Sunday, September 20, 2015

Butterick 5682 Jeans for Me

My fall capsule wardrobe is just about complete. I have made plenty of quick, easy knit tops and cardigans so it was time I start thinking about something to wear on the bottom. I was all set to go shopping for jeans and then the awesome Becca DuVal of FreeNotion offered up a chance to participate in a pattern showcase. My first instinct would have been to sign up for a top or a layer, but I was too slow and those spots were all filled so I decided to take the plunge and make JEANS! There is a link-up if you'd like to share what you've been working on for yourself. Sharing is caring you know so snap some pics and teach us something. Anyway...

I was all excited at first and fairly confident. I bought my copy of Butterick 5682 on sale at Joann's for $1.99 along with a couple yards of stretch denim. I already had some black stretch sateen I'd found at the thrift store (same as some I'd previously bought at Joann's this summer) so I was ready for the muslin. Well to be honest, I don't think it's a muslin if you have every intention of wearing them. Let's just call them a trial pair.

This pattern comes with 5 different views: slim leg ankle length, straight leg, boot cut, flared, and a trouser jean. All views have a contoured waistband, zip fly, and front pockets. The first four have a back yoke with patch pockets while the trouser view has back darts and no back pockets. For $1.99 let me remind you. And by the way, Butterick patterns are on sale at Joann's again this coming weekend (Thursday-Saturday, September 24-26).

This trial pair was a great first experience. This was only my second zip fly ever and it went amazingly well. Way better than my first where I was all kinds of confused and had to do it 3 times to get it right. A little experience goes a long, long way I think. I thought the instructions were very clear. I didn't do much top stitching on these because I was going for a dressier look. For the pictures I just threw them on with what I was already wearing that day (a Deer & Doe Plantain by the way), but I think they can be dressed up or down.

I know that people's main complaint with Big 4 patterns is always the sizing. I'm not a tiny person. In ready to wear pants I'm a solid 14. According to the size chart, I should cut a 20 for these, but according to the finished measurements (which are found on the pattern tissue for the front pant piece), a 16 would do it. So I cut the 16 and I still took the legs in a good inch or more. They were oddly baggy starting a few inches above the knee for something called "slim fit". That kind of thing doesn't bother me about a pattern. It's all totally customize-able. Isn't that the point of self-sewing anyway? The only other change I made was to cut the waistband a little longer, but that was silly because I wound up cutting off the extra. I just was worried it wasn't going to be big enough. I felt ready to cut into the denim now.

For this version, I again made a 16 but I added 1-1/2" to the length at the bottom, not at the lengthen/shorten line because I wanted them full length, not ankle. They aren't "skinny" jeans exactly, but they are pretty slim. I'm calling them "boyfriend skinny" like Old Navy does. I still don't feel like I can pull-off skinny jeans. I'm not sure I'm cool enough. I'm a 46 year old lady with graying hair. My least favorite parts of my body are definitely my thighs first, and my calves second. So these are not parts I'm going to highlight with skin-tight jeans. Not at my age anyway. Thank God that wisdom comes with age.

I wound up with a comfortable pair of jeans that I will actually wear so I'm pretty dang happy. These boosted my sewing confidence enormously, though I'm still not sure about my Pinterest-worthiness confidence level. I still struggle with looking like I'm trying too hard.

When making jeans, it is really helpful to keep a pair of ready to wear jeans nearby for reference. Where this pattern could be improved would be in the details. There isn't a coin pocket, but that wouldn't be hard to add - it's just a rectangle for heaven's sake. There was no mention of top stitching the inner leg seam, but I did on mine. I also top stitched the outer leg seam to the hip like on most ready to wear jeans. I didn't do rivets, but I did buy a real jeans button so that was fun. I've done snaps before so I wasn't too nervous about poking a hole in the fabric and hammering it in. It went it really well. No trouble at all.

My one fear was that my machine wouldn't be able to handle sewing on the belt loops, but what kind of legit jeans don't have belt loops? I had read a tip somewhere to put in a new needle (denim needle of course) at this point. I did change my needle and I had no trouble so was it the needle? Who knows, but I have belt loops so it's all good.

I think that making jeans could become addictive. I like self-improvement and I see all kinds of ways I could improve my jeans-making. For instance, I'd like to try a different view, probably boot cut, and I'd play around with some stitching on the back pockets for sure. I could spend hours researching and experimenting with bleaching and distressing denim. This pair is looking too pristine for me, but I can't quite bear sanding my brand new babies with 200 grit sandpaper. It seems so harsh. And risky. I'll let them age naturally - kind of like me and my gray hair (but that's a whole different post for another day).

So please, I'm dying to know what you think of my jeans and my styling. Are these boots ok or not? The tank is something I made this summer and the cardigan is the ready to wear one that is showing it's age so I made the cream one to replace it last week. I love the color so much I just can't toss it. Thanks for stopping by and have a great week!


  1. Eek I'm so impressed!!! I'm still not convinced to make jeans for myself, but my gosh I'm inspired. You're styling is perfect! I think we're style twins. I love the boots and top!! I disagree though about skinny jeans...I think you'd totally rock them. but you gotta wear what you feel best in, and this pair fits you great and looks amazing. Jalie has a soft "jeggings" type Jean pattern that I think is built just for you btw.

  2. I think you have the perfect pair of boyfriend jeans here! Slim and tapered at the ankle , but not too tight up top. I really like the booties with this look. Very on trend!


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