Hot! The “Cat’s Meow” Jeans

The Facts
Fabric: Stretch Denim approx. $15/m
Pattern: Simplicity 3668
Year: 1940’s repro
Notions: Metal zip for jeans, 4 machine needles, 1 bakelite art deco button exchanged for one childs plastic Samurai sword!
Time to complete: 5 hours
First worn: May 2012 – Dad’s Birthday Lunch
Wear again? Try and stop me
Total Cost: $45

I am much more au fait with the 50’s as you probably know, but I have been wanting a pair of high-waisted 40’s jeans for ages. I had some fun with 40’s slang in my post this week.

Mena and Debbie have used this pattern, those broads know their stuff. Wow, this pair of pants just flew together! I cut them out and started sewing – 20 minutes later I was trying them on! Hooray! Of course it took another 5 hours or so, to finish them properly.

They were a little gapey in the waist so I took them in through the centre back and then moved the darts over, to the centre of the back pieces, as they looked weird, too close together, after my alteration. The waist band was too small – had to remake that. Not sure what went wrong there!

These jeans are the cat’s meow! They make your gams look really long! And totally hide your muffin top! I added 1cm to the outside leg tapering out from hip level to a full 1cm at the hem.

I also added a huge hem to finish with approx 7cm cuffs – as I noticed these was a feature of some 40’s jeans in my research. I wish I had noticed that they often just left the raw selvidge at the sides, that would have looked keen. But I cut mine in the middle of the fabric so I had to finish them properly. I am not sure if I will keep this feature – I would love your opinion on whether to keep them or not.

I used a metal zip because they are very heavy weight denim. I sew with an industrial sewing machine which is great for this kind of thing. I think I dug out my leather needles and used them to attach the waistband and top stitch it. There was quite a lot of “hand wheeling” going on but I broke lots of needles sewing through the bulk.

I know I will wear these a lot and I definitely want to make more – I highly recommend this simple pattern, it’s swell.

All the photos on this post were taken by my dad in Sydney for his birthday this week – we went out for a Yum Cha lunch before the photos (that explains the creases in the jeans) thanks Dad – wonderful job. Time to scram and make birthday cake.

More over on my blog. More about the top here.



Trish lives in Sydney and has way more thrifted patterns and fabric than her fair share. She studied fashion design in her former life and sews while trying to not to burn the dinner.


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  1. Those are gorgeous! It’s not easy to be elegant in denim, but you pulled it off!

  2. Very cute! I’m intrigued as to why the button cost a pirate sword. Were you bartering with Blue Beard?!? :)

    • Correction: Don’t know why I read ‘Samurai’ as ‘pirate’. Were you bartering with ninjas??!!

      • I was giving my friend the sword, cos I was sick of my 6 year old one hitting my 9 year old on the head with it, after promising he would never do that. He wanted to give it to my friend Penny’s son because he knew he would love it. Then when making these – I asked Penny for one of her precious Bakelite buttons – she let me choose from her collection and when I asked her what I could give her for that she replied – lets say one samurai sword for a button. I wonder how long it will be before her 4 year old hits her 8 year old and it will be on its way again. You can usually find toy swords at my local op shop! I have learnt my lesson.

  3. I’d like to know the sword/button story too! Great looking pants. I’m not sure if I’m too short-waisted to wear high-waist pants, but hidibg a muffin top would definitely tempt me!

  4. Great pants, I love the high top and wide pant leg. You look very stylish and of course just right for the forties look

  5. Hi Trish, these look fantastic on and you look quite sporty! They look super comfy and very flattering to the figure.

  6. Great jeans! And I wish I got all my bakelite buttons by trading them for kids toys! ;-)

  7. Your pants are swell Trish. Love the cuff turn-up too. Very 1940’s, I knew you’d post something brilliant. Love it especially with the red accents, very ‘Trish’.

  8. Oh I need me a pair of these muffin hiding jeans! Seems like everyone’s got this pattern but me! You look great.

  9. I love you in these pants! They look great and I love the way you wore them-

  10. You look awesome! You should delve into the 40s more; these really suit you. I love the cuffs.

  11. Fabulous! I am always in awe when people sew trousers, and how can you not love something with muffin hiding properties.

  12. Thanks so much everyone one for the lovely comments :)

  13. LOVE these trousers – you look fantastic in red too…..and I seriously must stock up on samurai swords on the off chance I can barter them for such fab buttons. Love it!

  14. These look positively fantastic! I love this pattern made in denim – very classic and perfect with the red accents! The cuffs are delightful – I say leave as is :)

  15. Wonderful outfit, thanks for the inspiration!!