Sunday, 20 July 2008

Jeans, to make or not

Had you asked me a few years ago, I would have told you that making kids' jeans was not a good use of my sewing time. After all, children's jeans are relatively inexpensive,readily available, and sewing time is precious. However, my son has changed my mind. Below are his RTW jeans. I bought these on sale at the end of last winter, probably at BigW, but possibly at Target. They did not cost much, but the only jeans available, were "distressed". This may be highly fashionable, but it does not make for long lasting jeans. My son has been wearing these with increasing frequency since the weather cooled in early May, just over 2 months ago. He had not worn them previously. You can see that 2 of these pre distressed jeans have rapidly disintegrated due to the normal wearing activity of a 5 year old. Why do manufacturers think that small boys need assistance in wearing out their jeans? I thought that my somewhat stingy habit of buying left over clothes at the end of winter might be the reason for the lack of "new" jeans. I looked here, I looked there, even if I pay $38.95 for size 4 Pumpkin Patch denim jeans, they are "distressed", frayed seams, faded patches, the lot! I do not understand fashion.

I do not have a boys jeans pattern. I thought I would try Jalie 968, which starts at a size 2, given that small girls and small boys are much the same shape, and that despite the pattern description,these are a standard, straight leg jean. My son measures size G (3) in circumference and size H (4) in leg length. I made him a size H (4) as there is not a lot of ease in the pattern. I was very interested to see how these jeans work at the extreme of the size range. It impresses me that Jalie can include so many sizes in one pattern.
I am pretty pleased with the fit. These jeans do not have an elastic back waist, like most of the small person RTW jeans, and are a more narrow style, but I think they look quite good. If I make another pair, I will give him wider legs, but this is a style preference, not a problem with the pattern. I used velcro instead of a button, as the denim is very heavy, and velcro is easier for a small person to manage.
I used the left over belt loop as a carpenter loop over the outside leg seam. I want these to look like boy jeans.
The lizard appliques were a special request from my son. It was his idea to have them peeping out of the pocket. The fabric is a remnant from his favourite shirt of last year.
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Janine said...

These look fantastic! I love the lizards, especially the one peeking out of the back pocket. I'm sure your son will have some great adventures (as little boys do!) in these custom jeans.

Keely said...

They look so cute! I love the lizards!
I used to make jeans for my son using a Burda Kids Magazine pattern or a now OOP Kwik Sew pattern. I used to insert elastic for the back waistband. I carried it around and anchored it so the stitching was hidden under the front beltloops. I found it just helped hold the jeans up on my stringbean.

katherine h said...

They look great...I'm always wondering about making vs buying stuff...I think I make too much. Ottobre magazine always have some RTW looking patterns for boys. It is hard to get hold of in Australia, but it can be purchased from their website. I have only bought 2 magazines..I have used 16 patterns from the first one and have a heap planned from the second one, so value wise, it hasn't been too bad

Linda said...

Karen - I got your comment on my blog about how to undue a forward shoulder. I would love to put out an entry on how I did it, thank you for asking. But this is a special weekend and I'll be just a bit busy. I'll work on it and it will be posted in the next several days. It is easy, you just take off the back and the shoulder seam and add to the front. The key is to not take too much. I think it is dictated by how far forward the shoulder notch is on the sleeve. At least that is what I use for my guide.

Cute, cute pants. I have two boys who are now 26 and 27. I sure wish that embroidery was available when they were your sons age because they would have loved those pants!