>I got quite a few questions yesterday from gals either interested in jeans in general or in making themselves a pair. I guess you can consider this Vintage Jeans part II, because these are up close shots of the jeans that inspired the ones I made.
I bought these from a good friend and when I got them they were old store stock. They are Blue Gem- and although I really don’t know much about jeans through the ages I’m guessing they’re 1950s. Hopefully these up close shots will help you if you’re looking at making yourself a pair! The fabric is a light to medium weight indigo denim with no stretch and has orange topstitching thread.
Here’s the front of the jeans. You can see the pocket shapes and the belt loop placement. Notice that this pair doesn’t have topstitching down the front- but I have seen vintage ones that do have it.
Here’s a close up shot of the pockets. These ones are pretty straight and have a wide and narrow zig zag stitch to re-enforce the top and bottom of the opening.
This is a close up shot of the inside of the pocket opening. As you cas see there is no pocket lining but there is extra allowance for a hem instead.
This is the view from the inside of the front pockets. The edges of the pocket have been serged and them two rows of topstitching hold them in place. On mine I used the pattern piece as a guide and traced the edge onto the front of the jeans on both sides, then used that line as a guide for my presser foot. It was the easiest way I could come up with for them to be mostly symettrical since using a twin needle on my machine means sewing it from the right side of the fabric only- the back side looks more like a zig-zag.
Here’s the back of the jeans. You can see that there’s a yoke and then a bottom potion which has a pleat. On one side only there is a patch pocket that pretty much goes parallel to the yoke. The finished yoke measurement is 2″ at the sideseam and 3″ at the center back seam. The yoke is attached to each leg seperately before they are seamed together. I also attached the pocket before they were seamed together at the crotch. The patch pocket has the same zig zag treatment as the front pockets to help protect against tearing at the corners.
Here’s a close up of the side seam fly, which is on the left side of the jeans. The fly is cut on the fold lengthwise and forms somewhat of an upside down “V”. You put this on before you put in the zipper and before you put on the waistband. After you’ve got your zipper in you topstitch a little triangle at the bottom to hold it in place.
This is a close up of the fly when open. The originals have two snaps to adjust the sizing. As you can see in the picture, they also have a 1″ underlap where you could move the zipper over when you went up a size in order to give them as long of wear as possible. I left this step out of my repros. Notice that the zipper on the right is not topstitched in place but simply stitched and then turned on itself. The other side of the zipper is topstitched when you do the outside leg seam and doing so sandwiches the placket between the zipper and body of the jeans.
A little late, but here’s the shape of the leg seams. The original pattern I initially used as a block had no leg shaping at all on the inside leg. In order for these to fit properly there needs to be a bit of a curve there, then it straightens out or slightly tapers all the way down. The measurement across the bottom of my vintage jeans at the hem is 9.5″ on the front leg and 10″ on the back leg.
This is a shot that shows you the topstitching. The inside leg seam is topstitched in one continuous swoop, so I did this before I attached the legs together at the outseam. Getting the outside legs topstitched aftter they were assembled was a nightmare. Next time I might simply leave off the inside topstitching. If you decide that’s the route you want to go, make sure you have your pattern fitted to you perfectly because if you change your mind about waist fit after you’ve topstitched your outside seams it’s a real bear to do it over again- and a waste of topstitching thread!
This is the part I didn’t think to look at. Modern jeans often have two rows of topstitching at the hem and that’s what I did on mine. This pair does not have contrasting stitching at all on the hem of the pants. Since I made mine long enough to cuff I’m really not worried about it. If you do want yours long enough to cuff make sure you add at least 4″ to the total length plus 1″ for seam allowance. If you’re really nitpicky, you might want to flat fell your leg seams, since that’s the authentic way to go and it does actually show when you cuff them up. I was too lazy, and now I’m glad because topstitching while flat felling the outside seam would just be too much trouble!
And here’s the original tag. Aww. I love old tags. Doesn’t it look brand new?
I guess that’s about it! Hope this helps! I’ll be looking back at this, I know, the next time I want to make a pair.