what jean-ius have i wrought?

many, many, many moons ago i set out to re-create my favorite pair of RTW jeans: the elizabeth and james crosby. it’s a carpenter-style jean, with patch pockets, not a classic five-pocket variety. i loved the slim fit, the industrial details, the seaming and the leg zip.

textile-elizabeth-and-james-sunny-lime-crosby-pants-product-6-7883041-056905700 textile-elizabeth-and-james-sunny-lime-crosby-pants-product-3-7883041-055436211happily, it was a fairly straight-forward trouser to copy.  it has a very straight leg, and once i wrapped my mind around copying the back leg (a tad bit more involved than copying the front leg) i was totally in business.

IMG_1293.JPGnone of this would have been possible without the work i’ve done with kenneth king, both in-person and using his jean-ius class on craftsy.  the craftsy class is essentially a demonstration of his garment-copying method using a trouser (or a jean) as the base garment.  (cindy has made a shirt for her husband using similar techniques by lynda maynard)  instead of de-constructing a garment for pattern pieces, you trace out the grainlines and seamlines of each piece using thick embroidery thread, and transfer those markings to paper (or muslin) to make a pattern draft.

it’s easier than it sounds, i promise.  clio has also done it with excellent results.  she also shares my opinion that kenneth’s fly-front method should be a go-to.  first try, every time – and this weekend i did three in a row on three more pairs of these babies.

IMG_1295.JPGi knew from the outset that i wanted my trial version of the draft – it really came out too well to call it a wearable muslin – to be in a stretch cammo.  it has, perhaps, a bit too much stretch, and man, that cammo really does blend into my rock wall, no?

the crotch fit is perfect (key!!), and i used kenneth’s straight waistband technique.  this involves utilizing the crossgrain of the fabric to give the waistband some shape without using a contour waistband or interfacing.

the back yoke, alas, stretched, probably because it is slightly curved.  that bias, plus the stretch of the cammo, means that i will likely need to suck it up and add belt loops.  (insert sadface)

i had a heck of an adventure with my topstitching.  my little janome, which i keep as a backup machine, had all kinds of tension fun as i used the topstitching thread in the needle and regular thread in the bobbin.  there was much re-stitching of seams as i worked out the issues, but in the end i got a beautiful, thick flat-felled seam that i think is a bit reminiscent of early day true religion jeans.

1000x1000everything has a 1-inch seam allowance, which gave me plenty of room for a generous flat-fell and some insurance for any fitting issues.  like i said, the fit is fairly bang-on and any future variations on that front will likely be dependent on the stretch content of the denim.  i’m working on a series now with only 2% lycra and the fit is considerably tighter.

IMG_1294.JPGany other jean-iuses out there?

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28 Responses to what jean-ius have i wrought?

  1. Clio says:

    Jean-ius!! These look great. I think I had problems with the straight grain waist, too, and decided that I would need to do a contour version on future pants. But KK really is the boss-man when it comes to techniques like the fly and the welt pocket.

  2. maddie says:

    While I’m not a jean-ius, it sounds like the importance of paying attention to the fabric and its stretch is just as critical in jean making as it is in bra making. Whether that be the case or not, love these pants, especially the camo!

    • puu says:

      absolutely, the stretch factor is key. i’ve been having many conversations about the right ratio of stretch to denim and hope i am on to something with my current series of makes.

  3. Lisette says:

    So jealous, those are awesome! I have the class, and now that I’ve found a pair of RTW jeans that actually fit me, I just need to get on sewing.

  4. oonaballoona says:

    i am going to have to keep my mouth shut on the added photo effect because, rock wall. brilliant. those pants look ridiculous amounts of awesome and COMFY! i gotta get on watching jeanius for the fly front alone…

  5. poppykettle says:

    Freakin cool, love those pants. I’ve got the course and have watched about 60% of it… and one day I will do it! Maybe yours have pushed that a bit further up the queue 😉

  6. You ARE a jean-ius! You look fantastic in these. I love those pockets, the shape of the leg and the fact that you made them up in camo! Awesome stuff

  7. AWESOME!!! They look amazing! I just copied my own pair of jeans this past weekend only I used painters tape.

  8. Trice says:

    These look great. I really need to make some fitted pants but they are so intimidating… crotch curves and butt curves. Btw, I miss you a bunch and hope all is well.

  9. Heather Lou says:

    AWESOME DUDE! These look great. Now you have to recreate those awesome flares you were wearing….

  10. Najah says:

    I want to be a jeanius when I grow up, too! You are beast in those jeans! And, I will also be all over that easy fly front goodness. Me and Mr. King shall meet. Thanks for confirming that his methods aren’t rocket science.

  11. MsMcCall says:

    I am a Jean-ius evangelist, I’ve made 4 pairs of jeans using two different RTW copies, and I love his fly instructions too. I do disagree with KK on the waistband though. I might not just have such a fantastic steamy iron like KK, but the straight grain trick does NOT work for me, and what’s more, that’s not now my RTW jeans were either. I also have learned the hard way to interface the waistband if the fabric has any stretch, but of course YMMV!

    ANYWAY! Those camo jeans are amazing, and yes, an absolute perfect fit. That pattern is worth it’s weight in gold 🙂

    • puu says:

      A fellow addict! I will keep that in mind. I just disassembled a pair of rtw and they were not interfaced, and they were not steam stretched. Wtf?

  12. gingermakes says:

    These are so great! Love ’em!!!

  13. sj kurtz says:

    Stumbled in from Overflowing Stash, and had to add an ‘amen’ to the Jeanius class. I’ve read his Threads articles about jeans, and figured how bad could an afternoon with KK be? Love it mostly for the method of copying the trousers – paper? No! I would never have made a pair of jeans without this class, and now I can’t stop making them because they fit like ‘buddah’. Damn you Kenneth King!

    Your legs have vanished in these photos. Truly camouflaged.

  14. Pingback: me-made-everyday style report and the BEST casual friday EVER | puu's door of time

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