They're here! They're here! They're here!!
When I think about this pattern release, I have this image in my head of Julie Andrews singing with a mountain in the background. Because really, being done with this pattern makes me want to shout from the rooftops. I mean, I have released patterns before, but this one makes me SO. FREAKING. HAPPY. Mostly because it has made so many other women happy already. I haven't seen anyone who doesn't look like a rockstar in these jeans. And that gives me all the warm, fuzzy feelings.
With that, I present to you my newest sewing pattern: the Birkin Flares.
Let's talk about the design features of these jeans. First, they obviously have a flared leg - and if you've spent any time looking at Pinterest or perusing fashion magazines lately, you know these are ALL the rage. Now, I'm not normally one to jump onto fashion trends, but anything that reminds me of my high school/college days is a win in my book. It took me a long time to jump on the skinny train, and honestly, I'm still not completely sold on them. They definitely have their place in my Pacific Northwest wardrobe (read: rain boots), but I feel my best in a good pair of flares.
Next, the waist on these girls is high...but, you know, not so high that they're digging into your ribs or causing your husband/boyfriend/significant other to give you the side eye and ask you what decade you're from. Personally, I adore a high-rise jean because...well...ladies, I've had three babies. And despite having lost the baby weight, my waist is not what it used to be. It's...higher? More pronounced in the back? And on the sides? AND in the front? And don't get me started on how low-rise jeans are constantly falling down and/or giving me a muffin top.
Well, I don't have any of that with these jeans. The high-cut and negative ease at the hips and waist suck everything in just perfectly and keep everything where it belongs. Bend over. Chase your kids. Wear them three days in a row. Go on a date. Do a full day's work. Feel like a million bucks. Look absolutely amazing. AND BE COMFORTABLE while you're doing it.
That's what the Birkin Flares deliver. I'm not gonna lie to you guys - I call these my secret sweatpants. I feel so good in them. But my testers can confirm - these jeans are going to get some compliments when wearing them. I can assure you of that.
Speaking of testers...I had an astounding 40+ fabulous ladies to sew these jeans up before feeling like they were ready-for-the-world. I was lucky that the original pattern was pretty OK from the get-go, but we did make a couple changes.
First, we shortened the front rise by 1/2". I'm not one to obsess about wrinkles in the front of jeans because almost everyone has those even with the best-fitting, ready-to-wear jeans. BUT, I did think a small amount was necessary for a better, more universal fit. Also, we removed a 2" wedge from the center back to cinch them up and prevent gaping. (The pair in these photos does NOT have the 1/2" removed - they were made before the change. They do have the 2" wedge removed from the back, however.)
Since the waistband is cut with stretch, it's still plenty comfortable despite being fitted. Since the jeans sit right at or just below the natural waist, it's okay for the waistband to have some stretch since the hips hold up the jeans (as opposed to low-rise jeans that can fall down because they don't have as much to hold them up).
Other than that, we made some changes to sewing instructions (mostly at the fly front to give an extremely professional, ready-to-wear finish and to ease the task of topstitching) and fixed a few small errors. I also gleaned a lot of knowledge that I'll be sharing with you in an upcoming sew-along.
For example, some of you noticed that my fly was gaping open a little in my original tester call photos. In my case, that was mostly because I often sew hurriedly with three little ones at home. But several of my testers experienced the same issue, and we found a few causes. The instructions now spell out exactly how to avoid those problems and to achieve the perfect jeans.
Currently, the pattern is available in waist sizes 24-35. All the sizes go in 1" increments (instead of graduating to larger increments at the upper end of the size range) to provide a more customized, precise fit. I have had some requests for an extended size range, and that might happen. I just can't give a timeline at the moment or make any promises. (Putting out patterns while keeping house/kids/etc. is tough, y'all!)
As shown, I am wearing a size 26 sewn in this fabulous denim that just became available TODAY in the Indiesew shop. (Don't let the heavy weight scare you - while the belt loops were a little tricky, this denim was actually quite lovely to sew!) I am normally one to get home from my "gussied up" photo shoots and immediately change into sweatpants, but I wore these all day yesterday and felt great. My husband even kept saying how good I looked. Awwwwww...but really, when you feel good in what you're wearing AND look good...well, there really is something to that - especially when much of your time is spent cleaning up baby spit and other unmentionables.
Over the next few days, I'll be showing you a bunch of tester photos so you can see how these babies look sewn up in different fabrics and on a variety of body types. In the meantime, you can get the Birkin Flares pattern by clicking the button below.