November 2, 2015
I am not ashamed to admit that I have avoided making my own denim jeans. There were several reasons why I did not want to make my own jeans. My biggest fear was making jeans that looked home sewn. Secondly, I thought “why would I waste time sewing my own when jeans are so readily available in the market place. Also, appropriately adjusting the tension on my machine get the best, neatest stitches. When the ladies in the ThReD and Needles sewing group wanted to make Denim for October, this was the perfect opportunity to get over this fear.
(For my non-sewing compadres…adjusting the sewing machine’s tension will determine how even the stitches are on the top and bottom of the fabric). This can make a HUGE difference in quality of stitches. I ripped so many stitches out of my jeans and started over that I now need to be treated for carpal tunnel syndrome and my seam ripper and I may be having an affair…just kidding…but seriously!
Fabric, which is a HUGE element in properly executed denim, was purchased from LowPriceFabrics. I purchased three different fabrics in different weights and colors to make sure that I had the perfect denim. I knew that I wanted to use dark denim for this pattern…and I knew that it needed to have a lot of stretch. Click HERE to see the fabric that I used.
I used an old Vogue pattern (V2973) that has been in my stash forever and I have never used for the bulk of the sewing. There were some denim elements missing from this pattern that I wanted in my jeans. I added side seam pockets and lowered the inset zippers slightly lower on the hips (next time I will angle the zippers more to flatter the hips more). I also added a back yoke and back pockets. STYLE TIP: Back pockets angled in the right position and in the right size could be a woman’s best friend. They can both minimize and lift your butt. The back yoke also plays a huge part in this as well. The Vogue pattern did not include any of these elements. I borrowed the back yoke, side pocket, and back pockets from pattern pieces from Butterick B5682.
As I mentioned earlier, I have always thought that denim jeans were so readily available in the marketplace and why would I spend the money on fabric and the time to make my own. My personal off-the-racks favorites are Gap, Banana Republic and here recently Express. But since I have made these, my blind eyes have been opened to a new opportunity of not only perfectly fit denim…but unique details both in and out. For this pair I wanted to add some extra details like the trapunto stitch detail on the legs. This was created by stitching even rows on two fabrics. Then threaded yarn between each row. The pictures don’t really show the raised texture…but it makes a huge impact and adds dimension.
I can’t wait to make my next pair! Let me know your thoughts.