Saturday, February 16, 2019

Jeans and a Hoodie for my Mom

Several years ago, on a road trip, my mom and I found a jeans pattern at a cute little fabric store we visited. It was the Simple Skinny Jeans pattern, by Sew Liberated. Featuring a stretchy waistband, a faux front fly, and faux front pockets, the pattern closely resembled my mom's favorite Maurices skinny jeans. Thus, we bought the pattern, with the thought in mind that I could make my mom some jeans from it. At the time sewing jeans with a real front fly terrified me, so I was absolutely not going to attempt to make any "real" jeans. But these simple stretchy waist pants masquerading as skinny jeans? These I could probably make successfully.

A month or two later, I made up the pattern in some cheap stretch denim from Walmart, and my mom tried them on. They were wearable! The fit wasn't perfect, the back rise needed some height added to it, but they weren't bad for a wearable mock-up, which is what they were intended to be. Now I knew how the pattern needed to be adjusted for my mom, so the second pair would be even better. I fully intended to make that second pair pretty quickly for my mom, but, well, that didn't happen. The second pair took nearly three years to come into existence.

For Christmas this year, I finally made my mom the second pair of jeans. Thankfully my mom hasn't changed size at all in the past three years, so I was able to just apply the fitting changes I remembered the first pair needed (primarily raising the back rise a couple inches) to this pair, and all was good!

I used a light weight dark wash stretch denim ordered online (from I don't remember where) sometime last fall. I'd intended for this denim to become a pair of jeans for me, but when it come it was a much lighter weight than what I prefer for jeans. However, my mom handled the fabric and commented that is was the exact weight she liked for skinny jeans. Point taken. The fabric got set aside to be turned into my mom's Christmas present.

The week before Christmas I pulled out the lightweight denim and the simple skinny jeans pattern, put them together, and made a pair of pants for my mom. This really is a super simple pattern, taking less than three hours to make, start to finish. And, while they really are the "easy version" of skinny jeans, the construction still includes my favorite part of jeans making - embellishing the back pockets.

I took the first pocket to the sewing machine with a general idea in mind, and just kind of "free handed" a design on it, until I was pleased with the outcome. Then I had to repeat the design on the second pocket. So I pulled out some transfer paper and a tracing wheel.

I laid the un-embellished pocket face down on the transfer paper, then laid the finished pocket right side up on top of that, lining up all the edges. I used the tracing wheel to trace over the decorative stitching.

This transferred the design to the un-adorned pocket so all I had to do was sew along the faint white lines to get a matched set of back pockets.

As mentioned above, I finished the jeans in one morning, wrapped them up, and stuck them under the Christmas tree.

Christmas morning, my mom unwrapped them, exclaimed with delight, immediately put them on, and they fit perfectly!

I only had one regret - I hadn't had enough time in the week leading up to Christmas to make my mom a top to go with her new jeans! This would need to be remedied at some point.

It got remedied in January, when my mom came to me with a request. She asked, if she provided the fabric, if I could make her a striped shirt similar to the ones she was admiring in the L.L.Bean catalogue. I agreed, and she went off to Hobby Lobby in search of the right striped knit fabric.

She returned home with a pink and black (or pink and dark navy?) cotton/spandex jersey fabric. Very soft, and the perfect shirt weight. We discussed the design a bit more and decided the fabric would become a hooded shirt, with a shaped hem, finished off with a ruffle. I had the perfect pattern for this already in my stash! Simplicity 8790 - designed by Sew House 7 (the designer I tested the Montavilla MuuMuu for last summer)

I made view D of the pattern, adding a ruffle to the bottom and a lining to the hood. It turned out splendidly and my mom loved it!

She liked it so well in fact, the following weekend I made her two more hooded shirts from the same pattern!

Now I just need to find the time to make her a couple more pairs of simple skinny jeans - as this pair has been worn constantly since Christmas!

But for now, this outfit is done - and I love seeing my mom wear it!


  1. These look really good! Lucky Mom! My next project is going to be jeans. I just love all the topstitching and design options that come after I figure out the fit. (I don’t know if this comment is going to go through. Fingers crossed!)

    1. Thanks! Jeans are time consuming, but so much fun!