The “Raindrop” Jeans

 

This week’s challenge was to take inspiration from nature.  I took a raindrop as inspiration for the embroidery design on the pockets of these jeans…  I’m pretty bad at hand-embroidery so I drew first with chalk, then sewed by machine, and lastly added hand stitching.  Don’t look too close!!

The Facts

Fabric: stretch denim, leftovers from these Clovers (in this project, the fabric is not dyed)
Pattern: Jalie 2908, low-rise jeans pattern
Year: contemporary
Notions: zipper, so much cotton thread, little bit of fusible interfacing
Time to complete: about 14 hours
First worn: for these photos, and then the whole day afterward
Wear again? Yes!  After applying fray-check to some of the edges.
Total Cost: ~12 EUR for fabric (half of what was left from the Clovers, zipper I had on hand, and thread I had on hand.
The Challenge: Take inspiration from nature.

Okay.  I’m so glad these are done and that they work (for the most part).  I’m still muffin-topping a bit, but it was expected.  The fabric should stretch a bit with wearing and not recover, as I discovered when I used it for the pair of Clovers earlier this year.  So these jeans should fit in about a week. :D

I’ve been working on this pair since the cropped hoodie project and my first real encounter with the stretch needle.  I’ve since bought a whole pack of stretch needles.  These jeans were an experiment to see if I could even make a pair of jeans that don’t look like some crazed-hack-job, and I know now that it’s possible.  One must be a top-stitching zen master, but it can be done.  I really have to hand it to the illustrators and tech editors of the Jalie pattern because they made it so clear, and they really do guide you step-by-step through the process of getting in all the details that go into a pair of jeans.  With a bit of confidence from this pair, I think I’m ready for blue jeans next!   I have dark blue denim reserved to make this pattern again, and the next time, I’m making them even better!

Here’s what I learned…

  • top stitching can be very tricky over multiple folds of fabric, be sure to have a guide on your presser foot clearly marked or a guide on the fabric
  • those bar-tacked reinforced areas are there for a reason (oops- my fly began to unravel as soon as the stretch denim felt the pull of my mighty thighs).  I quickly tacked where they said to.
  • I have to add a little extra fabric on the thighs (like 1/4″ to 1/2″ total)
  • the stretch needle is a must for this stretch denim, otherwise one suffers from skipped stitches
  • I have to move the button hole over about 1/2″
  • top-stitch only once to define the fly otherwise it looks funny
  • pay attention to the orientation of the belt loops when attaching the waist yoke.  It is troublesome to undo and redo them.
  • marvel at your new jeans! Whah-bam!

I tested the jeans and cycled around in them and they feel just like normal jeans.  They fit pretty well, and the stretch denim relaxes a bit with wearing.  They look best when worn with a belt, but stay up fine without one.

Author

adriprints

Adriprints is an illustrator and designer by trade; a knitter, crocheter, and pseudo-seamstress by craft. You can find her work in typo-phile calendars, online knitting mags, and on random people's business cards, greeting cards, and websites. She currently lives in Munich.

12 Comments

  1. Lovely fit! And I really like how organic the stitching on the pockets is.

  2. Hi Andri, beautiful garden of flowers, gorgeous background for a great fitting pair of jeans.

    • I wish it was my garden, but it’s one of the many little city garden plots not too far from my neighborhood. It’s really lovely this time of year with all the summer flowers growing.

  3. Bravo! Super nice job on these! I love the design on the pockets. I’ve made several pairs of pants and haven’t really settled on a design for the pockets so I leave them as is. I’ll get there-

    • Thanks, Gina! I might try a ribbon insert or something like that for one of the pairs I’m working on for the next challenge. I’ve been staring at people’s bum-pockets for the last three weeks. I’ve seen some interesting things like zippers across the middle, button closures, the ribbon insert idea, lots of embroidery, some minimalist others quite baroque, and just plain pockets.

  4. Impressive! They look great!

  5. I love these! I need to try more pants.

  6. The perfect fit! They look fabulous. I must try that pattern one of these days.

  7. These look great! I really should order that pattern. I like the embroidery you added – nice touch.

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