I have started sewing a pair of Ginger Skinny Jeans by Closet Case Patterns, and thought I would share my thoughts on fit and construction prior to showing you the finished jeans (hopefully later this week).
Sewing jeans is, for most home sewers, a daunting task. I have never sewn a pair of jeans before (or even proper fitted trousers). Let me tell you I am so impressed with the detailed sewalong for this pattern, which really makes the process easy.
I did make a muslin. No, I didn’t make a muslin out of denim. I made it from a thickish stretch cotton sateen, more than anything to check the fit of the crotch. I am sure I read somewhere Heather saying something like the crotch on these jeans are designed to fit most people, and I read it and thought “yeah, yeah”, but for me, at least, they seem to fit very well. (Sorry I don’t have any muslin pictures). So the actual changes I made to the pattern are minimal:
- I cut a size 16 at the waist, grading to a size 18 at the hips and thighs and grading back down to a size 16 below the knees. As others have said, even if you fall a couple of inches outside of the pattern sizing range give this pattern a try because the way it is drafted, together with the ease from your stretch denim, chances are you can make it fit.
- I ended up pinching out 2 inches in total from the waist band, which probably brings it to a size 14, but, more importantly for me, curved the waistband round to account for my (proportionally smaller) waist and sway back.
- I shortened the pattern by 2 inches but added an inch back to the final length below the knees. I like my skinny jeans to be slightly longer and gathered round the calf.
- I have moved the back pockets over by an inch towards the centre back seam. The pockets haven’t yet been topstitched in place, just basted, so their position may change yet.
- I added the pocket stay, cut from some soft cotton shirting.
In terms of construction the biggest tip I can give you is to either get one of those humpjumper attachment thingys to fit your sewing machine or just do what I did, fold a spare piece of denim up and place directly behind your machine foot when you come to sewing over thicker layer like the yokes or the edges of the coin pocket. It raises your machine foot to the same level as the fabric you are sewing so you don’t get those horrible skipped, uneven stitches. This is such a great tip to use on so many sewing projects, not just jeans….anywhere you have thick seams to get over.
I am going to baste my jeans together and have a final try on before the final sewing up. I think I will do the flat fell seam finish on the inside and outside leg seam. I never thought I would say that sewing jeans is very satisfying and hopefully the end result will be worth it.
Until soon, have a great week ahead.