Guess what??!! I made jeans! I. ACTUALLY. MADE. JEANS. And I really really love them!
So how did this foray into denim territory begin? Blame it on Laura of Craftstorming. She’s the genius behind the Small Fry Skinny Jeans pattern. I say “genius” because I just can’t even begin to imagine how complicated putting a jeans pattern together must have been. I also say “genius” because she managed to draft a detailed, perfectly sized, easy to follow PDF pattern for a really cool pair of kids jeans. Tips and tricks abound in her comprehensive instructions; Laura does not just tell you to 1. Cut pieces. 2. Sew together. She will hold your hand all the way friends!
Oh, don’t get me wrong… there were some frustrating bumps along the way. Like button holes, like topstitching, like the ever changing seam allowances, like figuring out the right leg from the left leg. In fact, I could be found banging that size 5 pair with a hammer just this past Friday!!! Yep, they were misbehaving and had to be taught a lesson yo!
Be warned… sewing jeans is not a naptime endeavour! You will be sweating it out in your sewing room/closet/corner for a while on these babies. And if you’re new to sewing, you might want to hold off a bit before cutting your sewing machine’s teeth on this pattern. Oh, it’s not that it’s hard… but there are many steps to be carefully followed. Laura qualifies it as an “intermediate” pattern and rightfully so.
But if you feel you’re up for the challenge of attempting a pair of jeans, this is the pattern to try! It comes in sizes 0 to 12 years, and up until the end of the pattern tour (March 15), you’ll get a 20% discount (use the discount code TOUR20).
First up, let’s take a peek at Alix’s jeans…
This is a size 5, with contrasting topstitching thread, inset pocket and half fly zip.
Locally, the denim selection was limited and insanely expensive. But I am so happy with the options found at Fabric.com (affiliate link). Search for “stretch twill” and you’ll be impressed! Alix’s jeans fabric is Stretch Cotton Twill in Bubblegum Pink and is $9.98 per yard. Not bad right?
I added a tiny row of silver metallic ric rac on the jeans pocket just to bling it up a bit. I’ll be frank… I’m not big on ric rac… but if I was going to spend all this time on making a perfect pair of jeans for Alix, she better love them. That tiny row of sparkly trim sealed the deal!!!
For Alix’s top, I straight up channeled fellow blogger Trine from Groovybaby… and Mama. This talented Dane has been known to add pieces of leather to her creations and I’ve been quite envious of the amazing results. Check out this latest beauty! (Oh, and word of warning… don’t be surprised if you see me making more Trine-inspired garments in the future… what can I say.. I dig what she does!)
The fabric is a navy waffle stretch woven from the discount pile at my local Fabricland. No clue what it is but it has a bit of stretch and is quite soft and cozy. The leather comes from a sad little skirt found hiding at the bottom of my stash. I think she’s in a better place now…
And now for Gaëlle’s turn…
The fabric for Gaëlle’s little jeans also comes from Fabric.com. It is called Stretch Satin Twill Floral White/Pink and is $7.98 a yard. Even though it’s satiny in texture, it was actually a dream to work with as it had thickness to it but was still thinner than the dark pink twill.
Sewing 101: Measure your kid and compare that to the Finished Garment Measurements so graciously provided by the pattern maker. Don’t just eye ball it. Actually measure.
I made Gaëlle a size 2 but as she is quite tall for her age, I used size 3 for length. As you can see, that wasn’t necessary at all as the pattern already has built-in slouch around the ankles. Sigh.
The fabric being busy enough, I chose to topstitch with regular white thread. This, also meant I didn’t have to constantly switch my thread, unlike Alix’s jeans.
Notice the really bad buttonhole job? Grrr. I never realized that my buttonhole foot was a capricious little bugger. Apparently, any bumps or odd thickness in the fabric and Mr. Buttonhole either thinks he’s all done, or refuses to go any further. Stubborn! I unpicked buttonholes over and over again for these two pairs of jeans (each pair has three buttonholes!). Finally, I started hammering away at the seams in order to flatten them. Helped a bit. The damage was already done on this pair though, and I ended up finishing it by hand (well, by machine to be precise, but without the help of Mr. Buttonhole… so sort of by hand).
I learned so many cool techniques making these jeans: how to sew flat felled seams, topstitching using top stitching thread, making an adjustable waistband, putting together a half-fly zip, inserting inset pockets…
Gaëlle’s top is the Girly Little Blouse Pattern by Heidi and Finn. I modified the collar slightly in order to be able to add the accent fabric. All things considered, I’m doubting I made the right choice of fabric for this blouse. It would have look much cooler had I chosen a darker fabric. Or a white one. A white little t-shirt would have been so cool! As is, the beige corduroy drowns her out and doesn’t showcase the amazingly cute jeans. Live and learn. These two pieces are awesome on their own but won’t be worn together anymore.
So that was my take on the Small Fry Skinny Jeans by Titchy Threads. Let me know what you think! And then make sure to go check out what If Only They Would Nap and Mingo & Grace came up with. I am heading over there right now actually… wanna race? Hehehe…