seams, somewhere in between (one side serged and top stitched down over the short edge on the inside) that makes them easier to sew on a home machine.

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  2. I love the jeans, you have done a wonderful job. Am I noticing top stitching on the inside leg and the outside leg? If so, how on earth did you manage to get the leg under the needle. I usually top stitch the inside leg and just down to as low as I can get from the waist (usually to the bottom of the pocket) on the outside.

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  3. These are amazing! They look better than store-bought. I’m so in awe of your skills – I’m preparing to make the Named Jamie jeans (they were going to be my entry in “New To Me” but that’s not happening now) and it’s quite intimidating. May I ask where you bought your denim?

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    • I bought it at Joann Fabrics. This pattern required denim with 2% spandex, and this was the only colour that they had. I would like some lighter denim for my next pair!

      I was really nervous to tackle them, as it was my first time making any proper trousers/jeans, but they were less intimidating than I thought! It just took a while with all the swapping between threads, thankfully the denim was quite lightweight, and I could get away with using my topstitching needle throughout.

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