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!