This weekend I sewed myself a pair of jeans, real jeans, with a zipper fly, belt loops, rivets, a jeans button (the kind you hammer on, not sew on), lots of top stitching, and all.
Yes, I may have gone crazy. As you know, I made myself a pair of wide-legged wool pants as part of the Pattern Review capsule wardrobe contest. So, for my second pair of 'bottoms', I decided to make something that was the opposite of those.
Since the wool pants are, well, wide-legged, and rather conservative in color, I decided I would make myself a pair of narrow-legged pants in a flashier color. Skinny jeans. In metallic gold denim.
Once that was decided, I went to Joann's the next time a pattern sale rolled around, and flipped through the Simplicity pattern book looking for a skinny jeans pattern. I found Simplicity 8516, and brought it home with me.
Originally I planned to make these jeans out of a purple stretch sateen I have in my stash, but then I did a bit of online fabric shopping (oops. . .), and this metallic stretch denim from fashionfabricsclub.com found its way to my front door to be turned into the skinny jeans instead. (It's a dangerous thing, the ability to have new fabric delivered right to your door.) Once that metallic denim got pre-washed, skinny jean making could commence.
The fun part of jean making is the pockets. I was excited to design and topstitch the back pockets, so I did that first thing to keep up my enthusiasm for the project. I used two colors of topstitching thread, ivory and bronze, and free-handed a design onto one pocket. I then mirrored the design on the other pocket.
I couldn't leave the front pockets out of the fun, so I decided to line them with this bright purple floral/patchwork fabric I brought home from Malaysia. It adds a pop of color to the inside of the jeans, making them lots of fun to wear. (As if metallic gold isn't fun enough on its own.)
The scariest part of making jeans, for me atleast, was the zipper fly. I just couldn't wrap my head around how one would construct such a thing. Luckily, the pattern instructions were incredibly clear and helpful, and in no time at all, the fly was done. And it turned out better than I expected!
The thing that took the longest on these jeans was All. The. Top. Stitching. The top stitching itself wasn't too bad, but rather it was re-threading the machine every time I needed to top stitch that took so much time.
As I mentioned above, I used two colors of top stitching thread for this project. Ivory and bronze both appear on almost every single top stitched seam. That's A LOT of re-threading.
Once I was done with all that top stitching, I decided that these jeans had better actually look 100% like jeans. So, I added rivets to the pockets and hammered a button onto the waistband. There!
Hardware and everything, I had made a pair of jeans!
I pulled them on, buttoned them up, and felt like jumping for joy. They fit! They were comfortable! And they actually looked and felt like jeans! I'd done it!
These may not be the most perfectly fitted pair of jeans in existence, but that's ok. I made them, I'm proud of them, I will wear them, and they are an excellent start to my jeans making journey.
Because, now that I know I can make jeans, one of these days, I'll probably make another pair. Why not?