Monday, 27 January 2014

Could these be the best baby jeans ever?

Yes.  The best I've ever seen, anyway.  What's not to like?

I've made a lot of tops for my boys, and keeps meaning to make some trousers.  But trousers didn't seem to have the same potential as tops for being interesting, and different, and using the funky prints I love.  So I've been collecting patterns for trousers, and reading blogs about other people making trousers, and so on... And finally decided to get on with it and make my own!

I finally found the inspiration to start with the Basic Pocket Pants pattern by Sew Liberated, from the book Growing Up Sew Liberated.  I was super excited to get this book for Christmas and it definitely lives up to my expectations.  The basic pocket pants are exciting because they use contrasting fabric for pocket binding, waistband and a huuuuuuge deep cuff.  So rather than plain denim like most trousers, I could use something gorgeous from my poor neglected stash of woven fabrics for the contrast.  Hooray!  I'm not a big fan of jeans on small children (because they're boring) so this pattern looked like a good option for me.

A year or more ago I bought 5 metres of black denim to make my own babywearing bag.  I needed a 5m continuous length to make the strap for my Onbag but only used about a metre, plus a bit off the width of the rest.  Leaving an almost complete width which was 4m or so long.  It was just crying out to be made into jeans.

So... I made up a pair of jeans for Oscar.  They were pretty good, but I knew I'd want to make some changes before making another pair.  The fit wasn't right for him.  They were far too long, for one thing.  I made them in age 5, but had to cut 3" off the bottom of the legs.  I think he would have been about 8 before they were short enough otherwise!  I also wanted to make a ribbing waistband.

So I took some ideas from the pocket pants (the contrast binding, the big cuffs, the decorative 'itch-free finish'), and drafted some pattern pieces from trousers which fit the boys well at the moment.  I added a back pocket.  I added a ribbing waistband with sewn-in elastic to prevent curling.  And the result was well worth the effort.  Have you ever seen cuter baby jeans than this?  I defy you to find me some!

It wasn't all plain sailing.  I added a bit of length at the back to fit over his cloth nappy, but I drew it into the pattern backwards.  So when sewn together it made a V shape instead  of a ^.  I had to cut it off level with the front.  Won't make that mistake again.  No more silly mistakes and no more drawing patterns on a Friday night after a long day at work!  Still, the jeans are a good fit- just a bit lower than I meant them to be at the back.

While we're on the subject of the back, look at this gorgeous little back pocket!  It goes half way to his knees, because his legs are so short.  But it looks great still.

The inside of the front pockets is lined with foxes, to match the binding etc.

I've also sewn up another trains pair:

And a pair which use a knit fabric for the binding and cuffs.

And my favourite feature of all:

Yes, I've finally found a use for the woven ribbon which matches the raccoons fabric.  I wish my own jeans looked like this!

It's the start of Kids' Clothes Week.  The idea is to sew kids' clothes for an hour a day, for a week.  So these are a good start (though I didn't sew them all in an hour!  All I had to do today was finish off the trains and raccoons).  It's a good start!

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