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Topic: Jeans - I might be crazy, but I made them!  (Read 4006 times)
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Kaitlinnegan
« on: October 17, 2007 07:54:10 AM »

Looking for a challenge, I decided to make a pair of jeans.  I had never made any pants before, let alone jeans.  I figured it would be tricky, but the pattern I used (Vogue 2812) claimed to be "Very Easy" -- how hard could it be?  The answer: pretty darn hard, but worth the effort!  Here come the pics:









They took me a couple weeks from start to finish, sewing a few hours here and there.  In the end I would say they were probably 20 hours of work, but that includes a lot of basting, checking fit, ripping out stitches, etc.  The fabric was a medium-light weight cotton/spandex denim from Joann's I got on clearance for $2/yd.  I used topstitching thread in "camel" for the topstitching.  My little Singer 6038 did great with the seams and topstitching, and I used my serger for seam finishing.

The pattern had a few neat details - first is the seaming at the knee.  I didn't realize there was a seam there when I bought the pattern, but I think it gives some interest to an otherwise plain pair of jeans.  Also, it has non-functional front pockets.  You lose some utility, of course, but you also don't have to worry about your jeans fitting weird because you're carrying too much in your pockets.  So many of my clothes don't have pockets now - I'll have to make a little wrist pouch or something to carry around keys to my office when I'm at work.

Perhaps I'm a bit naive, but I always hope that my patterns will fit right out of the envelope.  They rarely ever do!  A short summary of the fitting adjustments I made: I basically had to redraw the legs 1.5" slimmer on each leg since they were very loose, even though I was between sizes and made the smaller size.  The waistband, however, fit pretty well except for needing a sway back adjustment (I took a wedge out of the center back seam to fix gappage in the waistband).  I also shortened the front crotch by about 1".  I didn't do any petite adjustment (hey, I'm 5' 6", not petite!) but I did end up taking 2" off the hem.  Next time I might shorten them a little above the knee so the seaming at the knee hits a little higher.

So, after all that adjusting and topstitching and breaking 2 denim needles, I'm ready for an instant gratification project!  I have an important UFO to finish, but after that I think I'm going to make a bunch of easy knit tops.   Grin  For those of you who are interested in making jeans..go for it!  All it takes a little patience (well, maybe a lot!) and a bit of elbow grease.  Questions, comments and suggestions are very much appreciated!   Grin
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mrswendy
« Reply #1 on: October 17, 2007 08:33:20 AM »

Those are great! Especially for a first pair. The top stitching looks perfect and they look like they fit you really well.
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« Reply #2 on: October 17, 2007 08:54:45 AM »

Seconding the fit and topstitching comment!

I need to try my hand at jeans.
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kjlutz
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« Reply #3 on: October 17, 2007 10:11:43 AM »

Wow what a great job, they look to fit great and you did a great job on all the details.  I'm impressed.  I'm curious about your method of fitting/ altering?  Did yo uhave some one help you with fitting?  Also for adjusting the crotch length where did you take out the length and how did you make sure you took out the right amount?  I've had a lot of trouble getting pants to fit in the last few years, so I'm curious as to how you got such great sucess. 
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Kaitlinnegan
« Reply #4 on: October 17, 2007 10:53:05 AM »

Thanks so much mrswendy and cheera!

kjlutz -- my husband was willing to help with the fitting, but I was actually able to do these all by myself.  Basically, I put together the front and back pieces and then basted in the inseams and outseams on my machine.  I was not too precise with this adjustment -- I just pinched in a bit on each side and made my initial adjustment (taking in 1.5" from each side) then basted and checked the fit again.  They were still too big, so I put the jeans on inside out and pinned the legs down the sides so they came in close to my body.  Then I basted again and checked -- magically it worked.  Is this similar to what you've tried?  I think it really helped that there was a bit of spandex in my fabric.  Since the fabric was fairly lightweight, it really has a bit of stretch to it.  I'm not sure how my adjustments will work out in a non-stretch denim.

For the front crotch adjustment, I basically just estimated how much I could pinch in that area when I did my second adjustment and overlapped the front and back crotch seams by that much, tapering the amount I took out down the inseam (so I ended up taking out a skinny triangle from each inseam).  Again, once I basted and checked, it seemed alright, so I went with it.  I'm not sure if that helps - it's hard to describe these things in text!  I'm sure there are some good resources out there for the proper way to make these kinds of adjustments -- if I come across something helpful I'll let you know.
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kjlutz
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« Reply #5 on: October 17, 2007 12:13:03 PM »

Thanks for the help.  It does make sense, now I jsut need the time to try making some more pants. 
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missaileen
« Reply #6 on: October 17, 2007 12:43:26 PM »

oh man. i could never picture sewing jeans. it just seems too.. intense.

great job!
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dkswife
« Reply #7 on: October 17, 2007 01:32:02 PM »

Those are the best looking pair of home made jeans I have ever seen!  Awesome!
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Autumnflower
« Reply #8 on: October 17, 2007 01:33:33 PM »

wow, those are really nice!
they are really smart too, im impressed :-)

just wondering how you did the zip part?
because i have a similar pattern, and just can't get my head around what its telling me to do!
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cosocosas
« Reply #9 on: October 17, 2007 02:14:16 PM »

those are great, i havent made jeans yet, maybe for the lack of a good pattern.
 i also hope that my patterns will fit without adjustments, but always end up altering them:(
excellent work!
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