I am one of those people who practically lives in jeans when not at work, and so when my go-to pair of black jeans showed signs of finally giving up the ghost a couple of months ago, it was clear that something had to be done.
The something in question, as it has been more and more often the longer I keep at this mad hobby, turned out to be “BUY FABRIC AND LET’S DO THIS THING.”
The fabric is 98% cotton/2% elastane black denim from MyFabrics, as was the 12cm metal zip and family of jeans needles (single and double); the fabric I got is no longer on their website, as it was a bolt end going cheap. (And it was cheap, even with shipping from Germany – do not be fooled by the .co.uk web address.) When it arrived the wrong side had a bizarre waxy texture; I think this is what people sometimes call ‘size’. A wash got rid of it. It’s still green, though.
The pocket lining is starry quilting cotton from stash, ultimately from, I think, Laughing Hedgehog:
These are my … um … sixth? set of Sewaholic Thurlows – or perhaps more accurately these are a descendant of the original Thurlows, as the block has shifted around a lot from the original pattern. Total modifications to date:
- shortened 12cm – turns out I have short legs …
- narrowed both legs all the way down to correct the length:width ratio after shortening
- raised the back waist to give more room in the rear
- added width at the top inseam to accommodate a full inner thigh
Then, to convert them into something closer to jeans:
- narrowed the leg again at and below the knee
- converted the top back section from having darts to a separate yoke
- added patch pockets
- added two extra belt loops at centre back (as an afterthought when it became clear the waistline was dropping below the belt at CB)
They came out a bit wide at the waist – I think the darts->yoke conversion slightly messed up my estimate of where to draw the centre back seam – but it’s not an issue as I’d always belt in jeans in any case.
They close with a metal zip and a hammer-on button that I think is actually a spare from one of my shop-bought sets of jeans. (It helpfully says ‘JEANS’ on it in case you forgot what they were.)
The pattern specifies the inner waistband in lining fabric, but I cut it in denim as standard for jeans. I left out the interfacing as I figured it’d be sturdy enough with two layers of denim. The front centre sections of the waistband are quilted through both layers with heavy thread to stop the tension on the button pulling the layers apart – this is an issue I’ve had in the past, as I prefer buttons to hooks-and-bars, but they do tend to pull.
They have double contrast topstitching along the pockets, belt loops and inseam, and single topstitching everywhere else. No rivets as yet because I forgot to buy them, and they work fine without.
I was half expecting trouble with all the topstitching involved, as my machine is a fairly basic model and I wasn’t sure how well it’d cope with multiple layers of denim. In the event, it chomped happily through the seams without difficulty and negotiated the belt loops with only a minimum of complaining.
So: jeans! That’s a major item filled in on my list of gaps in my wardrobe and, in my head at least, another sewing milestone passed.