Friday, August 23, 2013

pattern review friday - small fry skinny jeans

The Craftstormer Small Fry Skinny Jeans sew along is done!  I even managed to finish yesterday, although, since I didn't really look at the clock when I was done, it might have actually been the wee hours of today :)  It shouldn't have taken me that long, but I made some flat out what in the world were you thinking questionable choices regarding my fabric and finish details.

First off, just a disclaimer, in approx. 15 years of sewing, I've never sewn anything that remotely resembles tailored pants.  I keep saying I will, but then another adorable, have-to-work-on-it-right-now dress idea pops into my head and the pants are stuck on the back burner ... or in the oven ... or maybe behind the stove never to be seen again (kind of like the Hexbug that managed to go under the stove and down the hole where the gas line goes into the basement where it lived out the rest of it days hours stuck in the drywalled ceiling going in circles!)  So anyway, sewing jeans is totally new to me, but this seemed like the perfect time to give it a try.  After all, it's a free pattern and a tutorial.  How could anything possibly go wrong!

That's what I was thinking right up until I started working with my fabric.  It's a thick sweatshirt material ... after all, we do live in Michigan and I want these pants to be suitable for winter.  Now that I'm finished, I'm sure Mae will be warm enough this winter, but, as a result, her button loops will not be sewn down properly, because there in no way on earth that my sewing machine is going to sew through nine (yes nine!) layers of heavy fleece.  I can't even lift the pressure foot enough the get the belt loop under it!  So I sewed the front two button loops down by hand (royal pain in the you-know-where) and decided the ones in back are cute enough as is :)  The button loops weren't the only problem I had with the thick fabric either, so next time I sew these, I will use a much lighter weight material!

I figured I'd start with a picture that showed them from a distance to get an idea of the fit.  That, and you can't see any of my mistakes, so I figure it's the perfect picture!  The pattern is supposed to be a skinny jeans, but it fits Mae a little looser than a typical skinny jean.  And that's after I took some width out of the legs since I knew the pattern was too big for her.  I also chopped about 2" off the legs since I didn't want the pants to cover her toes :)  I think the pattern runs more like a 2T/3T, but I'm not sure since Mae is a bit pint sized and doesn't quite wear a size 2T yet.

Laura mentioned that she wasn't sure that these would fit over a cloth diaper, and I'm happy to report that they fit fine on Mae, cloth diaper and all!  The rise is plenty long and the adjustable waist makes it easier to keep the pants covering the diaper than typical elastic.

The pattern was easy to print and all the pieces fit together beautifully.  The tutorial is so incredibly detailed and thorough (and well written!) which makes this pattern accessible even to someone who has never tackled jeans before (i.e. me!)  I definitely plan to sew this pattern again.  I may just wait until Mae does a little growing first :)

The half fly used in the pattern is genius!  Mae has such a skinny waist that it is hard to get regular elastic waist pants over her diaper since the waistband doesn't like to stretch enough.  The half fly totally solves that problem, and it looks cute too!  You'll just have to take my word for it since I didn't get a single picture where you can actually see the top of the pants :)

The details don't end in the front.  The back of the jeans, with the little patch pockets and jean stitching make Mae's little patootie even cuter, if such a thing is possible!  This picture gives a great idea of the fit.  The jeans really do fit great over a cloth diaper, and you can see how they are slightly looser through the thighs than shown in the pattern, but they look adorable whether they are skinny or not :)

The only change I made to pattern (except anything related to the fit) is to double stitch the seam along the outside of the pants rather than the inseam.  Since the pants are solid cream, they just needed a little something extra along the sides.  To do this, I sewed up the side seams before the inseam so it would be easier to topstitch.

Main fabric - Cream heavy bamboo fleece from Nature's Fabrics
Lining (not visible) - Riley Blake Farm Fresh
Topstitching - Gutermann 471 (a great muted pumpkin orange tone!)
Button - Vintage pearl

The last few days have been lots of fun at our house.  We had a new deck installed this week so we can use our back door again instead of having to go out the front door to get to the backyard like we have for more than a year now :)  Also, we picked fruits and veggies today at a local orchard where I got stung by some kind of bee and now I can barely bend my right index finger ... boo!  And, the icing on the cake, Mae climbed out of her crib three nights ago (she's been staying up until after midnight as a result!), so we moved her crib mattress into her sisters' room.  I have no idea why since this is what I wake up to every morning :)


  1. I think you did a very good job with this jeans, they look so well made. Very interesting how you experimented with fleece fabric, I just can imagine how hard was to sew those belt loops.By the way I like lots the orange topstitching.

  2. They should be lovely and cozy for your daughter and the orange topstitching looks fantastic. Sweatshirt is a knit fabric with stretch so you will end up with a looser fit than with wovens but I love them in this fabric and would quite like a pair for me.

    1. This heavy weight bamboo fleece has no stretch with or across the grain, only on the bias. It's really like working with a really, really heavy woven :)

  3. Lol, I did mine with orange top stitching too. I pretty much went exactly the opposite with the fabric choice though with both weight and pattern. Mine was way to thin and I ended up lining them so they wouldn't just rip. I never would have thought of using fleece but I really like how yours came out. They are super cute and look mega comfy.

    1. I love your version! I was thinking of making a lined pair for winter as well.