After what seemed like a marathon jeans making session earlier this year doing the Crafty Jeanius course I decided it was time for a second pair. This time around the pattern was already done and the fabric was pre-washed when I bought it.

full length front (1824 x 1368)

There were a few areas I wanted to improve on for this pair.
1. fly front, the under flap on the first pair was too narrow
2. Top stitching, my first pair has a few ends that have come undone
3. Try and flat fell the seams
4. Get a better waistband fit
5. Get the length right! The first pair were annoyingly just a bit too short.

I bought the fabric from Abakhan in Manchester. They have pre-washed denim to buy by the weight. The lengths were about 150cm long and the piece I bought cost £11. It has some lycra content probably 2 or 3%.

A few months back I came across a great blog post from ‘notes from a mad housewife’. This has a fab tutorial for flat felling seams. I knew what the finished seam looked like but I didn’t really know the best way to construct it. This way is so easy. The seams are butted together and zig zagged then pressed in a Z shape before stitching. You just need to remember you only need 3/8″ seam allowance with this method.

I flat felled the back yoke and the back rise seam.

pressing the seam before applying the two rows of topstitching for the flat felled seam

pressing the seam before applying the two rows of topstitching for the flat felled seam

The fly worked out really well but I forgot to stitch along the very edge which I didn’t notice until I’d inserted the zip and couldn’t add afterwards.

Top stitching was relatively stress free and I mastered making a decent looking bartack. I also took great care to tie off the ends of all the stitching lines so hopefully there’ll be no unravelling.

open fly (1824 x 1368)


One thing I wanted to do on this pair was get a better fit at the waist. I had altered the back yoke pattern and remembered to add twill tape to stop any stretching.  I decided to cut a two piece shaped waistband. I took out 1.5cm from the top edge on the half waistband, 3cm in total which unfortunately didn’t make as much difference as I thought it would. I can still pinch out a couple of cms so next time I need to increase the curve of the waistband from the centre back to the side seam.

One thing I found was that I had quite a bit of ease in the outside leg seam of the back, I couldn’t remember this from my first pair. You can see it in the side on photo. This is also giving a few wrinkles on the back legs, so I  before I make another pair I need to adjust the pattern and pinch out the fullness in a couple of places which should sort out the problem.

You can see the fullness in the back leg

You can see the fullness in the back leg

Saying all that I am really pleased with the make up of these jeans, they are a definite improvement on the first pair but I don’t feel I’ve quite got them right. The fit isn’t quite as my original Levis or the first pair I made. They are slightly more roomy around the back thigh. I did try them on before attaching the waistband and I felt they fitted OK but what I need to remember that at this stage they need to be tight as with wearing they loosen up quit a bit.

The rivets are from Castbullet in the US, definitely worth the investment if you plan to make more pairs.

Fabric, thread & zipper cost me less than £16 a big saving in comparison to a £90 pair of Levis.

I’m going to adjust my pattern before I put it away, take out some fullness from the outer leg seam, re-shape the waistband take some width of the back thigh so it’s ready for when I want to use it again – otherwise I’ll forget.

So rather than a slim straight leg they are more ‘boyfriend’ fit but still a pair of jeans to be proud of 🙂



12 thoughts on “Jeans

  1. Your jeans look great, and so rtw. Bet you’ll wear them loads. Thanks for the flat felled link – I’ve seen it before but forgot to pin it. Now pinned ready for when I get round to making a pair 😀

  2. They look fantastic Helen. I’m attempting the Jeanius course myself at the moment, but my muslin is a disaster and I’m not sure where to go from there. I think I’m just going to look for a pattern and try to make that fit.

    • Oh dear! Are you happy with the fit of the original jeans? Do they have lycra in? When I originally made my muslin I had to take into account that there was no lycra in my muslin fabric so I expected them to be quite tight. Is there anyway of salvaging the muslin because such a lot of work goes into all the thread tracing etc on the course. Don’t give up 🙂

      • Sorry for the late reply Helen, I forgot my log in details, and ended up having to reset! I think in hindsight, the jeans I tried to copy were just too worn and distorted. I’ve abandoned the project for now, but I will try again with another pair of jeans in the future. (I bought some new ones last week, and they fit really well, so I think the trick will be to get the rub off before they stretch out of shape).

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