Blue and Gold Jeans


Pattern: Thread Theory's Jedediah Pants
Fabric: Threadbare Fabric's 12.5oz Cone Mills Denim
Cost: $30


For Christmas I bought Mr. Made some beautiful 12.5 oz Cone Mills denim from Threadbare Fabrics and made him up a muslin. Lately he has discovered the amazingness of premium jeans, but also the price tag. I was sure I could approximate some for a much better price, and after seeing Katie's husband's jeans I was inspired. Threadbare Fabrics was one of the few places online I could find Cone Mills denim by the yard (and so of course I bought myself some yardage, too).

While I have made him the Thread Theory Jedediah pants before, for this special pair I wanted to make up a muslin first to really work out some of the small fit fixes. I started from scratch and traced him a straight size 32 muslin. Technically he should be a size 34, but that size had been a bit too big on him at the waist so I sized down. I love the Jedediahs for Mr. Made because they are one of the few men's pants patterns I know of that actually go down to his size and the slim fit is just his style.

The resulting muslin fit beautifully - much better than expected - with one exception: they were too tight across the front below the waistband (and the jeans-style pockets I had drafted needed some tweaks). There weren't really any pulling lines, but there wasn't as much ease as desired. I imagine that this is an issue more or less unique to men's pants as their, uh, anatomy in this area requires different ease considerations. Sure enough, my internet research of this issue showed only tummy adjustment and butt adjustments on women's pants. Nevertheless, I figured I could borrow some basic ideas for my second muslin.

Adding more room at the side seams didn't help, so I started investigating more involved alterations. While my initial inclination was to slash a vertical line through each thigh and spread for more room, I was worried that this would create other issues and it didn't seem to be recommended in any of the articles I had read. After more research, I found that there were a few different methods for adding more room in this area. But which to choose? Luckily for me, Lisanne from Sewing Plums laid it out in a great article about Fabric wedges for body bumps below the waist (summarized below):

Technically Lisanne was referring to alterations for the back of the pants, but I believe the same applies to the front: Angela Wolf has you spread the pattern for a fuller belly, while Don McCunn recommends extending the front crotch curve for this issue. As you can see, each of these methods lengthens the front crotch, but adds the fullness at different places.

For Mr. Made, I decided to first try adding more fullness at the mid hip level by horizontally slashing and spreading as it sounded like that was the main problem area. Angela Wolf offers a great tutorial on this, as does Colette. For this version there was no need to make a full muslin - shorts length would do. He gave this new muslin the all-clear, but in the final version I think this was a mistake. He was happy the issue with the jeans-style front pockets I had drafted fit better, and I think forgot to check the other fit issue. Next time we will try the longer crotch extension, and I have saved the muslin. Fitting Mr. Made was hard, as I don't usually sew for others and it gets tricky when they don't have the right vocabulary or haven't spent months thinking about their ideal fit.



However, he was otherwise quite positive about his new pants, possibly because I warned him about being nice after I'd spent days making the pair. He has been happily wearing them and showing them off, and his co-worker, a jeans snob, was very impressed.

The hardest part of the construction for me was the topstitching. I used Gutterman jean topstitching thread in the needle only, and my machine hated it. I have also come to the conclusion that, were I planning on making men's jeans full time, I would invest in an industrial machine that could really handle all the layers, like sewing up overlapping seams or doing the hem. There's a few rough looking spots, and I have gained new respect for all those pro topstitchers out there.

I do love how these turned out, but right now I am just too tired from all the topstitching to think about making him more pants for at least another year.

As a bonus, Beatrix also got a denim jacket from some other scraps I had lying around. *heart*


7 comments:

  1. those look fantastic, definitely no jeans snob could tell that they were made by you. And whew, I know what you mean about the topstitching, on thick layers the machine often hates it. Great job! you are a jeans making ninja! and the dog jacket, perfect as usual

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  2. These are awesome!! I'm so happy to see another woman making men's jeans out there - especially with this denim! :D I think your topstitching looks great - and maybe try Coats & Clark topstitching thread. I have a spool of Gutterman from a Ginger Jeans kit and my machine cannot handle it at all, but it works just fine with Coats & Clark.

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  3. These look amazing! Your husband is so lucky! My boyfriend's trying to persuade me to make him some jeans, and I desperately need some myself too, but I'm worried my machine wouldn't cope with the layers. Plus we don't have a dog, so no one to make adorable leftovers for!

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  4. HAHA. Beatrix's jacket is fantastic! And, the jeans are AMAZING! I bought a bunch of rigid denim at a Vogue Fabrics warehouse sale as part of future plans to make Mike some jeans. I bought the Hot Patterns Mr. H.P. Straight Leg Jeans pattern to give them a shot! I want to make myself a couple more pairs of jeans before I move on to man sewing.

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