Wednesday, January 27, 2016

On the Matter of Sewing my own Blue Jeans...and Properly Fitting my 18th Century Stays!

Last month my old blue jeans fell into such a condition that I finally got around to ordering new blue jeans. I ordered the exact same pair I always have, completely identical to the current style and size I had been wearing. When they arrived I happily put them on, only to discover a horrible fit and extreme discomfort. They were too tight in the thighs, perfect fit in the hips, but extremely wide in the waist. They also stretched enormously while wearing them. I was forever  pulling them up. I finally gave up and returned them.
Meanwhile I looked at the reviews on-line. Although the overall rating was 5 stars, the more recent comments (after years of 5 stars) only gave 1 star. Every customer was complaining of the same ill fit that I had.
One thing I had noticed when ordering them is that they, along with many other jeans today, are made with a bit of spandex along with the cotton. I did notice that when I ordered them, but the ones I've been wearing for the past few years also had that fiber combination. The jeans I'm currently wearing were uncomfortable when I first got them, mainly after I washed them. Washings horribly shrunk them. Now they are comfy but I think I must have blasted the spandex content between the washer and dryer over the years.
However now the "newer" way to mass produce jeans have become the last straw...for me anyway. One of my other issues with any pair of pants I purchase is fit. They area always too wide in the waist even when properly fitted in the hips. It was about time I learned how to sew tailored pants!
At the beginning of January I shared on facebook my announcement that I was going to sew my own blue jeans and the reason why. Everyone shared their favorite jeans, which I researched but they are made with the same spandex and are currently receiving the same dissatisfaction ratings as the jeans I've always worn. It seems that the latest jeans, no matter the company, are quite what their previous counterparts used to be.
I'm not sure that anyone believed that I could pull this off, sewing my own blue jeans. I had to admit that I wasn't sure either, but something had to be done. Surely even I could do better than the mass production factories. I was hoping anyway. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.
Mid-month one of my friends contacted me to say she had been recently trying on blue jeans of a different brand from mine. She was trying on the exact same brand, cut, and size as she had always worn. However she experienced the same problems I had. I have a feeling this is just the way it's going to be.
Well, I can happily announce that last week I finished my blue jeans! And they fit! And they are the most comfortable jeans I have worn in years! During the big snow storm that cut off our internet for awhile, my husband took photos of me wearing my jeans. I've been anxious to blog about them so I'm going to try to get to work on that!
Meanwhile also stay tuned for my newly fitted 18th century stays. I dismantled the pair I had made at the Burnley and Trowbridge workshop in order to make them more comfortable while maintaining the proper silhouette. I've worn them all day 5 different times a few years ago, and have been in agony. I've procrastinated in fear of ruining them, but then I wasn't wearing them. Finally this was the weekend since I was snowbound for several days until the plows came to dig us out (yesterday).
Well, I think I have finely succeeded in both comfort and fit! I tried them on today and happily sat for an entire 20 minutes without dying from pain. So in between blogging about blue jeans (think I'll do a history post too so I can really detail the construction post) I'll be sewing my stays back together. Then I will show them off! Stay tuned!

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