Monday, March 30, 2015

Holy Grail Jeans: PASS

Jeans are my holy grail of sewing. Seriously, is there anything more difficult to shop for and more intimidating to sew? (Well, besides bridal gowns, swimsuits, bras, and couture jackets?) It's taken years to work up the courage to even attempt this project and five months of planning, shopping, studying, and (finally) sewing to reach the end goal. I'll go into more detail below, but the basic idea is HOLY SHIT, I MADE JEANS!

I originally intended to use the ever popular Jalie jeans pattern, but fitting jeans on my own was too terrifying. Fortunately for me, American Sewing Expo was offering an all-day jeans fitting class with Jennifer Stern. WORTH ITS WEIGHT IN GOLD! I left with a perfectly fitted muslin and an altered paper pattern. I had never felt so good in a pair of pants. Ever.

I kept the boot cut leg, but opted to raise the waistline to just under my natural waist. Fit adjustments were shifting the crotch back, taking in some length from the back side, drafting a bias waistband, taking in the yoke, and adding room for my killer thighs. I decided to add a zipper pocket to protect my phone from crashes to the bathroom floor.

The denim is a non-stretch variety from Mood (bought in person!). I used scraps from my son's button down shirt for the pockets and pink thread in the serger. They match the zipper pocket, though no one knows but me (and now you).

Even after I had a perfectly fitted muslin and top notch materials, I was still too nervous to make the jeans. So I bought Angela Wolf's Sewing Designer Jeans class on Craftsy. ALSO WORTH ITS WEIGHT IN GOLD! She slowly and methodically walks through every part of the construction process. Her techniques were simpler and quicker than the ones in the pattern instructions. And her tips for topstitching and distressing were absolutely essential.

I've worn these jeans every day since I finished. The denim stretches a bit with wear, making the back yoke puff away from my body and the waist slide down. The back pockets, which are lined in cotton for durability (and that zipper), are stiff and so flatten out my bum instead of following its curve. Small issues that don't get in the way of me wearing the final product. Because HOLY SHIT, I MADE JEANS!


  1. Congrats!! I've never attempted to make jeans - that's a huge undertaking!

    By the way, I've been following your blog for a while now (6 months? A year? Don't remember), and it's fun to see the things you make. ~Kell

    1. Thank you for reading! It's great to hear that you're enjoying the blog.

      I was so nervous in this process that I stalled between steps, which of course made the project seem even more intimidating. I'm proud of the end result, but will probably have more fun next time around.

  2. They look great! I have also taken Angela Wolf's Craftsy class, and it is the BOMB for learning to sew your own jeans.

    1. Thanks! YES, that class is the BEST! Have you made jeans? I'd love to see them.