I am so excited to share my first ever pair of me-made jeans! I still can’t believe I made myself a pair of jeans. I have to say it is one of the most empowering garments I have sewn so far. Not only did it challenge my skills and take them to a whole new level, but being able to make custom fit jeans just for my body – no number or size attached – has been a huge boost in my confidence.
Jeans shopping was always so demoralizing for me. Being 5’0” with an athletic build, I always struggled with fit. Ready-to-wear boyfriend jeans fit like regular skinny jeans on me, and squeezing my muscular thighs into skinny jeans has always been difficult. I would always have to go a few sizes up to get my legs in, leaving the waist way too big. Oh yeah, and don’t forget the annoying bunching at the ankle due to them being too long!
When I started sewing and seeing other sewists’ jeans, I knew that someday I would make my own pair. I also knew that I wanted to make myself a pair of boyfriend jeans, since I had never been able to buy a pair of boyfriend jeans that actually looked like boyfriend jeans on me. When I came across the Closet Case Patterns Morgan Boyfriend Jeans I knew they would be the ones to make! I also knew I wanted to make a darker wash pair of jeans, and I found the most perfect indigo non-stretch cone mills denim from Blackbird Fabrics. I can always count on them to have the best denim selection! They also make life easy with their jeans hardware kits. Being able to buy just the right amount of materials for my jeans was a huge plus! I opted for a zip fly versus a button fly, which is what the original jean pattern calls for, so I bought my hardware kit accordingly.
I had been sharing my progress last month over on my Instagram Stories – you can see highlights on my profile. The most time consuming task in making these jeans was getting the fit right. I started out with tissue fitting which helped to make sure I had the right size cut out. During my tissue fitting sessions, I also adjusted the length. I ended up having to take these pants up a whole 5 inches! I settled on making myself crop length jeans, because for some reason I just like wearing slightly cropped jeans year round.
After tissue fitting, I very nervously cut my fabric and moved on to baste fitting and that is where I did most of the adjustments. I took the outside leg seams in about half an inch from the waist down to the bottom of my knees. I also took in the center back of the yoke, as I had a huge gap in the back. I also brought the pockets up a bit higher, which I felt like made a HUGE difference and helps to make my booty look more round. Speaking of the back pockets, I ended up using a top-stitching pattern from Closet Case Patterns which was very helpful in giving my jeans a bit more style.
After the 3 weeks of cutting and fitting on weeknight and weekends, it really only took me 1 week to do the “real” stitching and top-stitching! Once I was finished, I let out a sigh of relief. I never thought I would finish them but I did! They feel so good to wear and are a perfect fit for me! If you are on the fence about making jeans, I highly highly recommend it. You will truly amaze yourself at what you are capable of sewing, and you’ll find it hard to want to buy ready-to-wear jeans ever again!
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