Jeans and jeggings

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It seems you could spend a lifetime searching out the perfect jeans. I’ve bought them from almost everywhere and paid very varying prices and continually think I’ve found the perfect pair – until the next pair.

I am going to draft a pattern from my favourite pair of jeans. The variety of styles is vast. Skinny, ultra-skinny, bootcut, flared, boyfriend, mom and the most recent one to join the shape styles is girlfriend.

I’m not convinced by homemade jeans unless pristine dark or black denim is used and they stay looking that neat, smart jeans but always with a contrast feature stitch.

For many years I enjoyed wearing jeggings and I still do. But as usual where do I get the fabric, I want them to look worn and be soft, so I go back to buying larger sizes in the sales, low price stores and thrift shops.

Every pair of jeans or jeggings in the shops have been treated in some way. They are sewn in their particular weight of denim. They start life looking crisp and pristine. They are then treated on mass with some kind of wash. Remember stone-washing, it’s back, and you can still occasionally find a piece of bleach soaked pumice stone in a pocket!

Dark wash, vintage wash, acid wash, cold knees, rips or a little worn bit!

These finishes of mass manufacture are what makes a good looking pair of jeans difficult to make, including my personal favourite, which is simply the twin-needled seam (not done with a twin-needle but with a felled seam) just two rows of machine stitch that ripple slightly and fade with time to make a jean look like a proper jean. So if I decide to make a pattern from a favourite well fitting pair, I source the fabric in my usual way and this allows me to reuse as many of the features as possible. The front and back pockets and zip can always be reused. The jegging is the far easier one to make from other jeggings, with it you can reuse the elastic and waistband whether they are separate or grown on. And at least jeggings are usually worn with only legs and hem showing.

Note. Bar tacks. Seen in great numbers on jeans! They started life as a form of reinforcement, but now things can look odd without them and I like what they look like.

In the factory we had a bar tacking machine but at home they can be duplicated with the long line of a buttonhole. Just make sure you count the stitches if your doing a few matching ones.

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