Monday, February 5, 2018

New jeans!

My poor neglected blog is about to get its annual boost as I'm off work starting today for five whole weeks! Time to sew, time to knit, time to blog. I call it practising for retirement.

I've started my staycation with a pair of Morgan jeans from Closet Case Patterns. This is my first time sewing a CC pattern. I'm going to do a proper review over on PatternReview but the short form is - I'm impressed. I will definitely make these again, and soon. I've been cycling through the same two pairs of blue jeans since practically forever (August, 2010) and they are almost done.

It was interesting to read that post from 2010. I still have that Levis denim from Wazoodle in stash, and I still do not like skin tight jeans. So rather than struggle with the Jalie stretch jeans pattern again with a different low-stretch denim from stash, I turned to the Morgan pattern. Boyfriend jeans. If you believe Google, the term is used to denote jeans that have all the classic bits but with a "relaxed fit", usually straight legged, and frequently torn and/or distressed. It was mostly relaxed fit I was after.

So what did I find?

First, the jeans are designed to have very little ease through the hip. I traced size 8 at the waist and 10 through the hip and leg, based on actual measurements. I got the jeans done through to the side seams which I based at 1.6cm (5/8") and tried on. Too tight for my taste. I re-sewed, tapering from the original size at the waist to a 1cm (3/8") seam, which gave me a nice extra 2.4cm (1") at the hip. Fit is now just right, by my non-fashionista standard.

These are made out of black denim which is slightly stretchy. The pattern is supposedly for non-stretch but I'd want even more ease in that case.

I like the rise on these as designed, although I sewed a slightly smaller seam allowance attaching the curved waistband to the pants body, and turned under less at the top of the waistband. As a result it's just over 4cm (1.75") wide, a bit wider than designed. I had to take a tiny dart at CB to keep it from sticking out and I'm modifying the waistband piece to be more curved for my next pair.

Can you see the hole?
I didn't make the button fly. I used the fly shield piece as designed, and inserted a zipper. It has been a while since I did that - I made a stupid mistake and my serger blade sliced into the right front of my pants just below the fly opening. That is not a mistake that can be fixed with a cute appliqué! I slapped some fusible interfacing on the wrong side and made a slightly lumpy bar tack there to hide it. If anyone is looking that closely at the crotch of my jeans, they will get slapped too...

And while I am on the subject, no one is allowed to look at the buttonhole either. My fancy machine (Pfaff) struggled mightily and after picking out as much as I could of the terrible tangle of thread that resulted, I sewed over the remains with my trusty buttonholer using my Featherweight. The Featherweight also handled all topstitching tasks using a heavy upholstery thread. What a great machine!

The Pfaff was otherwise completely brilliant. I used a Jeans needle and it chunked nicely through all construction points, including bar tacks to attach the belt loops (that would be at least 7 layers of denim).

While the outside of these is indeed sombre, the insides are not. I used a fun cotton print of African origin with a sewing theme to do the pockets and face the waistband.


  1. Your jeans look amazing on you and I like the look of the Fabric.
    Where did you get it from :) I am always looking for great jeans Fabric. Love the pocket detail!!!

    1. Stash, but probably it originally came from Fabricland.

  2. Cute jeans, agree the fit is better with slightly more ease ;-)

  3. The jeans look terrific -- bravo!
    Question about the Featherweight and buttonholer. I have a buttonhole attachment (Singer) and an old Featherweight. I have assumed that I can use the two together but have never tried. Any tips for making this process go smoothly? My very first machine (45 years ago) was a Touch and Sew and I remember using a buttonhole attachment gizmo on that machine. But I've been too nervous to combine the attachment with my Featherweight. Would appreciate any advice you can share. Thank you in advance.

    1. Assuming your buttonholer has the right shank (not slant) it should fit just fine on your Featherweight. Because you cannot lower the feed dogs on this machine it is imperative to use the included metal plate to cover them. Try it!

  4. Fantastic jeans! I've found that making jeans can become a bit addictive - so long as you can find the right fabric.

  5. Super jeans Kay! The fit is nice and no one will pay attention to the bar tack.

  6. Great and I love your personalized fit! I am suggesting a knee to the chin of anyone close of enough to be checking out the bottom of that fly.

  7. They really look great on your quite nice slim body and I like the facing fabric! Good job as usual. Looking forward to the next 5 weeks production!