With apologies to James Bond for nicking the title of one of his films, regular readers will know there are certain things I have vowed never to do. In the sewing arena this included never bothering to make a pair of jeans. I don’t have any problems getting ready to wear jeans to fit me properly so I couldn’t see the point and, anyway, what a faff!
In the end though, I couldn’t resist the challenge – I wanted to prove to myself I could do it so I bought some grey marl denim and some ‘only just’ contrast thread – not brave enough yet to do so much very visible top stitching – bought Closet Case’s Ginger Jeans pattern, measured the pieces against an existing pair of jeans that fit me well and off I went.
Curved front pockets – no problem (I’ve even lined them in a blue ditsy Liberty fabric just for fun).
Fly front complete with bar tacks- a doddle.
Back pockets – just a question of where to put them to enhance my ‘only just there’ bum. This isn’t ideal placing but I had started to realise by now that these jeans were never going to be worn and I just wanted to get them attached and move on to the next bit.
I thought I might as well carry on until the bitter end and call them a muslin/toile/practice run – anything other than a complete waste of time.
So, I added the waistband, complete with fancy facing, put on the belt loops and a proper jeans button.
All in all I have convinced myself I’m perfectly capable of making a pair of jeans with all the necessary bells and whistles.
If only they fitted me.
Totally my fault – the ‘denim’ fabric I chose has got hardly any stretch in it at all. So, even though, when I hold them up to my favourite pair of shop bought jeans, they are exactly the same size, the lack of stretch means I can hardly bend my knees…..
….and sitting down for any length of time, if I could even manage it, might crush my internal organs.
I realised about mid-way, they were going to be too tight but it was good practice. So, if you’re about to make jeans – they’re really not too difficult but just make sure you have the right fabric and practice your top stitching.
I think I’ll give them another go once I’ve got over the trauma and, when I do, I will be extremely picky about the denim I use. Apparently, too much stretch is not good either so it’s a bit tricky and I’d suggest finding somebody who has made a successful pair (i.e. not me) and copy their choice of denim if possible. If you’re in the U.S., this will not be a problem at all – in rural France it’s more difficult.
Just to be a bit more upbeat, the top I’m wearing with them is another Sewaholic Renfrew top – is there anybody out there who hasn’t got this pattern and swears by it? I made this one using the cotton jersey I bought which had ‘Kid’s Collection’ or something similar printed down the selvedge. Ask me if I care.
So that’s the jeans off my ‘never say never’ sewing list.
Next up is the coat.
My sewing friend Sandra and I are making this together (the unbelted version) – or rather, we’re making one each but at the same time. The cutting out of the interfacing was the worst bit so far. I have a feeling those welt pockets are going to be nightmarish too and that is the point I’ve reached as of yesterday when we had our weekly sewing session. Yes ‘weekly’ – and we spend the first hour yakking – so it might be some time before the finished article emerges.
So, that’s two sewing ‘never say nevers’ ticked off but, even though I did give in and buy a sparkly top over the festive season, I am still adamant that I am never, ever going on a sea cruise .
Have you ever said ‘never, ever’ to something – either in crafting or life in general – and then changed your mind?