in my heart of hearts and in my soul of souls i am a jeans and tee kind of girl. who isn't? unfortunately, its not always easy to find a good pair of jeans. until this recent pair of jeans, i owned two pairs that i wore in heavy-ish rotation. one was my colette clovers, which i don't think really count as jeans since the styling is more trouser-like. the second was a pair of high-waisted skinny jeans from jbrand that i bought a bit big and the waist has a habit of scooching down from its high-rise heights which leaves me with a saggy crotch problem. not very comfortable!
so it was time to make a new pair of jeans. not the most glamorous sewing - but necessary! i had this stretch denim from mood leftover from my denim clovers. it was just enough to eek out this pair of jeans! i used the simplicity built by wendy pattern that came with the book, sew u (it looks like the pattern is now out of print, but maybe it still comes with the book?) i've had this book since i was a teenager, but this is the only pattern i've ever made from it.
i cut these in a straight size 6 but after sewing up the inseam and basting the rest of the legs together i had to take them in a whole lot. i think the 4 would have fit better, although i may still have had to take it in a bit. the jeans look a bit baggy in these pictures because, well i've been wearing them non-stop since i made them! time for a washing!!
this pattern has a really modern fit. a low (but not too low, no butt-cracks please!) waist and a very straight-through-the-hip cut. which is great for me since i'm also kind of straight-through-the-hip! i obviously changed the leg, narrowing them to the knee and then keeping 'em straight and skinny to the ankle, leaving the length long so they bunch up at my foot.
the built by wendy pattern isn't necessarily a jeans pattern. as a matter of fact, you don't really need a specific "jeans" pattern to make jeans! because when it comes to jeans, the devil is in the details. when i sat down to sew these i had my pair of jbrands by my side and another super old pair of levi's. i kept opening up both pairs and checking out how the fly was inserted, where were the bar tacks, how the belt loops were attached, and most importantly, what was topstitched and what wasn't.
the topstitching (and perhaps also the pocket shape) are really what says "jeans" on a pair of pants. i've noticed that the "fancier" the jean, the less topstitching it has, and the more casual the jean the more topstitching it has. but almost all jeans have some sort of topstitching around the fly, pockets (back and front) and waistband. some have two lines down the inseam, my jbrand pair has none. i made this pair with a single line of topstitching down the inseam. my double needle broke after using it once around the fly when i tried to ease it over the zipper teeth (woops!) and so i was left to eyeball the rest of the topstitching with more or less accuracy!
and speaking of details - what's a jean without the rivets! again, this is a totally optional detail - some jeans have them, some don't. i bought my small rivets and rivet button for the waistband from taylor tailor - who makes some pretty awesome jeans! i'm not gonna lie - they were a tad bit harder for me to get in than taylor makes it out to be in his tutorial! I did a lot of pounding to get them to stay put... but i think it was worth it because it is those little details that makes these look a bit more professional.
since i was on a built by wendy kick i decided to open her other book, sew u home stretch, and make up the crew neck tshirt from the pattern provided. i compared the paper pattern to a favorite tshirt of mine from american apparel and saw that my shirt was about an inch narrower than the smallest size on the pattern. i made the necessary adjustments and what seriously seemed like two seconds later, i had this new mint green tshirt! the fabric is the minted cream organic cotton knit from tessuti that i bought on a whim with my last purchase. it sort of looks like i bought it at american apparel...go figure...