Wednesday, 11 April 2018

Finally - a pair of Jeans!

I've made jeans! I still can't quite believe it... I am so happy and excited to be sharing them today. Jeans are one of those things that a lot of people are scared about sewing. After having put them off for so long, I have finally made a pair. My parents gave me the Closet Case Patterns Ginger Jeans sewing pattern for Christmas (apparently fed up from hearing my constant 'some day' when referring to sewing a pair of jeans) and it was exactly the push I needed to get started on them.

I used an indigo stretch denim from Minerva Crafts. Ordering fabric online is always a risk, but I could not have been happier with the colour of it when it arrived. It's a really lovely shade and has a nice weight to it. After pre-washing it, I was set to go. Denim does fray a lot, so I made sure to finish all my seams with a zigzag stitch. As I said, I used the Closet Case Patterns Ginger Jeans sewing pattern to make these. The pattern comes in two views, I decided to make view B which features a high waist and skinny legs. It's exactly the kind of style I like, and the waistband fits perfectly above my hips.

In the end, the fabric that I used meant that my jeans don't look exactly like the view on the pattern. This is because the pattern requires a fabric with slightly more stretch. However, I found that it worked fine with the amount of stretch that my denim had, it just meant that I couldn't have the legs super-tight. To be honest, I'm quite pleased with this as I like the look of the slightly wider legs that view A feature, but much prefer the high-waist of view B, so I suppose that my jeans are a slight combination of the two.

I didn't realise that my fabric wouldn't account for the negative ease required in the pattern until I tried them on for the first time, so I would highly recommend basting your jeans on the side seams. I ended up sewing the side seams quite a few times, but this was easy to do seeing as I used a wide stitch length. I would also recommend trying them on again and again - while it's tedious, it will mean that your jeans will fit much better at the end! To hem the jeans, I cropped them first. It's a style that I like and I'm really pleased I did it.

To be honest, I was really surprised at how quickly these jeans came together. I think that the thing that scared me the most was the fitting, but now that I have mastered that my next pair will come together quicker and easier (because there will be many more pairs!). The fly insertion was actually one of my favourite steps, simply due to what felt like magic at the end! I used the Closet Case Ginger Sew-along for the instructions, and I would highly recommend it as the pictures seem much clearer than in the instructions. I know that a lot of people are wary of sewing flys, but  the instructions are really clear and once you've done it I'm sure you'll be amazed at how much more simple it is than it seems!

Fitting wise, the main things that I did were to sew the legs with a smaller seam allowance (due to the un-stretchiness of the fabric) and to take in a chunk at the centre back seam. This is the same thing that Lauren from Guthrie and Ghani did with her Ginger's, and after suspecting that I would need a similar adjustment I'm pleased that it worked out well. My waistband was still gaping slightly in the centre back after this so I actually sewed a dart in the middle which makes it nice and snug but is covered by a belt loop anyway so isn't noticeable. Before cutting into my fabric I also graded into a smaller size at the waist, something that you can see how to do here.

Possibly my favourite part of these jeans are the rivets. I decided to go with colour-coordinating top-stitching thread, but wanted to go for bronze rivets. As it was my first time sewing a pair of jeans, it was also my first time installing rivets. Like the sewing, the rivets were so much easier to do than I had imagined! I absolutely love them, I think they make the jeans look so much more professional. As I mentioned, I used colour-coordinating topstitching thread. It isn't actually an exact colour match because topstitching thread doesn't come in that many colours, but it is a shade of blue that I think really complements the denim and I love the look that the parallel topstitching gives.

I also really like the contrast pocket stay which I did in a lovely Liberty fabric left over from the pocket lining of my Brumby skirt. It makes me smile to see the fabric each time I put the jeans on. You could also choose to use a contrast fabric for the waistband facing, but I decided to go for the same denim so that I wouldn't have to use interfacing. I also used a slightly different technique when attaching my waistband, I'll try to take some photos when making my next pair (whenever that may be!).

Phew, I think that's about it! Overall, I still can't quite believe that I've made a pair of jeans, nor justify just how much I love them! I know everyone says this, but don't be afraid to give them a go.  Not only were they actually a lot of fun to make, but jeans were something that I was clearly lacking in my handmade wardrobe, and I can't wait to make more pairs - I know that these will be getting lots of wear.

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