>Repro Jeans Project

>I hate shopping for jeans.  I hate trying on jeans.  I love wearing jeans.  Darn sticky situation, that.
The next thing on my sewing list was a pair of jeans to wear for everyday, but with a vintage look.  I have one vintage pair (I was wearing them with my plaid shirt I just finished) that are a comforatable but slightly big fit and are unfortunately too short.

I dug around in my pattern stash for a base and it was a toss up between a couple but I decided to base them off this pattern- Simplicity 2853 from around 1949.  Obviously they don’t look like jeans, but they provided a good starting point for me.  I made so many changes to this pattern that I might was well have just drafted off of my originals, but at least now I have my pattern I made in my stash in case I ever feel the urge to make another pair.


 Let me say this- making jeans SUCKS.  A lot.  I really hate it, and Matt was laughing at me crying away at my machine and yelling at it- especially when it came time to do the tops-titching down the outside legs.  I swear jean making factories must have a custom machine because getting down each leg when they’re already constructed is a bloody nightmare.  And I cheated.  A lot.  I despise flat felled seams, so I did it the cheater way you see in modern jeans and just top-stitched two rows over a serged seam.  Now that they’re finished, of course, I’m happy with them and I might even make another pair to save me the agony of redoing this affair later.  If anyone is considering making a pair of jeans let me say this- your best friend is a twin needle.  If you’re going to do topstitching use the heavy thread on the top only and fill your bobbin with a standard sewing weight in matching colors.  Rethink everything twice.  And buy lots of top-stitching thread- I think this used at least three spools. And, most importantly, make a mock up.  Even better- if you can wear ready to wear- buy your own jeans pre-made.  Here’s two places online I found that sell them and for the price vs amount of work, I would say the Daddy-o’s ones are extremely reasonable.  If anyone else knows any other sources let me know and I’ll add them to this list.
Freddies of Pinewood
Daddy O’s Dungerees

Oh yes, I wanted to share my outfit facts, since I don’t think I’ve ever done that before and it seems to be the thing all the cool kids are doing.
Hair- messy (I managed to give myself a concussion this weekend while rifling through fabric bins. Oh yes, I am THAT talented.)
Glasses- Allyn Scura Eyewear
Shirt- Forever 21 this summer.  There’s a very similar one in a different plaid  here.
Shoes- purchased from a friend
Socks- Christmas present from my mom.

This entry was posted in 1950s, jeans, pants, sewing. Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to >Repro Jeans Project

  1. reilly says:

    >I think they were worth the trouble they put you through! 🙂 They have the perfect shape and relaxed look.Was it the topstitching that made those more difficult to make than these pants – http://wearinghistory.blogspot.com/2009/09/cigarette-pants-and-new-suit.html ?

  2. Lolita Haze says:

    >Amazing work! How long start to finish did it take you?

  3. >Lovely dunagrees doll! I haven't attempted to make a pair of denims yet. I'm a little afraid of the thick fabric….now I'm really afraid lol! You did a swell job!XOXO,Syd

  4. >Thanks!!Reilly, these pants were a lot harder because the top-stitching adds additional steps to normal construction and I kept having to change thread and needles at different times- back and forth and back and forth. This pair also has pockets, a fly on the side, and belt loops, so that's what takes the most time. And I basically drafted it from a block, which added another couple of hours!Lolita- probably about 10-12 hours total. They were a pain but I'm glad I did it now :)Syd- these are actually pretty thin with a stretch to them. I got the fabric at an estate sale, but I've seen similar at Joann's. I like thick jeans, too, but I wanted these to be a little more lightweight like the originals I have.

  5. laurakitty says:

    >Those jeans look amazing on you! You can see all the work that went into them to make them fit so well.

  6. >Wow. You did a fantastic job on them!-Andi x

  7. >I have that same pattern myself, in my waist size. I am currently teaching myself how to re-size for my out-of-proportion derriere, so I would have to re-size that part no matter what fabric I used. How many changes did you have to make, and was it out of necessity or just personal preference? I have long wondered how that particular pattern would make up as twill cotton or a light denim. Yours looks great!

  8. >hello,great job. Looks great.When I did my pair I started with the outside seem of each leg, topstitched and then put them togheter. saves a lot of cursing…take care.jenny

  9. >Thanks for the post! You have me convinced to buy a pair instead of try to make a pair. I have a pair of Freddies of Pinewood, and while they are a great fit, I find that the waist sits right under my bust, which is a little high waist, even for vintage jeans. However I am rather short, so that probably plays into that problem.Your jeans look great though!

  10. >Thanks, gals!Redhead Sadie- I only really used these for the initial leg shape and the front pocket- I changed A LOT of the pattern- the curve of the inside leg, the rise, I added a yoke to the back, a patch pocket, lengthened them, and the pocket in front I didn't use a pocket lining so extended the seam allowance for a hem at the pocket edge and then just used the single pocket piece- and I added a fly to the side. I usually have to tweak my pants a lot, but to give them the look of vintage jeans it took a lot more tweaking than usual.trouble mackenzie- I thought about doing that, actually! The thing was that my originals had topstitching both on the inside and the outside leg, so I wasn't sure how to go about it. It looked like the inside topstitching was done all in one piece so I did that before I sewed the pants together, then did each outside leg. It was a nightmare!

  11. >I've made jeans before, but years ago when so i may be getting confused… but aren't you to do the inside seams before sewing the outside seams? I think i remember doing almost everything you can do to them until waistband & hem time?

  12. casey says:

    >Those turned out fantastic! I just love how beautifully they fit. 🙂 I know what you mean about making jeans… they do tend to be the sort of project I scream and yell at my machine over too. 😉 I have been toying with the idea of making myself a new pair, but haven't worked up my courage to it. hehe!

Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s