Skip to main content

The Real Deal -- I sewed JEANS!

Yep, look at 'em. They're the REAL DEAL.... The Real Deal Jeans by Winter Wear Designs, that is.


Most people start out the new year with some sort of "resolution" or goal. Maybe they're going to exercise more, eat healthier, be more organized, or whatever.

My main goal at the beginning of 2018 was to sew jeans. But I was a little afraid. I wasn't afraid of the actual sewing, but I was afraid that if I spent a lot of time and money on fabrics that I would sew them, try them on, and have the worst fit ever. I really didn't want to ruin good fabric.

So here we are... I'm sewing jeans as part of the Just Jean Blog Tour hosted by Winter Wear Designs. '


Muslin, or lack thereof...

A couple of years ago, there was a Real Deal Jean Sewalong hosted in the Winter Wear Designs group. I eagerly decided to participate. I got my pattern, had my fabric, and set out on my jean-making journey by making my "muslin." If you've never sewn before, this is a term used to describe your first try at a pattern that you use to alter fit, figure out pattern adjustments that you need, etc. You are supposed to use a fabric similar to the fabric you are planning to use for your finished garment. And, ideally, you want to use an inexpensive fabric, so that if your "muslin" isn't wearable (most of the time it's not) you haven't lost much.

Now if you go to your fabric store, you'll probably see fabric labeled as "muslin." This is perfect for a muslin - it's ugly and inexpensive, however it would be SO WRONG to use for a muslin for these pants. Why is that? Well, remember how we want our muslin fabric to be similar to the fabrin we are using for our actual garment? This fabric has NO STRETCH, and these jeans are designed to be made with stretch denim. You're not going to get a good fit, and you're not even going to get a similar fit to what you will get when you sew them from stretch denim. Definitely pay attention!

So, I made this muslin a couple of years ago. Basically, I was pretty pleased with the fit, but decided that I could go down a size. So I reprinted my pattern, cut out all of my pieces, and SQUIRREL! Ha! I got distracted, a tiny bit, for two years almost. 🤣 I signed up for a pattern test and bailed on the sew along. And, never got back to it.

When Suzanne announced that she was doing this blog tour, I knew it was time to complete my jean making goal!

I sort of waited to the last minute (the week before) to make them, and because my measurements were similar (possibly the same?) to what they were last time, I decided to go with it since I had been pleased with the fit of my muslin before. I could have made a new "muslin," but my problem is that I don't even have an eye for seeing the fit problems that most people talk about. I don't know what it is, but I just don't see it. It either fits and feels good, or it doesn't. I'm sure I would notice if something looked horrible, but for most things, I just don't notice. 🤷

So, going by my measurements, my waist and high hip fit into a 4, and my full hip fit into a 6. I thought that since I decided to size down last time, I must have made a 6 and decided a 4 would be good, so I started with a size 4. Now that I've made them, based on how much I took them in, I now remember that I started with a 4 and decided I could have sewn a 2. Oh well, I still LOVE THEM!

The Process...

Sewing jeans sounds crazy hard. But, it's really not. It is a time-consuming project, and fitting can be hard (especially if you're picky or know what you're looking for 🤣), but I wouldn't consider the actual sewing to be very advanced.

Suzanne has wonderful instructions, that you can always expect from Winter Wear Designs. There are plenty of photos and drawings to help you with every step.

So, like I said, this is a fairly time consuming project, especially if you're working it in around naptime, nighttime, and the very few minutes kids are actually entertained with something safe (the last one is rare). So maybe if you actually have a couple of long-ish stretches to devote to sewing these, it wouldn't be so bad. 😉

Why is it time consuming?

Well once you cut out your pieces, you'll see why. There are SO MANY PIECES. You have four waistband pieces (two of main fabric, two of lining), your key pocket piece, your six main pocket pieces, your two back pockets, your two yokes, your fly pieces, your front and back pant legs. It's just a lot of pieces to work with.

Look at all of those pieces!!! 
Now, go look at a pair of jeans you own. Look at all that detail. The beautiful topstitching around the pockets, the inseam, everywhere. It takes time! And, it takes jean topstitching thread. And your jean top stitching thread is very thick, so you'll need a jean/ denim needle for using that. So, during construction, I was changing my needle and thread out constantly. If you have two sewing machines, you're so lucky, because you could leave one set up for topstitching and the other for construction. 😉 I kept thinking throughout my whole process that I wished I had a second machine to do that!

Don't skip the topstitching though... it makes them look amazing and more authentic! They actually look like real jeans when you do it! They're really the REAL DEAL!



My Jeans & The Fit:

So as I mentioned, my waist and high hip fit exactly into a 4. My hip was barely into a six, and because of the stretch of the denim, I decided to make a size 4. I took them in a bit in the hips and several inches in the waist, so when I sew them again, I'll definitely try sizing down.

It's possible that I like my jeans more fitted than the pattern is intended, so I made them more fitted to suit my taste.

The pattern is also supposed to be a regular, straight leg jean. When I tried them on, I wasn't really feeling the straight leg for me. All of my other jeans are bootcut or flare, so I decided to try something new and make them skinny legs. I didn't make them too skinny though, just tapered them in a bit until I was happy. I used this blog post to help me figure it out.




My Fabric: 

I used this fabric from Joanns. It's a nice stretch denim. I actually made my little boy some pants with it last year, and they were so soft. I LOVED them and wanted to make him more but never could find this fabric again. I felt so lucky when I found it at Joanns. But as you can see the price tag is HIGH. You can find much better-priced fabric in online shops, or you can always wait for a sale or coupon at Joann's. Never pay full price at Joann's. There is ALWAYS a sale or coupon you can find!


This is a super soft stretch denim -- 20% stretch , 11 oz, 61% cotton, 31% modal, 6% polyester, and 2% spandex. I LOVE the feel of this!


I did buy the three yards recommended by the pattern, even though I felt like it was more than necessary. I didn't want to run out and not be able to find what I needed to finish. So, after cutting them out, I realized that it was definitely more than necessary. However, if you get your 3 yards, that should give you PLENTY to make your muslin first in the same fabric, if you want. If you don't need to, you could probably get a pair of full length and a pair of capris or shorts.

I used the instructions included in the pattern to figure out the amount of stretch it has. The pattern recommends between 10% and 20% stretch. My fabric had right at 20%. She recommends that if your fabric has a higher stretch percentage that you size down.

Some Things I Like About This Pattern:
  • As I mentioned, there are wonderful instructions and pictures to help you with every step of your jean-making journey.
  • It now has LAYERS! This is new, and was updated last week. You're lucky if you caught Suzanne's $3 Thursday sale, but if you missed it, they're still worth it. 😉 They're on sale for the blog tour too!
  • Suzanne includes "Pause" points during her pattern to help you with fit. This forces you to try them on before moving forward to help you get your best fit.
  • There is a wonderful facebook group you can come to for help and support! 
  • I felt so accomplished when I finished sewing them!!!
  • You have different cut lines/ different length options- there are multiple inseam lengths for shorts, capris, and pants included so you don't have to figure all of that out yourself. 
SO GRAB THEM NOW! Make your own jeans! It's fun, and you'll feel so accomplished when you finish them!

In my photos, I have paired my jeans with a Winter Wear Designs Top too! This is the new Outer Banks Boatneck Tee. Maybe you'd like to check it out as well. Or check out my blog post about it.




Thank you SO MUCH for reading my post! 💓 If you don't already, come follow me on Instagram! I'd love to see what you make!

**I have included affiliate links to these products in this post. If you are influenced to purchase based on my review, I would SO appreciate you using my affiliate link :)**

http://www.winterweardesigns.com?aff=46

Go check out all of the others on the Just Jean Blog Tour! 

Don't miss any stops on the Just Jeans Blog Tour

Monday 4/23

Tuesday 4/24

Wednesday 4/25

Thursday 4/26

Friday 4/27
Lisa Dawson for Winter Wear Design

Comments

  1. Laura my granddaughter you are a wonderful person and so talented. You continue to amaze me with your abilities. I thank GOD for you daily my sweet.

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Fabulous and FREE! The Neck Tie Top by Winter Wear Designs

I love free patterns, especially when they're by a designer that I already know and love. When Suzanne with Winter Wear Designs drafted this pattern, I was excited! I have not been very exciting with my wardrobe choices in the past - most of my shirts were just basic tees. Solid tees are still nice to have, but it's so much fun to wear something different. Lately I've been LOVING all the fun prints!

I KNEW I wanted to test this pattern, and as soon as I finished sewing it, it became my new favorite shirt. Like... I've been wearing it ALL THE TIME. I really need to make another one!



This is the new free Neck Tie Top by Winter Wear Designs. Isn't it great?

Let me tell you about it!

This top is a semi-fitted tee. You have the options of a solid front or a color blocked front. I color-blocked the front top to be the same fabric as my neckband tie.  The sleeve is a slim poet style sleeve with a cuff. You can either finish the bottom with a band or a simple hem.



It is inte…

Fun, Fast, and Free - Fresh Looks for Summer!

When I first saw the information about the "Boys in Summer" Blog Tour hosted by Made for Little Gents, I knew I wanted to participate! My boys are the reason I started sewing! I HAD to participate.

But, what would I sew? I contemplated what I might make for a couple of weeks, and then it hit me... it would be super fun to highlight a couple of great freebies! EVERYONE loves free stuff. Free patterns are a great way to try a new designer out before making a purchase, they're perfect for adding some variety to your pattern stash without spending money, and they're just super fun... because more patterns = more stuff you get to make. 😁
So the freebies I'm going to talk to you about today are from Peek-a-boo Pattern Shop. I love Peek-a-boo patterns. I've made a few of them for my boys and have tested a few as well. I feel like the instructions are mostly geared towards beginners, so any skill level can be successful with her patterns. I've really enjoyed the…

Making an Applique

How I Make an Applique
So... I have a combination sewing/ embroidery machine. Obviously, I can use it for adding an applique to things, however, I mostly add appliques to my kids' clothes. Daniel is rapidly growing, but unfortunately my 4"x4" hoop size is not. At some point, I'd like to upgrade to a machine with a larger hoop size, but until then, the designs are looking smaller and smaller on his clothes. My solution: make my own appliques!

I've also been frustrated at times, not wanting to get everything out to convert my machine, not being able to find a design quite like I had envisioned, and obviously, not being able to stitch larger designs.

So, several weeks back, I set out to make my own applique design for the first time. Daniel had requested a dinosaur shirt for his birthday. I didn't want a tiny dinosaur in the middle of a shirt. And, I wanted a dinosaur with balloons. That's specific. I don't have software for embroidery, and it was EXTREM…