Saturday, 19 November 2016

Safran Jeans

Hi everyone,

How's it going? It's been a busy few weeks for me, I've barely had time to sew but my plans are mounting up, including a few gifts which I'll have to seriously crack on with soon! Here is a pair of jeans I finished a couple of weeks ago, but it's been too dark to get photos until now (and even these are a little dark, sorry!).

These are the Safran jeans from Deer and Doe. I bought them as soon as they were released to mix up my jeans-making a bit. I've made the Ginger jeans a few times (1, 2, 3) and plan to make a few pairs more. Annoyingly the low-rise version A of the Gingers seem to fit me better than the high-waisted version B that I bought the pattern for, so I'll have to work a bit more on my fitting before making another high-waisted pair.

The Safran pattern can be made as either jeans with belt loops, topstitching and back pockets, or as pants with the design details pared back. This is the jeans version, although I decided to use navy topstitching and no rivets for a cleaner look. I really like the welt pockets, and this is my first ever go at these. Again, the instructions are quite sparse, so although the welt pockets did come together alright I think now that I know what I'm doing I'll be able to manage them better next time. It's not hugely noticeable but there is a tiny bit of pocket lining show-through where I topstitched the pockets down at the hip. I'll be more wary of that next time – or use pocket lining that's the same colour as the main fabric!

Like many other people, I used my Ginger jeans instructions for the fly front as I knew these would end in a good result and made sense to me. I've found from my Melilot that I don't quite get Deer and Doe instructions. Perhaps it's something lost in translation or they're aimed at people with slightly higher sewing skills than me, but although they make grammatical sense I don't find them as user-friendly as they could be. I also used the Ginger flyfront topstitching guide which worked perfectly. Everything else I used Deer and Doe's instructions for (except when it calls for triplestitching, which my 1970s sewing machine can't do), although this did mean I topstitched down the outseam of the jeans leg, which doesn't feel right to me. Next time I'd topstitch the inseam like my Gingers, as this is more conventional for jeans. To be honest with my navy topstitching it doesn't really show anyway.

Construction-wise, next time I would probably make up a front and back separately, as per the Ginger instructions, rather than making up a leg at a time, to make it easier to make up the fly front. There have been mixed reactions from other people about the waistband and how the loops are stitched into this at the top, I actually like this feature and find the waistband fits pretty well. One thing I'll remember to do next time is to trim down the top of my zip a little more before attaching the waistband – I had a bit of trouble as the untrimmed top teeth of the zip trapped inside the waistband were right under where I'd marked to stitch the buttonhole, so I ended up breaking a needle!

I made this pair straight out of the envelope in a size 42 with no fitting adjustments (although, if you think I could do with any, let me know! I'm no expert and still keen to learn). I've been wearing these almost non-stop since I made them so that's perhaps why they don't look super-crisp in the pictures. They've already been through two Sunday roasts (I did have to undo my waistband after, truth be known) and a 13-mile cycle to and from work, although I am trying to cut back on cycling in my jeans to avoid the dreaded saddle marks rubbing through the denim. They're pretty comfortable and I'm not sure if there is anything that should be tweaked for the next pair, apart from maybe raising the back pockets a little, but I'm quite happy with them as they are.

The denim I used is from Fabrics Galore, and it's great stuff. I think it was £9 or £10 a metre. I do have about 3 pairs of jeans worth of denim in my stash, but none of it stretchy enough, so they're all destined to be Gingers (two more highwaisted, and I might see if I can make draft a mid-rise) so I will have a lot of blue jeans! The shop assistants at Fabrics Galore were super-friendly and helpful in finding me the level of stretch I needed for the pattern, so I'm tempted to go back and see what else they have that might work for a future pair - I am thinking about maybe a matt black, or perhaps a bottle green or oxblood red colour.

I'm so tempted to just crack into the denim I've had in my stash for far too long now and make more jeans as I do enjoy it, and winter is the best time for wearing them. But then I remember the merino jersey I should really make up to wear while it's cold (but it will be cold for ages, let's be honest) and the gifts I've promised to make!

Back soon to show you my first venture into activewear...

NorseOtter x

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