Jeggings. Yes, Jeggings.

Here's me striking my best casual look in my new favorite jeans. Or leggings. Or, let's be real, I made everyone favorite thing to hate: jeggings. Why? Because jeggings are comfortable! They look like your favorite 1800s-inspired Levi's workwear but feel more like your 2000s-era yoga pants. A girl just wants to feel comfortable!

Pattern: Self-drafted Mambo No. 5 Pants
Fabric: 1.5 yds 12-oz organic denim knit from Stonemountain
Cost: $45

I passed this 12-oz organic denim knit at Stonemountain a few times before I finally decided that I had to have it. With its yarn-dyed composition, it looks remarkably like jeans but can be found squarely in the knit section. At over $28 a yard it is not cheap, but after the success of my last stretchy pants, I knew this would really go a long way in my wardrobe. And so far I haven't been wrong.

To avoid looking too much like leggings, I sewed this pattern up using my Mambo No. 5 pants block. They are fitted but not skin tight, and I don't think they'd make the casual observer think twice that they weren't jeans. I also completed the look with gold topstitching on the pockets and mock fly before running out of thread. I believe Lladybird did a similar thing with this fabric a few years ago.

Another reason I used my pants block is that I am constantly tweaking it, and wanted to sew this up here first before using it on a less forgiving fabric. While I have literally been tweaking this pattern for years, I am pretty happy with them right now. I think I have finally made the butt big enough and am working out the curves of my strong thighs, knock knees, and protruding calves. I did flinch a bit when I saw the photos of the back of the pants, but I really think it's nothing to worry about. See those horizontal lines under the butt? Yeah, as much as I'd love to remove them, it's that extra fabric that allows me to extend my leg as I walk. Sure, in pants this stretchy you could draft that out, but for real jeans you need that extra give there. And the fact that they're horizontal instead of diagonal at least means there isn't any extra pulling from somewhere else. This extra fabric is why you'll often see models posing like I am on the right instead of the full butt view on the left. Another reason I don't want to stress over every little wrinkle.

One thing to note, however, is that this fabric is definitely not denim. It is not nearly as hardy, and I had to be careful with my seam ripper as it was much easier to rip a hole. It also makes me concerned that these won't last quite as long as my typical jeans. But until then I plan to wear the heck out of them.

Oh! I also wanted to tell you about a facing technique I tried out. I first spotted these on a pair of casual pants that my husband was wearing. Instead of a traditional waistband, these pants carried the pockets and all the details up to the very top and then used a facing to finish the seam. The facing was topstitched down to the pants to give the illusion of a waistband without really being one. The reason that I was drawn to this technique is that it can help reduce bulk. Rather than wrestling with four layers of fabric from the waistband plus the pants and however many layers from the pockets, you can get rid of two of the layers by using the facing technique. I have found this to be useful for heavier knits like this, where all the layers can get quite bulky. Here's how I did it on these:

Add the height of the waistband (keeping in mind the seam allowances) to the height of the jeans, and cut the jeans, pockets and everything, that height. Then, attach the facing along the top of the pants. Fold the facing to the inside and stitch in place. Add details like belt loops and, voila, waistband facing. My final waistband looks a bit crumpled, but that's because there's also elastic in there. They lie flat when worn.

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