I put these pants on again this morning and was still in awe at how comfortable they are! Pants that fit, people!!!
I have been wanting to try making a pair of the wide leg Ash jeans for forever. I made my skinny jeans version of them over 3 years ago (!!!) and had yet to make another pair. I finally, finally got around to doing it and I’m so glad I did! They aren’t perfect but I’ve been loving these pants!
It seems like wide leg pants have been in vogue in the sewing community for a couple years longer than they have been in style elsewhere. I’ve wanted to give the look a try but was a little bit worried about whether it would suit me. I’ve worn skinny jeans exclusively for over a decade and have been unsure if other cuts of pants would look okay on someone short, like myself (I’m 5’3″). But looser fitting jeans are in right now so I felt like it was as good a time as any to give wide legs a try.
I got my denim for the project from Raspberry Creek Fabrics. I had my eye on a few fabrics in their shop and then they had a sale so I got them all, plus some. This denim is great, though it’s not the best I’ve ever worked with. It has a solid amount of stretch and feels light and breathable. The stretch, however, is significant enough that I’m wondering if the elastic is going to give way and bubble up sooner rather than later. It feels pretty good quality so hopefully that won’t happen for awhile. And it’s not all bad; the stretch gives the pants an amazing level of comfort, which is great for someone like me who is making a soft return to denim after a couple of years (pregnant and postpartum) of exclusive leggings.
For my pocket bags, I used my leftover Liberty London fabric which was a poor choice. The fabric is too delicate and silky to be pairing with denim so it wasn’t a good match. I can live with it, though. (You might notice I didn’t trim my zipper! I’m always so scared to do that! I put it off and put it off and then realized it doesn’t bother me one bit while wearing, so I just kept it as is. Lazy sewing!).
I just wanted to share this picture so you guys could see what using the wrong needle does to your fabric. Needle matters!! Sorry, fabric!
As far as size goes, I traced and cut out a straight size 33. Then the pattern sat for 2 months and by the time I got around to cutting out the fabric, my measurements had changed. I went ahead with the 33, but knowing that I’d have to take them in. I did take them in about 1/4 inch on each side seam. I also took out a little wedge from the back yoke (which is standard for me for my sway back).
I remembered my first pair of Ash jeans had a slightly wonky zipper and so for this pair I followed the instructions for the Brooks Jeans from Helen’s Closet. And, actually, I’m still not totally happy with how the zipper turned out so maybe next time I’ll try the Ginger instructions. The biggest problem is that the zipper occasionally peeks through, but there’s also a little drag line on the fly, which you can see here.
I spent a chunk of time researching pocket stitching ideas and in the end decided to go with my tried and true which is no pocket stitching at all! I know, it’s the lamest and most boring thing ever! But my patch pockets will never be completely symmetrical, so I guess I just feel most comfortable if people aren’t looking at them for very long, ha! Oh and I ought to mention that I made the pockets bigger by adding 1/2 inch to each side. That might have been a little bit too big, but I’d personally have things too big than too small where pockets are concerned. I added a little side tag just for the heck of it but since have wondered if it’s actually supposed to go toward the top of the pocket? Is there a standard for this? I know it doesn’t really matter, but I’ve wondered…
Jeans are such a process. They are completely doable but they take so much time and attention. I’ll be honest and say that I cut corners a couple times here with the instructions. One thing I cut out was that I didn’t tack the bottom of my belt loops and I feel just fine about that. I also didn’t use topstitching thread. My machine hasn’t done well with topstitching thread. In the past, I’ve gone over the topstitched lines twice with regular thread but here I didn’t bother. I just did one pass of topstitching with normal thread and, again, I’m okay with that.
I wanted to make sure to get the hem right on these pants. The angle of my camera always makes my hems seem longer than they actually are, but with these pants, I put my hem about two inches up from my ankle bone. It’s been a good length for me and I’ve noticed the fabric doesn’t grow or loosen with wear, which is awesome.
In the end, the only parts I’m not totally happy with are the peeking zipper and my wonky waistband. I might have cut things slightly off grain or maybe I just didn’t sew it carefully enough but the waistband isn’t all neat and tidy like I wish it was. I know other jeans patterns have you interface the waistband and maybe that would have helped here (the Ash pattern only instructs to interface where the button/buttonhole will go).
When it comes to fit, I never quite know how to address things. Obviously, I have some drag lines but I think that might just come with the territory of having three kids (and one c-section)? Maybe not, but in any case it’s not anything that bothers me too terribly (or at all, honestly). I also wasn’t quite sure how to go about fitting the leg. I knew I wanted the rear to fit very well, but I wasn’t sure how far down to extend the fitted look. I figured if it was fitted to the knee the pants would turn into bell-bottoms instead of wide legs, so I just fit it to where I though it looked similar(ish) to ads online and called it good.
My dream is to have a pair of these (specifically the wide leg) in olive green but olive denim (or twill or linen) that stretches and has a good heft is hard to come by! I may just give in and go with something lighter-weight and hope for the best.
I have been really, really happy with these pants! Whatever block they use at Megan Nielsen Patterns works well for me! The fit came easy and is very comfortable. As I mentioned, I haven’t worn many jeans over the last couple of years and this pair is easing me back in a very approachable way. The fit is great, the comfort level is amazing and I feel good wearing them. They are a step in the right direction for my me-made wardrobe.
Pattern: Megan Nielsen Ash Jeans
Alterations: took out wedge from center back yoke. Made pockets bigger by adding 1/2 inch to each side.
Fabric: Grey medium weight stretch denim from Raspberry Creek Fabric
Cost: Fabric $22; zipper $2; button, thread, interfacing, etc. from stash
Would I make this pattern again?: Yes, please!