It's In My Jeans

(I have a degree in genetics. I’m certified to make such terrible puns.)

I decided I needed a challenge. I’ve never made trousers before, let alone jeans, but I had some stretch denim from Walthamstow Market wallowing in my stash for over a year, and I finally had enough time in my schedule to do them justice. I’d attempted to make Vogue 8202 about a year ago, but only got as far as the muslin stage before I realised that a) the front rise was scandalously low, b) there was about 4 inches too much ease, and c) I started to lose weight and the pattern size range I bought was far too big to bother downsizing and redrafting. So this time around I used a pattern for corduroy trousers from the August 2006 Burda World Of Fashion magazine and just added the missing pieces (namely, the back pockets, the fifth pocket, and an interior fly piece) from my old Vogue pattern.

The fit of these Burda trousers are perfect for me – I couldn’t believe my luck when I tried on my muslin and didn’t see any “smile lines” whatsoever (they’ve clearly been drafting for my white girl pancake butt!) but I did end up taking in the outer seam by 1/2-1” in the hips and thighs to make use of the stretch in my denim.

I had some massive troubles in the beginning with my topstitching thread, though – who would’ve thought that Gutterman’s Topstitching Thread is actually not suited for topstitching? After 45 minutes of thread snarls, tears, and a whole lotta swearing, I went online and discovered that everyone else has the same problem with their topstitching thread being too thick for home machines, and that Gutterman’s Upholstery Thread is much better suited to machine topstitching. So luckily I found a tiny haberdashery store in the village we were staying in in Holland where I picked up the upholstery thread in the same colour as before. When we got home I was then able to continue on with no further problems. I’m quite proud of the final result of the topstitching, since I had to eyeball it with a very steady hand to keep the double-lines the same distance apart.

I will definitely be making this pattern again, but I’m going to lower the front rise by an inch. It’s not that these are grandma-styled (in fact, they’re awfully close to the high-waisted styles on the catwalk right now), but more that I’m so used to low-rise jeans that these feel too high to me. As a comparison, the top of the waistband on these falls directly on my belly button, whereas all my RTW trousers fall about an inch or two below. I think these will look even better as I break them in a little bit and the indigo softens away from the “1980s Jordache” look. I’m wearing them in the office today and I think they might possibly be my most comfortable pair I own.

Oh! I nearly forgot – I gave myself a little present by making the pocket lining out of the last little scraps from the 1960s German curtains. I love knowing that they’re there and only revealing them when I’m too poor to pay!

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