A classic pair of jeans

I know I’ve been recently focusing on sewing for my upcoming Mexico trip but I’ve been wanting to sew these since my FW12 and SS13 plans so it was high time I actually just sat down and made them!

After umming and ahhing for months over which pattern I should use, then muslining two different patterns which were both too small, I ended up making this pair in two days’ flat! As you’ll recall, it’s #120 from the April 2010 issue of Burda magazine (sadly not on Burdastyle.com! UPDATE: my mistake! they are on BurdaStyle.com now!), an issue which also had a great pair of men’s trousers I’ve been eyeing up for James, too.


Worn here with my plum bamboo Jalie top

I’m a bit scared that I can sew an entire pair of jeans now (including the front fly) without looking at instructions a single time… I did, however, inspect a pair of James’s RTW jeans once or twice to see which side of the seam they topstitched!


This one has been lightened so you can see the details a little better!

Oh, and remember when I tried on the muslin for this pattern and it was way too small in the waist and hips? Well, I put the muslin to the side in my sewing cave and tried them on a few weeks later and they fit perfectly now! Yes, only I would go and change my body instead of just doing a pattern alteration…

I did have to take in the CB seam by about four inches due to gaping though – a new alteration for me. This required a fair bit of unpicking of the topstitching, but it was worth it in the end as I managed an invisible join by pulling the threads to the back and tying. This was the only alteration I needed, apart from lengthening the legs by about 3 inches, which is standard for me and Burda trousers.

So when I finally sat down to start sewing these, I pulled out my vintage hand crank Singer (aka “the best damn topstitching machine ever!”) only to see that I had like 5 feet of copper topstitching thread left. Boo! So I trialled all the other colours of Gutermann Upholstery thread in my stash, only to admit that really, the copper was the only one that would give the classic look I was after. Happily, James saw my plea on Twitter and stopped at John Lewis on his ride home and picked me up the spool I needed (along with some sea salt chocolate! Best husband ever!).

Back pocket inspiration came to me from my swirl sheath dress where I used alternating sides of the same fabric – so here I laid down some scrap denim showing the reverse, topstitched, and frayed the edges for some texture.

The lining fabric is some quilting cotton with little running men all over it – I’d bought it to make a baby changing mat for a good friend (one of my fellow river running buddies) and there was a little bit leftover from the metre to use here. As per usual, I used the quilting cotton for the inner waistband, front pocket facings, and the fly underlap.

The denim here is gloriously wonderful stuff – all the better for aging like a fine wine in my stash since my mom brought it over in her suitcase for the wedding in 2010! So it’s officially over three years old, and I wish I’d bought more of it from Fabric.com, but for those of you who can buy from there without crippling shipping costs, apparently it’s “Heavy weight denim marine”. It’s non-stretch, has a great colour and texture, and really feels very high end boutique denim. Paired with some stellar rivets from Junior again (remember I showed you how to use these a while back, too), and I’ve got myself some very expensive-looking jeans for not very much time or money! Much better than fighting my way through the shops, that’s for sure.

The photos this time around were taken only about 10 minutes and 50 metres away from the terracotta Hummingbird skirt photos, believe it or not! These were shot on the roof of a neighbour’s boat (yes, they’ve got astroturf up there, very cool!), and we stuck around afterwards for a cup of tea.

Since nobody ever really wears their jeans with a shirt tucked in, I thought you’d like to see how I’d normally wear this in every day life – with a cup of tea in my hand, too!

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