Dudes! I sewed a pair of jeans. I seriously did, and it wasn’t too hard. Just to clarify, because I had some people ask, I started with a large cut of denim fabric, used a sewing machine and my mad skills, to turn them into jeans!
Just to be clear, I did not do this on my own. Last fall I heard that Heather Lou of Closet Case Patterns, the Queen of Jeans, was coming to my local sewing studio, Stitch Sew Shop. Seriously you guys, if you can ever take a workshop with Heather, do it. Better yet, do it at Stitch. This was the best weekend spent sewing! It was a total splurge, Christmas/Birthday and everything in between present, and it was worth it.
Prior to the start of the weekend sewing, I had traced my pattern, cut my pieces and basted the jeans together.
The workshop began with everyone changing into their basted jeans, and having Heather give you good look over. She sized me up, pinned some excess fabric out of my hips, told me to do a low seat adjustment, a front crotch adjustment, and to take in the waistband. After everyone had been assessed, she showed us how to make these adjustments to our pattern pieces, and transfer them to our now ripped apart jean pieces. I did have to cut a new waistband, but all the other adjustments were made easily to the already cut pieces.
The rest of the construction was very straight forward. I can honestly say that after making my first pair, my trepidation to sew jeans was really unfounded. They really aren’t overly complicated, they are just time consuming. Lots of steps, lots and lots of topstitching. Heather gave us great construction tips and tricks at each new step. And Kalle, the owner of Stitch, gave us lots of yummy foods, treats and caffeine throughout the weekend.
As it turns out, when you are so busy working (and chatting), you don’t take many pictures, so unfortunately, I have no photo documentation of this sewing weekend workshop, except for this pocket shot with my Stitch tag. How is that possible?
This also happened to be the weekend of the Womens March on Washington. I was really torn between attending the workshop and going to the March. If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll have seen all my #pussyhats posts, so I did what I could to participate and be present at the march without actually attending. I think this was the best of both worlds for me.
I spent the weekend getting to know a new bunch of awesome women, and furthering my craft. And that leads me to the revelation part of this whole thing. So Heather Lou is the Queen of Jeans. However, she preaches the importance of finishing over perfection. Of taking a deep breath, and backing away from the seam ripper! There is nothing better for a self professed perfectionist to hear than, It’s fine! Seriously, who is going to be checking out the seam matching on your crotch!! (and yes, as you can imagine, this involved lots of funny stretching and leg lifting as we tried to get everyone to look!)
Ok, I could wax poetic about this experience forever, but you are probably done reading now. Seriously though, if you ever have the opportunity to take a weekend workshop, no matter what topic you are most into, do it! It was so great to hone in and focus on one thing, and be around like minded people doing the same all weekend. The best!
And, to finish it all up, here’s some “artistic” shots of my finished Gingers. In this case “artistic” refers to the grainy, slightly out of focus pictures my poor husband tried to snap of me on a recent trip downtown, while our kids prowled around whining about every single terrible idea we’ve ever had. So fun!
This one is called, “Can you take a picture of my butt in this fairly empty Metro Station?” I’ve actually worn these jeans three times this week since finishing them, so they are looking a little stretched out here. I made these in a black stretch denim from Joanns, because I didn’t want to “ruin” my nicer jean fabric, so I don’t think the recovery is the best. Yet another lesson learned from Heather, don’t fear the fabric! Don’t worry, I already have some nicer fabric lined up for my next pair.
I promise the next time I take photos I won’t make my husband take them while dragging the kids around DC for the morning! Turns out, no body thought that was fun.
Pattern: Ginger Jeans by Closet Case Patterns
Fabric: Black Stretch Denim from Joanns with Gray topstithing
Size: 6, with the mentioned modifications