Many of you may share my sentiments, others not so much, but I really hate shopping for jeans or any pants for that matter. My body is hard to fit, I’m a typical pear, and often is the case with jeans, I have major gaping issues at the back waistline, tight fit across the thighs and calves and the dreaded “plumber crack” with the “trendy” low cut versions. Not a classy look at all!!!
Let me introduce you to the Birkin Flares by Baste + Gather. Flares aren’t my go-to jeans silhouette normally but apparently boot-cut styles are the most flattering for pears as it balances the hip. When the testing call went out I was happy to be accepted for the second round* but would have purchased the pattern regardless along with some of the other patterns in Lauren’s shop, which coincidently are 50% off (no code necessary), along with a discount code of “birkinrelease” to get $2 off your Birkin pattern, but both these offers are only until 11.59pm PST on Sunday, December 13. I have been following Lauren’s blog and Instagram for quite some time, mostly because I’m amazed at her work output whilst being a wife and mother of three gorgeous children.
The instructions are really thorough for the Birkin Flares, that even an adventurous beginner could tackle these, there is lots of hand holding which is greatly appreciated. I had recently tested another jeans pattern so the process was fresh in my mind. Surprisingly jeans are no more difficult to sew than a well fitted dress, just a bit more fiddly and time consuming, especially when switching between regular and top stitching thread.
The pattern pieces fit together perfectly from printing and taping the pattern, to sewing. For my tester version I used 8oz black stretch denim (not sure of compostition but had 5% spandex) and didn’t make any changes to fit and didn’t even bother grading between sizes. My only change was to shorten them by 5cm, with shorten/lengthen lines provided on the pattern pieces, I am wearing them with heels in the photos. These are pretty close to the final pattern version that was released with adjustments/changes being predominantly made to instructions and construction techniques. Lauren really has put a lot of energy into getting this pattern perfect, being actively involved in the testing process and communicating quite regularly with testers.
I used some black top stitching thread so the details aren’t highly visible, but I was going for a dressy pair of jeans. Likewise, I chose to omit the rivets for the aforementioned reason but mostly due to my lack of access to hardware locally in the testing time frame. Although these are high waisted they aren’t uncomfortable by any means and are figure hugging in all the right places.
I have nick named them “Flaretastics” as they appear universally flattering and all the tester versions have turned out wonderful (check out the Baste + Gather blog to see for yourself). If you would like to empower yourself and make a pair of “designer” one-of-a-kind jeans that fit I suggest you buy this pattern and give them a try, especially if you have been intimidated with sewing jeans previously. Lauren is also drafting a skinny leg pattern so stay tuned for that which is next on my sewing list with washed and dried blue denim at the ready.
*The pattern was provided to me free of charge for testing but all opinions expressed are my own and I received a copy of the finalised pattern for taking part.