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  • Writer's pictureJustine Woolley

Closet Core Patterns Morgan Jeans Review.

A Tale of Trial and Error...........

If you’re here because you’re thinking of making your own jeans I’ll say it….stop worrying about it and do it! There is a message in the pattern instructions that says ‘Sometimes good enough is good enough’ and that’s the mentality you need. If you’re like me you may have a few hiccups along the way but I will say I loved the process and the details of this project. As an owner of lots of pairs of slim fit or jegging style jeans I wanted to make a boyfriend style pair which is why I chose the Morgan pattern over the Ginger pattern.

I love Closet Core paper patterns and this one is no exception, clearly marked, no tracing needed and clear instructions with good illustrations. As I was nervous making jeans (not sure why I’d built it up so much in my head) I made a toile. This is very rare for me and I’m glad I did. I used a medium weight calico but think a heavy weight one would have been better as it was much thinner than the 10oz denim I bought. A lot of the detail and trickier parts of the pattern are done first so you're thrown straight in. There are many resources on the Closet Core website including an online workshop so lots of help is available.

I had never done topstitching that required two parallel lines and after some practise it was fair to say it wasn’t as neat as I wanted. Whilst pondering this my husband suggested using a twin needle (who knew he was a secret sewing genius!) so I bought one and it was a game changer. I purchased a second topstitching thread but you could fill a bobbin with your chosen thread and use this on your second spindle. I used one of my denim buttons and one rivet on the toile just to try those out too. I could not hammer the button as instructions state so used a set of grips (another husband suggestion) and squeezed it in to place. Make sure you protect the button with a piece of folded scrap fabric as they do mark easily.

I was really pleased with the toile, I am 5’1” so knew I would need to take some off the leg but I made the toile the full leg length. Turns out I needed to take a lot off so I took half from the lengthen/shorten line on the thigh and the rest at the line for the cropped version so the shape of the leg was retained. I had taken my measurements but the toile turned out a bit larger around the waist and hip than I needed so I went down a size on the pattern. Also, I wanted a slightly higher rise so I added an inch in at the shorten/lengthen line on the pattern and this is where my aforementioned hiccups began!

It was time to start the jeans for real. My first problem came when I noticed a flaw in the denim, a slightly lighter line through the whole length of the fabric so I had to position the leg pieces slightly differently to layout plan but no biggie…. or so I thought. In my rotating the leg pieces I managed to cut out two left leg fronts rather than a left and a right. This is where my short stature was a bonus as I had just enough room to cut out another – you’ve guessed it-using the piece with the flaw in!

I absolutely loved the challenge of all the detail at the start. I had downloaded some pocket topstitch ideas from the Closet Core Resource Library (accessible if you sign up for their newsletter) and tried a few out but couldn’t get them both identical, there was one with a semi-circle so I modified this a bit and added another curve. I used fabric pens where the ink disappears when ironed to mark out the line and these proved very useful for marking other areas such as button placket and belt loops.

With the amount 0f topstitching needed there is a lot of thread and needle changing but it was worth it for the finish achieved. I left my denim thread in the bobbin and all times and just changed top thread. Obviously if you don’t use a double needle this won’t be as time consuming.

My biggest problem with the toile and the actual jeans was the button fly placket. As mentioned, I wanted a higher rise and I had not accommodated this with the plackets so I re-cut with the extra length added in. This made it look like it needed an extra button so I marked in another one and a corresponding buttonhole. I will say it’s worth taking time to really mark out the button holes correctly so everything lines up properly. I had real difficulty attaching the button fly placket, it kept moving near the bottom despite using a walking foot. I had this problem with the toile too but just thought I’d be mindful of this when I made the jeans rather than correcting it. I tried it a few times and, in the end, basted it all the way around rather than just at the top and this helped.

Once all the details were done the jeans came together pretty quickly. I usually turn my jeans up so I decided to put some bias binding on the seams at the ankle. I used offcuts from pocket lining fabric to make my own binding.

I was so pleased with the jeans; I loved the topstitching and was pleased with how good the lining looked. Then I tried them on. I’m not entirely sure what happened but they were too big! I’d made adjustments from the toile but think I’d been too conservative. I was so scared of making them too tight that I overcompensated. Also, the legs looked really wide when on. I mostly wear slim fit jeans which is why I chose the Morgan pattern as I liked the idea of a baggier style that was tailored to me. On top of all this the rise just looked weird. With hindsight the extra button wasn’t needed. I thought about it a lot and decided that with a belt the waist would be fine but I needed to take legs in a bit. I took in an inch of each side of the leg starting below pocket bar tack on outer seam and graded it out from crotch on the inner seam. The fit is much better but not sure I’d ever wear them with anything tucked in.

In conclusion this was totally user error! The pattern is great and the instructions are very clear. I will most definitely make another pair. It isn’t any cheaper than buying your own of jeans (I spent about £45 including the pattern) but the sense of achievement was bigger than any previous makes. Also, once you have all the extra bits needed it’s not such an outlay to make more. My journey into jeans making is not over so watch this space!

Next review will be the Style Arc Blaire Shirt pattern, it's already under way. In the meantime keep doing what makes you happy, sewing related or otherwise.

J x

Closet Core Morgan Jeans Pattern from Stitch and Stash

Denim from BST Fabrics

Buttons from Sewfix on Ebay

Rivets from Hebar Ltd on Ebay

Gutermann Denim Thread from Minerva Crafts

Gutermann Denim Gold Topstitching Thread from Amazon

Erasable Fabric Pens for marking from Amazon

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15. Apr. 2021

Well done Justine they look fantastic

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