Let’s face it, most of us have their favorites. Favorite people, dog breeds (Parson Russell Terriers rule!), food and yes, even favorite jeans. The kind of jeans that you just want to wear everyday. The kind of jeans that fit you so well, that you don’t want to take them off. The kind of jeans that you should have bought more of when that was still possible. Why? Because right now your knees are showing through your jeans legs (more than just a little) and your favorite jeans are no longer available. Out of the collection. Major bummer!!!!
Sounds familiar? Although I don’t have this problem yet because my jeans sizes keep getting smaller and smaller, so I need new jeans anyway, one of my friends had this problem. She is petite, wears a lot of jeans due to her job and those jeans wear out. And her favorite one, the one that fitted the best, was no longer in the collection. So she asked me to make a perfect copy of her favorite jeans.
Here is how I did it!
- I didn’t want to take the jeans apart because it is a stretch, skinny jeans. And the fabric is probably contorted due to wear. The legs wouldn’t be straight. And if I didn’t take the jeans apart, she can still use them as a pair of shorts. Just cut the legs off just above the knee and fold over a couple of times. Very trendy in the summer! Instead, I threaded all the major lines of the jeans with a sturdy thread (you can see the pink lines in the picture above), copied those lines (including the grain line) onto a piece of organza, and copied the lines from the organza onto a piece of paper. This made the first draft of a jeans pattern.
- Time to adjust and measure all the lines on the paper pattern and then make a muslim version of the jeans. I used this very stripy cotton that I had in my stash. Keep in mind that your muslin should be made from the same kind of fabric as the original jeans. I didn’t do that, as the original jeans had some stretch in it, and the cotton had no stretch at all. So the legs were a little too tight at the first fit. If I had used a stretch fabric, this wouldn’t have happened. After releasing the side seams, the fit was perfect! I decided not to change anything in the pattern als the jeans fabric that I was going to use, had 5% stretch in it.
- Next thing is to draft all the pattern pieces that I didn’t yet have, like front & back pockets and the waistband. The original jeans also contained a fly button instead of a zipper. So I needed to draw some extra shields to make that happen. Pieces on the fabric, cut the fabric and sew your jeans as you are used to. Piece of cake!
- When the pair of jeans was finished, I aged it with some sandpaper and a hammer to get the stonewashed look the original jeans had. No idea whether it really worked, as the jeans needs to be washed before the effect shows. But one thing for sure: I felt like a carpenter instead of a tailor/seamstress.
- And last, but not least, I added the rivets to the pockets. Not just for the authentic jeans look that they provide, but also to add some extra strenght to the pockets as we tend to “hang” in them.
I have to be honest. I didn’t invent this method of copying jeans. Craftsy (an online learning platform) has a course named Jeanius! by Kenneth King and what I did is exactly what he teaches in his course. It is a great way of copying your favorite pair of jeans but I suppose you can also use these techniques for copying any other favorite piece of clothing that you have.
Did you ever copy one of your favorite pieces of clothing? And did it work out? Would you do it again or not in a thousand years? I’d love to hear from you!
Some extra pictures of the details