It’s my birthday today! And I’m in New York City!!
We usually take a Spring holiday, but not til later in April or May, however this year James suggested we go away to New York over my birthday, since we haven’t been for four years and there were some shows we really wanted to see (we’ve developed an expensive immersive theater habit!). I’ve been needing a new pair of jeans for a while now, so I promised myself that I’d sew some up once the Steeplechase Leggings pattern was released and I’d have a little bit of a breather. And here they are, coinciding nicely as my birthday make this year!
This denim was bought from Ditto Fabrics, labelled as an Italian denim with very slight stretch, so I treated these as a non-stretch denim. It’s super high quality and I love the colour and wash, though like most denims, it’s still bleeding a bit of colour after two prewashes, so I’ll wash it separately for a while before sitting on any white couches.
(Apologies for the iPhone timer photos taken before I left, but I wanted to ensure I had covered the bases and it’s hard to upload images on the road without a laptop!)
I used the same base pattern as my classic pair of jeans made in 2013 (which is #120 from the April 2010 issue of Burda magazine), but my older pair is a bit too big, and also very straight in the leg and I wanted something more fitted and with a slimmer leg this time around.
I essentially made the same pattern (plus the same wedge cut out of the CB as before), but then basted the inseam and side seams to check the fit. I then decided I wanted to take out a cm at the hips and thighs to make the fit closer to “just washed jeans” to allow for some relaxing, then took out a cm from each of the side seams and inseam through the legs for a more skinny-jean silhouette.
As per usual, I made the waistband facings, pocket lining, and fly underlap from some quilting cotton from my stash – this time two different black and white polka dot fabrics. It makes for a nicer feel when wearing to have less bulk in those areas than if you’d used denim. Plus, it makes me smile when I go to the loo and see the fun print!
Back pocket designs always totally stump me – I can sew an entire pair of jeans, including the fly front zipper without looking at any instructions, but I get to the back pocket design and I’m left floundering! Thank you to everyone who suggested links with pocket ideas – I had a browse around and then decided ultimately on this simple, somewhat modern design.
The topstitching (and buttonhole) were done on my vintage hand crank Singer, because it does the best topstitching ever. I use Gutermann upholstery thread (not “topstitching” thread!!) in the needle, and the same colour Sew All weight thread in the bobbin. I learned this years ago on my first pair of jeans after having thread snarls all over the place, and I’ve been doing it this way ever since.
As per usual, the button and all the rivets are from Junior (though he has now, very sadly passed away, and his daughter has taken over the business in his memory), and I use the same technique I outlined here to shorten the rivet posts before assembly. I cannot stress how much higher quality these rivets are than the crappy ones you buy in sewing shops!
I always try to show my age in these birthday photos, but I’ve run out of fingers, so you get a pictoral 6 instead!
If you recall, I always make myself something nice and special for my birthday each year…
35th – A galaxy-print sheath dress, using a Manequim pattern and a purple exposed zipper.
34th – A satin Matthew Williamson designer dress, made with his pattern from BurdaStyle magazine and a rich, plum duchesse satin.
33rd – A leather iPad case, protecting a new gift against the rigours of a transatlantic work trip the following day.
32nd – Manequim silk blouse:
31st – LMB draped birthday dress in teal silk jersey:
30th – Green silk birthday dress using a Burda magazine pattern a emerald green silk satin:
29th – A bolero and jeans, on which I put the outline of the Thames on the back pockets, and lined the bolero with some vintage apron fabric from my Granny:
28th – I was homeless and living out of a suitcase in my boyfriend’s parents’ house, watching the Shipping Forecast every single day, hoping for good weather to sail our boat across the North Sea. My sewing machine was in storage, so I couldn’t make a new outfit, and frankly, ALL I wanted was for our boat to arrive. And it did, on the evening of my birthday.
27th – New Look 6429 in a fun sparkly knit from Walthamstow Market (and then about three days later decided to lose all that excess weight for good!).
26th – (probably the first year I was really into sewing) my favourite vest pattern with a red vinyl square neckband:
Does anyone else share the same birthday sewing tradition?