Pattern Testing: Mia Jeans from Sew Over It

January 21, 2017   /   byFiona Parker  / Categories :  Feeds
So it has taken a silly amount of time for me to get around to posting these jeans. But I'm actually really pleased I've left it so long as my opinion on them has changed with wear! These are the Mia Jeans from the Sew Over It My Capsule Wardrobe: City Break ebook which Lisa asked me to test at the end of the summer. I made these soon after my first pair of Ginger Jeans (which had it's benefits as the sew-along for the Gingers is so thorough I picked up lots of tips to help with these) and if I'm completely honest I didn't like them as much as the Gingers at first. But I've been surprised to find over the last couple of months that these are the jeans I've been reaching for without thinking and wearing day in day out. They are so comfortable I forget I'm wearing them. They've actually featured in a couple of blog posts already as they look great with so many of my favourite tops!

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Indigo Blue Stretch Denim Mia Jeans from Sew Over It My Capsule Wardrobe: City Break

The Mia Jeans are a classic pair of stretch skinny jeans. They're just the style I like; high waist, pretty skinny leg and a slim waistband. One of my first bits of feedback to Lisa after finishing them was that they really reminded me of my favourite pair of RTW Topshop skinny jeans (the Jamie style if you're a Topshop jean fan!). They're not overly complicated or time consuming to make. The fly and the accuracy needed for the topstitching make it a good challenge of a project mixed in with the other four included in the ebook. I was much happier with the placement and size of these pockets than I was on my Gingers and will probably use the pattern piece from this pattern in future. There are no front pockets which I must admit I do miss on both a practical and aesthetic level but that does drastically reduce the time these take to make and the style feels pleasantly quite fifties pin-up without them!

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Indigo Blue Stretch Denim Mia Jeans from Sew Over It My Capsule Wardrobe: City Break

The denim was provided for me for the test and is this indigo blue stretch denim from the Sew Over It online shop. Its quite soft for a denim and being 97% cotton 3% elastane has worn and washed really well. After a couple of wears the recovery isn't as great but it pings right back into shape after a wash. I would definitely use this fabric again as it is a great weight and stretch for this pattern. In comparison to the Gingers these are probably better suited to a stretcher jegging type denim while the Gingers work well with something a bit stiffer and heavier. When it came to the topstitching I went for a more subtle effect this time around using navy Gutermann topstitch thread. The thickness of it means it reads but doesn't ping out as much as a contrasting colour. After using gold for my Gingers I realised all of my RTW jeans used subtle matching topstitching thread and maybe I should have stuck with my personal preference so far!

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Indigo Blue Stretch Denim Mia Jeans from Sew Over It My Capsule Wardrobe: City Break

I apologise if you can't see much of the detail in the pictures by the way; these have proven surprisingly hard to get pictures of. I've taken two sets of photos so far at quite different times of the year so you're getting a bit of both and thats the best its going to get! I do love my dark topstitching but it doesn't help to show up the details in a photo!

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Indigo Blue Stretch Denim Mia Jeans from Sew Over It My Capsule Wardrobe: City Break

I cut the size 10 which matched my measurements and sewed them up with no alterations as they were kind of a wearable muslin so I could give useful tester feedback. Its tricky to do a muslin for these kind of stretch jeans in anything other than the actual fabric you'll use as different fabrics have different stretch percentages which can have quite a drastic effect on the fit from one pair to the next. No two pairs you make will probably ever fit quite the same way but the pattern helpfully enables you to adjust the fit late on in the construction process by leaving a 2.5cm seam allowance at the side seams. You can baste them together to test the fit then use a larger or smaller seam allowance as appropriate. It also recommends not cutting your waistband until you have done this so you can adjust that to match. I sewed mine up with the given 2.5cm (overlocking off the excess as you don't want that bulk in such a close fitting design) and am really delighted with the fit all over. I often have trouble with wrinkles under the bum and behind the knees but there's not much to complain about with these and that front crotch curve looks pretty good too. Kind of miraculous for 'straight from the envelope' jeans!

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Indigo Blue Stretch Denim Mia Jeans from Sew Over It My Capsule Wardrobe: City Break

The only thing I'm not so delighted about with these is that they're not a brilliant example of my best sewing...as you can see from the picture of the fly above. I'm chalking most of this up to being only my second time sewing a lot of these details and my first time working with such a stretchy woven! I will say that despite being broken down into manageable steps with lots of good pictures I didn't get on with the instructions for the fly and I haven't got everything lined up quite as well as on my Gingers. The zip peeps out a little at the top and because I used a proper metal jeans zip (from the little stash I picked up for practically nothing at SIL Thread in the NYC garment district) thats quite noticeable. I'm not all that bothered though as this absolutely happens with the two pairs of RTW Topshop jeans I have too! I definitely achieved a better result than I would have had I not sewn the Gingers just before as I understood what I was trying to do and how the pieces should come together. I very much enjoyed whacking in the jeans button with a hammer but it is slightly nerve racking as you could completely mess up at the final hurdle by getting it in the wrong place!

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Indigo Blue Stretch Denim Mia Jeans from Sew Over It My Capsule Wardrobe: City Break

The pattern does say to interface your waistband piece with stretch interfacing but I used woven as it was all I had to hand. If you want your waistband to be stretchy and super comfortable then you'll need to use a stretch but I quite like the secure snug feeling of a woven waistband and also think this helps things stop stretching out throughout the day. I also think interfacing your fly pieces with a woven wouldn't hurt but its definitely not essential.

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Indigo Blue Stretch Denim Mia Jeans from Sew Over It My Capsule Wardrobe: City Break

It was quite a different experience to working with one of the standard Sew Over It sewing patterns as the whole design of the pattern and book is different; it's very clean and modern. The PDF itself is great as each page prints a slither of the page next to it on the border so its super simple to match up accurately. I really like the layout of the whole city break booklet and the modelled pictures interspersed throughout which are a nice change to traditional pattern instructions. The instructions are super thorough and packed with handy tips throughout. I particularly liked the tip to try using a twin needle for your topstitching rather than trying to keep two separate rows of stitching even but I do wonder how difficult that might be to manage around tight corners or places where you want to pivot rather than stop and start. There are photographs rather than illustrations to guide you, which I personally really like. When it comes to things like sewing a fly being able to see that what you've got in front of you looks just like the picture is very reassuring!

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Indigo Blue Stretch Denim Mia Jeans from Sew Over It My Capsule Wardrobe: City Break

I'm dying to find the time to make another pair or two; a pair in both the navy and charcoal colours of the same denim would do nicely I reckon! I think next time I'd add to the length a little to wear with ankle boots and trainers. I love the ankle skimming, cropped look in the summer but am not a fan of those cold ankles in the winter! I'd probably also skinny up the ankles a little more for this purpose as that is the one main difference in fit between these and the RTW jeans I'd been wearing day in day out up until the point I finished these. A huge success all round.
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