Self Assembly Required

DIY dressmaking + crafts with Emily

Sunshine jeans! // I Am Patterns

Every now and then I get a real hankering for a new pair of jeans. It doesn’t happen super often – the last successful pair I made was a pair of Closet Core Ginger Jeans back in early 2020 and those were a replacement for a pair that was in a bag that got stolen.

I’ve loved all the Ginger Jeans I’ve made but I’ve also been a bit over the skinny jeans aesthetic for a while. I tried the Megan Nielsen Dawn Jeans a while back and although I like the overall tapered leg look, I found them too uncomfortable to actually wear more than a handful of times. Was I being too picky about what I wanted from a pair of jeans? I wanted jeans that were high waisted, loose-ish through the leg but nothing that might make my already giant thighs look bigger.

I decided to make the I Am Patterns Sunshine jeans for a few reasons.

1. I think trying different companies for the same item is where you’ll learn what works best for you in terms of fit and technique. I’ve yet to see two jeans patterns that are sewn up in the exact same way! (I’m talking flys people!).

2. I loved the balloon leg shape of the second view. I had a pair of balloon leg jeans from Monki many years back which I absolutely loved until they became too tight around the waist! I figured I’d like these too!

3. I already had the pattern as Blandine was lovely enough to send me a PDF copy when the pattern was released.

I used a piece of indigo stretch denim that had been lingering in my stash for far too long. It was from Fabric Galore at the Knitting and Stitching show from many years ago. It’s a beautiful weight denim – soft but still weighty and a good amount of stretch too. I had earmarked it for that pair of skinny jeans that I would make after I went on a diet… Let’s face it though, that is never going to happen! It’s a narrow width selvedge denim in a classic dark blue which I think is this one that’s still on sale on their site.

Whilst the pattern doesn’t call for stretch denim, I learnt my lesson from the Dawn jeans and knew regardless of what the pattern asked for, I’d use a stretch denim for the ultimate comfort.

Size wise I chose to cut the size according to my largest measurements which meant cutting a 46. I knew I’d likely need to take it in but this would allow me the most wiggle room to adjust without worrying. I shortened the leg by 1.5cm and added 1.5cm to the rise.

I did a baste fit with these initial changes and ended up taking them in at the waist and tapering to nothing at the hip as expected. I adjusted the pockets and pocket pieces so that their width wasn’t impinged on. I also altered the crotch curve to scoop out more of a curve (the alternative to this is lengthening the front crotch but I find this gives me a better fit).

It sounds like a lot of work and changes but actually this can all be done pretty quickly. I baste fit with a very long stitch length and eyeball where the pocket facing should sit to get that roughly in the right place. I always make sure to add the waistband on and sew the waistband and facing together properly to save time later – this is super important to check the fit as it prevents the top of the jeans AND the waistband from stretching out.

I actually didn’t follow the written instructions much for this sew and used the detailed sew along blog posts instead! It’s my first time doing this and I really enjoyed having more photos and details to learn from. It made for an easy sew and I love the finish I got.

They are super duper comfortable and I love the loose fit. I think they’re flattering but I often live in a weird space in my head where it’s a constant fight between what I think looks good vs what my body actually looks like and it makes it hard to tell!

I do really like them though and I’ve already got plans to make a grey pair!

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  1. Thank you for the review, I am thinking about trying this pattern and your blog post gives me hope ^^. Your jeans look awsome!

    1. Thanks! I’ve actually made this pattern twice more since this post – a grey and an off white pair. So so much love for this pattern!

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