I am pretty sure that you will all agree that the holy grail of sewing is making your own wedding dress. In my opinion on the dais below are making your own bras, swimwear and jeans. 

This month I tackled jeans and they took FOREVER!  I thought they would be difficult, but they weren’t. The challenge is in the fit, all of the details and the top stitching.  It needs to be accurate or it makes the whole garment look crap.  

As part Angela Wolfs 2014 wardrobe challenge, March was for making jeans.  

It’s a bit late – but I’m done. 

I had previously done her Tailoring ready-to-wear craftsy class and I loved it.  

So, I bought her boot cut jeans pattern , signed up for her jeans craftsy class and dug some grey stretch denim out of my stash.

The pattern is a downloadable PDF and the instructions are quite comprehensive. But having her explain some of the steps in greater detail (on Craftsy) is just invaluable.   To be honest there are some details that are omitted in the pattern – like attaching the belt loops.  The craftsy class also goes into the details and steps for distressing the fabric to make them look like RTW.

The fabric is a stretch ‘denim like’ fabric that is a dark grey will some subtle pin striping. (Purchased from The Fabric Store Brisbane).  I had enough fabric to make a pair of shorts as a muslin, as fit was one of my main concerns.

What I learned from the muslin was that this pattern fits me great!  The only small alteration needed to take a small dart out of both the yoke and waistband pieces for them to sit snugger across my back.   I also decided to go down a size because the fabric has enough stretch.   

When cutting the fabric I chose to eliminate the boot cut shape and made them straight from the knee down. 

Top stitching is such an important feature of this project and I tried a few methods.  First was top stitching thread, but I just couldn’t get the tension right.  I also tried to use two threads through the needle.  My issue was that the second thread was from a bobbin and it kept unwinding too quickly and would wrap itself around the spool pole. I really needed to have bought a second spool of thread.  I ended up going with normal thread but using the double stitch on my machine with a longer length.  This also came in handy as I didn’t have to keep changing my thread between top stitching and construction tasks.  And that would have happened a lot. 

The top stitching isn’t perfect but it’s not too bad if you don’t look too close. 

There are a few things I would do differently next time. There is twill tape in the top of the waistband to reduce the stretch. After wearing these I have decided that I wouldn’t mind a little but of stretch there. Maybe some interfacing would be enough. 

The last thing I did was make the button holes.  I was really worried about this step and put it off for ages.  I practiced on some scrap fabric and then made the two worst button holes – EVER!  They were uneven in length and width, poorly positioned and not straight! (photo evidence below) I unpicked them, then made two button holes that were merely terrible.  I moved on.

I attached the buttons using my machine and a toothpick to create a thread shank.

The button hole area could also benefit from some interfacing.  This area has already started to stretch, but that also might be because of my Easter holiday expanding waistline. 

If I made these in a non stretch denim I would go up a size. 

The pattern has optional pocket flaps which I omitted, so I used the larger pocket pattern pieces. I think they are too big and also positioned too low. 

I am fine with the creases below my bum – I need the fabric there to make them comfy sitting down (which is what I do at work all day!).  What I don’t like is the pockets in that crease.

They were fun to make and the fit of this pattern is great. They just take forever because there are so many little things to do.

I’m not saying I won’t make another pair of jeans, but I would have to find the perfect fabric before I committed to spending so much time on jeans again. 


Pattern – Angel Bootcut jeans (modified to straight leg)

Designer – Angela Wolf

Fabric – Grey Stretch Denim – Fabric Store