I just completed my first pair of jeans! These are the Five-Pocket Trousers from the March 2014 issue of Burda Style, made for the Princess.
Buying jeans for my girl has become an ordeal. She likes the skinny fit, but too often RTW jeans are way too tight. There's a difference between "skinny" and "obscene." I decided to try my hand at making jeans to get the slim silhouette she prefers and the modest fit I like. We decided to start with this pattern.
The model photo doesn't look too bad, and the tech drawing revealed a simple, traditional 5 pocket design. This was also the Sewing lesson for beginners in the March issue, so I thought having the illustrated instructions for the zipper fly would be handy.
When I traced the pattern, the legs seemed very skinny. I decided to go up a size, to a 36, for insurance and for growing room. I made a muslin, and after feedback from the Princess, the only fit adjustment I made to the pattern was to add an additional 1/2" of width to the legs from the lower hip to the ankle.
I'm pretty pleased with the way they turned out. (Please ignore the bunching at the ankles. The pants are long and the booties she insisted on wearing didn't allow them to fall smoothly around the ankles. With regular flats she gets a nice, slightly bunched look and I get the peace of mind knowing these won't be too short any time soon.)
I followed the pattern to the letter adding the coin pocket, belt loops, back pockets, etc. I also double top stitched everything in turquoise thread. Too bad you can't really see the details in this busy fabric.
Speaking of fabric, this is a stretch twill print we found on clearance at Joann Fabrics. I love the print, which is a gorgeous blend of purple, aqua and orange, but I didn't notice until I got it home that it seems to be flawed. There are bands across the width that look like they might not have printed correctly. Perhaps that was why it ended up on the clearance table? It really doesn't matter. I still like it and the Princess does, too, and that's what matters.
All in all this was a success. We got a pretty good pair of jeans on the first try. The pattern went together perfectly and the instructions were pretty good. I didn't have any problems at all, not even with the zipper fly. A word of caution, though- these are very skinny. I recommend a muslin and a stretch fabric is a must.
When I make these again, and I will because this is a great basic jeans pattern, I will add a little extra to my seam allowance at the zipper opening to make sure I have plenty of allowance on the left (underlap) side when I install the zip. I will also make the waistband smaller. I think I may have stretched it some when I attached it and it ended up loose. Nothing a belt (and maybe a trip through the washer) can't take care of.
We have a couple of other jeans patterns picked out and fabric selected as well, but we will be returning to this pattern. Stay tuned also for a grown up project- ponte knit dresses!