Saturday, November 10, 2012

Makin Jeans!

How nice is it to find a pair of jeans that fit you really, really well? REALLY REALLY nice. Like most people, I think, I don't have such an easy time of it. My hip to waist ratio just doesn't mesh with the kinda standard sizing you find in most clothing companies, although stretch fabrics and the introduction of "curvy fit" jeans does help. Oddly enough, it seems that I often get the best fit from pants I pick up at Goodwill... pants that appear to be from the early 90s...

Some "vintage" jeans on Etsy. Already sold, but don't worry ladies, Goodwill has a healthy supply unless the hipsters get there first.
But let's face it - those thrift store jeans will only get a girl so far. I will never look as chic in 90s pants as the young woman above... and I'm not even sure she's pulling it off. Just go check out the rear view, and you'll see. Still, the proportions are right... smaller waist, bigger hips than today's jeans, which tend to do this on me...

source, from Alterations Needed
For a while now it has been by aspiration to tackle this issue, create jeans perfectly fitted to my dimensions, and laugh in the face of those silly standard sizes! Ha! Stupid sizes! I used to think I was the one with the problem, but now I know it's YOUR silly assumption that all people are built the same. Really. Standard sizing, you are an idiot.

Ahem. Anyway, to achieve this, I knew I could rely on any standard sewing patterns either - at least, not unless I want to do a zillion fitting adjustments and multiple muslins. Nope! Thankfully, Tasia has heard the cries of the curvy folk and delivered an excellent pants pattern, the Thurlows, but they aren't jeans style and they aren't made for stretch fabrics. I have my Thurlow pattern and will definitely make some up in the future,  but to make my own jeans I decided to go rogue... and MAKE MY OWN PATTERN. Okay, that's not that crazy, but I've had a lotta coffee this morning.

So I took a pair of those 90s pants from Goodwill that fit me nicely and I cut them apart at the seams. I didn't bother unpicking the stitching... that would of been a pain in the ass with all the serged seams. Here they are, deconstructed...

(Sorry for the crappy photo. I like to work in the afternoon when the sun comes into the dining room, but it is not nice for photos.) I was pleasantly surprised that there weren't that many pieces. Pants aren't that complicated, even though sewing people sometimes think so. There's a front leg piece, a back leg piece, a yoke piece for the back, the fly facing doohickey, the waistband, and that's it. Oh wait. I forgot about all the pocket stuff. Okay, actually, they are a little complicated, but I'm going to try to document how I've gone about making my own patterns and sewing it all together in the next few posts. With any luck, at the end of this I'll have a perfectly fitting pair of me-made jeans and a pattern which I will use to sew dozens of variations while laughing in the face of ill-fitting commercial jeans! Wish me luck!


  1. Good luck! I have been thinking about jeans and how nice it would be to have custom-fit hand-sewn ones because I can't find any straight-leg jeans at the thrift stores... seems like all I find for my shape are flares. So this is something I'd like to learn someday.

  2. Good luck! I failed on my attempt at making jeans, but that's because I was too afraid to cut up the sacrificial lambs. I'm excited to see your finished project!