Making Jeans – Halfmoon Atelier 101 Jeans
Jeans. Good fitting jeans… the holy grail right?
I have always been a jeans a tee kind of a girl. Growing up I never wore dresses and even as a younger adult you would always find me in my default denim favourites.
Fast forward to age 34, baby number 1 came along. After a loooong labour, the docs finally admitted he was stuck and so we headed for a c-section. I remember the weeks after, my bleary eyes waiting for my tummy to return to some sort of normal shape but it didn’t.As many women experience, the c section had left me a strange shape with a sort of shelf of a tummy. My scarring was pretty bad and it was almost a year before I could comfortably wear a pair of jeans. The style en vogue at the time was still fairly low slung and skinny and the waistband just was so uncomfortable. 2 years later, baby 2 and another c-section seemed to bake in my strange tummy shape and my struggle with jeans continued.
Now 7 years later, and a few pounds heavier I still don’t have a great fitting pair of jeans. The fact is the difference between my waist to my c-section tum and then to my hips is just not ‘normal’ enough for RTW and therefore it wasn’t long before my ‘I can make’ that approach turned to jeans…..
Making Jeans… scary, right?!
A lot of great sewists I follow have made some beautifully fitting jeans and I wanted in on the action. In my ‘beginner’ sewing circle jeans are seen as a bit scary. I figured they are just a pair of trousers and so fitting them would be just like all the other trousers I’ve made… right?! erm, all those elastic waist trousers I’ve made.. hehe
Yes, that’s right I’m getting stuck into jeans and have never made a pair of trousers with a fly before. What could possibly go wrong!
I spent a fair bit of time researching my pattern. I only had rigid denim so the MN Ash Jeans were out. I looked at the Closet Core Ginger, but it wasn’t quite what I wanted. The MN Dawn and Muna & Broad Noice jeans all were a bit higher waisted than I wanted and then just perfectly times, Halfmoon Atelier launched the 101 jeans pattern.
Halfmoon Atelier 101 jeans
The Halmoon 101 jeans are a really lovely, classic style. They have a mid rise, straight legs and some great details that give a really great jeans finish. Flat fell seams and an easy install fly method were real bonuses.
Great Pocket Extras
Meghan has provided some great pattern stitching templates in her sew along post
I really love Meghan’s instructions. They are clear, easy to interpret with great diagrams. I did refer to the sew along for photos a few times but I never got ‘stuck’ with what I should be doing
Step 1 – Fitting
I don’t like making muslins and I often opt for the wearable muslin approach. Not only has it been a while since I had to fit some pants though but I clearly have never made jeans and the whole point of this is to get the fit spot on., so I put on my big girl pants and made a toile.
I had decided from the size chart that I needed to grade from a 12 at the waist to an 8 at the hips and thigh. My muslin (short length to save on fabric) came out looking pretty good and fitted well or so I thought.
Step 2 – Making!
I really enjoyed the process of making these jeans. I chose to use the same Yoshiwa Mills Denim (bought from Miss Maude NZ) that my favourite shorts are in. They came together pretty quickly as I hopped through even the fly making. It was the fly that I had worried about the most going into this make. I have never made anything with a fly before but I can honestly say it wasn’t that big a deal. Yes, it was a bit fiddly, but step by step I got there without a hiccup.
Time for a try on!
As I readied to check the button position the jeans were ready for my first try on. I was super excited… and then a bit gutted to be faced with a heap of issues, none of which had surfaced in my toile.I suspect part of the problem was that I didn’t spend enough time on the fit of my toile, really only validating that the waist to hip grading had worked. I missed that the crotch curve was too short and there was some unsightly camel toe as a result and a huge amount of bunching at the yoke… and the whole waist area was just too big, hmmmmm… given I had sewn everything up, top stitching and all I was a bit stumped.
Nips and tucks
I could have ditched the jeans at this point as a ruined project but I didn’t want to give in or waste my beautiful fabric. I pinched in an inch of fabric on each side of the yoke area above the pockets and created something almost like a little dart. I basted and tried on.. significantly better. I very carefully stitched them in place.
The final result
When it came to it, although the ‘darts’ solved some of my problem the crotch curve was still too small. There was still some bunching on the yoke, but as I rarely have a short top on, this didn’t worry me too much. The crotch bunching though is a problem and the waist curve is not quite right. With a bit of wear it might ‘give’ a little but for now these will be great home lounging jeans!
Not to be put off I was determined still to get a great fit pair that I can wear to work and so almost immediately I started another make.
This time, I got my adjustments in properly from the start:
– 3/8’s added to the front crotch curve
– 1″ removed from each yoke piece – this is where my waist – tummy – hip ratio plays havoc
– 2.5″ removed from the waist band
– 4″ removed from the leg length (I’m 5’5″)
and the results are so much better…. and I’m so glad I perservered!
The final results
Having now made two pairs of these jeans I can whole heartedly say it’s a great pattern. The instructions really are pretty much a lesson in how to make jeans. They gave me confidence and kept me on track.
The overall shape of the jeans is just what I was looking for from this pair. A great style. Great job Halfmoon Atelier!
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