Have you ever tried on 20 pairs of jeans and realise not a single one fits you properly? I have. It’s one of the most depressing things ever!
I have proper thunder thighs which means any jeans I can pull up all the way will always be ginormous around my waist. It’s quite the conundrum.
Of course the obvious alternative is stretch denim! I’ve had numerous pairs of those over the jeans. The operative word being numerous there. They wear through alarming quickly.
So I decided to bite the bullet and jump in and make my own!
There are quite a lot of jeans patterns out on the market at the moment. I think lots of patternmakers are realising this is an area where women are struggling to buy RTW and sewing your own is becoming more viable. After much deliberation I opted for the Morgan Jeans from Closet Case.
I wanted to make a high waisted but relaxed “girlfriend” style jean. High waists tends to look better on me and I’m so tired of skinny jeans right now. I wasn’t sure if this combo would be the right look for me but I was confident enough to give it a go.
I used some denim I got whilst in Hong Kong. It’s a non stretch mid weight denim in a lovely mid blue. I wish I’d gotten a thicker denim but I hadn’t planned on using it for jeans at the time! But let’s face it at $35HKD/yd (£3.50/yd) I’m not complaining. If nothing else this will be wearable toile of sorts!
I ended up cutting a size 14 for these – 2 sizes up from my actually waist/ hip measurements. I checked my thigh and calf measurements and that’s where I felt comfortable, knowing I could then take it in at the waist as necessary afterwards. I didn’t want to run the risk of cutting something too small!
I have to say the instructions for this pattern are really very good. I tried to follow them as accurately as possible which, considering I’m in the habit of chucking most instructions to the side as soon as I get them, I think I did rather well on.
For the most part it’s pretty simple to make. The steps are broken down in bite sized manageable pieces and I’d definitely recommend Closet Case for jeans if you’re in the market for a pattern.
My only real difficulty was topstitching. My machine and topstitching thread were not friends in the slightest! I have a feeling the thicker thread wasn’t catching in the tension discs properly and I wasn’t using an appropriate needle either (I was too eager to get started to wait to get new needles!).
Anyway, less writing more photos I think!
They photograph much better from behind… There’s definitely some small crotch fit problems on the front but otherwise I think they turned out pretty well! The fit is about what I was aiming for – the higher waist and a bit slouched through the leg. I ended up taking out 1 1/2″ from each side seam and the centre back to get it snug. I also took out 1/2″ from the end of each leg, tapering it into the seam.
Look at my topstitching!
I couldn’t decide whether I wanted a traditional hem or to leave it with a raw edge which is quite on trend at the moment. So I did neither and am wearing them rolled up instead!
Things to improve on for next time:
– Thicker denim. I hadn’t intended this denim for jeans and it’s a bit thinner than I would have chosen otherwise.
– Practice topstitching more before starting! I also want to do more decorative stitching over the back pockets next time.
– I think increasing the crotch length will help a bit with the fit problem I had there. Maybe. I need to do more research!
So, this is definitely a pattern I’ll use again (subject to finding the right denim)! I think it suits my style well and they’re pretty comfy. They’re better than some of the RTW pairs I’ve had over the years anyway!
Have you tried making jeans before? I’d love to know how everyone has gotten on with them!