Since the summer, I've been nursing my favourite pair of skinny jeans through their last months and now that we’re in 2019, I finally decided it was time for a new pair. I've used this pattern before (Burda 7138) and, with a couple of tweaks, I knew they’d give me the fit and style I wanted. WARNING: These jeans are super-skinny, so you must use stretch fabric. I opted for this beautiful olive green Lady McElroy Denim Fabric.
The current pair I have fit well around the behind, ahem, but are a little loose in the waist. Instead of cutting the waist smaller at any of the seams, I increased the depth of the back darts to enhance the roundness while bringing in the waist. This made the back pieces a little awkward to work with when putting on the patch pockets, but obviously one’s derrière fills this out when worn!
I also got the chance to use my new labels as design features on the pockets.
I did make a couple of pattern alterations before cutting—the one thing I dislike about this pattern is just how shallow the front pockets are, like, you really can’t put anything in them! So, I looked out a pair of store-bought jeans with generous pockets and extended my pattern pieces to roughly match in size.
I also raised the pocket openings up because the existing front-pattern piece is a bit of a halfway style — part jeans, part chinos. I wanted a higher, traditional jeans-like opening. This also gave me an extra inch or two in the pocket depth.
I knew I’d be doing turn-ups when wearing these jeans so, to add a little pop, I bound the seams with contrast bias binding. (Only the first six inches so, no point doing the whole way up as they’ll never be seen!) It’s a quick, easy way to add some interest while using up those left-over pieces of binding that seem to accumulate.
The zipper and stud button went in easily and look great. I’m getting a whizz at resizing metal zips now! I did my version of a flat-fell seam, wherever possible. I prefer the bulk on the inside as this gives me a much neater finish on the outside. I believe this is a faux-flat fell seam, but I’m not totally sure? This technique mean that you need to tack the seams in place to be certain that you actually catch the seam when topstitching, but I’ve realised that hand-tacking/basting doesn’t take nearly as long as I thought.
I can see these becoming a regular garment in my wardrobe, and I will make them again, stitch-for-stitch, whenever I need new jeans. I’m really enjoying playing around with pattern alterations, improvising design details, etc. It adds a whole new dimension to the creative process and personalises the garments even further.
Next month’s garment is a bit whacky—sort of a combo of fireside cosiness with 70s leisure wear… Yes, it’s as weird as it sounds.
Until then, happy sewing!
Duncan
xx