Sewing a pair of jeans has been on my Want to Sew list from just about the beginning. I wear jeans no less than 4 days out of every week, and this is one garment where you’re guaranteed to save money constructing them yourself. Because, did know you could spend nearly $500 on jeans?! I mean, they’re gorgeous, but…. That said, I spent over $100 on my last pair of jeans, and it totally seemed worth it at the time. Meanwhile, fabric + notions for these was less than $20. And they might be the best fitting pair of jeans I’ve ever owned. Triumph!
The pattern behind these beauties is the latest from Heather at Closet Case Files: The Ginger Jeans. I was a pattern tester, and since Heather has made some adjustments to the sizing since then, I’ll spare you the major details on the sizing + fit. My adjustments were minimal and basically came down to grading between sizes at the waist and hip. The only major change I made was to the leg, which I wanted to be more of a straight leg than was drafted for, and the length, which I cropped. I’m 5’7″ and these were perfectly full length on me before I shortened them.
I used a serger to finish all the inside seams, except on my pocket bags. Those are made of a mid-weight quilting cotton and french seamed.
The only places I ran into trouble was on the button hole and the tacks, all of which really stressed out my machine. I suppose with good reason, as there’s at least four layers of denim in there. However, using Heather’s suggestion of putting a wedge under the foot really helped with the tacks. I also added rivets, which was fun. But one of them keeps falling off, so I guess I need to work on my hammering technique!
I’ve been wearing these just about non-stop since I made them. I’ve never been more proud of a garment, which anyone who knows me will confirm. I’ve been bragging about these all over the place!
Heather is turning out an amazing sewalong right now over on her blog. It’s full of details on where to buy the best fabric and notions, plus everything you need to know to craft your own pair of jeans. Now that it’s done, I thing I was more freaked out than I needed to be about making these. Sure, they were a healthy challenge, but no more than that. And it is weirdly liberating to know I have the ability to make a great fitting pair of handcrafted jeans. So… have I convinced you to give it a try?