Okay, it’s a New Year and I have me a new pair of jeans. I have to admit that I’ve come sooo late to the making-your-own-jeans party, and man am I annoyed it’s taken me so long. That said, I’m also very excited by the finished result!!
I made a rubbish pair of ginger jeans about two years ago, and there were a tonne of issues. I probably could have worn them if it wasn’t for the hole in the crotch where I was a little heavy handed with my overlocker! I honestly don’t know why it’s taken me so long to try again, but perhaps two years experience in the meantime made all the difference.
So, I am about a size 10 all-over, with the exception of my upper legs and bum, which are most definitely a 12. I have always struggled to find well-fitting jeans, and always have to take them up 3 inches or so. The only place where I can find really well fitting jeans is Levi, which normally cost about about £85, and typically last no longer than 10-12 months before the crotch seam gives out, which is totally rubbish. In order to imitate my current favourite pair, which are skinny and high-waisted, I chose version B of the pattern – the high-rise option – and used a blue denim from Village Haberdashery, which at £12p/m, combined with a zip and some hardware came to about £25 – which compared to £85 is such a massive saving!
I cut a US size 8, and graded up to a 10 at the bum and thighs, I also shortened the pattern by 3 inches and raised the back pocket placement by 2cm. I opted for the flat fell seam option, as with my previous disastrous pair I overlocked all the seams and they rubbed a little as it was so tight. I absolutely loved the process of the construction, and unlike the first time, I really took my time and tried to be extra neat and imitate my favourite Levi’s. I didn’t do a design on the back pockets, maybe next time now I’ve sorted the fit. Instead, I added a small piece of some funky silver leather I had lying around to the back waistband. I have also made an identical black pair, however I have literally lived in them since December, and they have faded quite a lot already, so they weren’t pretty enough to photograph!
The element I found most challenging (apart from my Janome Atelier 3 often struggling with the denim) was making the bar-tacks neat and sturdy enough. On the black pair of jeans, I found that the belt loops and the top of the back pockets started to come loose within a few weeks. So, I decided to add bar tacks at the top of the pockets, as well as belt loops, and used my new Janome HD2200 to do a very narrow zig-zag stitch instead of the fancy bar-tack setting on my Atelier 3 – it just couldn’t cope.
All in all, I’m utterly thrilled with my new jeans, and can say hand on heart that I fully intend to never ever buy a pair again.