It isn’t a secret that I’ve been on a quest to make the perfect fitting skinny jeans. The first pair of jeans I made was a few years ago, and though it was an enlightening learning process which allowed me to take my sewing skills to the next level, I wasn’t 100% happy with the fit of the pants. Not enough to move the pattern into the TNT pile, anyway. And so the journey continued…
I had purchased Kenneth King’s Jeanius class on Craftsy last year, and I got to the stage of making the first muslin before I was distracted by other projects.
Then came the release of the new Finnish Named pattern line and the Jamie Jeans pattern! I bought this pattern when it was released, traced and cut out the pattern but yet again, could not find the time to sew up a muslin!
Finally, at the end of last year, I was able to get myself together to finally start working on my Jamie Jeans muslin!
I had bought some very stretchy denim from M&L Fabrics in Anaheim. I had initially wanted to use it for my Jeanius muslin, but decided to try it for my Jamie muslin instead.
I made up the muslin without the finishing details (no top-stitching or finishing the seams with my serger) because I just wanted to get a feel for the pattern steps and try the pants on as quickly as possible. The pattern was really great to work with; The steps were easy to follow, and all the pieces lined up and sewed up quickly.
When I tried on the finished muslin, I realized that I must have used too stretchy a denim because the pants were sooooo loose – not just in one place, but in all places. Maybe this denim is better suited for a leggings/jeggings pattern?
At first I second guessed what the fit of the pant was supposed to be, They’re supposed to be skinny jeans, right? So, I went back to the Named website to see the fit of the pants on the model. Yup, they’re supposed to be tight.
My version was also much too short and loose at the ankle which wasn’t the look I was going for.
I decided to make 2 changes:
The first was to choose a different fabric for the final version. I went to my stash and pulled out all the denim. One by one, I checked the stretch and recovery of each piece. I decided on a piece that I got in the LA fashion district whose stretch was comparable to jeans that I own that have a composition of 98% cotton and 2% spandex. Very stable with only a little bit of stretch.
Secondly, I decided to add 2 inches to the length of the hem because I wanted to mimic the length of the jeans on the named model.
Then, off I went to sew up the final version.
This took me a lot longer to finish than the muslin. I wanted a very professional look, so I really took my time with the cutting, sewing, serging and top-stitching.
This is how they turned out:
Before adding the waistband and finishing the seams, I tried on the pants to make sure I liked the fit through the leg and decided to take out some bulk from the inner thigh. I took out about 5/8″ and transferred this alteration to the pattern.
When I added the waist band onto the pants, the fit was suuuuuper tight at the waist! Even though I would be able to button up the pants, I knew that I’d have to adjust the waist to have a more comfortable fit (and no muffin top). Since these jeans were already cut and practically done, I decided that for me to really know how well this pattern fit, I’d have to make another pair. This pair I put aside (without sewing on the belt loops) thinking it would be another muslin.
Luckily I had more fabric left for another pair. I decided to sew it up using black top-stitching thread (which would make things go more quickly since mistakes would be less visible).
I used this fabric (that I used for my Vogue jeans pocket lining) for this pocket lining as well.
It’s so perfect for pocket lining, don’t you think?
This is the result of the finalized, altered pattern.
You can’t really tell from the photos but the fit of this pair is definitely the most comfortable. The pants sit a bit higher on my hip than what I’m used to so it still feels a tiny bit tight. But I think it is a good trade-off having the pants fit a bit higher and tighter at the waist because I don’t need to wear a belt with them and there is no chance of the waistband falling too low when I sit down.
After trying on version 2 again, I realized that though a bit tight now, they fit well enough for me to want to wear them, so I went back to the machine and sewed up the belt loops and added them to that pair. I must say that I liked sewing up this pair the most because it was fun working with the gold top-stitching – I feel they make the jeans look very professional!
Here are all 3 versions together!
Overall, I’m really happy with these jeans! Though I wish they were still a little looser, and possibly lower, at the waist, I’m definitely happy with how they turned out and feel I might be getting closer to making a perfect pair of skinny jeans. I’m realizing that when I compare them to my store bought jeans, the denim of the me-made pair is extremely stiff. This is a big factor in them being wearable for me because I tend to reach for the most comfy pair of jeans in my closet. Is this a sign that I just need to wash them a lot more (even before sewing them)? Do you think the quality of my denim is just not high enough to get that store bought jeans feel? Or do you think I’m just so accustomed to jeans that have a much higher spandex percentage?
Whatever it is, I still think I’m on a quest for a perfect jeans pattern. Even during Me-Made-May this year, these pants were probably the most uncomfortable of my Me-Mades (although, thick and stiff jeans in the extreme heat was probably a bad decision on my part).
Another close-but-no-cigar pattern. If I can find the time this year, I will definitely get back to working on my Jeanius muslin. Until then, I’ll probably be wearing my store bought jeans more often. Have you tried making jeans? Have you tried the Jamie Jeans pattern? What do you think? Do you think the perfect Me-Made jeans can be done? Or is it safe for me to give up now?