Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Literal Boyfriend Jeans


Well, I guess not entirely literally, since these were my husband's jeans, but in my defense, he's had them since he was "just" my boyfriend. Anyway, in the last year he's discovered that he really likes super expensive Diesel jeans*, so it was time for these "merely tolerable" J.Crew jeans to be booted out of the rotation. High off of the success of my first real wearable pants, I decided that I wanted to refashion them into boyfriend-style jeans for myself instead of donating them. The refashion contest over on Pattern Review gave me even more of a push to finish this project, but in the end the jeans aren't significantly different enough to qualify for entry. Ah well, it's still nice to have another pair of pants to add to my wardrobe, especially since it's been getting too cold for bare legs!

Front view.

Side view. Gosh, those pointy heels look ridiculous here, like witch shoes. 

Back view. 

Funny story: I actually wore these jeans out in public before this refashion. See, the very first time I sewed a "real" dress (woven, not knit, with a zipper, from a commercial pattern), it was for a wedding in another city. I stayed up sewing until 5 AM, took a quick nap, then threw my things together into a duffel bag for the drive. The wedding was great, the dress got rave reviews, and things were peachy. That is, until the next morning when I woke up at the hotel and realized that in my new-dress-zeal-and-mad-morning-rush, I'd forgotten to pack a change of clothes. So it was either wear the wedding dress again for brunch, or borrow a pair of jeans and a belt from Mr. Cation. I chose the latter, and my friends thought I'd inexplicably decided on a bumming around, sloppy clothes kind of look until I explained my brain fart.
They're not overwhelmingly huge, but they're also just barely hanging on with the help of a very long tank top and friction. 

Borrowing Mr. Cation's jeans only worked because he's a pretty slim guy, but even then I knew I would have to take them in quite a bit to make them work for non-emergency situations. I spent an episode of Sherlock unpicking the side seams and part of the waistband, then tried them on inside-out and pinned the sides until it looked about right. Sewing the actual side seams wasn't difficult, but oh man, my cheap little Brother did NOT like topstitching! All the layers of denim almost got the better of me, especially when I was trying to reattach the waistband and belt loops, but I persevered! My arm was sore from turning the hand wheel, but it was worth it.

It was hard to know exactly how much to take out of the side seams, since this denim has no stretch to it at all. In the end, I think I could have taken out a smidge more, especially on the lower legs, but I'm too lazy to go back and fix it. 

Because of the rivets on the front pockets, I only took width out of the back pieces. This meant that the absurdly large pockets really moved out to the side. For the waistband, I just took out a wedge-shaped piece, kind of like the dart I put in my McCall's 6610 waistband. This method makes the back quite a bit higher, but whatever, it works. 

I'm pretty happy with the resulting jeans, especially since they're kind of loose, which makes them very comfortable. Only problem is, Mr. Cation isn't a fan. I tried to explain that the boyfriend jean thing is trendy right now, but I'm afraid I didn't make a very convincing argument, since even I think it looks a little sloppy. Part of that might be because I don't really know how to style them; all I know is that you're supposed to pair them with super high heels. Which I did. But that's not really practical for real life, so I'm afraid I'll just default to rolling the cuff down and wearing flip-flops and a sweatshirt, at which point I might as well have not bothered taking them in because the overall look is the same...look, I don't know. I only sew, not style.

See? Take out the heels, and it looks like I'm just wearing a baggy pair of jeans. 

Alright, let's put the heels back in so I can pretend I know what I'm doing when it comes to styling.


*Somehow, Mr. Cation always manages to find awesome deals when shopping, so even though Diesel jeans retail for an average of $200, he managed to find two pairs for $20 each. Guys, that's a 90% discount. Ugh. I waver between being impressed and slightly disgusted at his luck. Granted, these deeply discounted jeans had a few rips and holes, but that's not a problem when your wife can sew, right? I've spent a good several hours of my life repairing both pairs, and I would complain more, except that they make his butt look so good...

36 comments:

  1. Good story, and I do like the heels with the jeans!

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    1. Thanks! Not super practical, but I do love the look :)

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  2. That's awesome. I really love the look rolled up with the heels and a pretty top for a bit of casual glam! You've done a great job taking them in to suit.
    And I too will put up with a lot for some nice looking beau butt. mmm.

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    1. Thank you! And yes, NLBB is worth a lot of hassle! ;)

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  3. So cute! They really do look great with the heels. But you could also go "Menswear" - some oxfords and a slouchy cardi over a button-up shirt. Hmmm . . . I wonder if my hubby has any jeans I could steal . . .

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    1. second the oxfords/cardi option as well. an excellent choice!

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    2. Hmm, good idea minus the lack of oxfords or button-up shirts in my closet. Looks like I might need to remedy that situation! And yes, after this project I started eyeing all my husband's jeans...

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  4. i think you're being too hard on your "styling." even in cute flats or sneakers, with a little cuff roll and a great T (or a great T and blazer) you will be all that AND a second episode of Sherlock. ;-)

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    1. Haha thanks for understand how awesome Sherlock is! I'll have to try it with sneakers; all the styling-bf-jeans pins I saw on Pinterest were all with heels.

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  5. They turned out great! Now I'm off to "shop" my husband's side of the closet. (^_^)

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    1. Thanks! And hey, shopping husband's closet is free shopping!

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  6. You did a really nice job on the altering - looks way less sloppy than before! =)

    Sounds like you could have used a Jean-a-ma-jig for those thick denim seams when you were top-stitching.

    Did you break a bunch of needles? I spent the last few weeks using a machine that needed to be serviced so badly (the needle wasn't centered where it needed to be) that I was busting needles almost every time I used it - even on two layers of cotton. It was maddening and required a ton of hand-cranking.

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    1. I definitely want to try out one of those Jean-a-ma-jigs. My machine hates topstitching, too. Great jeans, by the way. I think they look super cute rolled up like that.

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    2. Next time I have an Amazon order I am definitely going to add that Jean-a-ma-jig! I only broke one needle, which isn't horrible, but not great either. I tried to be really good about hand-wheeling so that I wouldn't burn through my needles.

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  7. The photo of the jeans "pre-refashion" look like a Subway ad ;)
    The jeans look great and so comfy!!!

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    1. Hahahaha I am going to have to tell Mr. Cation about that! And they are definitely super comfy.

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  8. I'm impressed w/ your refashion! They look really good w/ the heels (not too witchy and pointy, just right!); maybe you can break them out for a night out.

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    1. Hehe, my students were the ones who said they look like witch shoes. They'll definitely make an appearance for a slightly more special occasion than just running errands, which is all I've done in these jeans so far!

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  9. they look great! i think with trainers (ok, i guess you would say sneakers) or ballet flats they would look fine!

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    1. Thanks, and I will give your styling tip a try!

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  10. Hey, great work. I love your "new" jeans. They look great with your heels!

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    1. Gotta love "new" jeans that didn't cost anything!

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  11. These are great! I love the new length and the rolled cuff, so cute! They look great with the little feminine heels, but I think you could totally pull off combat boots as well :)

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    1. If only I owned combat boots! Then I could not only pair them with these jeans, but I could cosplay as River Tam as well!

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    2. only two of many reasons to get some!! ^_^

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  12. I don't think they look sloppy at all! But, I wouldn't recommend taking fashion advice from me--I'm kind of a train wreck :)

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    1. I just checked out your blog, and I must say, if you're a train wreck, it's one heck of an adorable train wreck! I really like your style!

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  13. $20 a pop? How is that even fair?! ;)
    Love this alteration- way to get rad fitting new jeans for free!

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    1. I know, it's just gross, isn't it? It's gotten to the point where he refuses to pay more than $20 for pants...and yet, even with that stipulation, he still always manages to find great pants. I don't understand!!

      And yes, free jeans are the best!

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  14. Actually, those would look great with ballet flats. Think Madonna in the Papa Don't Preach video or check these images on google.

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    1. Oooh, thanks for the links! I will give it a try!

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  15. Is it creepy to say I want to live in your closet? BECAUSE YOUR CLOTHES ARE FABULOUS!. Seriously. These jeans + the heels + that awesome shirt = a marvelous ensemble I would wear every day. Well done on this fab refashion!!!

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    1. Thank you! We can live in each other's closets, Meg, because your clothes are just as fab!

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  16. I loooooove boyfriend jeans and these look so cute on you! Try them with Chuck Taylors or moccassins!

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    1. I don't have Chuck Taylors, but I do have moccasins! Thanks for an excellent suggestion!

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  17. Wow, great job. I second (third?) the motion about pairing with some fun flats-Audrey Hepburn style!

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