The moment this denim arrived from Minerva Fabrics I knew that this project needed to jump ahead of my entire sewing queue because it was going to become the jeans that I had wanted since high school when I dreamed of being as effortlessly rock star as Gwen Stefani. (Okay, maybe a big part of it at the time was that I wanted to marry Gavin Rossdale myself.) I swear that I remember her wearing a similar pair and I totally ripped a picture of it out of a friend’s copy of Seventeen Magazine, although my googling abilities haven’t been able to find it again. I’m afraid that I look a little more Annie Hall than Gwen Stefani, but Annie Hall was sexy in her own right and I’m in love with these jeans regardless.
I used Vogue v8201, an out of print pattern from 2006. I think I picked it up from one of my SF sewing friends during a pattern swap right before I moved, but I don’t fully remember, so I don’t quite know who to thank. As I said, Minerva Crafts sent me the denim and the zipper I used. It’s a nice weight of non-stretch denim for pants and comes in several colors. I’m brainstorming other things I could make with it so I can snag some more next time, but I should probably lay off sewing jeans for a while. It would make a great jean jacket but I just can’t get myself to wear jean jackets since I’ve always totally flopped at styling them.
Since the denim is 100% cotton (as I said, no stretch) they wrinkle a bit when they’re shoved into your suitcase. Oh well. I’m really not sure when a switch flipped for me since I use to avoid any pleat front like the plague, but I love how effortlessly they add fullness to the wide leg. I swear that my hem is even, even if it doesn’t quite look like it in these photos. I obsessed over the hem, going back and forth between cuff and no cuff. I finally decided pro-cuff with the thought that I could always take them off later but if I went anti-cuff I couldn’t add them back on. Feel free to chime in with your own pro- or anti-cuff opinions.
The one change I may still make is to add some pockets in the back. I’m thinking welt pockets with flaps. I find that any trouser is most flattering on me when I have something to break up the vast expanse of rear end but I figured I’d have a go at wearing them without for a while. The multiple darts in the back that I topstitched go a ways, but seeing the photos I’m further leaning to adding some pocketses.
I’m wearing the jeans with my original One Hour Halter since I think it needs a slender fitting top and I have a grand total of about 4 form fitted sleeveless tops at the moment and 3 of them are one-hour halters (one of the perks of sometimes being able to wear a sample size). I really need to do some practical sewing for myself! Not that having another awesome pair of jeans isn’t practical, it’s just a lot more practical if I have some tops to wear with it!
I opted to keep the topstitching minimal and use a light colored yellow that doesn’t contrast too much with the denim. With the wide leg, huge cuff, wide waistband, and giant pocket carriers I didn’t want it to cross the line to costume-y so the subtle top-stitching was my slight nod to practicality. The problem with super wide waistbands is that the underlap often seems to wiggle its way into being visible so I’m going to go back and add a button or snap to the far end of the underlap. I also have one minor gripe with the pattern – to keep it “very easy” they had a “mock fly” construction which leaves off a fly shield. It seemed really unfinished when I got it done so I went back in and added a fly shield after the fact which ended up a little hack-y, but it works.