At long last, I can add another notch on my sewing belt. These jeans were conceived and born in Texas, back when R was working in a library genealogy department no less. They made the journey northeast with good intentions, but sat neglected for years. Poor things. All that was needed was a waistband, side seams, hem and belt carriers. But I never made the time to finish them until last week. I certainly have lots of it now! Are they perfect? No. Am I okay with that? Yes.
Here’s why: They are my first pair of jeans. In the time between cutting and the final stitch (four years? five?), I’ve gained weight, lost weight, changed shape a little. Despite the time off, I’ve still learned a lot about fitting pants. The process of making this pair is complete; now I can apply knowledge gained to tweak these into a pair better-fitted. Lastly, I need to give myself a break now and then. I made jeans, yo! Who does that? (other sewing bloggers aside).
There are a few changes I’ll try on the next pair, once I’ve fully cleaned off my UFO plate. The crotch curve in back feels great to me, but was deepened to the extent of pulling down the back waist. My pelvis probably tilts, making this more pronounced. I don’t mind how low the back waist is, but this leaves the front rise higher, and a bit poofy. I’ll shave a little off the top, simultaneously lowering the zip so the fly doesn’t end up being 2 inches long! The front legs are a little tight across my thighs, which are probably more muscular now than when I started the jeans. I’ll have to compensate by adding in a little room. I have to deal with the slight drag lines under the butt. I’ll add rivets; didn’t feel like it on this practice pair. I’ll hem with boots on. Because I know better, but got lazy. My machine hates thick denim thread. Hates it. I’ll have to get a new machine. Ha! As if.
A friend of mine told a stranger at a party last night that I made my jeans. Awkward. Only because they weren’t perfect, and the denim is far from lived-in. I didn’t get the complete freak show look, but the person was a little curious why someone in this day would make jeans. I rambled off something about process, working with one’s hands, anti-rabid consumerism, sustainability, reclaiming lost skill sets, relaxation, fair working conditions. But the short answer is: because I can. Why climb Everest? Because it’s there.
Anyway, there will definitely be little jeansie babies in the making soon, and I can’t wait to get the perfect pair. Oh, if you’re wondering, I used McCall’s Palmer/Pletsch M5142 “The Perfect Jean” pattern, and made my own pocket detail.
Nice parting shot, eh? Because this is slightly discomfiting, let me distract you by stating one more reason why we should all give ourselves a break now and again. I remember when I topstitched the cb, and one line of thread went slightly curved for an inch. I was about to unpick and start over, annoyed with myself and not looking forward to the possibility that my machine and it’s distaste for this thread would give me more problems. Ultimately, I decided to just live with it. And you know what? A pair of mass-produced jeans that I wear all. the. time. have a wonky stitch at the inseam, right near the knee.