Sew Over It My Capsule Wardrobe City Break eBook: Mia Jeans

Sew Over It My Capsule Wardrobe City Break eBook: Mia Jeans


This is the first pair of jeans that I have attempted to make.  As a follower of many other sewing blogs I've seen masses of Ginger jeans that look great but way too much for me to still have fun with. Up until now I haven't felt that my skill set is up to working with denim, fly zips, or all that beautiful topstitching that you see on jeans. As well as getting them to fit well! The thing is, the skill set still isn't really up to all these things, but this pattern looked like it could circumvent most of that.....

The Mia jeans are one of the 5 different patterns included in the Sew Over It My Capsule Wardrobe City Break eBook. The only reason I was brave enough to even attempt these was because the Sew Over It patterns are usually not too tricky, and the fabric suggestions indicated stretch denim to achieve a tight fit, which would overcome a few issues that I could foresee with fitting. They are also designed to be high waisted and I felt that fitting to the waistline would also be easier than the regular top hip styles that I usually wear.

Sew Over It My Capsule Wardrobe City Break eBook: Mia Jeans pattern review

Fabric

As mentioned in my previous post on this eBook I bought my fabric all in one go as soon as I bought the eBook, all from Sew Over It (who have a helpful filter for finding fabrics especially for patterns from the eBook). I chose a slate grey for my jeans which cost £6 per half metre. When I added this to the basket a suggestion popped up for stretch interfacing. I haven't bought stretch interfacing before, and had been so carried away with fabric ordering that I hadn't realised I needed it so I'm particularly grateful this did pop up! The denim itself is a good medium weight and not as heavy as the denim in my store bought jeans, but perfect for stretchy ones. When I was sewing this material did fray a fair bit more than I expected, and I was careful not to stretch the fabric out whilst pinning. There was one point where I really did stretch it out because I pinned incorrectly, but I have to say it recovered fairly well.

I got the rest of my notions from Sew Essential (link in sidebar). This is my first stop for most sewing related supplies as they seem to have everything! I bought a regular zipper in grey and also found some jeans buttons that looked the business (and don't require specialist tools to insert thank goodness).

One item that I don't have that I would consider if I made these jeans again would be a twin needle. There is a lot of topstitching with two rows of stitches and this would definitely save time and make sure there is an even finish. I didn't use a contrasting topstitching thread for my first jeans but this could be something to include as a design feature if you wanted to. I'm not that confident!

Sew Over It My Capsule Wardrobe City Break eBook: Mia Jeans


Pattern and instructions

The pattern is a downloadable pdf which you get access to when you purchase the eBook, along with a separate sizing chart. The pattern includes a layplan and is comprised of 7 pattern pieces. Instructions are found within the eBook along with photographs of key steps, and there are two video tutorials on the Sew Over It blog. I have to say that there were a lot of techniques that were new to me in the construction of these jeans and I was really glad for the tutorial videos. They helped immensely as though the instructions are fine, when it's something very new I like the extra detail and visual you get from the video.

One of the first new techniques that I needed to master was adding patch pockets. This is one of the elements with a video, but is the more straightforward of the two. Within the pattern pieces there is a template that you transfer to card to help shape the pockets with an iron before they are sewn on. This made a big difference and I managed to get the pockets on fairly evenly! (I know this picture isn't great but they are even I promise).

Sew Over It My Capsule Wardrobe City Break eBook: Mia Jeans pockets


This pattern is a high waisted jean - pretty much up to the waist line. This is quite a flattering fit and comfortable in the stretch denim. The jeans also feature a lot of topstitching...I think this is in essence creating flat felled seams which are more durable (please correct if I'm wrong). Normally I hate topstitching, especially as these rows are all meant to be evenly spaced, but I found the 1/4" foot that came with my machine to be really helpful. I don't think my rows are the exact number of mm apart that they are meant to be but they do look even.

Another new technique is the insertion of the fly front zip, which includes pattern pieces that sit behind and in front of the zip. This really is where the video tutorials come in helpful, as the photos can only show so much. I got confused around the part which says to trim the zip tape - this really is new territory for me. After a lot of measuring and looking around on the Internet I decided not to trim the zip and carried on inserting it along with the instructions. By the time I had come to the final stages of topstitching the front crotch all I needed to do was trim the zip tapes so that they sat nicely. Not sure of that was what the instructions meant all along but there you go.

The rest of the construction is fairly simple. I did, however, have issues with the waistband. I cut and interfaced by band to a size 10, the same as the rest of the jeans. This was then pinned to the jeans. In order to fasten the jeans so that they don't fall down the waistband is smaller than the jeans, and this is most noticeable in the front sections which require a fair amount of easing to match up. I happily did all of this, to the point of a finished and topstitched waistband, when I realised there was a problem - my waistband didn't extend far enough. I hadn't factored in the zip extension. This meant there wouldn't be any overlap for the button to sit in. I had two options: extend the waistband or unpick and redo properly.

my first go at sewing my own jeans

So, I unpicked the entire right front waistband. Pinned and stitched it again, this time including the zip extension. This wasn't easy as it seemed like there was far too much material to fit against the waistband. Turns out it really was too much. The entire section was pleated and pinched, and was pulling in the waist at the right side oddly. I should have taken a photo but all I could think was that this clearly wasn't right. Which then meant that I had to return to my original stitching and extend the waistband.

I cut and interfaced an additional section of denim and stitched this to the unpicked end of the original waistband, then fixed the entire length to the jeans. It doesn't look too bad, but I still can't figure out why this happened. I really did cut the right size! These jeans have now appeared as a class in the Sew Over It stores so if you are expanding your skills you can always go and have a session with a teacher there....if I had I may not have ended up with this waistband.

Intro to Jeans: Mia Jeans | a sewing class at Sew Over It


Alterations

The pattern includes a large seam allowance of 2.5cm at the side seams to allow for pattern alterations and fitting. I did need to alter mine, but wasn't sure exactly which bit needed adjusting to make the jeans fit properly. After a bit of internet searching I found the solution with a little help from the Colette blog, which has two articles describing fit issues and their solutions. Luckily mine was quite straightforward and I decreased the seam allowance at the top thigh to 1.5 cm. This did the trick for me.

Sew Over It My Capsule Wardrobe City Break eBook: Mia Jeans and Molly top


I always alter the length of patterns, given my height. For these jeans though I only added 5mm to the hems at the bottoms of the legs. If you look at where these now end on me, and where they end on the pattern photos you can see that mine are longer, but that's how I prefer them. If you are taller than 5ft I would urge you to consider this before cutting out.


Conclusions

The Mia jeans are definitely in my category of successful makes. I still class myself as a confident beginner, and I have managed to make a pair of jeans that fit me. Obviously the waistband issue shows that I'm still not the most accomplished seamstress but I bet you wouldn't have noticed if I hadn't pointed it out! The pattern runs true to size, and I like how easy it is to adjust the fit from the built in additional seam allowance. The pattern design, instructions and fabric choice mean that it is achievable to create a pair of skinny jeans that are comfortable and look well made. These jeans took me just over a day to construct (what with all my waistband woes), having cut out the fabric previously. I would recommend this pattern (and eBook), and will probably use this pattern again.
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Hi, I'm Laura. Welcome to my journeys with modern, feminine dressmaking and delicious food.
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