The “Riveter” Jeans
Fabric: 2.5 yards Robert Kaufman cotton linen denim from Purl Soho, $35
Pattern: Simplicity 3688 (1940s Retro)
Notions: interfacing, invisible zip
Time to complete: about 6 hours
First worn: 5/19
Wear again: Yes! I love these pants!
Total cost: about $38
I get why this pattern is so popular among sewing bloggers! I was never that impressed with photos of the finished pants, and my own aren’t great either. But let me tell you, these pants make feel like a million bucks. They’re flattering and comfortable; I can eat a big meal, walk a few miles, and even be suspected of buying designer jeans for $300. I’ve been on the fence about high-waisted styles, but this one absolutely works for me. I’m ready to make another pair right now. Do you think seersucker would be too much?
Key to my satisfaction is the fit. Last year, when I read in Fit for Real People by Pati Palmer and Marta Alto that 25% of sewing time should be spent fitting, it was a revelation. At that time I spent 0% of my sewing time on fitting. For these pants, the fitting consisted of much scowling at the flat pattern and my pants block, trying to figure out what I should do. I ended up making significant changes to both the front and back crotch curves. Then I basted the legs together without the waistband to check. Whoa! Nice pants! I adjusted the side seams between the waist and hip, took it all apart, and then put them together for real, with a variety of seam finishes (flat felled seams on the inseam, bias binding on the crotch seam, a French seam on the right side, overcast edges and turn and sew on the left side with the invisible zipper). After the fitting, the construction is simple– no pockets, top-stitching, or bells and whistles of any kind. I made it even easier by using an invisible zipper, which I’m very familiar with, instead of a lapped zipper, which I’ve done once very poorly.
I fully intended to make a short sleeved blouse with pin-tucks too, but when I discovered the vintage pattern was perforated, I decided to save that challenge for another week. I fear the perforations. My top is a cotton lawn Colette Sorbetto I made last year.