Jeans. One of those hallmark moments of a sewists journey where you move from…
“There’s no way I could ever do that“, to
“Hmmmm…maybe they wouldn’t be so hard“, and then
“Come ON girl, let’s do this!”
Of course afterwards there’s the inevitable,
“Why the hell didn’t I make them sooner??”
It was Lauren of Baste and Gather‘s recent callout for pattern testers that finally swung me into gear.
Because, you know, it’s totally sensible to sign up for a major pattern test for a garment you’ve never made before when you have half a house and a backyard that looks like this…
If there’s one thing about me and sewing, I love to set myself ridiculous goals at ridiculous times of my life.
Enough of the chaos, you’re here for the sewing…
When Lauren announced the Birkin flared jeans pattern I admit I was originally a little… “Really? Flares?”.
But here’s the thing. Flares are BACK! I’ve decided recently that my instincts and skepticism on upcoming fashion trends are not to be trusted and these things are best left to the experts.
Bam! Exhibit A.
Over the past few years I’ve sewn A LOT of indie patterns and have consequently become quite fussy about quality and what I like and don’t like. This one in my opinion has it all. Awesome design and fit, clear easy-to-follow instructions, accuracy and detail, accompanying video tutorials and ongoing support.
I’ve made a few pairs of jeans for my kids but this was my first attempt at jeans for myself. Consequently I decided to buy some fairly average quality denim on sale for $7 a metre from Textile Traders. As it turns out, summer isn’t the best time in Perth to be buying denim, funny that. So I was pretty limited on choice but as it turns out this denim worked perfectly! Hello cheapest, best fitting jeans ever made.
I cut a size 28 hips and graded to a 29 at the waist. After an initial baste there was some concern I wouldn’t be able to eat more than a salad while wearing them so I reduced the seam allowances a little but then after a few tries they started to loosen so I ended up pretty much back where I began. The rest of the fitting was spot on so no further adjustments were needed.
The topstitching wasn’t nearly as challenging as I expected and turned out a gazillion times better than I thought it would. I bought an edge stitch foot which definitely helped and the gorgeous thick topstitching thread really helped achieve a pretty profesh finish.
The trickiest bit was all the bar tacks through so many layers of denim. My machine struggled with the fancy “bar tack” mode so I ended up just doing a close narrow zig zag after giving the seams a good whack with a hammer. Super therapeutic btw – I highly recommend even if just for fun!
Wanna flare it up? The Birkin Flares pattern has been released today and Lauren is offering a discount to celebrate. Just enter the code “birkinrelease” for $2 off the pattern plus all other patterns in her shop are 50% off until midnight Sunday 13 December PST time.
I definitely recommend these as a first jeans pattern so if you’re still a little unsure if you’re up for the challenge my advice is just GO FOR IT! You definitely won’t regret it.