sallie from the block

Safran Jeans

When I put on this outfit I wasn't totally sure if it was working - like, I wasn't sure if what I thought I looked like was representative of what I actually looked like.  Far too many times I've left the house thinking "hell yeah, I am one fine-ass lady" only to see a photo of myself, or a reflection in a window and realize "what the hell was I thinking?? I can't pull off a crop top..." or whatever.  To be fair, that false sense of confidence has gotten me through life pretty well - I think I do a pretty good job of fooling myself and, to a lesser degree, the people around me into thinking I am way cooler than I am. But sometimes I need a reality check.  So I do what I normally do and turned to Nick (note: while this is an outside opinion, it's a pretty biased one as a) he truly does think I'm a fine-ass lady and b) he might be a bit generous with the truth in order to, you know, avoid hurting my feelings, tactful guy that he is. But this still serves my purpose because, as I've noted above, I've been pretty happy in my self-delusion, and a biased outside opinion is really what I'm after).  So I asked him if I indeed looked as hot in reality as I thought I did in my head.  He told me that my shoes were unbuckled and flopping about and that made me look silly (I hadn't totally finished dressing when this conversation took place). Then he told me that if I had a pair of Timberland's I could pull off a "Jenny from the block" look, which basically told me all I needed to know. Any reference -- no matter how skewed or distant -- to JLo and her butt is good enough for me! 

Safran Jeans

And that, my friends, is the long-winded explanation of this post title! Don't you just love my ramblings? Isn't this what you come to this blog for? No? It's not? See, there goes that self-delusion again!

Fine, fine, fine! Let's talk sewing! Let me introduce you to my Safran jeans! This is the newest pattern from Deer and Doe.  They reached out to me, along with a few other ladies, a few weeks ago to see if I would be interested in making up the pants and blogging about them in exchange for an advanced copy of the pattern.  I always love a good pants pattern, and sewing jeans is actually one of my favorite things to make, and this pattern has some really fun details, so I said of course! And eagerly gathered my supplies.

Safran jeansSafran Jeans

I really love the high waist of these jeans, the cropped length, and the angled faux-welt front pocket. Those were the details that really sold this pattern to me.  Overall they are pretty light on classic "jeans" styling, and could easily be made into a cute pair of cigarette trousers should that be your inclination.  Me? I love a healthy dose of topstitching, so I went the whole hog with gold topstitching thread, which I think really pops on this periwinkle blue stretch denim I got from Mood.

The actual construction of these jeans was pretty easy and straightforward for me, having made a fair few pair of jeans in the past.  I followed the instructions for those front pockets, and from there I just sewed according to my own preference.  I glanced at the instructions for the fly front and wasn't too impressed so I followed my usual method - which at this point is a combination of Closet Case Files fly front instructions and Grainline Studio's (I prefer Grainline's order for attaching the fly facing, but like Closet Case Files' for getting the topstitching right).

Safran JeansSafran Jeans

I had a few issues with the fit of these jeans, however after looking at these pictures I'm wondering if its all in my head...?

First of all, let me just say that I am not a perfectionist when it comes to fitting anything, but especially skinny pants made in stretch fabrics.  Some wrinkling and pulling is part of the territory. Also, as a second disclaimer, my body has changed in the past year and I haven't totally got a handle on the fitting problems I might be encountering as a result.  And finally, I'm not a fan of picking apart my makes on my blog - nothing is ever perfect, and I'm okay with that.  But since I encountered various fit issues with this pattern I thought I would tell you about them.

Before sewing these together I basted them to test the fit, as it was a new-to-me pattern, and a new-to-me pattern company.  As I said, I can ignore some pulling and wrinkling on this type of pant, but what does bother me is obviously curved or twisting side and inseams, excessive bunching at the knees and waistline gaping.  I was experiencing all three.  Even though I feel like these pants are cut to accommodate a curvier rear end, I was experiencing a significant amount of gaping at the back waist.  That was easy to fix by taking a wedge out of the center back seam (although I still think I'm getting some excess fabric back there - those horizontal ripples are actually being caused by the waist being too loose and the waistband wanting to slide down).  But the real head scratcher here was in the legs.  My side seams were very curved towards the front of my thighs, and at the ankle the side seam wanted to twist towards the front of my ankle.  My first instinct was that I must have cut the pants off grain, but on further inspection I noticed that the inseam was perfectly straight -- if the pants were off grain the whole leg would be twisting, not just one seam.  The knee area was particularly uncomfortable as there was an excess of fabric bunching up and sort of rotating around my knee.  I'll tell ya, friends, I was stumped as to what was going on! I did what any modern sewist would do and took to Instagram to let my smarter sewing friends diagnose my problems for me.  The overwhelming consensus was that it looked like I needed a full calf adjustment (what?! that's definitely not a problem I've ever had before...) and also that the front thigh was too tight.  As these pants were already cut, any adjustments I was going to make had to happen within the 5/8 seam allowance. So I let out the back calf area and the front thigh area and it seemed to make some difference, but I still feel that slight twisting along the side seam, and it annoys me.

Safran JeansSafran Jeans

Just for comparison I laid my Safran jeans pattern over top of my Ginger jeans pattern (which fit me well) to compare, and the entire cut of the leg is totally different.  The Safran jeans are based on a much straighter block, where the Ginger jeans angle inwards from the hips to the ankles.  Not to get all anatomical here, but I think the more angled cut of the Ginger jeans mimics the natural angle of the femur in most women -- from a wider pelvis to a narrower knee -- than the straight cut of the Safran jeans. This, I think, makes for a straighter side seam, and less twisting and bunching at the knee. I don't think of myself as having full thighs or calves, but my body is undeniably more muscular than it was a year or so ago, and so my thinking is that while the Safran jeans are cut to accommodate a rounded rear end, they may not take into account a muscular thigh - particularly a developed quadricep.  Again, I don't think I have killer quads, but compared to the rest of my proportions (i.e. my waist measurement) they are fuller than this pattern allows for. Frankly, I think my booty to waist ratio was a bit more than this pattern was prepared for too! But thank goodness for stretch denim!

Safran Jeans

All in all though, these pants have been getting their fair share of wear.  As I said before, I love the high waist and the angled pockets, and the bright blue of this denim feels very fresh to me right now. The denim does stretch out after a full day of wearing, and it's most noticeable in the waist which starts to slide down, giving me the dreaded "load in her pants" look that can happen with high waisted jeans.  However, after a quick wash they are back to making me feel like a babe, so I'm ok with that! I think with a few tweaks to the shape of the leg this pattern could definitely see some future iterations. I love it in colored denim, and I just so happen to have some purple orchid colored denim sitting in my stash... Purple pants, anyone??

Hmmm... that might be that self-delusion talking again....