In between playing with ricocheting sequins and vintage patterns, I decided to make (finally) a pair of Morgan Boyfriend Jeans. I bought the pattern earlier this year and got the non-stretch denim from Croft Mill Fabrics at the same time. It’s one of the few pieces of fabric I have bought this year, and I’m chuffed that it’s been used! No stash building here.
I started the project back in April with very careful measuring! The instructions are pretty clear that as the fabric will be stiff and has no give, that you might have to go up a size. Added to that, it’s supposed to be snug on the hip and if you happen to be between sizes, the advice is to pick the bigger size. So I really wanted it to be right! Being so used to my Birkin Flares with their fabulous stretch and fit, I was wary of jeans that wouldn’t have that give!
On the measurement chart, I was between the 18 & 20 on the waist, and between the 14 & 16 on the hip! So, deciding that I didn’t mind a slightly slouchier fit on the hip, and thinking that I might just need that with the heavier fabric, I picked the 18 to trace. I toiled, following all the instructions to the “T” as it’s the first time I was using this pattern.
I had a rather fetching heavyweight brocade ex-curtain from the charity shop for my toiles. The instructions are pretty good, illustrations to accompany the instructions and I had no problems there at all. The first toile was excitedly put on, just in time for me to be disappointed. It was far too big! It literally fell down around my knees once I’d let go of the pinned waistband. The fit across the hip was too loose, length far too long (although I expected that) and everything just too roomy. I started by taking it in and then realised I really just needed a different size all over.
I went down a size, retoiled and swapped the fly opening to the opposite side and shortened the leg length. Better this time, but still really roomy across the hip and on the upper thigh. Given that it’s supposed to be fitted in those areas, I started to wonder if this was the pattern for me. It was all put aside while I
grumped for a bit got on with other projects.
So when I was looking for a break from all the sequins, I thought of the jeans again. Going back to the toile I took in the outside leg seams up to the hip line, inside legseams, took a wedge out of the centre back, changed the crotch line, shortened the crotch depth and shortened the leg. Phew!! The toile was better, but as always, it’s the proper fabric that will tell if you’ve done the right job or not. So I figured I’d best just get on with it.
The fabric was difficult to work with purely because of the stiffness. My old Bernina had no problem with the bulk and I used a jeans twin needle for all the double lines of topstitching. I chose two different colours for the topstitching just for fun. In the areas where just one line was needed I used the colour that had been closest to the edges.
Buttons came from the stash, and are definitely not jeans buttons! But hey, I wasn’t going to use rivets either, so why not use non-jeans buttons…
The fit is much better than the first and second toile, but I wonder if there’s still too much ease in the thigh area. I’m not 100% happy with the fit under the butt either and feel I need a belt to keep them in place on my hip. Length is good, comfortably worn rolled up or not. And the pockets are perfect! Easy to get your hands into, and the back pockets are the right size to take a phone and not lose it! Good sized pockets are important.
So here’s the dilemma, are my issues with the “fit” just issues with wearing a stiff fabric in a pattern that has way more ease than what I’m used to? I have loads of baggy linen trousers, but they’re soft and drapey, not stiff and bulky, so the feel is very different. I’ve looked for people online who’ve made this size in the Morgans and found nothing clear. Are there any sewists out there who’ve made the bigger sizes, and by that I mean the last two or three???
I’m happy with what I’ve produced, don’t get me wrong, but there are niggles. Not that they’re stopping me wearing the jeans! They came in very hand during our week in Cornwall last week. (Why is our week always the wet and windy one?) I might pop them in the tumble drier to soften the fabric a bit, apparently that’ll help.
Now that we’re back from holiday and I’ve got a couple of traced coat patterns, I need to get on. Daughter No2 goes back to uni next week and I – in my completely sane mind – thought September would be good for a coat making month. It’s half way through (almost) already and all I have are two toiles and 3 traced patterns. Best I pull up my socks!
14 thoughts on “Morgan Jeans”
I’m no expert on making jeans that’s for sure given that I’ve never made any but I’ve sewn with a lot of denim. I’d wait until you’ve washed and dried them a few times before making a decision because denim does change so much with time.
Yup, wearing and washing them more does help, I’ll not be altering this pair!
I like them on you – – the “slouchiness” gives them a young look. I think a few washes/dryings will soften. Really nicely made!
Thanks, they have now started to soften. I guess I was after the look that so many others have, slightly more fitted… But slouchy works, more casual.
Peggy Sagers, Silhouette Patterns, suggests washing stiff fabrics with a can of Coca Cola… you can search in that for directions and testimonials. I think it is the mild acid in the Coke that softens the fibers. Best of luck getting through the niggles.
Thanks, I’ll look into that, in the meantime I used the tumble drier!
I too was about to recommend a Coca Cola wash or two. Just a can/bottle (for front loaders) or more (for top loaders which use more water). Do not use soap, just the Coke. If need be, wash a second or third time.
Another vote for the slightly slouchy look here. It’s modern and fresh.
Thanks Catherine, I could do with that! 🙂
I don’t think there is a ‘wrong’ fit when it comes to boyfriend jeans. It’s really all about individuality and comfort for you! I personally think you’re rockin’ yours as is. That being said…non-stretch denim can stretch with wear. As the others have said, give your denim some love; lots of wear and they’ll be soft and slouchy. I’m curious about the Coca Cola technique. May give that a try myself. And thanks for the tip on the jeans twin needle. I’ll keep my eye out for one.
I have to admit that now that I’ve worn them quite a bit more, that they’re starting to soften. I also cheated and threw them in the tumble drier for 20 minutes! I think I’ll still have to sort something with the issues at the back, but overall, I rather like them now!
Great result. The fit looks really good to me. And the denim color is great – I love dark navy. I need to finally make this pattern. It’s been waiting for months now.
Your outfit is très chic. I love your buttons!
Well I’ve never made jeans before but I think the ‘stiffness’ you describe will ease in denim as others have said. Also I like the looser style as I think it looks more contemporary than a very fitted jean, they look good on you. The colour of these is great!