Fall for Flares

This post is brought to you as part of the Indiesew Blogger network. Thank you to Indiesew for providing the pattern and jeans kit!

I really enjoy doing the Social Sew along with you all because it is such a good motivational tool for me to get out of my own way a little bit and force myself to try new things, experiment, and generally push myself. These jeans (jeans!) are a great example of this--I ordered the Birkin Flares pattern and jeans kit (stretch denim, rivets, buttons, zipper) from Indiesew as soon as the kit was restocked but without the self-imposed deadline of October's "Try Something New" challenge I probably would have procrastinated forever instead of what I did, which was to throw my denim in the laundry as soon as it came and start taping together my pattern. Once you start, it's just a matter of following instructions, right?

Although the instructions provide guidance in making a full or partial muslin, I'm #blessed in that I can generally find jeans that generally fit me decently, so I decided to just go for it. I cut out a straight size 27, my usual size in ready to wear, thinking that any small tweaks I needed to make I could just make on the next pair rather than dealing with a muslin, which would inevitably be in a slightly-different-stretch fabric, not as sturdy as denim, etc., etc. The construction allows for this since you sew up basically the whole thing before you close your side seams, so you can baste and do some last-minute fit tweaks as long as you've got it mostly right. It was so scary though, to sew basically the whole thing without knowing if it would fit or not!!

And did my jeans fit, after I sewed basically the whole thing? They... did not. Y'all, I could not get them over my butt. I unpicked the seams and re-sewed them with a 3/8" seam allowance and promptly recut the waistband in a size 28. Luckily that salvaged the project, although I did have to wear them around for a few hours before I could zip them up all the way! These are some tight jeans (actually, my husband's first reaction was "bellbottom jeans?!" and then second, "those are pretty tight.") but I think they'll loosen up with wear.  I love the way they look once I wrangle them on, but if I make this pattern again, though, I'll make a 28 and reassess fit from there.

I  found the construction to be fairly straightforward, and I even managed to do some half-decent topstitching (granted, in dark blue thread--inspired in part by Ada Spragg's gorgeous monochrome pair and in part by how obvious any mistakes would be in gold!). The fly zip was a little scary for me but the instructions walk you through it step by step and I think it looks pretty good! I feel like if you do one step at a time you can do basically anything, right? The only style change I made was to omit the front pockets. Sure, it looks like there are pockets there, but... nope. My J Brand 811s are like this--real back pockets, false front pockets--and I really like it. The jeans legs are simply topstitched to the front pocket facing. Women's front pants pockets aren't super functional anyway, right? I also left off the belt loops, but I cut them out and everything, I just didn't really want to fight to attach them since I'll probably never use them.

Looking at these photos you can see that the hem is a bit too short for these shoes, but these are my very tallest heels at 4"; I usually don't push it past 3" and that was the height I was wearing to mark the hem! I didn't take any length off the bottom and I'm 5'7", so I would say if your height + shoes = 5'10", these will be the perfect length for you, otherwise, you may want to adjust. Personally, I think flares look their best with a bit of extra height added for extra leg-lenthening.

Phew! That was a lot of text, so if you're still here, thanks! Have a great Monday, everyone. Friday is casual day in my office, which means we can wear jeans... want to have a guess at what I'll be wearing? How would you style flares like these? I need ideas!


ps: there's still time to try something new--jeans or otherwise--this month!! link it up here :)

allie J.

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  1. They look fantastic Allie. You are pretty lucky that you won't need to make adjustments excepting a bigger size for more breathing room next time. Your topstitching looks pretty good too. I hope you will feel more courageous about a contrast color next time.

  2. you did it! your jeans look great. did they stretch out during your wearing of them? i like the blue top stitching and think it is a great idea during the learning process. really great idea about making fake front pockets!

  3. also has anyone hacked the pattern to be straight leg jeans and not bell bottoms?

  4. These look great! Way to conquer your fears! You're inspiring me to get back to the pants I was working on.

  5. Awesome. You made jeans! Interesting to hear your experience with the muslin/no muslin process. I have to make a similar decision when I finally step up to the Ginger pattern this autumn – I'm thinking I may go a bit larger just in case...

  6. Wow- you did such a great job on these! I'm totally with you, I love the look of really tight jeans but it's always tough putting them on at first! Also I always look for jeans that don't have real front pockets- if your jeans are tight there is no way that you're getting anything into the pockets and at worst they are going to get all bunched up- no point! Gorgeous!

  7. Wow these look great Allie! Jeans always look better a little tight, I decided to make my next pair of Gingers in size smaller.

  8. I love these jeans! You did a great job. I read that using a thread for top stitching that matches the color of the jeans is more flattering anyways!



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