Classic Blue Jeans
Posted on Sunday the 2nd August 2020 by Duncan Carter
It feels like a while since I made a pair of jeans. Usually, I go for whackier fabrics or standout details, but this time I wanted to make a pair of classic jeans—a little baggier than my usual fit and with understated details. After a moment considering using the ‘wrong side’ of this light blue denim, I stuck with the correct side because I loved the 90s feel to the colour tone.
I always enjoy sewing with denim, though some of the multiple layers can be a bit of a struggle—belt loops in particular can cause a few issues if you put them directly on top of seams. Generally it does cut easily, presses well and as long as you use the right needles and take it slow over bulky sections, it goes well.
I am more comfortable with top stitching now—these days I side-step the official top stitch thread and use upholstery thread as an alternative, which is just as pretty, with a large range of colours available, but doesn’t catch and tangle as much as the thicker top stitch thread.
This was the first time I’d ever worked with rivets, but it really brings the finish up to the next level. I opted for these shiny gold rivets… with a matching jeans button.
The fit is good, which was quite important as there’s no stretch to this denim. There are a couple of darts in the back pieces to add shape in that area. I added some top stitching down the side seams for extra reinforcement.
I always like to finish the outside seams with bias binding — you get the tiniest sliver of it on the turn ups, but it adds a great wee pop and is more interesting than simple overlocked seams.
I sewed flat fell seams along the inside leg seam and seat. This adds strength and longevity to the life of the garment, plus it looks great too. Denim is a nice sturdy fabric to practise your flat-fell seams, so definitely give it a try!
I’m still not perfect at zip insertion and I always seem to end up with a little bit of zip on show… maybe I need to revisit the pattern as the waistband fits well but it could be that the top of the jeans pieces needs to be a widened a bit to stop it revealing the zip underneath.
I’m still on the hunt for the perfect jeans pattern, but this mashup of Burda patterns, honed over the years, is serving me well for now. Jeans are not a garment to be scared of… the zip is probably the only tricky bit for beginners—if you follow the instructions carefully (and do a little extra YouTube research!) it’s not as terrifying as it seems.
I hope this inspires you to reach for the denim. Next month, I’m trying something way outside of my comfort zone… faux furs!
Until then, I’ll be in my hammock chair :)