Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Tested: Birkin Flares by Baste & Gather

I wear jeans every single day. A few years ago I finally bought two pairs that fit properly; both were "designer" jeans.

They lasted 2.5 years, which didn't justify the cost. The knees blew out and the seams started shredding. They were too much Designer and not enough Work Horse.

I need jeans that'll survive my crawling around cleaning under beds and hanging out on my knees cleaning toilets. My jeans have to be comfortable enough to sleep in but sturdy enough to wear camping.

High Quality + Durable + Excellent Fit + Under $50 = Must Sew Myself

My ideal is two pairs: a wide leg and a narrow leg. NOT skinny jeans. The Gingers were close to right, and the tutorial and sew-along for those is stellar. But they weren't just right.

So when Lauren started posting teaser photos of her new pattern, the Birkin Flare jeans, I sent her an email and begged to test them.

I do not apologize for VPLs. 
The testing process itself was fun, especially since we all chatted in a Facebook group along the way. And once I slid these babies on, I'm pretty sure several angels got their wings.


She's made several tweaks and has plans to do another round of testing. The crotch depth and shape is perfect for me, which is hardest for me to alter. The waistband hits just below my belly button, and I didn't have to adjust anything! (These are size 24 and my measurements are 26" waist and 34" hips for reference. She narrowed the yoke and waist to fit a 24" waist in the second version.)

In addition to the rise, I really like the illustrations for this pattern. They're line drawings and very clear and easy to follow.


There are a few things I'll do differently next time: for example, I've got a pocket template for just the size I like. I'll use a different fly method, but the one in the pattern is adequate -- just not my preferred way of doing it. I'll narrow my fly topstitching; the belt loop, pocket, and fly topstitching are crowding each other in my version. (I didn't follow the template she provided with the pattern.)

Finally, I'll loosen things up 1/8" at each side seam. I'm one turkey dinner away from busting out of these puppies. They'll stretch over time, but my Cone Mills denim will have less of that bagging out effect.

Victory! I'm ready to cut into my Cone Mills denim!

7 comments:

  1. These look amazing on you!! I'm so excited to see tester versions coming out so well. Can't wait to make myself some new jeans!

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    1. Thanks! It's a great pattern. I'm planning to do a thorough review once the pattern is released and I finish another version!

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  2. You look stunning in these! I am with you on skinny jeans. Nope. Flares are much more fun. I am too chicken to sew up a pair of jeans, but since your formula for jeans is exactly the same as mine I feel I have no choice! My fave jeans are only about 11 years old and they are not going last too much longer!

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    1. Dooooo it! You won't regret taking the leap. :)

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  3. Did you use cone mills denim in this pair? If not, what denim did you use? I've never made jeans before and want to make these but am not sure I should invest in the best stuff my first time around!

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    1. I used denim from JoAnns. It's the first time I've been impressed with the quality of their denim; in my experience it's hit and miss. I haven't dried these (except for the initial wash and dry to get any shrinkage out of the way before they're sewn), so they've held up well. I've worn these nearly every day since they were sewn. At Joann I looked for denim with 2-3% Lycra.

      Good luck! Sewing jeans takes time, but to me is richly rewarding!

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  4. Did you use cone mills denim in this pair? If not, what denim did you use? I've never made jeans before and want to make these but am not sure I should invest in the best stuff my first time around!

    ReplyDelete

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