Boyfriend Jeans

I’ve long had this agreement with myself to not buy any article of clothing that I am able to make. The only real exception that I have made to this rule has been for jeans. Although I can, and have made jeans in the past that turned out pretty cool, something about the fit and feel of them always seemed ever so slightly off…

I have had my eye on a few pairs of boyfriend jeans in the shops for a few months now. I’ve found my skinny jeans immensely annoying since the twins have become mobile. They’re just too restrictive for the level of activity in my day (even though this activity predominantly involves cleaning or housework of some description).  Still I love jeans, they’re such a versatile and indispensable component of my everyday wardrobe, that I have found myself yearning for a practical replacement, and have longingly tried on the same pair over and over again at my favourite clothing store.

I’m not sure if it’s due to the ZARs mad depreciation over the past two years, or an increased aversion to spending money since having kids (or a combination of both), but I can no longer bring myself to depart with a considerable sum of money on any article of clothing, even the most perfect fitting and comfortable pair of jeans.

While recently indulging in the rare decadence of paging through an actual pattern catalogue at a fabric store, instead of trawling the internet for prospective projects, I noticed this pattern. Although there were a few design details that I wasn’t crazy about, I could immediately see the potential in the fit of these jeans.

I purchased some inexpensive non-stretch denim ( I have been hating the stretch in my skinnies of late), and decided to give home sewn jeans another chance.




The resulting jeans far exceeded my expectations, and I really can’t believe how much I like them. Here is a list of the changes that I made for anyone looking to sew a pair of these.

  • The length of the leg on the pattern envelope is given as 101cm. I wanted a cropped jean and this measurement seemed really long to me, so I shortened the leg by 10cm. I think  I was a little ruthless because they turned out shorter than I had hoped, so I think I will lengthen the next pair by about 2cm.
  • I narrowed the hem quite considerably to a finished width of 13,5cm on the front leg and 18cm on the back leg and them reshaped to about 16cm up the side seams. I have really skinny ankles and I often find boyfriend jeans (and many other types of pants) to be way too big around the ankle. Although these measurements are personalized to my preference I do think that anyone wanting a more tapered look would probably need to take some of the width off at the bottom, but this could always be decided upon after fitting on the jeans close to completion.
  • I drafted my own back pockets based upon the measurements taken off an existing pair of my jeans. I was after a more classic look and the patterns back pockets were a little quirkier than what I wanted.
  • I made my own fly facing and fly guard pattern pieces and ignored the burda components thereof, I always find their fly construction techniques so foreign to the way that I am used to.  Thats just personal preference however, my mom follows their way often and the results come out perfect.

I will definitely be making a few more of these in the near future and I would highly recommend this pattern. To me they are the perfect hybrid between Skinny Jeans and Boyfriend Jeans; spacious at the knee with a slightly dropped crutch yet tapered at the ankle and snug on the hips. The resulting silhouette, although unmistakably “boyfriend” is still neat and feminine, which is exactly what I was hoping for.

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