Blue Jeans

Finished Jeans
I just finished a pair of blue jeans.  It is only the second time I have ever tried to make jeans.  The first time I was much younger and much slimmer. I had just worn out a pair that fit better than any other pair I had ever owned so I wanted a copy of them.  I used the scratch-off-a-pattern method to copy them. The replacement pair fit, but was not what I would call a success.  Jean making was not going to be something I really wanted to do after all.  At the time finding suitable and comfortable jeans was relatively easy anyway.

The pair I just finished I started about two years ago.  I have to admit that it is probably a wonder they ever got finished.  I started them then I sold my house and moved before I had time to finish them.  I had already completed the fly, but nothing else so the unfinished jeans got packed into an "unfinished group" and moved.  In the new smaller space they were just not a high priority to be unpacked.  When I did unpack them, I started on the pockets and some of the top stitching.  I was using jeans gold cotton thread to top stitch.  I wanted a set of jeans double needles to top stitch with in a size 6mm.  This is the standard size jeans companies use for top stitching.  All I could find were 6mm - sharp needles or 4 mm jean needles.  Details matter but if you can't get what you want, you have to use what you have.  This made top stitching require two passes when one should have been enough.

After breaking a few needles I decided this just was going to have to wait. So I worked on other projects and gave the jeans some back burner thought.  Last week I picked them up and finished them in about two hours.  I had already done all of the hard parts.  All I needed to do was sew up the outer side seams, attach the waist band, top stitch down the legs, sew the inner leg, make a button hole, cut the button hole open, attach the jean button, and hem them.  Sounds like a lot but really was not much compared to what I had already done.  Made me wonder why I waited so long to finish them.

And the best part? They fit so nicely!  Why is it when you find a pair of jeans that fit comfortably and you go back to buy more they just don't make that style any more? Or, if you think they are going to fit and feel wonderful when you buy them you buy several pair of the same cut and they are all duds?

The pair I just finished are also a copy of a pair that fit wonderfully.  This time when I copied them I did not scratch off a pattern, I deconstructed the actual pair I had worn out and used one half of the jeans for an exact pattern and the other half to refer to to see how they were constructed.  This turned out to be the best way to copy a style, pattern and fit that I liked.  Deconstruction required specific seams to be done in the reverse order of original construction.  Instead of copying the jeans into a paper pattern, I used the actual pieces laid out on the new denim.  This was a big help to properly follow grain lines, insuring the new pair would have the same feel as the old pair.  I think I will make several more pair.

If they still made this style, I would just buy them, but now that I have the secrets and the company has decided not to make them any more I do not feel one bit guilty about copying them. Since I know they fit, I may make a how to blog later when I make a few more pair.

 Look at this fun fabric I used in the pockets, this was just a scrap from some other project.

Pocket detail,  fabric pulled out to show  fun and unexpected color.

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