I MADE jeans!
I want to shout it from the rooftops!
Like as in real actual life jeans!
And they may just be the best darn jeans in the whole wide world……
……..as far as I am concerned 🙂
Try as I may while writing this post I could not contain my joy, exuberance and incredible sense of achievement. So heed my call: If a bubbly/ super energetic / hyper / super-happy post is not your thing, turn away now.
There are a lot of pictures because I love these pictures and well…the blog is my record of things I make so you have been warned……
Now back to the good stuff….If you haven’t heard of them – the Birkin flares (by Baste and Gather) is so reminiscent of 70’s style jeans which I was instantly taken by. It reminded me of seventies icons like Pam Grier and Farah Fawcet.
I have wanted this pattern for a long time but I never ever thought I could make the jeans. I even got the denim during a sewing blogger meet up in February. It was a cheap denim at £5/m. I think it has about 5% Lycra content so it has great stretch and is super soft. I still procrastinated because I feared the fly.
This challenge was just the tonic. I decided to follow the age old adage: “just take one step at a time“. Before you know it I was sewing the inseam and I could try on the jeans!!!!!
Jeans that I made myself!!
Construction details… I cut a size 28. Due the stetchiness of the denim I ended up taking in the side seam 1/2″ and the inseam 3/8″. There was gaping at the waist that I resolved by pinching out at waist and grading to 0 at hip. I got away with this due to the stretchiness – I’d need to dart in the back yoke if I use a non stretch denim.
The instructions are genius – the beauty of this pattern also lays in the well drafted excellent instructions. Its like Lauren is walking you holding your hand throughout the whole process. Each step is explicitly broken down and explained – I had no head scratching moments.
I will also say that the pattern booklet gives a great guide on fit and its very helpful in determining which size you should choose.
I even installed a jeans post button and hammer on rivets. I enjoyed this so much I got carried away and accidentally added an extra rivet. But I am not going to tell you where :-).
Speaking of hammers, taking a hammer to the seams was a novel experience that I thoroughly relished. Its amazing how it gets the seam nice and flat for topstitching.
Which leads me to my weakest point: the topstitching. I wasn’t very good at topstitching evenly to be honest. I am too impatient to unpick as well, so there. But hey who cares? I made jeans!!!!!!!
I bought 1 spool of topstitching thread – I was being optimistic. OK – incredibly optimistic. It finished a quarter way through. Being in the swing of things, the idea of stopping was a no no so I did what others recommend on Google – used 2 threads on the upper needle. Skeptically I threaded 2 spools and it worked – I dare you to look at the pictures and see if you can tell which bit has expensive topstitching thread :-P.
My one and only qualm with this pattern is the coin pocket. You have to make up the coin pocket just like the back pockets with all the corners etc but because its a small wee thing, its more fiddly. Then you have to hammer the seams and top stitch all around the coin pocket. The most excruciating bit is the lower corners – but here’s the thing – you don’t see the bottom half of the coin pocket. Next time I will just serge the bottom and save myself a bit of time.
Apart from that tiny issue – Its a fab pattern! The jeans make me feel like a denim vixen.
So for pictures I was just so high on a feeling of success/achievement/reaching a new PB and it turns out I can’t take a calm picture when I am feeling so….ebullient. Bear with me – its a big deal for me that I made jeans –
I LOVE my jeans! The kick flare and the high waist give this pattern a 70’s chic appeal that cannot be matched. Its no wonder this jean has been made by many other seamsters and is adorning all body types in the blogosphere. It hugs the hips, elongates the leg and let’s face it – makes the bum look fab – everything you want in a great pair of jeans amirite?
Still not sure you can make jeans? I have devised an ingenius quiz to help you know for sure:
- Do you wear jeans? (Yes or No or Maybe)
- Can you sew a straight line (Yes No Maybe)
If you answered Yes to both questions then Congratulations! Yes! You can in fact make jeans.
If you answered No to 1 and yes to 2, you can still make jeans even though its not a style choice for you but be rest assured that if you ever wanted to you can in fact make jeans.
If you answered no to both questions – I am still really glad you read all the way to this point. You are totally rad! Thank you 🙂
Seriously its not that difficult at all – I sound so evangelistic about this but if like me you have mythicalised the making of jeans to the extent that you bought the Craftsy jeans class over 2 years ago, watched it but always thought you’d need at least 2 dedicated months to make jeans – you are so wrong (I made these in 4 days btw). Anyway I am going to stop – did I mention I made jeans!
Leave you one last happy happy shot 🙂
Big shout to the The Monthly Stitch team who have devised an absolutely fabulous IPM2016 that challenges and pushes peeps outside comfort zones only to discover that being outside that zone is exhilarating.
Happy Sewing everyone!
Peace and love
PS In case it wasn’t clear from the hyper active pictures these jeans are so comfortable I do have more crazy pictures over at my blog SaturdayNightStitch.com