You can read my Minerva post about these jeans here. I used some silver stretch fabric that sadly lost all of its sparkliness in the wash, but I think this is par for the course with metallic fabrics unless the sparkly thread is woven in.
Luckily the base fabric is pretty dreamy anyway. It’s a very stretchy denim. Oddly, the stretch runs from top to bottom, rather than from selvedge to selvedge, so I turned the fabric 90 degrees when cutting out.
Here’s a close-up of my topstitching and one of the rivets – you can see the fabric looks almost grey in certain lights, which I rather like.
How long does it take to make a pair of jeans?
I thought it might be useful to have an estimate of how long it takes me to make a pair of these. My timings are vague, and I sew quite slowly, with many breaks to change podcast/make cups of tea/hunt for snacks. Hopefully someone will find it helpful anyway.
I usually sew jeans in 4 or 5 separate sessions. Here’s the order I use, which is different from the pattern.
- Cutting out, interfacing and changing the thread in my sewing machine and overlocker: 2 or 3 hours, including a long and frustrating hunt for my twin topstitching needle.
- Sewing the pockets and the front fly, attaching the back yoke and topstitching, sewing the back legs together: About 2 hours.
- Attaching the back pockets, sewing the front legs to the back legs, topstitching the seam with a twin needle, basting the side seams to check fit: 1 and a half hours. You can do this a lot quicker without basting the side seams, but every fabric varies so I prefer to check how they fit at this stage.
- Attaching the waistband, sewing the side-seams, sewing the waistband facing, topstitching the waistband and side-seams: About 3 hours of sewing, depending on how annoying the topstitching decides to be. NOTE: If you are using a metal zip that you have to shorten with pliers, add an hour on to this. It’s a huge pain.
- Sewing on belt-loops, attaching rivets and buttons, hemming: About 1 hour. Making the holes for the rivets is time-consuming.
The only fitting change I made for this pair was this flat seat alteration from the legendary Anne Rowley, star of the GBSB. I wouldn’t exactly describe myself as having a ‘flat seat’, but it does seem to have eliminated some of the wrinkles under the bum. However I think you can never entirely get rid of these, especially with stretch fabric.
I’m fairly happy with the fit, except for the legs, which have drag-lines in odd places. I think this might be my last pair from this pattern for a while. I’m not done with trousers yet, but for my next pair I’m going to go a bit smarter (and skip all of the dreaded topstitching).
If you’d like to make your own version of these jeans, you can buy the kit from Minerva here.
UPDATE – Public service announcement: please be careful with your zips!
After writing this post and sending my project details to Minerva, this happened:
I zipped the slider right off the first time I wore them! This is completely my own fault. I got a bit over-zealous with the pliers and took too many teeth off the zip, leaving room for this catastrophe to occur.
I managed to fix this but it was an enormous pain, involving tiny implements and much fiddling. Don’t be like me – be careful out there!
p.s. apologies for how blurry the photos are in this post. I would sack the photographer but he seems to be a permanent fixture now, and he’s quite good at making cups of tea.