Here’s that second draft of Style Arc’s Sandra jeans I mentioned. They still aren’t perfect fit-wise but they are much closer and much better constructed. I’ve been wearing these pretty solidly since I finished them, especially since I shrunk my favourite RTW Gap pair in the wash recently.
For this pair I used a stretch denim in a pretty abstract rose print from Rolls & Rems. It was £5.50 per metre and it’s quite thin with a generous amount of two-way stretch. I started with my already-adjusted Style Arc Sandra pattern, but bearing in mind my fit issues from last time and also that I was using a stretch this time I made a few further adjustments.
The fit came out completely different to the first pair – it just shows how much effect the stretch factor has. I was able to taper the legs way in for a skinnier silhouette, and I added a bit more hip ease to compensate for the first pair being too tight around there. They’re way more comfortable, almost with legging-type ease of movement. I cut the leg length right on the ankle for a nice springlike look with flats.
They came together pretty smoothly. I didn’t have any additional trouble from using a stretch denim. I used a universal needle for most of it, a stretch twin needle for topstitching, and a denim needle for the many layers of the waistband. I used regular thread again, not topstitching, mostly because I was too lazy to go and buy some and have to change thread all the time. I do think a contrast pale blue would have been cute on this pair.
No gasping strain lines this time! The waistband, however, was an extra challenge to get right in stretch denim. I had a *massive* gape at the centre back, probably due to adding the hip ease and needing to pinch it back out towards the waist. After about 5 or 6 failures, I ended up drafting a four-piece band instead of the continuous one of the pattern, in order to ease out the excess through angling the seams. I also interfaced the inner waistband to prevent it from bagging out over time, although it actually has stretched out a bit anyway and they’re a bit too big now. It’s also got quite creased as you can see – I think I might hunt out some special waistband interfacing for the next pair.
The guts are much neater than my first pair. After cutting all the pieces I spent a really boring hour finishing every single raw edge on the overlocker so it was out of the way when I came to sew. I reduced the size of the fly shield as it was originally kind of bulky compared to my RTW jeans. I also bias-bound and hand-slipstitched down the inner waistband. Tidy.
I really love these jeans! I’ve worn them loads since I finished them, and they have the same ease of wearing as RTW jeans. Do you know what I mean, that you sometimes feel a bit self-conscious in self-mades in case there’s a construction fault or they look a bit homemade in a bad way? None of that with these. Not that I look to emulate RTW clothing when I sew, but you definitely don’t want craftsy looking jeans. Now I’m not sure whether to keep tweaking and improving this pattern (I want a polka dot pair next!) or to try a new one. I like the look of this Burda pair from the newest issue…
Pictures were taken by Josh by the way instead of my usual self-timer + tripod, and in case you’re wondering why I look like I’m trying not to laugh in every one is because he insisted on playing this as were were photographing. I really need to fix the tripod…