Sewing Your Own Jeans – An Adventure: Part 3

We just sewed our own jeans. Sewed. Our Own. Jeans. Sorry, the thrill hasn’t worn off yet for sewing our own jeans! Maybe it never will? Jeans aren’t the final frontier of sewing your own clothes, but this certainly feels like a big moment. Thanks so much for joining us on this jeans sewing adventure.

Sewing Your Own Jeans

How do you feel about your first pair of jeans?
Amanda: I feel great! If I was a perfectionist, I’d probably still be topstitching the pockets. But this has served as a valuable learning experience and I’m quite proud of the results.

Kelly: I’m pretty proud of how well my jeans turned out! I have minimal experience sewing clothing, however I think my experience with quilting really helped when it came to the top stitching and problem solving of any tension and stitching issues. 

Was the experience harder or easier than you thought it would be?
Kelly: I think there were more easier parts than hard ones, which I wouldn’t have thought when first researching the jeans making process. I went into the process open minded enough knowing that it may work out awesomely well or be a complete loss, this definitely helped me to have more fun with it than stress about every little detail.

Amanda: Easier! As I worked through the pattern, I realized there were parts I was nervous about (zipper, topstitching, hardware), and I found myself procrastinating (sew-crastinating!?!?). It helped so much to have someone else making the same pattern. Kelly and I compared notes often and reassured each other at various parts along the way.

Is there one thing about your jeans that you’re super proud of?
Amanda: No one will probably ever notice, but the topstitching on my butt is quite nice. I also “broke the rules” in a few places. I used black topstitching thread and in some parts, skipped the topstitching thread altogether. I think that allowed me to sweat the small stuff less, stay focused on the wearable muslin goal and maintain a sense of adventure. Sewing jeans requires it!

Kelly: I’m pretty proud of the topstitching and quilting cotton lining I added to the waistband. These details really popped against the dark denim.

Would you recommend sewing jeans?
Kelly: Definitely! I would recommend using some less expensive denim for the first go around, I purchased mine from Joann’s at a pretty reasonable price. Also, if you don’t feel confident in your top stitching skills, using a darker thread that matches your denim will be a cleaner approach.

Amanda: I would, especially to all the folks who want to but are still feeling intimidated! Jeans are great if you’re looking to sew an everyday wardrobe, but as a wardrobe item, I think they kind of disappear, if that makes sense. If you’re more of a statement piece sewist, it might not be for you. Or maybe you need acid-wash floral print jeans? 

Do you plan to sew jeans again?
Amanda: Yes! Next month! After a few quick projects to cleanse my palette. I have a few seasonal items I’d like to get done in time to wear this spring…then more jeans. That is the nice thing about jeans: I wear them year round so I don’t feel like they have to happen at an exact spot in my sewing rotation.

Kelly: Heck yes!

If yes, what pattern and what adjustments do you plan to make?
Kelly: I plan to use the same pattern (Ginger Flares by Closet Case Patterns). Next go around I plan to size down from a 16 to a 12 or 14. My body measurements correlated with the 16, however I had to take in a little over an inch on the outer leg and they are still too large. At that point in the fitting process, I already topstitched the crotch and inner leg seams and didn’t want to mess with redoing it. I would also pay a little closer attention to the length of the crotch, as mine was too long, however it may have been from the sizing being too large overall. I think I would also lengthen the rise a bit to make sure the smaller size doesn’t result in any peek-a-booty issues.

Amanda: Same ones – Ginger Jeans – in thicker denim! The denim I used is lightweight and perfect for summer but I’m interested to see what will happen with thicker stretch denim. I might size down one size and raise the rise for a slightly more high-waisted look.

Part One of Jean Making

Part Two of Jean Making

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