THE DRAPERY BLOG: Pattern Reviews & News (click 'filter' for categories)
I’m very late to the sewing your own jeans party – they’ve been absolutely everywhere in the sewing community over the last few years. Still, I tend to sew based on gaps in my wardrobe, and with the recent demise of my ready to wear pair, the time had finally come. I’ve seen a few patterns doing the rounds, most famously the hugely popular Ginger Jeans but I decided to have a look around anyway and see what else was out there.
When I stumbled across the Claryville Jeans by Workroom Social, I knew I’d struck gold. The modelled pictures looked very similar to my shape and the description stated they were designed for women with a larger hip-to-waist ratio (me) and included extra ease in the calves (Yay! My full calves say thank you).
Workroom Social is a sewing studio which specialises in teaching people to sew clothes and this expertise really showed in the pattern instructions. As an intermediate sewer, and first time jeans maker, I found the diagrams included for every step to be helpful, without being too hand-holdy. It just told me exactly what I needed to do every step of the way. The only thing that wasn’t covered in detail was how to install the hardware so I turned to a couple of online tutorials for help there.
When I first got the pattern, my measurements matched a straight size 4 so that was what I cut….by the time I got to actually making the jeans, however, I was no longer that size….but I decided to go for it anyway. Having been in a sewing rut for a while, I felt like just embracing the process and I figured at the very least I would have learnt how to sew jeans by the end of it.
Imagine my delight when I got to the end and found that these actually fit. Better than most jeans ever have. And with no pattern adjustments? This has NEVER happened to me before!
The fabric is an organic cotton and spandex denim which we have in stock and at 314 gsm (about 9 oz) is about as light as I would go for in a denim. It was a dream to sew with and my machine (Bernina 1008) had no problems dealing with thick seams.
For the topstitching, I used standard thread and a triple stitch, instead of topstitching thread. I had seen this recommended and it worked really well for me. Yes, it is slower, but it not only removes the risk of a domestic machine not enjoying the heavier topstitch thread, but also gives those seams some stretch which, given I had unintentionally sized-down, felt like a good idea.
Pattern: Claryville Jeans by Workroom Social. Available as a PDF (with A0 print at copy shop option) or Workroom Social have a limited number of paper patterns in stock if that’s your thing.
Fabric: 98% organic cotton and 2% spandex stretch denim, 314 gsm (approx. 9.2 oz).
Hardware: I had a jeans zip in my stash and picked up the button and rivets from Adelaide Leather and Saddlery Supplies. We also have Closet Case Patterns Jeans Hardware Kits in store which contain all the hardware you need to make a pair of jeans.
Size: 4 (a bit smaller than my measurements)
Next time I’ll use a size 4.5 jeans zip, rather than the size 5 which I had in my stash (it’s a bit too big and the zipper pull doesn’t like to lay flat) and will also increase the rise at the back by about 1cm as I’d prefer it a tad higher. But this pair will happily be worn for years to come!
Comments: If you’re looking for a stretch denim jeans pattern this could be the pattern for you, particularly if you usually need to size up through the hip. With very clear, step-by-step instructions, this is also a good place to start if you’ve never sewn jeans before.
If you’re between sizes, you might be able to get away with sizing down, particularly if your denim is on the lighter size and has the maximum (2%) recommended stretch – it worked for me!