To be honest, I was never really interested in making jeans. I mean, I can buy jeans I like from the mall pretty easily so I didn’t really see a reason to spend that much time on something that I thought was high risk. I thought it would be impossible to find high quality denim, that fitting them would be a nightmare, and that they would look too homemade. Basically, I was afraid that at the end of all this work I would end up with something that I would never wear.
However, when I heard Gabriela from Chalk and Notch and Kelli from True Bias were going to take a Closet Case Patterns jeans workshop at Fancy Tiger, I had FOMO and signed up. I figured that even if the jeans I made were ill-fitting and something I would never wear, at least it would be a fun social activity and I would learn some new skills (ie: button fly).
But man, I was wrong. Turns out I CAN make jeans that look like they came from a store!
Pattern: Closet Case Patterns Morgan Jeans boyfriend jeans in the crop length
Fabric: 14 oz Selvage with Red ID Cone Mills Denim. A really good denim is key to making jeans that look RTW. Luckily, I was able to source the same denim as my favorite pair of Levi cutoffs so I knew that I would love the fabric (once it breaks in!)
Size: 6. Oh man did I struggle picking a size! I apparently have this fear that I’m going to make clothes way too small, so I overcompensated. Hard. Luckily, Gabriela let me try on her pair, which confirmed my basted pair were not the right size for me, and then I borrowed her pattern pieces to recut all mine down two sizes. Turns out the start to well fitting jeans is starting with the correct size. Who knew?!
Modifications: My favorite part of the workshop was that Heather personally fit my jeans to me. It would have taken a decoder ring and some dumb luck for me to figure out how to diagnose drag lines and what not (however, Heather has a helpful post on fitting here). Based on her fitting, I took 1/4′ off the front hook (shorten crotch adjustment) and 1/4′ wedge out of each yoke and a 1/2′ wedge out of the CB waistband (swayback adjustment). Also, I took 2 inches off a the lengthen/shorten line and cut at the crop length.
Thoughts: The Morgan Jeans pattern is awesome! I have a pair of jeans that I actually want to wear and I know they will get even better with time due to the raw denim. I thought about distressing them with some of the tips Alina wrote about on her blog here, but I’m curious to see how they wear in over time.
Also, I’m now obsessed with working with denim. It’s SO easy to sew! It’s like sewing a quilting cotton, which is a nice break from all the slippery knits and rayons I like so much. (I’ve got a denim pair of Landers and the Hampton Jean Jacket in my sewing queue now.)
Basically, if you’ve been on the fence about making jeans, you should do it. It’s a satisfying sew and I’m glad my FOMO pushed me into making jeans.
Next Time: I would still take the same 2 inches off at the lengthen/shorten line, but I would cut the length somewhere between the crop length and the full length. I like the length of these jeans as it, so it ends up feeling too short when cuffed with a hem in. I actually hemmed the jeans and then decided to rip it out and embrace the raw edge look so the length would be better. Also, I want to try the Ginger Jeans next… maybe a winter white pair?
Shop the Post: Jeans: Handmade (Similar, Similar) | Top: Anthropologie | Shoes: Steve Madden (Similar, Similar) | Watch: Garmin | Earrings: Gas Bijoux
Gabriela, Heather and Kelli in their handmade Ginger Jeans and me in my Morgan Jeans!