This project is my greatest sewing accomplishment to date! I sewed jeans! I still can't quite believe it. BLUE JEANS, you guys. I'm not sure why, but it feels like a big deal. This project made me feel like I'd leveled up in the same way sewing a dozen (+) Archers made me feel. Like, I'm not just some newb sitting at home tinkering with a sewing machine.
I have been sewing for about five years now. My closet is predominantly filled with garments I've made. There is barely a day that I don't wear something I've sewn or knitted. But those things combined don't equal the level of achievement I felt upon finishing these jeans. And, it's silly, because they weren't actually difficult to make. Apparently, jeans were just a mental hurdle I needed to jump over.
I finally built the courage to tackle this project after sitting on the sidelines watching other sewing bloggers try their hand at jeans making, (Heather, I'm looking at you!)
These jeans are sewn from the Birkin Flares pattern by Lauren of Baste and Gather. They are a classic, five pocket, mid-rise, flared jean. I have nothing to compare this pattern to, in terms of past sewing projects, but I can tell you, there is A LOT I like about this pattern.
First off, this pattern caught my attention during its testing phases. Pairs of these jeans were popping up all over my Instagram feed. I could hardly believe the number of people involved in the testing of these jeans. At the release of the pattern, a lot of tester photos were shared on Lauren's blog in two separate posts 1 & 2. A wide variety of heights and body types are represented in that tester group, which made it easier for me to imagine these jeans on my own body. And, to make things even better, a lot of those testers were directly available to comment on the pattern and the changes they made to their versions in the Baste and Gather facebook group. The group offered near instant feedback from people who had experience with the pattern. Pretty great.
As far as the pattern is concerned, it is a layered pdf document, so you have the option to print a single size, if you choose. The instructions are clearly written and easy to follow.
With regard to size, I decided to blend the rise of the size 26, the waist of the size 28, and the hip of the size 29. I also knew I needed to shorten the leg length, so I started by taking two inches from each of the lengthen/shorten lines. Then, I took an additional two inches from the hemline. (Six inches total). I wish I would have left one inch on the total length. The good news is that I'm wearing a four inch heel in these photos, so I can easily wear these jeans with a flatter shoe.
The next time I make this pattern, I'm going to try removing the majority of the leg length from the lengthen/shorten line above the knee. I have some bagging at the back of my knee, and I think making that adjustment will help.
My fabric for these jeans is an estate sale denim. It's got a nice amount of stretch to it, but I have no way to know exactly what the ratio of stretch is. I have my eyes peeled for stretch denim constantly now. I have a feeling I'm going to have to get a hold of some Cone Mills denim for future pairs. I can see another pair or two of Birkin Flares in my closet. Also, I'm waiting on the edge of my seat for the release of the add-on to this pattern, the Kendall Skinnies. I might try some other jeans patterns, but I'm pretty pleased with these and think they could be my go-to with a little bit of adjusting.