Do you sew jeans?
I didn't think that I would ever sew jeans. I don't actually have too much trouble buying jeans. Then, a couple of weeks ago, I became fixated with flared legs jeans, specifically, this pair by 18th Amendment. I have seen them for sale on several sites, but I have never tried on this brand. If they were available locally, I would have tried them on. I did try on maybe a dozen pairs of other brands locally, but they were all wrong...the flared jeans all flared from the knee and I wanted mine to flare from the thigh. The side-legged / boyfriend jeans that I tried on were all too bulky looking. So, to the sewing machine I went.
After reviewing all the patterns I have, I decided on a Marfy pattern that came "free" with their Spring-Summer 2007 catalogue, pattern 0294.
I made a few design changes. I flared the legs, starting mid-upper thigh. I added a total of 24 cm flare to each leg, distributed evenly front/back and inner / outseams. The back pockets were my own design, very similar to the back pocket on my red denim skirt.
I made absolutely no fitting changes, what-so-ever! I am so pleased with the outcome that I am thinking of buying more Marfy pants patterns (I guess that is the idea of the free patterns). I think I could tweak the back curve a little, if I wanted to be fussy.
The fit around my back thigh is nowhere near as close a fit as the 18th Amendment jeans, which is okay, but I am wondering what I would have to do to achieve that fit on another pair if I wanted. I tried taking in the outer side seams a little, which reduced the thigh, but seemed to squash, rather than lift, my butt. Perhaps I would need to reduce the back crotch extension a little?
Here is a close-up of the front, so that you can see the way that I have topstitched the front fly. I must admit, I copied this from a pair of King Gee shorts (in their casual range). This may seem an odd place for inspiration, but when you think that jeans started out as workwear, it is not so strange. I think that King Gees are very well cut and constructed (and I have studied a few pairs...they do look good on my man!).
In this close-up, you can see that the front is pulling a little to one side...I did use a stretch woven and the fit is very close. The denim is from Knitwit, several seasons ago. I interfaced the waist-band with a woven, heavy-weight, sew-in interfacing so that it doesn't stretch through the day.
You can also see that I haven't sewn belt loops...I'm not so good at belt loops and I don't tuck in shirts or wear belts, so maybe I won't bother with belt loops.
I have a photo here comparing the Marfy pattern to a Vogue pattern that was my other starting choice. I have added seam allowances to the Marfy pattern. The crotch on the Vogue is significantly longer than the Marfy. I have never quite got the hang of measuring crotch length and adjusting patterns accordingly. I always thought that they were too long and I have sometimes reduced the back crotch extension...only this always ended up with a strange pulling feeling from the back when I wore the pants. This photo suggests that I need to reduce both the front and back crotch extensions on Vogue patterns.
I feel taller and slimmer in these jeans than I do in my others...and no-one could complain about that. I now also have a pair that I can wear with heels...you know the advice, one pair for heels, one for flats. Well, my other jeans are actually cut for bare feet, because mostly I am in my own home with no shoes on and I hate tripping on too long pants...especially going up and down the stairs for all those groceries and loads of washing. So this pair will have to be chore-free. Can't complain about that either.