Monday, February 3, 2020

Wardrobe Basic - Denim - Black Flair Jeans

Back in December,  Stefanie of  Sea of Teal Blog announced her  Sew Your Wardrobe Basics challenge for 2020. Every month she publishes a theme or a piece of clothing she wants/needs in her wardrobe, along with  inspirations and pattern ideas …  and she  invites anyone to sew along.

January’s theme was denim. The most worn denim pieces in my wardrobe are black denim.  Not only jeans, but I even have a black denim jean jacket. Black goes with so many garments in my wardrobe.  I was getting tired of the skinny and straight leg jean styles that I have so many of.  This challenge prompted me to add a new style of black jeans to my wardrobe: flare leg.  I have sewn jeans before, but they never seem to fit as well as RTW.  My favorite pair of flare leg jeans is a pair from the brand  Nic and Zoe. The fabric is a heavy 95% cotton, 5% lycra  fabric that may even be a knit. It is hard to tell. They fit well in the butt and are very close fitting in the hip and thigh area.

 I  copied the N&Z pair. There are many ways to copy Jeans. Just Google it, or look on YouTube and chose your method.  My first attempt, using the rubbing  method, resulted a slightly wonky looking pattern.  The second attempt,  pinning paper (Dr's examination table paper, Thanks Jane!)  to the seams of the pants, resulted in a much more accurate pattern.

copy of  N&Z  pant pattern
 The fabric I chose to use was   Telio Atwell Denim Twill Black Fabric.  Contents 65% Cotton/32% Polyester/3% Lycra Spandex.  Description: This medium weight (6.5 oz. per square yard) denim has a soft hand, a nice drape, and about 15% stretch across the grain for comfort and ease.

This fabric had a lot more stretch that the original pant fabric and I was a bit  apprehensive to do jean style top stitching on a stretch fabric.  So I added fusible, straight of grain, seam reinforcing tape (Japanese Tailoring tape) to seam lines to prevent stretching  specifically on the back yoke, the front pockets, and the center front zipper area. 

Fusible tape on  yoke seam

Leather trim on back pocket.
  I faced the waistband with elastic, something I saw in another pair of RTW jeans.  I have a problem with jeans' waistbands stretching out which  means I am constantly tugging my jeans up all day. I stamped the elastic with an "a" for Audrey.

Waist faced with elastic.

I am very happy with the fit.  Only problem is the fabric seems to be a big lint attractor.

I even dug the black denim jacket out of the back of the closet, a Burda Style magazine pattern that  predates my blogging, so at least 15 years ago.

Who picked this paint color? I need my shades!


  1. fantastic jeans and i will have to try that elastic waistband

  2. Perfection Audrey!!!! I had a pair of black denim flares and have wanted a new pair ever since they finally died. These are really great and super versatile.

  3. This is exactly the pair my teenage daughter said that she wants...She said it as I was pinning up a hem on different style of black denim jeans that I had just completed.
    They look fabulous
    I love the elastic trick

  4. Thank you for joining my sewing challenge! Your jeans are beautiful and fit perfectly! I love your elastic at the waist! What a great idea. I have never seen this, but I the same problem with the stretching waistband... Thank you very much for that!
    Greetings from Germany,

  5. Nice jeans - I have a pair in progress now too. I love that I can wear them when I feel blue jeans would not be dressy enough.

  6. I like the look and fit of your new jeans! I don't sew pants much and attempted a Jalie pattern for a pair of jeans that were okay. I can usually buy jeans that fit me well so have not attempted making them. I now have more time to sew and keep thinking I will give jean making a try. Thanks for all the tips in your post!

  7. Love the new jeans! I have had tremendous good luck with the classic Jalie Jeans pattern, and have never rubbed off a pair of RTW because of it. I actually went to the trouble of photographing my hind end a few years ago whilst wearing my (then) favourite RTW pair, a Burda magazine pair, and the Jalie ones, just to see which seemed the most flattering.

    Jalie won. I have always read the articles and watched the videos about copying RTW jeans, but never, frankly, owned a pair I was so head-over-heels-in love with, as every single pair has waistband issues.

    Your new pair look comfortable and fit well. And stamped A’s are the perfect finishing touch.