Friday, 18 February 2011

Jeans - I made jeans!

Hi everyone!

I am so proud of myself - I made jeans!

These are the Hot Patterns Weekender Jean Jeanius Trouser Jeans and I think they turned out pretty good for a first try.

I was inspired by Allison's razor sharp jeans. When she mentioned the right angled seat curve I remembered I had bought this pattern a few years ago and it had been languishing ever since. A quick scan of Pattern Review confirmed the pattern had worked for a number of people so I was sufficiently confident to give it a go.

I can manage most things but have never had any real success with trousers. I have tried every alteration I come across. Some have not worked at all for me, some have worked a bit and some have worked quite well but all have taken major tweaking and the results have never been what I really hoped for. I always end up with extra fabric down the back of my legs and have never figured out how to get rid of it (see Exhibit A and B).

So, long story short, one of the reviews on PR mentioned a one-step pants back alteration that sounded like it might do the trick and whaddya know - it did!

I ended up dropping the seat by 1 1/2" (no wonder I can't buy pants to fit). This results in having to stretch the remaining back leg seam quite a lot to fit to the front but the denim was quite light and cooperated well. I'm not sure if it would be as successful in a less cooperative fabric.

I cut a straight size 16 from the pattern and the only other alterations I had to do were to cut 4cm off the front crotch point and to scoop out the seat a smidge more.

The instructions were pretty bad.  Some pattern pieces were incorrectly labelled so you want to keep your wits about you there.  The fly instructions IMHO were really clunky and ended up with me sewing the whole thing shut (I've never done that before).  Also, correct me if I'm wrong but they don't seem to mention sewing the inside leg seams(!).  Bear in mind I did buy this pattern a while ago and these problems may have been rectified now.

The fabric is a 6oz rigid denim, a bit lighter than recommended but it's summer here.

Okay, i know i am never going to look great in jeans (at least until I get back into reasonable shape) but this is probably as good as I am going to get for now.

I used normal thread in an ecru colour for the topstitching. My primary machine will not get along with topstitching thread, even with the special needle so I have given up trying to use it. In the end i set up a back up machine for the topstitching so I wasn't always changing my thread/settings. that machine works fine with topstitch thread but I had made up my mind by then.

I modelled the topstitching on a pair of Levis but left the back pockets plain as everything I tried looked lame.

I am wearing them with heels here and since taking these photos I have washed them in hot water to get out any remaining shrinkage (the fabric was pre-washed but I don't have access to a dryer) and hemmed to wear with flats as they turned out a little more casual than I wanted.

What's the down side? Well my painstakingly inserted zip is dodgy and keeps coming down. It's too much effort to fix it for now - any tips on getting a metal zip to stay done up?

I am definitely going to use this pattern (and this alteration) again.


Cennetta said...

Beautiful work on the jeans. Looking good.

Adrienne said...

Congrats on your jeans!

Christiana said...

Great work josie!


Anonymous said...

Hi Josie, it was great to meet you yesterday, I hope we will see you at one of our future meets xx I just thought I'd leave you the link to our group blog
I love your jeans, your top stitching is so neat. I am halfway through a Patrones Jeans pattern but I've put them down until the weather cools a bit, it's skirts all the way for me until then :)

gwensews said...

You look great in those jeans. Very becomming. I love a trouser jean. You did some fantastic sewing. Nice work!