Sewing Jeans – An Adventure In Sewing Your Own: Part 1

Sewing jeans is one of those sewing projects that a lot of us care not to tackle. But, if one of your 2018 sewing resolutions was sewing jeans, join us! Check back in for updates and progress this month (and next month…and well, however long it takes!) as we, Kelly (from Quiltmaker) and Amanda (from Sew News), sew our first pair of jeans. First up, we’re sharing our initial thoughts on the process and the subject of sewing jeans.Sewing Jeans

Please (please!) feel free to share your words of wisdom, favorite resources, tips, tricks on sewing jeans for yourself (or others) in the comments. And do let us know if you plan to sew jeans this year!

How long have you been pondering making jeans?
Kelly: I started sewing simple clothing patterns for myself over the last year and have just now decided to finally take the plunge into the great world of jeans.

Amanda: I was one of those #neversewingjeans people but after our pants pattern review last fall  and making a bazillion elastic-waist pants, I was interested in trying out some more fitted pant styles. Jeans seemed like the holy grail…and kind of utterly intimidating.

What finally made you decide to go for it?
Kelly: I have always struggled with finding a quality pair of jeans within my budget and I constantly experience the typical issues with finding a flattering fit. I’ve never had a pair of jeans that I have been over the moon about, so I decided the worst that could happen is they don’t fit any better than the jeans I already own, so I might as well go for it.

Amanda: In November, I sewed up a pair of True Bias Lander Pants. That experience gave me a huge boost of confidence for jeans sewing. I have a new mantra: jeans are only pants! Seriously, there’s a bit more topstitching, but nothing to be intimidated by. But, then again, I haven’t officially made a pair yet.

What is the most intimidating thing, so far?
Kelly: The most intimidating part so far has been reviewing the many pattern steps, without feeling overwhelmed. I read through a few sew-a-longs, which helped me understand a few steps from different points of view and came to the conclusion that I just needed to start and take things one step at a time.

Amanda: Picking a size and finding fabric….but probably finding fabric! Denim seems mysterious to me – so many weights and fiber contents and stretch variables in the mix. I’m not even thinking about installing that fly front zipper yet….or fitting them…. Also, that’s a lot of pattern pieces.

What are you hoping for with this first pair?
Kelly: I hope to achieve a comfortable fit through the thighs and back of the waistband. Nothing is worse than peek-a-booty or restricted movement. I plan to practice topstitching on some denim scraps and if I find I’m not able to get it as neat as I would like, I will most likely use a darker thread to avoid any noticeable mistakes.

Amanda: A mostly-wearable muslin. And to learn a lot about the process of jeans making for next time.

What pattern are you making? What fit adjustments are you planning, if any?
Kelly: I am making: Ginger Flared Jeans, designed by Closet Case Patterns, view A.  Since this will be my first time sewing pants and I am between sizes, I have decided to size up a bit so ensure a better fit. The 33″ inseam of this pattern may be a bit too long, so it is possible I will need to shorten the length.

Amanda: I’m making the Ginger Skinny Jeans as well. I’m making the low rise, version A with the straight stovepipe-style leg. I’m planning to sew a size 14, take off at least two inches from the inseam (short legs=less fabric!?!?) and do a full calf adjustment (see image at right). And we’ll see!

Check back in for updates! And wish us luck!

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