Saturday, February 4, 2017

Jeans! I made JEANS!

I made jeans! Jeans which stay up without a belt!!! This is something which has been missing from my wardrobe since I was a teenager. I'm a pear shape and have been stuck on low rise jeans for years which always (always always) need to be worn with a belt. These ones come up to a cm or two below my belly button. If I saw these in a store I would have skipped right past them but the higher rise was what I needed all this time... It is funny to look at them when I'm not wearing them -  the waist looks so tiny and I think there is no way I can fit into them but they are actually really comfortable. There is a such a huge difference in the waist measurement depending on the rise. I find it very interesting how you can get so used to one certain style that it is near impossible to change, even though it may be a big improvement.

The other day I was browsing through some websites, seeing what cool clothes people have been making and came upon some amazing looking Jamie Jeans which are from Named, an independent pattern company owned by two Finnish sisters. 

Jamie Jeans from Named. I love the front seams and the slanted front pockets.

I don't usually buy patterns online. Maybe this was the first PDF pattern that I've actually paid for? The thing which usually puts me off of PDF patterns is how many hours and hours it takes sticking all the pieces of paper together. But I loved the look of these jeans so much that I bought it straight away. I thought in Hungary that the printing would be very expensive for the copy shop version but it turns out I was looking at the wrong options. I was checking out poster printing which is astronomically expensive if you just want a pattern you will cut up. But then I realised there is a thing called tervrajz nyomtatás which is "blueprint printing". An A0 page costs only 330 forints at CopyGuru! That's just over one euro. This opens a whole new world of patterns for me!! 

I ran to the fabric shop that same day and was very disciplined and only bought the necessary fabric for this project. Very proud of my self control in the face of all the gorgeous sweater fabrics they have  out now. I have a rule for myself this year - I have to sew three garments before buying one piece of fabric because my stash is out of control. I got a black stretch denim with a white weft. It's 97% cotton, 3% elastane but only has around 12% stretch. I prewashed it and while doing that started on my muslin. I realised that is the huge benefit of muslins - it stops you from dying of impatience while getting your good fabric prepped. 

But the muslin was also good for it's real purpose - getting the fit right. I had to make a lot of changes. There were huge wrinkles under my butt and on my legs. I ended up looking at so many photos of butts in jeans. My butt, other people's butts. Lots of pinning and adjusting seams and just when you think you are making your butt look great (in the mirror) the photo tells a completely different story. AAAARGHHHH. 

This was about halfway through the muslining process. 

At I first thought I should do a "flat butt adjustment" but that didn't fix the problem. Then I tried the equally sexy sounding "low butt adjustment" and that helped a lot! But I realised also that in skinny jeans you will still have some wrinkles under your butt if you want to be able to move. 

This is after two days of wearing. They have stretched out a little but I don't want to make them super tight. I'm at peace with these wrinkles.

Indiesew has a sewalong which shows you how to make the jeans. I used both that and the instructions and it was actually pretty simple, sewing wise. 

I started with the size 40 (my hips are 100 cm) but probably should have gone down a size. 

These are the changes I made:

  • Added 2cm length to leg (1.5cm above and 5 mm below knee) 
  • .5 cm off outer back leg side seam from thigh down until knee then .3 until hem
  • 1 cm from lower front side seam until thigh, then .5 cm until knee then .3 until hem
  • Front inner seam reduced 1.5 cm at crotch tapering down to .5 at thigh to .3 at hem. Crotch length lowered 5mm.
  • Back crotch lowered 1.5 cm at point, 2cm at lowest point
  • Inner back seam reduced  .5 to .3 
  • Back crotch centre seam tapered in 1cm (shortening the width)
  • Recut back yoke with 1cm wedge removed
  • 1cm length added at hip
  • 1.5 cm wedge added to back crotch, slash and spread (lengthening, making back rise higher than front)
  • I made the waist band have more of a curve but still it could be a bit more curved because it gapes just a little at the back.
  • When I was sewing I somehow made the waistband too short so I took it off but didn't have enough fabric left over to cut a new one in one piece so this final waistband has side seams. I interfaced the whole outer band and the inner one under the buttonhole.And then I still ended up pinning and removing lots of fabric from the side seams after all this...
  • Pockets shortened. I just ironed them shorter, I see from the photos that I really should have trimmed the seam allowances... I also made them one piece instead of two.
  • Left off the belt loops. I made them and they looked super nice but the jeans stay up without them and I wanted to reduce bulk.

I topstitched most of the seams but it's black on black so it is hardly visible. I really wanted an elegant (as far as jeans can be elegant) pair of plain black jeans. I looked in the shops so many times for some and couldn't find any. They all are distressed with those horrible fake looking holes cut in them. I wanted this pair to be simple and clean. That's also why I didn't do the contrast front pocket (which is what really drew me to the design in the first place....). Next time!

This was my first time using a jeans button. It's quite satisfying to finish a project bashing it with a hammer!

The pockets are lined with navy polka dot cotton from Istanbul, leftover from this dress and this dress.

I'm pretty happy with how the fly zip turned out but next time I would move it over a little so it is not so close to the topstitched part.

I also made my jumper. It's a self drafted pattern. I wanted something semi fitted. The fabric is 60% nylon, 30% polyester and 10% METAL. So I think of this as my "metal jumper". It is cosy and comfortable and fluffy.

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