Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Sew liberated jeans: a review

I finished sewing my jeans two weeks ago and have been busy wearing them.  I have tried to gather my thoughts about the pattern here.

  • Fabric used: 2 metres of stretch denim from fabric land.  2 metres was plenty with enough left over for two bags.
  • Instructions:  The instructions were clear but disappointingly the pattern lacks a sizing chart....I like to have a sizing chart, I also like charts giving finished garment measurements.  I went online and used Sew Liberated's size chart from the FAQ section of their website. 

  • I found the instructions clear and easy to follow.  There is a code to a video tutorial but I didn't use it. 
  • I checked the pattern against my favourite skinny jeans to give me a better idea of the sizes.  This was useful as I would have cut too big otherwise.  Thank you to Maryall for the tip.
  • I cut an 8 which is a UK 10.  It is fine round my waist and hips but I ended up taking the outside leg seam in an extra 6/8th of an inch to make them properly skinny jeans in my eyes. I started the new seam at mid thigh and graded in.  This was after three days wearing, washing and pinching the jeans in with my fingers, muttering to myself and staring at other skinny jeans examples. 
  • I didn't exactly follow the instructions - I found it more effective to do a batch of pinning and pressing, then a batch of machine stitching, rather than pin, sew, press pin, sew, press. 
  • I am quite short (5 ft 3) and have short legs, I did not have to shorten the leg at all, so if you are tall or taller than me watch out if you make these.  I think a tall sewer could easily end up with unintentional cropped jeans.
I think sewing something as utilitarian as jeans is fulfilling my sewing plans to create a wearable functioning homemade wardrobe.   
Are these "mommy" jeans?  Is that a derogatory term?  Um, well, they are kind of.   The elastic waistband instead of fly and button is a quick cheat in sewing terms and in making them fit.  There is something about elasticated waists...a little voice tells me they should be the preserve of the over 60s and under tens.  But in reality they work, they are functional and I am wearing them almost every day.  They have given my extensive homesewn patterned top collection a new lease of life.  Sewing them has given me a confidence boost in the realm of sewing jeans and I am fully intending to move on to sew a pair of jeans with a zipped fly etc  in a while.  But first I have cut out and pinned a red pair of sew liberated skinnies, in a more summery red denim. 


  1. These look great and are just the right amount of skinny!

  2. I am in awe! They are awesome! :D
    Looking forward to the red ones!

  3. they look great, so utterly impressed, red would be fab.

  4. Ooh! Well done. Loving your supermarket shot! The waistband might be elastic, but when you're wearing them only you will know that really! Red denim skinnies will be fab on you.

  5. These don't look at all like elastic waist pants, just great skinny jeans! How wonderful to find a good basic pattern.

  6. Exactly, the waist doesn't show and they're perfect to show off your tops, so I say it's a win-win!

  7. Thank you so much for writing this review. Like you, I aspire to make the basics of my wardrobe myself. I am especially grateful for the fitting tips and I like the leg shape very much. I don't think it matters about the elasticated waist as it's not on show, as I am so nervous about making my own jeans this looks like a fairly gentle introduction. l will giving the pattern a go in the autumn!

  8. I really like the looks of these! They look comfy but stylish and like a garment you'd reach for aaaaaaaaaall the time, which is win-win-win in my book (hehe, I've been researching a lot of healthcare quality improvement recently, and they're all about win-win-wins!) I say - if it's given your handmade tops a new lease on life, then elasticized waistband be damned, it's a good make!

  9. Yay, they look great! And obviously they've plugged a wardrobe hole. :) And if you're not wearing crop tops, nobody will ever see the elastic waist, so yay for comfiness! :)

  10. Great to read your review. They look great, and the proof is in how much you are wearing them, surely. That you've a red pair on the to confirms success. Hurrah! Anyway who says elastic waists are naff when half the world live in jeggings and even leggings?