Sunday, May 29, 2016

Update: Jeans Making

I sewed up my Ginger Jeans a good 5 months ago and have only worn them once. I wasn't super happy with the fit, and once I realized that my choice to use regular thread, although easier, meant popping top stitching in places I just didn't feel awesome about them and so they languished in the closet. I came very very close to sending them to Goodwill when I did the great purge of 2016 but I couldn't bear to part with them. They were  lot of work and I had had such high hopes.

Let's go back a bit. I made a muslin and based on that I did some quick and dirty alterations to my pattern pieces. This is my first ever pair of "fitted" pants and so I don't know why I thought it would magically come out perfectly on my first try? Demanding much?!

The sewing of the jeans was not difficult at all, as I knew it wouldn't be. Anyone can sew jeans, you just have to follow the instructions and be patient. Don't expect to make them in one day. Take your time. My fly went in OK, but with no serger my guts (of the jeans) looked kind of crappy. I was lazy, really really lazy while sewing these since I had in the back of my head that they wouldn't fit anyways so I just threw them together. So lazy was I in fact, that when my back yoke didn't line up, I didn't bother to pull out my seam ripper and fix it.. lazy... so so lazy. I guess to my defense we can call it a second muslin and cut me some slack.

So I basted them and took in some width, then I sewed them up and did an ugly hem job (see mad about the unlined up yoke above). I wore them once to a play date with my son, was kind of proud that I wore a completely hand made outfit that day, but I was also a little embarrassed of the jeans.

My 8 year old son took these pictures and so it's hard to tell how the jeans really fit. Also they just look like a lump of dark blue. They bagged out pretty bad over the course of the play date and when I got home I threw them in a super hot washer twice and then a super hot dryer hoping that would magically fix all the problems.. haha.. It helped but not enough.

I thought about taking them in and then I folded them up and put them in the closet.. there they sat until today.

Today after hemming a pair of extremely expensive jeans for a friend I realized that even expensive jeans aren't perfect. They have stray threads and wonky top stitching and it's OK.. most people don't notice these things. So I spent a little time on the Internet looking at Gingers and I pulled them back out. I tried them on and realized they fit kind of OK actually. (This probably relates to how many bags of chips I've eaten since December but let's not tell anyone! ) The crotch is still a bit too long and the stove pipe leg was really wider than I want, but other than that they really weren't that bad. So I got out my new serger (yay) and starting at the bottom of the pocket lining I took in the outseam all the way down. Probably took about a 1/4 " off at the thigh down to 1/2" at the ankle. I had pulled out the hem stitches already so I re-hemmed them more neatly with actual top stitching thread since it was already in my machine from the pair I hemmed for my friend.. and Whammo... much much better. Not perfect mind you, but better.

The other thing that had bothered me about them was the uniformity of the color. Most jeans come a bit distressed and that's what I'm used to. So I took out some sand paper and went to town. I put them on and went outside and sanded away on the thighs, around the crotch and some on the shin. Then I took them off and did a bit on the backside all the while being careful to avoid the top stitching. Don't want any more popped stitches than  I know I'm already going to get. They shed blue fuzz like crazy while I was doing this, so I expected the difference to be HUGE!  After all that was done, I threw them in the wash with all my other jeans to get a good toss. When they came out they looked OK. I was not careful about my sanding AT ALL, I just went at it and so it's totally uneven, but I'm OK with that. You can see some color differences. The fit is WAAAAY better now. I'm sure they'll still bag out a bit since this is stretchy denim, but now I consider them to be wearable.  Here's some photographic evidence of that. Please don't mind the crappy pics, I really need to get a remote for my DSLR so I can take better pics myself.
The length is now perfect to wear with flats or sneakers as is. And the leg is tight but not uncomfortably so. 

I like that they give a skinny vibe while still accommodating my more muscular calves. 

Here you can see the distressing. It's not a lot and it's not perfect but now I know that before I sew up my next pair I can hit the denim in some key places with some sand paper. I'll probably have to buy some that's a little heftier than what I used here but I can't wait to mess around with the distressing a bit. 

Rolled up like this is how I'm likely to wear them most often. They look pretty good like this, and now I know that my next pair will fit pretty darn well. 

YAY jeans that fit and are wearable and kind of cute. Far from perfect but after reading Closet Case Files post "14 COMMON JEANS & PANTS FITTING ADJUSTMENTS" I feel better about not searching for THE PERFECT FIT! Thanks Heather Lou for telling me to CHILL OUT! I will, promise.