I finally did it! I made jeans!
Posted on Tuesday the 24th October 2017 by Thread Carefully
I finally did it! I made jeans! Making jeans is something I’ve wanted to do for a while, but I was quite nervous about doing it. After making myself some trousers over summer, my confidence level increased enough for me to treat myself to the ever-popular Ginger Jeans Sewing Pattern designed by Closet Case Files. My reasons for being nervous about sewing jeans were as follows:
the denim would be bulky in some areas where lots of layers are sewn together so it might be difficult to sew
they might need complicated adjustments in order to fit
I decided that if I chose to make them as a Minerva project, then I would be motivated to make them by a deadline - otherwise I might just keep holding off and sewing other things!
From Minerva I chose ‘Plain Stretch Denim Dress Fabric’ in blue, an 8” Denim Zipper, a box of Rivets and a Twin Jeans Needle. I hadn’t yet decided what colour Topstitching Thread I wanted. Although the twin needle I ordered was meant for jeans, it wasn’t specifically for topstitching thread, and I thought that two reels of topstitching thread might get a bit tangled, so my plan was to use regular thread in the twin needle, but triple stitch so that it showed up clearly. This was a bad decision. I struggled to feed the fabric through, which resulted in assorted stitch lengths - most of them tiny. I’m not sure if the machine was to blame or the needle - for twin needle stitching I have to use my old machine rather than my regular one. Sure, I had two parallel lines of stitching, but they looked awful!! I had to unpick them, which took hours. When I was ready to do them again, I abandoned the twin needle and the old machine. I still used triple stitch because I didn’t have any topstitching thread, but this time there was no problem, thank goodness!
The denim I chose is nice, but not very stretchy! Although it contains spandex, it doesn’t stretch enough for my liking. I hadn’t actually noticed when I chose it that that it’s a denim made of 70% polyester, 27% cotton and 3% spandex - perhaps the high polyester content means it’s less stretchy and doesn’t ‘give’ like cotton denim would. If I were to make another pair of gingers with this fabric, I would size up for extra ease (more likely I would stick with this size though and opt for Stretchier Denim Fabric). I made view B of the jeans, which is the high-waisted version with a non-stretch waist stay, and I interfaced the waistband, so I know I haven’t exactly helped to increase the amount of stretch around the waist!
The pattern is great. I did have to follow it in conjunction with the Closet Case Files online ginger jeans sewalong though, for extra clarification, and I still got a bit confused by the pocket lining. The bits I was dreading sewing were actually fine - like attaching the belt loops. I gave the fabric a good wallop with the hammer first and it was easy peasy.
The worst part of sewing was when I had finished and tried to attach the rivets. I was like ‘oh so easy just make a hole, poke the rivet through, pop the top on and hammer yay lalalala’, whereas poking the rivet through the hole gave me a tension headache, made me use all the most offensive swear words and made me want to END THE WORLD. Once I had managed the rivets at the front (the one on the corner of the coin pocket was the absolute worst), I gave up. Next time I need pokier rivets!
Overall I am pleased with the jeans, but they aren’t going to replace my favourite pair because of the comfort factor. I do love the back pocket though ?
Thank you Minerva Crafts for providing the fabric, zip, needle and rivets. I’m already keen to make another pair with a different fabric - watch this space!