finished objects · Sewing

FO: The Kate jeans

Pattern: Vogue 8604

Fabric: Lightweight denim (not stretch) from Joanns

Notes: I have a lot of pictures of these because I love them so much!  I can’t believe how easy it was to make these pants.  I really thought that making pants was horribly hard and that they would never fit – but these pretty much fit me right out of the envelope!  Total construction time was maybe 4 hours?  And that’s with hand hemming.  Not bad at all.

I made a few small alterations from the pattern.  I used a layer of self-fabric as a sew-in interfacing on the waist.  This is not a thick denim at all, and it didn’t add too much thickness – just made the waist much more sturdy.  I also added boning to the side seams on the facing, as well as 2 pieces in the front between the darts.  I used Rigeline – it’s a thin flexible plastic, flat rather than round like I expect boning to be.  You can sew right through it.  I sewed it to the inside of the facing with a wide zig-zag, and it is invisible from the outside, as well as hidden from scratching me on the inside.  It is not bothersome when I sit either – this style of pants is designed to ride up when you sit, thus the long crotch, and it works out fine.

I can see from these photos that I need to take the hem up even more on the left side – darned uneven legs!  It doesn’t help that I’m standing with my weight on my right, but since I always stand that way I need to fix it.  You can see where the facing ends a bit – I might like to lengthen it in another pair (and I am planning to make these again!)

The other (tiny) issue is that you can see the pocket lining a bit.  I used a poly charmeuse from the remnant table, but when I make them again I will either rectify this issue or use a matching material.  It doesn’t bother me here, and they are so soft on the inside!

I cannot recommend this pattern enough – it was terribly easy, and I think these pants pass for 1930s/40s.  They are far more flattering than I thought, and I think they make my waist look smaller than it is, since they emphasize the difference from my hips to waist, which is larger than my bust to waist ration.  This is a great style for the curvy!  The key with a waist this high is to go retro – a lot of modern high waist pants have tighter legs, and they just look horribly wrong.  I plan to make these again in black and in a subtle brown plaid.  They are easily more flattering than other pants that I own.  I am now thinking of other pants to make – I’m considering a pair of black ones, and a pair of brown ones with a subtle check.  If you are considering these, go for it!  The pattern photo looks like nothing, but they are great!

50 thoughts on “FO: The Kate jeans

  1. These look great. I’ve made the jacket and skirt from this pattern and loved them as well. I’ve avoided the pants because the last high waist pants I made (front zip) where not nice to wear, but now I’ve seen yours I might give the back zip version a go. They are very flattering and I love the top you’ve chosen.

  2. These do look fantastic! I’m not quite a fan of the high-waist, but I’m learning to like it; it helps that most tucked-in tops look better in a higher waste.

    And you’re right about the pattern envelope; if I had seen only that, I would never have thought about the pattern, but your version makes it seem so much classier. I also love the top you’ve paired it with!

  3. These are GORGEOUS! The colors are amazing, and brilliant photography too! I love that the pocket lining shows a bit, it adds character to them. : )

  4. These pants make you look so tall! Thanks for the hint about them not looking good on the curvy- I was tempted;)

  5. Your sewing projects are so inspiring. You do a great job of picking unique, flattering designs that look fabulous on you. It makes me want to use my sewing machine for more than fixing the occasional torn hem.

  6. Those are awesome! I’m so impressed. They are extremely flattering on you, too. That’s a style that looks fantastic on me, but I haven’t worn it since low waists came into style, what, ten years ago? I agree it’s a great style for those of us with small waists and curvy hips. After another skirt and a summer dress, I may try my hand at these myself!

  7. Gorgeous! I liked the pink flamingos too!! I really like all your projects. YOU know, regarding your leg being longer you can try adjustments with a good osteopath )not sure of the spelling here), I used to have the same problem and this influences the back, etc. Better take care of this problem now not when you are older. Just a thought sorry if this bothers you
    Jimena in Beirut

  8. OOH! Those are really really lovely! Can I also recommend the Bella trouser pattern (downloadable from BurdaStyle website) which I made this weekend – no pictures yet as I need to add buttons and hem. Seriously fab corset-shaped waistband and super-wide legs. I left the pleats out.

  9. Gorgeous! I am usually afraid of sewing pants because they’re so hard to fit. Yours turned out fabulously, and I love the retro style.
    Thanks for sharing, I’m totally inspired to make a pair now!

  10. I adore the way that the pocket lining is peeking out! It was one of the first things that I noticed in your pictures and I think that it adds something really nice to these pants. Imagine a pair of black pants with a bright lining in the pockets…..fantastic!!

  11. Oh I love! So flattering! I actually love that you can see the pocket lining. It’s so pretty that it looks completely intentional.

  12. I have avoided sewing pants myself. Now, I want to try the same pattern you have here. Bravo and nice job!

  13. Those are incredible! When you said that your waist-hip difference was greater than your bust-waist difference, I nodded my head – Yes, that’s me too! I am going to try these.

  14. Oh Jessica, these are so, so gorgeous! The whole ensemble is smashing and your attention to detail is something to aspire to. I mean, even your fingernails are the right color! You go girl! Now I cannot wait to make these pants!!!!!!!!!!!

    And you’re right. These pants are exactly the same as V8717. Oh Vogue. Trying to pull a fast one!

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