girl-next-door jeans

Part 1

I finally did it, dear readers! Make jeans, that is. I’ve rolled the idea around in my head for some time, but the idea of sewing jeans was either intimidating (all those layers of denim and flat fell seams—oh my!), or other projects proved far more enticing. But circumstances (and pocket book) pushed me into finally making my own. I’ll be posting particulars about how I altered the pattern I used (see details at the end of this post for links), as well as construction, on Friday. So stay tuned for that, if you’re curious! For right now, here’s an overview and lots (too many?) pictures!

Other inspiration resources: New Vintage Lady denim post, Lauren’s vintage jeans, and Amy Jeanne’s vintage tshirts and jeans post.

Of course, with the 40s being my favorite era for fashion, I pulled inspiration for these jeans from some late 40s/early 50s images I had in my own collection as well as things I had found online over the years. Typically, this style jean has the high waist, hip pockets, one or two back patch pockets, and a full, but slightly tapered (not completely straight) leg. The hem can be left plain or cuffed, depending on the style and wearer. Jeans for women zipped or had a button placket on the left side—fly front zippers on women’s jeans were not commonplace until later. I also noticed that jeans for women from this era could either have rivets at stress points, or not. My jeans pretty exclusively follow the lines of the era as I wanted these to look like the ones I had seen in pictures (and not just like denim trousers, which I had made before!). You won’t find any Lycra or tight fit here! Comfort and practicality were the keywords, but with a vintage flair.

Pattern: Wearing History Smooth Sailing Trousers, heavily “sliced and diced” to emulate the details and lines of late 40s jeans. (I’ve made these trousers previously and loved them.)

Fabric: 100% cotton denim; medium weight (purchased originally for a slip cover).

Alterations: Added a front hip pocket, back yoke, patch pockets, tapered the legs. Will have more details on the alterations I made in the next post.

Techniques: Flat fell seams, mock flat fell, topstitching, adding hip seam pockets, adding belt loops, side placket zipper.

Make Again? Considering I rarely (if ever!) find jeans that fit me perfectly, yes! I can’t say sewing jeans is my absolute favorite sort of sewing, but I don’t loathe it either. For the fit and customization, it’s definitely worth the effort (plus I have a perfected pattern now, so that saves time!).

Stay tuned for a post on Friday with some more specifics about how I adjusted the pattern to make these jeans!

October 12, 2011 · 78 lovely thoughts
posted in sewing · tags: , , ,

puppyloveprincess October 12, 2011 at 11:05

so cute! those jeans are adorable. and they look sooo comfy, too!

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Ms.Tips (Tammy) October 12, 2011 at 11:07

A-mazing! Nothing is more flattering than perfectly fit high waist jeans in my opinion!! Amazing job as usual.

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Caitlin Rose October 12, 2011 at 11:08

super cute! good job!

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Quincy October 12, 2011 at 11:09

GORGEOUS Casey!!!

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Stephanie October 12, 2011 at 11:11

Wow! How awesome! Can’t wait for the other post. I want to make my own jeans too one day, but I’m not quite that far yet.

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Vicki Kate October 12, 2011 at 11:29

They are amazing and I love that they don’t have a front fly, but a much neater (and more flattering in my opinion) side fastening. You look so cute in them! I can’t wait to see the details and for more information on the changes you made.

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Marmielu October 12, 2011 at 11:29

Wow, lady! They look fabulous! And to think this all started with Barbie clothes. ;-)
Mom

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karen October 12, 2011 at 11:31

They are fabulous! You’re so clever. I love the jumper, too.

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puu October 12, 2011 at 11:32

looks like a worth and super-successful experiment, and perfectly styled to boot. looking forward to more details on your pattern alterations!

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Tasha October 12, 2011 at 11:33

Oh my gosh Casey, they are GREAT! And those flat fell seams look amazing. You should be pleased as Punch! They look fantastic on you and what a comfy fit and great style of course, too. I’m really looking forward to your Friday post on more details.

(Hee! I just caught the pencil in your hair on closer inspection of the photos. ;)

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Rachel October 12, 2011 at 11:35

I can’t wait for Friday. I have this pattern and have made 3 pair of trousers from it and have wondered how I should alter it to add pockets and make them more jeans-like.

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Jenny October 12, 2011 at 11:43

Just lovely, Casey! You’re such an inspiration. : ) Simply cannot wait til Friday!

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Popbabe7 October 12, 2011 at 11:44

Lovely pair of jeans!!

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Sean MacKenzie October 12, 2011 at 11:47

I love these jeans. I’ve been toying around with buying some Freddie’s jeans, but yours looks just as good. I may have to get this pattern as well.

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Molly October 12, 2011 at 11:48

I’ve also been *intending* to make jeans for about 18 months, truth be told its the fitting and sewing with denim that is putting me off!

I have something in mind similar to yours – 40s flare, high waisted, easy fit through hips… Yours look fantastic! I hadn’t even thought that jeans from the period would be side fastened, I love the idea although I’m wary of anything that adds visible bulk to the side of the hips, mine don’t need any more emphasizing!

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Casey October 20, 2011 at 09:23

If it makes you feel any better, I’ve been talking about sewing jeans for two years! ;) lol.

♥ Casey

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Marjorie October 12, 2011 at 11:53

Eeep! Superb, indeed! This is something I’ve always wanted to do, too! Perhaps I’ll find the time next year!? tee hee Yours are such an inspiration!!

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Michelle @ If Toys Could Talk October 12, 2011 at 11:53

Your jeans look awesome! Please, please tell us that you have a tutorial for that gorgeous updo coming up soon! :)

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Casey October 20, 2011 at 09:24

I can definitely add that to my list of tutorials to tackle once I move! ;) It’s real simple–just next day curls piled up and clipped in place! ;)

♥ Casey

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Faith October 12, 2011 at 12:00

You are so cute! Everything about this is amazing. I love 40s jeans and slacks but I sometimes feel like they’d emphasise my tummy and that is not a good thing so I tend to stick to tummy skimming skirts. You, however, look absolutely incredible. The whole outfit is very reminiscent of high school styles, so sweet! :)

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Casey October 20, 2011 at 09:26

That’s been one of my concerns too (I have a definite “pooch” right below my waist ;) ), and these definitely don’t make it look more noticeable! I think the denim helps hold things in… ;)

♥ Casey

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Johanna October 12, 2011 at 12:19

Those look truly amazing on you, I’m very impressed! And you look super pretty.

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Molly October 12, 2011 at 12:22

Wow! You did a great job on those! I have to admit the idea of making jeans (and pants…I’ve never had luck with them) scares me no end! But, yours look amazing!

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LBC October 12, 2011 at 12:34

I have a good friend who is an avid seamstress of pants. I need to branch out. Commercial jeans never really fit me, and the current “skinny” styles look terrible even if I can get them on.

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Emilie October 12, 2011 at 12:40

These look great on you(although I am surprised to see you in jeans!!). I love the top you are wearing with them too! Self-made or bought? The little collar looks adorable.
I don’t know if I dare try to make my own jeans. I’ll read your next few posts to maybe help me decide.

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Casey October 20, 2011 at 09:43

hehe! I really love jeans–when they fit! ;) The top is a thrifted blouse with a separate collar I made (I might have a tutorial up on that soon…). One of my favorite looks!

♥ Casey

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Viv October 12, 2011 at 12:48

You are such a wonderful seamstress, Casey! They look great! I’m too scared to sew jeans, I think, but I have the same pattern and am looking forward to your alteration tips. Just in case :)
Such a pretty top, too!

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Rebecca October 12, 2011 at 12:56

WOW casey! I really cannot believe you made jeans for some reason. They are truly amazing! Wish I could sew a pair someday as cute and nicely fitting as those. great job! can’t wait to hear more about how you modified the pattern. your sweater and shoes and hair style are perfect with those as well. love the vintage look! :)

God bless!
rebecca

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Lauren October 12, 2011 at 13:00

Oh my gosh, FANTASTIC!!! Bravo!

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wundermary October 12, 2011 at 13:20

Those jeans are great and you look just fabulous in them! Aren’t you glad you braved up and made them?

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Janice October 12, 2011 at 13:26

That’s amazing, Casey! Those WH trousers are the only pair of pants that have fit me properly straight out of the box so far. Please tell us you’re doing a tutorial on this! :)

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Laura October 12, 2011 at 13:55

I love love love the full leg with cuff Casey! They are so you, and full of adorableness. Such a perfect 40′s sportswear vibe! I love love love them.

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Lisa October 12, 2011 at 14:15

Try as I may, the butt of my pants NEVER looks that good – I think because my dress form isn’t shaped anything like me and I can’t fit my own butt while trying on – I hope you have some suggestions!

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Casey October 20, 2011 at 09:45

I would highly recommend checking out this post that was recently published on the Coletterie blog; Sarai referred to many of the same tutorials I’ve used to help refine the fit of my pants. ;)

♥ Casey

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PepperToast October 12, 2011 at 14:44

LOVELY! So very nice. I look forward to your construction post.

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Achaia October 12, 2011 at 14:57

Love ‘em, Casey! Can’t wait to hear the ins-and-outs of the whole process! Oh my, they are sooo much cuter than the jeans you see nowadays! And so much more flattering.
Have a beautiful day~
xx Achaia

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Mary W. October 12, 2011 at 15:38

I love the look–you are a fantastic seamstress and so creative. And from someone old enough to be your mother so I mean this as a real compliment, you are just adorable!

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Victoria / Justice Pirate October 12, 2011 at 15:49

amazing job. You look so incredible and stunning. These pants look so much like the freddies of pinewood ones I have (but better since you made them). Great job!!!!

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Emma October 12, 2011 at 15:55

Oh wow, you did an incredible job! I can never find jeans that fit correctly, this inspires me to consider making my own sometime :)

xo,
Em

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Vanessa October 12, 2011 at 16:10

Wow! Very stylish! I love them :)

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mala_14 October 12, 2011 at 16:14

The jeans look great! I really like all the details that you put into them like the felling and the contrast stitching. Don’t you just love the Smooth Sailing pattern? I made two pairs of shorts this past summer, also with a heavily altered version of the pattern. Also, the pencils in your hair look really cute!

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Mei October 12, 2011 at 16:18

They look very similar to your inspiration shots! So cute.

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Ann October 12, 2011 at 16:45

I’m so impressed that you sewed a pair of jeans! is there anything hook can’t do?

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elizabeth October 12, 2011 at 16:59

Just found your blog and I LOVE it!!!!! New follower, here!

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Jessica M October 12, 2011 at 17:17

Although you look adorable in these, I’m not sure they would be particularly flattering for someone not as petite. Even though I like the vintage styling, I think modern cuts of jeans tend to be more flattering, although these jeans and the links may convince me otherwise. My comment sounds a little negative, but I don’t mean it to be that way. Beautiful work and styling, as always!

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Hannah October 12, 2011 at 17:41

They look fabulous, well done, love the styling with the peter pan collar x

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Josie October 12, 2011 at 17:56

Such an adorable outfit I love the pants!!

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Cee October 12, 2011 at 20:23

Oh my GOSH! You did an amazing job Casey, those look fabulous! I’m never overly impressed with the jeans people make but these are….speechless :) Good job Lady, you look gorgeous.

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Sarah October 12, 2011 at 20:26

I love your jeans! They are just too cute!

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Angela October 12, 2011 at 21:09

Terrific work! Your jeans look fabulous!

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YarnUiPhoneAppv1.8 October 12, 2011 at 21:26

Gosh, red does seem to go with jeans best. You’ll need to make a 1940s red sweater now. Somebody bold with cables, and buttons…you know very collegiate-looking. Oh yes, shoulder pads too. You seem like the type to carry it off 2!

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Alli October 12, 2011 at 22:10

They are amazing Casey!!!! You are so clever and talented. I love the whole outfit….. SO cute!
Where did you get the top from? It’s so sweet :)

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Renee October 12, 2011 at 22:31

Great job. They look great on you.

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Jennifer October 13, 2011 at 01:09

cute! I’ve thought of making some myself but I’m sort of a beginner/intermediate sewer and have never even made pants before.
Hmmm I wonder if with this pattern you could make like some highwaist sailor style jeans, ya know what I mean? like with buttons on the waist area (non functioning probally)

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Elise October 13, 2011 at 01:19

LOVE the jeans Casey – not sure I’ll ever have the patience to sew any myself – so I am thankful for online stores like Freddies so I don’t have too!

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