Jean Week: Black Straight Leg

1:39 PM

Jean Week Part 2: 
My First Pair of Jeans I've Sewn
Simple Black Five-Pocket Relaxed Straight Leg

I am slowly developing better sewing skills and confidence.
There is a list of items of clothing I'm building up to that I have purchased fabric for and just haven't had the guts to attempt.
Jeans were on the list and I finally decided it would never happen on my own, so I got help.
My mom makes all my brothers' jeans and so this summer we were visiting and I brought my denim and she helped me through the process.  
Just having a mentor to guide me gave me courage to try something that seems so intimidating as jeans.

The challenge of sewing jeans was a big motivator, as well as saving money (as usual).  I bought my denim from  It's so comfortable!  It's Italian stretch denim, but I just searched and apparently they are out or don't carry it anymore.  It's really smooth feeling, soft, and was easy to work with.

My mom told me to bring a favorite, good fitting pair of jeans to use as a pattern. 
 I told her I don't have any.
I had a baby in March, and was still in the post baby stage, and that's why I was making jeans because I didn't have any I liked.
So I went and bought some nicer, expensive, $100+ jeans.
Used them to make a pattern out of wrapping paper, and returned them.
This denim was 60" wide, so this pair of jeans for a taller, bigger girl required 1.5 yards, making the pair of jeans $15.00.

I prefer my jeans to sit just below my natural waist.  I should probably wear a lower rise because I have a midget torso, but I can't stand the feeling of my butt hanging out the back and the fear of crackage.  So these may seem a little "mom jean-ish" with the higher rise in the back, but it's about comfort and being able to get things done without babysitting my crackage at this stage in my life. 

We adjusted a few things, probably my favorite was adding elastic in the back waistband.
Just like little kids jeans, but not adjustable and not really noticeable if I'm wearing them.
I feel like my butt is just a weird shape, and now your going to zoom in on my butt to see if you agree, but it's just nice to have a little more snug fitting waistband on the back of the bubble-butt for me.   
Which is the beauty of making something yourself--you get it how you want it. 

Here's a detail of the back pockets.

So I made these actually back in the summer in August, but have taken forever to post them.
The steps inserting the zipper were probably the most confusing, and where I asked my mom the most questions.  Maybe if you took a pair apart, it would make more sense before you try to put a pair together, to understand how it will end up prior to being in the middle wondering how it's all going to work together.
I still just can't believe I made something that from a distance resemble real jeans! 

Thanks for the help mom!

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  1. They look so good! I am totally with you on that Jeans are always the most intimidating! I am not sure when or if I will ever make some for myself... but I did finally make some for my daughter and I am addicted, now I make all of her jeans... just no fly, which is fine for a toddler, but man the tiny zipper in the covered flap... I just don't get how to do that...

  2. Oh my goodness! Now you have proven that I should never even hope (in my wildest dreams) to ever be able sew like you! I love your blog and your creativity! It is what inspired me to start my own blog (which will never compare to this.) With our children being close in age, I hope to have your blog for ideas for many, many years to come! Love it!!

  3. Holy cow! They don't look like mom jeans at all. The detail on the pockets is perfect.

  4. They look great! Enjoy your post baby body. Women's bodies change as they go through life. I'm getting to the age where I'm happy that things work!

  5. wow, those look amazing! I am beyond impressed that you've made jeans. i've never advance beyond pajama pants and skirts. Will there be a tutorial of sorts coming? I'd be interested in seeing your process.

  6. wow, I'm incredibly impressed! I can't even fathom tackling jeans right now. They look so good! I hope there will be a tutorial of some sort, but if not, you still look dang good!

  7. Good job Jessica. Great detail on the pockets too. I am not surprised at your taking this on as you are a very competent seamstress. This should give you much more confidence! Gosh it takes me back a few decades when I made jeans...I was pretty satisfied with the finished products. Now with the designer jeans hovering at $100+ getting the fabric for $15 was a steal! Congratulations for a job well done; the product was definitely worth the effort!

  8. Those look awesome! Does your mom give lessons? Cause I would love to eventually make a pair of good fitting jeans, not only for me, but for my super tall and very skinny 4 year old. She needs a 5T in length at least, but the waist needs to be a 2T to 3T in size. So frustrating!
    Any tips/suggestions would be awesome!

  9. Jessica, your jeans turned out great! Very nice detail on the pockets, and seriously NOT Mom jean-ish at all. (Btw, what you refer to as crackage, we call 'crack attack' around here. I am so over seeing 'crackage' all the time.) Love the elastic in the back waist - you cannot tell at all.

  10. Hey Jessica, How did you manage to get the thick layers of denim through your machine? I struggle to get my machine to run over a folded overlocked seam on a cotton fabric. I know that my machine wouldn't cope with denim, even light weight denim. Got any tips? Thanks ♥

  11. These jeans are AMAZING!! I'm so impressed! They don't just resemble real jeans from a distance, they look totally great up close! And they fit and flatter, and didn't break the bank. A home-ec miracle and sewer's victory.

    Can you (or your mom) make all of my jeans, too?!?

  12. Sherry:
    I don't know that I have that great of tips, but I did use a denim machine needle that's thicker and stronger. Some areas I had to hand crank the hand wheel, when the layers got too thick, like the yoke seam on the back where the yoke comes to a point and it's over 8 layers thick. Granted you couldn't hand wind an entire project. It could just be a limitation of your machine. My little sister has an industrial sewing machine for that reason so she can sew through anything. Not sure if that helps!

  13. oh my gosh! you made jeans!!! and they actually look like....professionally done. you are amazing!

  14. The jeans look great and so do you. When I was in the 9th grade I took sewing lessons at school. I made all my pants. Of course back then they were mostly white hip hugging elephant leg pants. (Opps, I think I just told my age)! I don't take the time to sew for myself anymore. Most of my sewing is for my 3 grandchildren. I get more pleasure sewing for them and it takes a less fabric. lol

  15. Ok...that's completely impressive! Can't believe you made some jeans :) Great job too - they look great and a custom fit no less!

  16. Wow, awesome job. I too am slowly building my confidence and have just recently sewn a few items of clothing. Most havent turned out the way I want it but that come with the experience. I am not brave enough to wear skinny jeans by themselves but would love to get a pair to wear with boots. I'd have to get some boots too to go with the jeans. :)

  17. Thanks Jess! Ive been slacking on making my pair of 1950's style high waist jeans but now Im inspired to start this weekend. Yipee!!

  18. I am so impressed! And, the necklace is awesome too! You look amazing!

  19. Excellent job! I am so impressed. Way to go!

  20. Fantastic! You did a great job on the design and execution! I've always thought there should be a line of "cool mom" jeans for post-baby bodies and these would totally qualify as that. Love the pocket detail and elastic for crackage help. And your shoes look adorable with them too. I'm amazed that you have the confidence to order fabric online. I'm always so scared I'll get it and it'll be not anything like I'd hoped and then I'm stuck with it. I guess I need to see and feel it in person still since I'm not very fluent in any of the fabric description lingo :)

  21. WOW! I'm so impressed! They turned otu GREAT!!

  22. They look great, but don't you dare call yourself a bigger girl!!!

    I'm a super hard fit, long torsoed, apple shaped, VERY big girl and I've thought about making my own jeans but it would definitely be an undertaking to get the fit right. Plus I change size every month, so I tend to just suffer through disposable jeans. Maybe someday I'll get with it.

  23. I've followed your blog for awhile and I am so impressed that you made jeans that I am going to finally comment. Great job you!! Jeans tend to be my nemesis. I have a long torso with squatty legs. I sew lots of other things so I can customize the fit but you have my brain churning... why not jeans too????

  24. 'babysitting my crackage' - I think I just peed my pants a little, that's hilarious!

    I'm 3 months post-baby too and jeans are a hard one... Nice work, they look great!

  25. Those are amazing!
    You have inspired me to try and make some clothes for myself.

  26. Excellent blog, and this article is just excellent too..
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