I’m making jeans! I haven’t made a pair of jeans since 2016, when I made 5 pairs of Birkins! I did some research on the current favourites, as well as patterns that have been around for a while, and, despite the fact that I already have the Ginger jeans pattern – and have yet to use it, I bought something else entirely! I’m not that sold on the Gingers. I traced them while on holiday in September, and the more I traced, the more I realised this was not the pattern for me. The shapes weren’t right for me!
My choice for this year is the Ash Jeans pattern from Megan Nielsen. I dithered a bit over the Dawn, but realised I wanted jeans with stretch, so that meant the Ash. I like that there is a choice of 4 leg types, and a very decent size range. I toiled the 31 – which, according to my measurements should have been just about perfect, but they were waaaay too small! I made the slim leg, but they turned out like leggings, all over… I actually couldn’t close the button. So I went back to the size tables, compared the Birkin Flares and my Burda measurements and the Ash measurements to get an idea of what I should have done with this new to me pattern company. In the end I retoiled using the 35 at the waist, going to the 32 at the leg. That’s a big jump! And they were a little baggy, so in the end I’ve got a 34 waistband, moving quickly to the 33 just above the hipline and merging into the 32 by the crotch level. The only thing that’s close to my measurements is using the 34 at the waist the other sizes should technically be too big. Here goes nothing!
I re-arranged the order of work slightly by making up all the small bits first. I overlocked the pocket edges, pocket facings, fly pieces and belt loops, then ironed the turnings and folded over the top edges of the pockets. Then I topstitched all the pocket edges and made up the belt loops. Now they’re ready for use when I need them.
Next I attached the back yoke to the back leg overlocked that seam and topstitched. Then I attached the back pockets. This means less changing of topstitching thread. Then I overlocked the centre back seam and the outer leg seams of the back and front pieces. The centre back seam was next, followed by topstitching. Now the back is ready.
Next was zip. I reversed the zip so it would open to the left, like all my other trousers. I guess it’s a hang-over from when jeans were exclusively menswear, but I don’t like my zip opening the “wrong” way. I chose a green thread for topstitching, just an ordinary thread. My Bernina will do a lot I ask of it, but it baulks at topstitiching thread, whether in the top or the bobbin. It just doesn’t like it. I didn’t change anything in the zipper instructions, apart from reversing the sides to sew things to. But I did chalk on the centre front line on the left, and pinned the right CF to that line before attaching the zip tape to the right fly facing.
Front pocket bags are cut from the back of one of hubby’s shirts. Don’t panic, he’d managed to wear through the collar and get holes in the sleeve where the cuff joins, so it had already been relegated to the “re-use for something else” box. I unpicked the back darts, gave it a good press and cut the shallow pocket. I’ve used French seams for the bottom hem of the pocket, it should add strength. Once the pockets were done and topsttitched, I overlocked the outer leg edges.
Now to sew the front to back along the inner leg seams, and then overlock those seam allowances together. At this point you’d usually press to one side and topstitch, but I’m going to skip that step on these jeans. If I decide I really need topstitching, I figure I can get in there and topstitch afterwards as the legs are fairly wide. It shouldn’t be that tricky… The side seams are now sewn and the top section topstitched to keep the seam to the back. And that’s it for today, I’m hungry! Somewhere along the line I kinda forgot about lunch. So tomorrow I’ll attach the belt loops & waistband and do the button and hems. Fingers crossed it all works out!