Inside-Out Jeans!

Inside-Out Jeans

One of my Top 5 Goals this year was to get back into sewing pants. I had gained some weight over the summer and outgrown my bajillion pairs of Style Arc Elles… and in a panic before September I’d bought a bunch of RTW pants. Even with darts to add shape, they were just awful to wear! They’d be tight and falling down at the same time, and made me feel slobby and fat. Yuck!

I’m happy to report that those RTW pairs are in a pile for donation, and I’ve got 4 pairs of Ginger Jeans to get me through the week!

(Well, I also have those floral ones, but it’s too bloody cold to wear them. It’s been between -18c and -25c for weeks (that’s 0f to -13f). Winter needs to end NOW!!!) <– Ohh, I’m sorry, did I get distracted from talking about my jeans to rant about the weather? I must be a Canadian in winter. And truth be told, I’m about to rage-unfollow any Brit or southerly American who complains about mild cold. Rawr! Although plenty of people have it worse than me, like Tanit-Isis in the praries, Montrealers like Another Sewing Scientist or Closet Cake Files, or Maritimers like Creating in the Gap!

Inside-Out Jeans

Ahem. Pants. Pants made inside out. I decided that I didn’t need a third pair of dark Ginger jeans, so I asked Twitter for suggestions on making them unique… and Sonja suggested using the wrong side for contrast. Well, since the pattern is named after her, it seems fitting that I went with her idea!

Instead of just doing contrast though, I went whole hog: jeans sewn with the denim inside-out!

Inside-Out Jeans

The result is the lightest-wash jeans I’ve worn in a decade or so… but it’s fun to try something new! You can see inside the leg above how dark the the “real” side is. (You can also see how ugly my apartment hallway is. Welcome to the world of cheap apartments!)

Inside-Out Jeans

The lighter-coloured denim really shows off pull-lines and wrinkles (and VPL, which is annoying). In the picture above you can see how the crotch and thigh fit looks reasonable when I’m standing balanced on both feet equally, but I get lots of diagonal pull lines from the butt to the front knee/thigh. Any suggestions for this? There are wrinkles in the lower leg too, from knock knees I forgot to adjust for, and the legs being a bit long…

Inside-Out Jeans

I messed up the distances on my first lines of topstitching on the pockets, so I free-styled in a very home-ec kind of way. Next time I’d like to do some fun pockets with proper RTW flair.

Inside-Out Jeans

Wearing these light-wash jeans make me vividly remember my favourite jeans in highschool. They were Gap straight-legged jeans (circe 1997), light wash. No stretch, because no jeans had stretch! It was probably around then that I started buying jeans with a waist measurement larger then my inseam. I remember laughing with an edge of hysteria when I bought a pair of 33″waist-30″inseam jeans in high school, feeling fat because I was 135lbs. HA! Look at me now, teenage self! Happily posting pics of my jeans on the internet with far bigger measurements. #itgetsbetter

What do you remember about your favourite highschool jeans? Let’s all have a giggle at what made our past selves feel fly!

PS. The top is an unblogged Plantain. The cowl was made for me by my sis!

PPS. I did a tute on the Curvy Sewing Collective this week on how to make jeans into pull-on elastic waisted pants, if you happen to be interested!


43 thoughts on “Inside-Out Jeans!

  1. Gorgeous!
    My favorite middle school jeans were a light wash straight wide leg. I wore them with oversize t-shirts during my hide-my-body-in-oversize-clothes-because-I’m-such-a-rocker-and-also-afraid-of-what-puberty-has-done-to-my-body phase. I kept wearing them and wearing them until I had patched the as many times as they could be patched. I remember wearing them to my first concert sans a grownup – Oasis’s What’s the Story Morning Glory tour. I finally cut them up and turned them into a messenger bag that I sewed fro my god-brother.
    Memories.

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  2. Great pants! I have some double sided denim I’ve been hoarding, its too nice to use, lol! I love the elastic waistband you’ve been doing on them too.
    I was getting the same wrinkles on my pants too, I ended up pinning out a wedge at the side seams about mid thigh. It slightly angles the pants and shortens the side seams a bit, it helped with the bagginess I was getting at my knees and calves too. Heres a pic so you can see what I mean (hopefully it works!);

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      1. LEEEEEGS! THat adjust looks perfect for me – I’ve been thinking that the outer sideseam is too long, but I coudln’t figure out how to shorten it. I think a wedge could help! Thanks!!

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  3. OMG! My favourite high school jeans were a pair of Levi’s 501s about 3 sizes too big. It was the style to wear them on your hips, like hip huggers, and belt them with a big men’s leather belt. Fashion plate, I tell you!

    I really like these jeans! I take my hat off to you for sewing them, too, since the idea intimidates the hell out of me. I’m not sure what to suggest for the pull lines but I think it happens no matter what we do unless we stand mannequin straight!

    I am so ready for some warmer temps! I don’t mind the snow but the biting wind has got to go!

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  4. I really like them and the fit looks very acceptable to me. Did you make your top as well? I’ve been looking for that exact same fabric for ages and can’t find, I was hoping you could point me in the right direction. It looks so cool as a top.

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      1. Cool, thanks Gillian. I saw it on there but thought it was all thin and clingy which put me off. That’s fabulous. It looks great on you too, it’s got exactly the drape but coverage/not clingy factor I was wanting. I’m off right now to get myself some.

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          1. Aarrrggghh. 1 yard is just shy of $40.00US, including shipping. Bummer. Fabric.com used to have reasonable shipping rates but that is just ridiculous. Sad face. May wait to see if Aussie dollar improves because that is almost $50Aus for me for one top. I’ll just admire yours from afar methinks. I could afford it really but spending $50 for a top does my head in. Xx

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  5. Fun! Reverso-jeans. I need to get cracking on mine. My favourite pair of high-school jeans was really one of my only pairs that fit me properly in grade 13 and I continued to wear them at university. Even though they started to get ridiculous holes in second year. I had a bunch of leftover blue stretch velvet and started patching them up. Years went by and more patches were needed, so I bought more velvet in green and purple. It got to the point where they were mostly scraps of denim held together by blue, green, and purple patches. Those jeans looked ridiculous but awesome. I am sad because I don’t think there is photographic evidence of their existence.

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    1. Those jeans sound like a perfect reflection of a person and an era! Wish you still had them so I could see the patches!

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  6. I think this is a really cool idea for something different. How does the fabric feel against your skin? I’m not really good at fitting, so I don’t really have any advice for you there. I love the Plantain you paired these with and the red shoes!!
    PS: You need to move west. We are having a pretty awesome winter here in Calgary – with our chinooks the cold snaps just don’t seem to last.

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    1. Sorry I’m so late replying! Do you ever get behind on replies and then feel overwhelmed? Anyhow, the fabric feels fine against my legs – I can’t tell the difference!

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  7. Wow, what a fun idea! This was really clever, and I like the result. 🙂 I’m so glad the Ginger pattern has been working so well for you! I’ve been on the fence about buying it, but I keep hearing such great reviews from everyone. Enjoy your new jeans!

    My favorite jeans in high school (mid 90s) were absolutely huge JNCO jeans – does anyone remember those? They had a tiny waist for teenagers but ridiculously baggy legs. I brought them with me to college, and one of my hallmates fit her entire body, shoulders and all, into one of the legs. I wish I still had them, LOL!

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    1. I had to google JNCO jeans to check, but they are exactly what I pictured! They were popular when I was in highschool, I was just never “edgy” enough to try them!😉

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  8. I love using the back sides of fabrics! So often they seem far more interesting than the front. I thought your jeans looked fantastic and didn’t notice any pull lines (I was distracted by those totally cute red shoes) until you pointed them out.😀

    Ah, high school jeans. Wranglers, Pro Rodeo’s, although back in the day we called them “bradded wranglers” because that was back before brads on your jeans were cool.

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  9. Mine were Levis, acid-washed, ripped and stuck together with dozens of safety pins (on purpose). Lord. They’re one of the only things from my childhood I’ve kept. And that is a novel way of adventuring with jeans. Can’t say I’d do it! The OCD-sufferer in me would have me feeling like I was wearing my jeans wrong side out all freakin’ day! I’m actually feeling itchy just thinking about this🙂

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    1. I”m so late replying to jeans comments… but I have to giggle that you OCD-ness would allow you to wear jeans full of safety pins, but not inside-out cotton twill!😛 I promise, they aren’t scratchy at all. That said, I admit I find wearing light wash jeans very very odd, and I have only worn them once since making them! Maybe I’ll choose them more in spring?

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  10. It looks like your crotch curve seam is a little too long in just the front. Frowning pants = too long crotch and smiling pants = too short. See if you can pinch a bubble out of the front, measure amount and then take that out at the quadrant seam between your legs where the back joins the front.

    My high school jeans were black (stupid dress code rule) and at my natural waist. They were horrible combined with the rule that I had to tuck everything in and wear a belt as I am short-waisted. I found a pair in the back of a drawer the other day and tried them on – SUPER uncomfortable because of the height and lack of spandex. Ahh ’90s fashion – I have so moved on!

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    1. Thanks Brooke! I’m really late replying to comments about my inside-out jeans, but I’ll definitely try that crotch adjustment! (And your highschool uniform sounds awful!)

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  11. I really shouldn’t complain about the winter we’ve had here, the cold snaps have mostly been brief and there have been lots of mild periods and thawing (though actually, I hate thawing in the winter.😉 )

    We must be nearly the same age, those sound very much like the jeans I wore in high school. My faves were button-fly Levi’s, though they only became faves after I figured out I could cut the waistband off and make my first low-rise jeans! And them a few years later when the stretch denim appeared, it was like—hallelujah! These are the jeans I’ve been looking for!!!

    Anyway, glad things have gotten better and hooray for better-than-storebought jeans, even if they aren’t perfect.🙂

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  12. Oh man, the reverse denim looks super cool!!! They’re a bit long, like you say, but I always hem things super long (even RTW) because they seem to keep shrinking in the wash the first three or four times! So maybe they’ll end up in the perfect spot!

    Oh man, high school jeans… I don’t even want to admit it. My favorites were these massive flares, bell-bottoms, really, that made me look like a Clydesdale. My shoes were entirely swallowed up by my pant leg! I also had an unfortunate phase where I was wearing baggy wide-leg jeans that were so huge that they slid down and my underwear waistband was always hanging out. Ick! I was RIDICULOUS in those days!

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      1. They were JNCO knock-offs! That was SUCH an ugly look, heeheehee! I was really skinny in high school, but I was also super short (I grew 6 inches when I was around 15!), so I probably looked like someone had shrunk me, but not my clothes!🙂

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  13. My favourite junior high jeans were ankle length with an ankle zipper – I had 2 pairs, one fuchsia and one lemon yellow. I adored them. I think that was the start of me wearing all the colours.

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  14. I am super impressed with your jeans making spree! The fit looks great to me. I was a big fan of flares in high school. And I wore them loooowww. Low, low hip huggers. Of course I was also thirty pounds lighter so I had no muffin top to contend with. Also, I know better than to complain about my winter to you :)-

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  15. The back pocket detail is pretty fun, actually!

    My favorite high school jeans were a light wash, more flared than the average bootcut, fairly low rise, and had a faux bleached out butterfly print going down the front of both legs. I also remember thinking they were sooo expensive, since I generally tried to max out the clothing budget my parents gave me yearly for back to school shopping by sewing and/or thrifting a lot of my clothes. (They were $30. I guess I was a cheapskate fashionista of a teenager.)

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  16. What a great idea! Your jeans look great again Gillian..a little jealous of your jean making… As far as the weather goes…we Canadians deserve the right to complain at least a little bit! I am so over winter! I snowboard and typically embrace the winter with this and skating and sledding but it’s been just too much this year! Begone winter!!!

    Ahhh…highschool jeans….yeah no stretch found there! I actually wore what would now be considered the boyfriend jean. Except I actually stole my boyfriend’s (now husband) jeans and wore them rolled up with a belt and my beloved thrifted Polo shirt and fake pearls. This was my fave outfit and I loved them!

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    1. I like the inside out look. What a great way to creatively use your fabric!
      I never wore any particularly special jeans, nor did I have any particular attachment to any of them, but I do remember a pair of royal blue jean shorts that I wore in combination with a royal blue tee shirt. It was an electric combination, and I’m sure I looked like a clown. I’ve come back to colored denim of late but in not nearly so bright shades.

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  17. Great post Gillian and fantastic work on your jeans.

    How can you tell I’m a senior sewcialist? My high school didn’t allow jeans until I was in Grade 13 (senior clue #1)! My mom was very strict; she wouldn’t let me buy jeans. I had to go away to university in your town, where in 1974 (senior clue #2), I bought my first pair of jeans. They were Howick Riders, plaid-flannel lined, bell-bottom flares (senior clue #3)! They were roasty toasty for playing co-ed broomball on the campus tennis courts in the dead of winter! Ah, the memories!! Here’s what they looked liked: https://img1.etsystatic.com/047/0/8904586/il_570xN.672928309_efzf.jpg

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    1. Those jeans look great! I’ve never worn lined jeans, but they do seem like a smart idea. For what it’s worth, I did grade 13 too… though not in the 70’s!😉

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  18. Yeah, things are FINALLY starting to melt here, only a couple of weeks after this post. There is still a 25cm thick block of ice covering my back deck, but that’ll be gone by May (probably).

    They look great on you! Buying RTW jeans is so frustrating because they never fit *exactly* right (for me, the problem is buying for my thighs and hips means the waist gapes by several inches, and putting darts in the back can only go so far). I still haven’t had time to try the Ginger pattern, but I’m holding out hope for spring and the end of term🙂

    High school jeans? Well, I was in high school a decade before you, so it was all super tight, super skinny, and super high waisted. And then towards the end of the ’80s, faded with bleach blots and ripped. I had one coveted pair of Calvin Kleins that went from pristine dark wash to an artfully dangling mass of threads barely held together. Sooooo cool.😉

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  19. I kind of just did the same thing. I bought some black twill at Fabricland and the “right” side was just too shiny for pants but the weight was right and the price was right for what may have been a fail. So I made them with the shiny side in and now they slide nicely when I move. I think I have enough left to make a short skirt with the shiny side out.

    I guess I have a few pairs of high school jeans reading through the comments. I had a dark wash pair in grade 6 that were perfect for cuffing a la Grease (no coincidence that was the school play that year). I had a pair of skinnies with a zipper at the ankle that were light wash and not flattering at all from maybe grade 7-9-ish. High school I wore less true denim and more coloured denim. Oh in university I had a pair with piano keys down the sides. LOVED them so much, I’m sure they are still in a closet somewhere. I met my maid of honour because of those pants. She noticed me in 4 classes wearing those pants and walked up to me to let me know. What are the odds in the first semester of university that you have music, English, French and geography together?

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