fabric · Sewing

Musings on Stretch Denim

Misty Jeans
Misty jeans; seams ripped and ready to be remade

I’ve become very interested in the fibre content of today’s denim. Pure cotton jeans are coming back into fashion, at the same time, there are a lot of new fibres that I was unfamiliar with. The jean market is a very busy place.

In the 80’s there were two kinds of people; those that wore “designer jeans”

jordache jeans from the 80s

and those that wore Levi’s button-fly 501s.

levi's button fly 501s

Opps, I forgot about moms…

mom jeans SNL skit

(I know mom jeans are having a fashion moment – but I think it’s only for those that won’t be mistaken for actual moms.)

I wanted to align with the 501 camp, which was a descendant of punk. Whereas, the designer jeans followed on from Disco.

I have always wanted to look like this in jeans; relaxed and casual.

Model in 501CT

This fit looks great on the slim and less curvy. But I never looked like this, not even as a teenager. I was always fuller in the thighs and butt. That means, that to fit my thighs and butt, I swim in fabric at the waist and knees. Jeans like this have always made me look sloppy and dumpy. Not that it stopped me from wearing them.

They just don’t look good on me. I know I’m not alone. So, can I wear boyfriend styles?

boyfriend jeans on curvy girls

Yes, but my curves will show and it’s better not to choose ones with too much extra fabric. This is were the stretch comes in handy.

I’ve been working on a pair of elastic waist Misty jeans by Style Arc. I wear jeans in a layered look, with long tunics. This mood board below is kinda my go-to look.

Casual Sparkle

When wearing jeans like this, my waist is not visible and I want as little bulk up there as possible. I like the way the picture above shows a slouchy boyfriend style from the upper-knee down, rather than a jegging or skinny jean. I also like the turn-up and knee fading. So these are my Misty jean goals.

I have used a 2-tone grey/blue denim with 98% cotton and 2% elastane from Fabric Godmother. Elastane, Lycra and Spandex are all basically the same thing; stretch.

2-tone stretch denim

When I tried on my basted Misty jeans, the stretch thighs and waist just kept on stretching. I need to downsize a lot! But I want to keep them loose in the knees and calves. I will grade the patten down at the waist, at least 2 sizes (maybe more, I’ll baste and see) and smooth the line to the current knee width. This could take a while.

I also went shopping for proper jeans. I don’t think I want to make my own at the moment. I like the way that RTW ones have flattering fading and there are a lot of details that are a pain to replicate for the home sewer. Also, I wanted to explore RTW jeans and how they look on my body. This will be an ongoing project because it is exhausting trying on dozens of pairs of jeans.

Later next week, I’ll have more about my discoveries of the current denim, fit and fabric content, from my jeans shopping expedition.


One thought on “Musings on Stretch Denim

  1. I get so tempted by the jeans patterns I see about! Hard to resist, but I think for ALL the work, I’d rather make a jacket instead of something everyone else has already. That said, I did buy a great pair of RTW ones last year in a dark denim on a super good sale and had a total blast wrecking them with sandpaper and scissors to make them look suitably distressed in the right areas. There’s some great stuff on google about distressing techniques and it was SO fun!

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