hey guess what? i made jeans!
no let me try that again with more oomph – I MADE JEEEEEANSSSSS!!!!!
huge personal sewing triumph over here – i’ve wanted to make jeans for a while and eventually would love to make them for myself, but i’m not ready yet. and i know, if you’ve been following along with this pattern tour, you’re hearing the same thing over and over – that the Small Fry Skinny Jeans Pattern is clearly written and incredibly detailed. that the fit is great. that you’ll make legit-looking jeans from it. that you’ll learn a lot. and i’m here to reiterate all of that.
this pattern rocks. it’s just so good and so impressive. it’s not a quick sew, and given the fact that i’ve got a newborn in the house, i spread this out over many sewing sessions. but i really enjoyed the process of making these jeans. it was so fun. it’s the kind of pattern i wanted to take my time with, because jeans are one thing that really shouldn’t look home sewn, if you ask me – especially boy jeans. I wanted these to look like a mini version of high quality man jeans; nothing fancy but still special because of the craftsmanship required.
the fabric is a pair of dark blue Levi’s that never fit my husband properly from my upcycle pile. it’s sturdy MAN denim – real Levi’s denim – and that went a long way toward making these puppies feel legit. there’s no stretch woven into the denim, but i noticed that the original jeans appeared to be cut on the bias which gave them a little bias-cut stretchiness – does that sound right to you? the grain looked diagonal to me! (update: here’s my answer!)
the other thing that makes jeans look “real” is the thread. topstitching thread is recommended, but i had this Gutermann “Extra Strong” thread (affiliate link) on hand from this duffel that was the right color, so i used that. it comes on a larger spool than topstitching thread, so i didn’t have the thread supply issues that some other tourmates had, and i used it for almost every seam except the thread that would show on the waistband facing. i sewed with a size 16 needle but actually broke it while sewing down the belt loops (it’s thick denim and my machine freaked out at the 8 layers or whatever it is – had to do a little hand-cranking to get it through).
i made a size 2T with 3T length – O is potty trained but the small pattern size range allows for a diapered bum, so there’s actually room to grow in the hips and waist. the pattern has an adjustable back waistband using buttonhole elastic and i made him a quick belt to help cinch them up too (i got a yard of this great cotton belting from JoAnn and cut it to his waist measurement plus 10” then fray checked the end).
i deliberately made the jeans extra long, partially so he could have big cuffs like Celina’s and partially because i knew these would be a lot of work and i wanted them to last a long time.
it should be clear that though this isn’t really a “quick and easy beginner pattern” (make parsley pants if you’re looking for that!), it will lead to fantastically pro-looking jeans. Laura guides you through when and where to add all that topstitching, how to do a flat felled seam (my first time!), how to make a little coin pocket, and your choice of a half or zip fly (i chose half fly). i referred to the mangled remains of the Levi’s to double check the topstitching and seams as i went and added bar tacks to match, but other than that i just followed directions. as you can see up there too, i chose a brass snap instead of a button to close the top – easier and quicker to undo for him.
on the back, I added a little twill tape tab under the pocket and a piece of canvas duck as my jeans “brand patch.” since my goal was to make these as real as possible, those details were important!
to finish my “tiny Portland hipster” look, i made him a silly shirt based on his favorite food!
have you seen this yay shirt floating around pinterest? or this similar pizza one? well my little guy isn’t a huge fan of pizza, actually, but he does enjoy ramen noodles very much. ergo, ramen shirt. it’s freezer paper stenciled – i hand-lettered it and cut it out with x-acto knife. he loves it. LOVES IT. the shirt is a flashback skinny tee in 3T made in a very stretchy midweight knit from JoAnn.
new favorite shirt to shoot webs in.
i really wanted to take some father-son photos in their slim-fitting dark jeans, ironic t-shirts, and converse on the way to get some artisanal doughnuts and cold brewed coffee, but it didn’t happen. ooooh well.
if you want to make awesome jeans for a kid in your life, you need the small fry skinny jeans pattern. the smaller size range goes from birth to 3T, and the larger size range goes from 3 up to 12! and through this friday, it’s 20% off with the code TOUR20.
you know you need it….!
p.s. i received a copy of the pattern for free for being a part of the tour. i love this pattern for realz!
62 thoughts on “small fry skinny jeans (and ramen!) tour”
Ok, tell us the truth: You bougth those, right? No one will ever believe that they are mom-made! Incredible job! O looks like a little rock star!
haha thank you!! that’s exactly what i was going for. 🙂
I love these! They look very professional 🙂
Oh Kristen…. There is something about when you write that I feel like you’re telling me over coffee and talking specifically to me. So I’m all like, of course, Kristen, if you think I should have this pattern I will. Or maybe I rjust really shouldn’t read blog posts before coffee… Anyway, these look AMAZING. I love the details put in. Do you think it would be pretty easy to do a straight leg in these?
Aw that’s a great compliment, thanks Monica! Do you mean you’d want to widen the leg? i bet you could do a slash and spread pretty easily if you wanted to?
i am such a stickler for “real” details when i make clothes, so i am very impressed with these! if i didn’t already have a similar burda pattern, i’d be all over this one! great job, they in no way look home made!
WOW! You did good, real good! I love how these turned out Nd you really thought about all the extra details. And you know I live that extra wide cuff 😉 it really does make jeans last a lot longer and after all that work, you really want that! Love the tee too! AWESOME!
thanks so much, Celina! and thanks for the inspiration, you’re awesome.
Oh my gosh Kristin. These turned out SO GOOD. And the tee is perfect. I expect him to wear this to his marriage ceremony with violet. And the artisanal donuts, cold brewed coffee, hipster talk, and Portland imagery made me super homesick. So thanks for that, you big jerk
haha it’s like my JOB to do that to you, right? just a few months and you can partake in it all. 🙂
Such a cute pair of jeans! And the belt is just the perfect finish. Love the pics too!
These jeans are so awesome! I can’t believe how “real” they look. I might actually make these. My son is a string bean, its so hard to get a good fit from purchased pants.
ps – We love ramen, too!
that’s a big reason i sew – my kids are string beans! seems to be a trend in our world. 🙂
Oh my gosh…so amazing! Major high five. He’s rocking those jeans and tee! I love the belt too. I’m going to have to see if I can find that belting at Joann because I am gonna need some belts once we potty train next month- wish me luck!!
so freaking awesome. I want to wear them. Holy crap, I just love the amount of details you added. Still in awe of your time management skills.
thanks anna! the husband deserves a bit thank you for baby-holding and realizing i NEED to sew these days. 🙂
This whole outfit is completely adorable! I love all the extra details you’ve added to the jeans – especially the brand patch. So so cool. Thanks for being on the tour today!
thanks so much for having me and making such a great pattern, laura!!
Kristen, these are amazing! If you put up a picture of this outfit I would totally think they were store bought jeans. They came out soooo awesome!! All the details are just perfect!
thank you thank you! it’s hard to get jeans to look storebought so i take that as a huge compliment. 🙂
Perfection! Great job!
jeepers creepers!! amazing! laura is brilliant, right? and you executed them flawlessly, of course. love all the details and they look like they’ll fit him for a loooooong time which is totally the goal when making something as awesome as real-deal jeans. NICE JOB!! oh and the shirt is totally adorable, too 🙂
yay thanks gail! 😀
Those look incredible. I always said that I draw the line at making jeans but I may have to rethink it. I have a very tall slim daughter that would love it if I learned to make jeans. Do I want my “to do” list to include jeans? But the challenge of it may be to hard to resist. What’s a girl to do?
They look wonderful. The bar tacks are great additions. As my machine fights me on many layers of quilting cottons I’ll have to wait try this on a stronger machine.
i think a lot of the problem was that my fabric was so thick – a lighter chambray or corduroy would’ve been no problem.
kristin, you did such an awesome job on the jeans and the shirt. never in a million years would i have guessed you made the shirt! (the title/blog tour gave the pants away, or I wouldn’t have guessed those either!)
i love your disclaimer at the end – so funny! i’ve never understood that traditional disclaimer. sewing a pattern, photographing, blogging all takes so much time. why would anyone post opinions “not their own” just for a free pattern? yet the disclaimer is ubiquitous so i figured i must just be missing something. am i?
thank you thank you! and hmmmm good question. i may need to visit that in a blog post. i think it means different things to different people. but the disclaimer is there just so it’s perfectly clear i was “compensated” for my post with the free pattern, i think.
OMG. Those are adorable. Actually the entire ensemble is adorable! He is such a cutie. Nice work Kristin. Even more impressive knowing you have an infant!
The jeans look great…just like mini Levis! I have to laugh about the Ramen shirt. All my kids absolutely LOVE Ramen noodles. In fact, the little girls are waiting for me to get off the computer so I make them some.;) yay Ramen noodles!
hilarious! ramen noodles are such a kid pleaser – i loved them when i was little too.
those are the best looking homemade jeans i have ever seen!
Those jeans ROCK, big time. I’m tempted to make some for my girls but put off by how long it may take. I get very impatient. Likely to end up working through the night or two to finish it.
And I want that belt.
i’m really curious how long they’d take me the second time (or if i was sewing uninterrupted). the belt can be yours for about $2 (with a coupon) webbing and some d-rings from JoAnn!! way too easy and cheap to make – i’ll never buy belts for kids.
damn, girl. that’s impressive.
these slay me! they are SO good. so good.
Holy wow, Kristin! Those jeans are spectacular! Go on lady, make your own pair!
but the fitting! it’s so scary!! at least i don’t fear the process now though. that’s a step.
Nailed it! Jeans are such an accomplishment. You deserve at least two artisanal doughnuts!
Brilliant. Sad you didn’t get that artisanal donuts photo, I wanted to see it 🙂
i know. i want to see it too. maybe i can sneak one on the sly and put it on instagram. 😉
Looks gorgeous. Really fantastic, this combo. The details and everything. And I’m amazed that you’re able to sew something like this with a newborn. I weren’t and still am not that much. I must do something wrong…
newborns sleep so much! i’m sure once his naps cut down it’ll be harder. 😉
you forgot to mention they’d be riding fixed gear bikes with aerospoke wheels….
Love the jeans and the T-shirt is cute as can be. I’ve been slowly adding details like these to my own pattern mash ups, but won’t it be much easier to just buy a great jeans pattern!
haha right! O’s bike is a Strider, doesn’t even have pedals let alone gears! 😛
I can’t believe how fantastic these look! Designer duds for sure!
oh my gosh he looks like such a little MAN, haha. These are freaking fantastic!!! Totally profesh, and waaaaayyyyy nicer than any RTW kid jeans. And I am so impressed that not only did you make jeans, but you made jeans with a newborn in the house! I need you to teach me how to do this freezer paper stencil thing, I want some graphic tees in my life. I could come up with some really absurd things to put on them, haha.
i will teach you how to freezer paper stencil! it’s easy and surprisingly works so well. i didn’t believe how great it worked until i tried it.
Just perfect!!! I love the dark denim, the shape, the deep cuffs! They are so Portland Hipster! I am just disappointed you didn’t get the father/son shots … Well done!
These are so fantastic and definitely look store bought! Amazing.
these are incredible!!
The best part?! Two boys will be able to wear them. Wahoo for mom made hand-me-downs.
YES! love sewing for my “bigger boy” now because it’ll get double the wear! conversely, my nieces have some handmade skirts and dresses headed their way.
Love the outfit and the jeans are perfect!
Yeah, everything they already said. Wow, wow, wow,
These are incredible! The leather look patch is the best detail…just perfect! The brass snap is perfect too. I think denim is a twill/drill weave isn’t it, so it looks like it’s on the bias?! It’s freezing here today and now I want some ramen.
OMG!!! They look amazing!!!