Draft Your Perfect Jeans workshop at Like Sew Amazing
Making a pair of jeans was another one of those stretch goals for me (pardon the pun). I decided to sign up for the Draft Your Perfect Jeans workshop at Bristol fabric and haberdashery store Like Sew Amazing. This is my fourth workshop here with Serefina Taylor (aka FinaMakes) - I now have bodice, sleeve and trouser blocks and a fitted jumpsuit thanks to her. I see well-fitting jeans as the holy grail, and so was very excited to attend.
Jeans seem complicated to sew and I wasn’t sure I was ready for this kind of project, but having challenged myself with the Sienna Maker Jacket I knew I could learn so much. Although this workshop wasn’t for teaching us how to make jeans, I knew this was the starting point so mentally committed to the challenge.
The workshop was held over a Saturday and Sunday, and having been to several workshops here before, I knew it was going to be a fun and relaxed affair. This workshop was for those who already had a trouser block as this would be adapted to draft the jeans. There were 4 of us, and we started by deciding on our design. I was hoping to get some slim-fitting jeans to finish at the ankle.
Drafting the jeans
We followed Fina’s instructions to modify the trouser block which mostly meant a slightly tighter fit in general and removing darts. We then drew on the other elements such as the pockets, yoke and fly, and then traced these off to give us the individual pattern pieces.
Having done this and added seam allowances, we proceeded to cut out and sew our toiles in white cotton drill. As someone who has never made trousers with a fly before, I learnt a lot just from the process of sewing the toile. I tried it on, and was amazed at how comfortable they felt due to the fact that they fit well.
Fina assessed the fit for each of us in turn, advising adjustments as needed. My waist ended up very high, and it was a little loose around the waist and high hip. In the photos below, the waistband has been folded down inside, and the side seams pinned.
The high waist was relatively easy to adjust as it fit everywhere else. This meant shifting down the top of the front, fly, front pocket and back yoke pieces. I also redrew the waistband pieces to fit the draft further down. I managed to just about do this within the workshop time, and then traced the individual pieces out at home.
The workshop takes place within the store, and it’s lovely to be sewing amongst all that gorgeous fabric. I have always come away having purchased something, plus it's handy to browse for any haberdashery items.
The maximum number of people on these workshops is 5 as the shop comfortably fits 5 tables. Each of us had a sewing box with all the tools we needed, with rulers, dot and cross paper, toile fabric, an iron and sewing machines all available. The kitchen is stocked with tea and coffee, with a table where we could all have our lunch.
The store is located on the ground floor of a unit in an industrial estate in Bedminster, Bristol. On the weekends there is free parking on neighbouring roads, or metered parking on weekdays with the first 30 mins free.
There are nearby places to grab lunch if needed, with the Bristol Loaf cafe which does some takeaway items and an Asda both a 5 min walk away.
Having an expert help me with fitting is always something I feel is worth the money. I have spent many frustrated weeks fitting garments before when I really just want to get on with sewing the thing. This will hopefully get easier over time as I amass these blocks and learn how to adapt them to existing patterns. Getting a well-fitting jeans pattern within a weekend was a great achievement.
I thought it would be good to join a workshop for guidance on sewing the jeans and signed up to the Guthrie & Ghani Perfect Fit Jeans workshop. Since I now had a pattern for rigid denim jeans, I decided to go for stretch jeans for the workshop to pick up more fitting advice for these. I chose the Closet Core Ginger Jeans, and I’ll write more about my experience once I’ve attended.
I bought Johanna Lundström's book Sewing Jeans prior to this. I already have her Coverstitch book and have watched some of her content which I have found very useful. This book teaches you about the various types of denim fabric, how to care for it, a huge amount of advice about constructing jeans, and some great insight into the industry techniques. It was really useful to have this background knowledge before the G&G workshop to help me get the most out of it.
I have no affiliations, I'm just a keen buyer and user. A UK supplier may be linked, please try to source items from your favourite independent stores.