Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Jeans vs. Me

Gosh, I could think of so many fun things I could have been doing the past few evenings. Let's see...
I could paint my toenails,
read a book,
bake cinnamon buns,
scrub the toilets,
do laundry,
pull my fingernails out one by one...

But, NO....I decide to try to make jeans. Now, mind you, I'm sure, somewhere in my past history, I have actually purchased a pair of jeans that fit. Especially in these days of spandex and shape-sizing and a zillion different options for jeans. But, jeans were on the Spring Wardrobe Challenge, and by golly, I decided to give it the old college try.  After all, I like a challenge. And I like to sew. And I like jeans.

And I have Butterick 5682 and all of those girls look great in their jeans, right?

SO far,
I miscut my pattern so these will be cropped jeans.
I used a denim with 3% lycra that I've had in my stash. Have you ever tried to topstitch on denim with 3% lycra?
And speaking of top-stitching, I ran out of top-stitch thread and couldn't find a match, so the front of my jeans are top-stitched a different color than the back of my jeans, but hey... maybe that could be intentional, right? They are custom jeans.
I've burnt my arm on my iron,
taken out the fly about 4 times, the last time making a hole in the fabric with my seam ripper,
which made me decide that just maybe these jeans need to be distressed so it looks like that hole is intentional.

And all the while I'm thinking of a 30% off coupon at Kohls where I could spend 6 hours trying on 50 pairs of jeans and it just may be less painful and less time consuming than what I'm doing now.

But I will not give up. No sir. I make my own clothes. I can make my own jeans! I will win this battle of the denim!

But did you know that you have to change your thread about every five minutes? These could take awhile.
Oh, and I have rivets, too.

Does anyone like making jeans?


  1. Heck, I don't even like hemming jeans. Especially with lycra. It's like hemming worms.

  2. Oh I really know how you feel. I made jeans last year for the first time - (the Jalie ones). I ended up borrowing another sewing machine to do the topstitiching, otherwise it would have taken forever. Good on you for perservering - the results are so worth it (I think!)

  3. My Mother in Law bought me a Jean-a-m-jig. It is amazing for sewing over the many layers in the hems of jeans at the flat felled seams!

  4. I have this pattern and still have not plucked up the courage to make it. I love the idea of making jeans but not all the work - fitting, top stitching, zipper etc. Please post your progress as I will be watching with interest.

  5. It is hard to fit jeans but really, I'd rather try on 100 pairs than try to make them. For me the top stitching details have to be perfect and in just the right places and that is beyond me (and my machine)

  6. If I could do it, you can do it. Yes, it's fiddly and sometimes down right hard, but I think that all the effort is really well worth it in the end. Looking good so far!

  7. I definitely didn't like it the first couple of times, but now that I have a few pair under my belt, I'll never go back. The hassle is totally worth it for jeans that fit well, are comfortable and that you don't have to spend all day adjusting. It also makes a huge difference having a separate machine set up for topstitching. Changing thread every five seconds gets old fast! For the zipper, I dislike the Big 4 method personally. No matter what pattern I'm using to make my jeans, I always use the Jalie method for the fly. It's easier and looks great every time.

  8. Well now, you have really done it all!!! Wow. You amaze me Lynne!!

  9. Oh yes, changing the thread...you spend more time on that than actually sewing! Also, why does topstitching thread only come in small reels?

  10. I'm sure your jeans are going to look sensational and then you will be hooked on making them! Your topstitching looks fantastic in my opinion. I can't wait to see them finished :)

  11. Wow. I'm not sure I'd ever try! Color me amazed!!

  12. A hammer. You need a hammer to make jeans -- once you've pinned/basted the hem, and indeed any intersecting seams, take your fabric out to a concrete slab and hammer the joint flat. Even a jean-ma-jig won't do as good a job for you in crossing the lumps at piled-up seams.

  13. I bought a pattern for jeans from the Silhouette Pattern line. They fit great. If you go to Peggy Sager's sight a.k.a Silhouette Patterns.com/media. She demo's the sewing, fitting and what size to get. The pattern is based on your sitting hip measurement. Works perfectly. Best of all, the webcast's are free! Packed with info, even a tutorial on making the fly front. It really helped me. I love the fit too. It could save your sanity, it did mine. Good Luck and don't give up. I love the way they fit!


I'd love to hear from you! Let's talk!