For the last years I went back and forth between „I want to sew jeans! It’s totally doable!“ and „No way, a zip fly is way too complicated. You don’t have to make EVERYTHING“. I just couldn’t decide if jeans-making was something that I would enjoy or actually could do, I was scared of the fitting part because buying jeans is my absolute nightmare. So I observed and admired all you jeans makers from afar and stayed with making elastic-waist pants. So you are wondering what changed my mind in the end? A good old pattern sale! When Heather from Closet Case Patterns announced her No Fear Jeans Month and pattern sale, I didn’t hesitate too long and finally bought the Morgan Jeans pattern.
It took me some time to find the right fabric, because of course I had my mind set on a perfect dark grey denim that I din’t find in Nantes, but a trip to Paris solved the problem! I had my mind set on recreating my beloved „Mom Jeans“ (why do we even still call them like that?!), so I started a complicated process of measuring myself, my jeans, comparing with the pattern measurements etc. etc. The Morgan Jeans are designed as a „Boyfriend“ fit, which means a medium rise and snug fit around the hips, with a rather straight leg cut (which looks great! but I wanted something else…). The „Mom Jeans“ fit features a high rise, a rather loose fit around the hips and „carrot“ shaped legs. So I set myself to alter the Morgan Jeans pattern! It was scary, I have to admit, but finally went very smoothly, thanks to the great and very comprehensible pattern instructions.
First, I measured my store-bought jeans, and myself and compared the measurements to the size chart included in the pattern. I found it most helpful for my specific project to look at the finished measurements given. As the result I did some adventurous free hand grading between size 4 at the waist, size 10 at the hip and size zero around the ankles! Additionally, I lengthened the rise of size 10 for 2,5cm. The whole thing was as adventurous as it sounds! I didn’t have a french curve yet, so I did some free hand drawing (which worked out ok). It was not really clear to me then which pattern pieces I had to alter where, and I forgot to alter the pocket lining, but I strongly recommend tracing it all on transparent paper and not cutting into your printed paper, comparing ALL pieces before cutting into the fabric to make sure they match and think of altering even the tiniest pattern pieces, as for example the fly topstitching guide. I was not 100% sure it would work out, but at some point I decided to stop overthinking the whole thing and started cutting and sewing.
I never would have thought that, but I honestly enjoyed the process! Even making the button fly! The instructions are super clear and comprehensible, and I love the methodical part of assembling the pockets (even though it took me three takes to get it right…) and the button fly. I didn’t know what I was doing, but I just followed the instructions step by step and then at some point you cut the center seam open and there is a button fly! Its like a candy surprise, really. I used the tutorial on the Closet Case blog for an alternative method to attach the waistband and it worked very smoothly.
I only had to do some minor fitting, taking in a cm at the sides an in the back and adjusting the length of the legs. The scariest part of the whole process was not as expected sewing the button fly but attaching the jeans buttons, because once they are set, you can’t take them out again, so you have to trust yourself to do it right. But all went fine!
And Heather is so right, making your own Jeans is an extremely empowering act. I am now independent from stupid Jeans making companies that always add rhinestones somewhere, never get the fit right and sell the whole thing way too expensive whereas you know the actual workers didn’t get a fair wage. I have enough denim fabric left from my trip to Paris for one more pair of Jeans and I am contemplating to make dungarees with my Morgan Mom Jeans pattern (being not happy with the fit of my Turia dungarees at all…). After that it will be more Jeans, shorts for summer… the possibilities are endless!