I didn’t mean to sew jeggings but…

The 4 day holiday known as ‘Easter weekend’ held great promise. Princess had mapped out an 8 day hike (yes, 8 days, thank you Duke of Edinburgh) and my beloved husband would swap with me at day 4, Princess completing all 8 days in pursuit of her Dof E gold award. Change of plans; the family decided we needed one of these…

'Zelda the Legend' name courtesy of Nintendo's biggest selling game eva!
‘Zelda the Legend’ name courtesy of Nintendo’s biggest selling game eva!

…oops, someone would need to stay home and care for the little cutey. Enter Mummy dearest – latterly known as ‘The Mater’, you can address me as such! Her name is ‘Zelda’  and according to Nintendo she’s a ‘legend’ – get it?! The name popped into my head and the kids pounced on it! Soooo gorgeous, though black, so near impossible to photograph, should have thought that through! Heck, she does go with everything! They say “she’s cute” – I say “she’s a feeding tube with an unreliable outlet valve” – nuff said?!

So if I was going to miss the hike I would make the most of my 4 days of solitary confinement dammit. I would pull a rabbit out of a hat and make my long awaited RED COAT – cue ludicrously suspenseful musical chord!


I failed, I totally failed and I am absolutely gutted to be 5 days post ‘solitary’ with no red coat to speak of. More on the saga another time – when I’ve recovered. Mistakes were made and in retrospect its possible to blame it on NO SLEEP – see above photo!

Shitty shit shit is all I can say. I’ll leave you with a marginally okay substitution for THE RED COAT – a pair of Style Arc Barb trousers, or are they jeggings? I’m not sure.

Note distressing courtesy of sanding block

The best thing about these is that the fabric is 100% dreamy. I bloody love this denim and if only Heather Lou of Closet Case Files would secure me another 1/2 leg I would make another complete pair of real jeans, Gingers or perhaps my self drafted jeans block and really do this stuff justice. ‘Barb’ is all well and good but my bum has never looked so huge – where the hell is my pocket, eh?


The stats

Style Arc Barb trousers

sizing – 1cm fit ‘insurance’ was added to the side seams but removed – over compensation apparently. My hip measurement is 101cm and I sewed size 10. According to the Style Arc website my hip measurement puts me between size 10 and size 12.  Understandably this depends 100% on your fabric’s stretchiness factor, the Barb pattern is fine if you don’t mind a large rear looking at you in the photos! Otherwise, can I suggest the tunic madam?

fit – like they belong to my long deceased Grandma but perhaps thats not your fault Style Arc, they weren’t meant to be jeans/jeggings after all.

instructions – well, I can only say that I am not a gal that enjoys the front wedgie. For the luvva God, do not follow their instructions. Instead, I suggest you sew the CB and CF seams, then and only then,  sew the inseam from one leg to the other. Once the front to back inseam was unpicked and resewn inner leg to inner leg all was good.

ADULT CONTENT WARNING: If you follow their instructions you will end up with a front wedgie and no matter what you do you will wish there were some relief to hand – you have been warned. One cannot sew a crotch seam front to back unless one enjoys THAT sensation. Otherwise one should sew the crotch seam inner leg to other inner leg – its a girl thing… Princess’ jeans and my jeans atest and concur! Is there a rule I’ve missed here? Is there ever a good reason to sew the crotch seam front to back? Perhaps the front wedgie is most noticeable in fabric with stretch?


alterations – Barb was noticeably long in the waist. I found I had quite a bit of pooling below the waist so pinned that out and moved the waistband (with 5cm elastic encased) down correspondingly. Have to say that 5cm elastic is so comfortable and creates no gathering at the waist. That would depend on your waist to hip difference though.


As for the front? Well I couldn’t help myself, it had to be distressed because more is more?  Please forgive the light enhancement in the above photo, dark indigo is tricky to photograph. The crotchal region honestly has great fit, no pooling, no pulling. The pattern is remarkably similar to my self drafted jeans pattern and has a really short and shallow curve on the front fork.

Did I mention this excellent denim? Its fabulous, but I had overlooked its unique indigo goodness and now I’ve gone and wasted it on Barb rather than Gingers. Please appreciate the 007 inspired stance… bought a tripod!



The rolled up hem makes my pants look like I grew out of them in primary school. Its my way of making ‘sensible’ shoes look cool and groovy okay? So I hemmed and turned the hem for tuck.

EVERYTHING good about these can be accredited to the denim. Heather, I have 1.5 legs if you have the other 0.5 leg – lets do a deal okay?

post red coat apocalypse






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  1. Lesley, Thanks so much for the good laugh. I’m not laughing at your jeans or your red coat misfortune. Sorry to hear about the latter. 😦 I love the distressing on these. How do you do that? The photos are great, too, by the way. And the shoes! And what an adorable puppy. Aww…I like to roll up my jeans, too, although I am currently living in the neverending winter and so I’m back in wool socks and long pants. Incidentally, I think I agree with you re. the crotch seam, although I had to think about it. I always attach the little bit under the fly to the start of the leg seam, insert the fly and then finish the back seam to the under crotch area and have no wedgie problems. That said, I need to refine my trouser-making skills as I like trousers so much and should draft my own soon too. I like the creasing on these, too.

    • Pleased to be of service S! Distressing on denim – just a bit of sandpaper, but always best on denim that doesn’t contain polyester (some does) and go very slowly ‘cos before you know it, you will have a hole! I thought the crease at CF and CB might look like a princess seam?? To create the creasing at the front and behind the knee I just grabbed the fabric where it had creased naturally and sanded the edge of the fabric. Keep warm in your never-ending winter S, I love to see socks under shortened jeans, have you ever knitted your own? Had me completely bamboozled! I was in Big White at the time!

      • Ah very interesting. I actually didn’t get what you meant about the inner leg seam. Will try that sometime. I don’t have wedgie issues that I have taken note of but the tension thing is interesting. Yes, I used to knit my own socks because mom would always put materials for a new pair or two in my Christmas stocking. It has been a while though, for time reasons, and I have found a brand of Italian wool socks that I stock up on when I am there instead. Good suggestion although I envy those who can wear the attractive lacy ones. A lace pair for spring would be a nice idea.

      • I reckon the front wedgie is only noticeable when the rise sits close to the body, like 1cm or less. It never seems to be a problem in trousers and your trouser skills are awesome S, I wouldn’t change anything if I were you!

  2. Oh what a cute doggy . Is it a Labradoodle? I have a 12 year old one Whois / was black but is now going great . She is still such a lovely dog .
    Now this crotch business , are you saying that the front and back crotch seams should be stitched first and then the inner leg seam going from one leg to the next ?
    I would suggest a ticking mechanical clock wrapped up in a blanket and a hit water bottle are helpful with the first few days if sleeping with a new pup. That’s for the pup not you 😄

    • She’s a Groodle – golden retriever x poodle. Dad is a standard black poodle so I think she’ll be quite big – yikes! We put her in the kitchen to sleep last night and she was great till 7am, which is of course now 6am thanks to daylight savings! But no one told her that!
      Regarding the crotch seam, yes, you have it. That way the tension on the crotch seam curve is forced side to side rather than front to back. I guess it’s not always possible to clip a curve (manufacturers don’t for instance) to relieve the tension but the seam allowance being narrower definitely helps that crotch curve relax too.

  3. Haha!! The dreaded trousers/jeans/jeggings. I truly believed that front to back seam thing! was only me, so I’m very pleased you decided to share. My solution to the flapping seams was to twin needle the culprit FLAT and out of the way!! But if you haven’t top stitching anywhere else then you may not want to use it. I was told once that sewing the crutch front to back was the professional way to sew it, so I’m assuming it’s the traditional men’s way, and that inside leg joining from hem to hem was the cheaper way to do it, and is used in making childrens trousers. However being someone who has to investigate I have found many ladies RTW trousers sewn in this way too, and lets face it, it’s a much easier way to sew them together. I personally love the comfort of a jegging, with it’s elasticated waist. Yours look great, and I love a turn up and a bit of distressing.
    Gorgeous baby!
    Looking forward to hearing about the coat?? ; )

    • I’m so glad we have a researcher in our midst Linda – thank you for your thorough investigative skills. Now that I think about my husband’s tailored trousers are sewn front to back, but yes, all my jeans are side to side. I’m thinking it has to do with how close the rise sits to the body too.
      Yes, she’s a gorgeous baby, but I was close to sense of humour failure at 3am this morning! I’m wondering if I should break out Winnie the Poo readings to get her off to sleep at that hour!
      Coat saga on its way… slowly!

  4. What a gorgeous pooch! Doesn’t she have an adorable little face and such kind eyes too? (Of course she didn’t mean to wake you up at 6! Everyone is confused by the tyranny of the world-wide clock-changing regime). How are you going to get anything done now! Has she eaten anything sewing-related?! I once met a puppy who ate in front of me a napkin.

    Then again, you are so going to need a stylish yet practical wardrobe for all seasons, not just intended for walking. It must be presentable and oh so slightly impressive for the inevitable social chatter whenever you get stopped by Zelda’s admirers. The Barb is a great beginning!

    I haven’t made trousers for years; the idea was abandoned in 2013 when I attempted Clovers and didn’t even raise the muslin to waist level to know the right thing to do would be to throw away and give the pattern to someone else. So I admire your bravery. But my (zipless!) dungarees have an order of construction like the one you describe so hopefully that’s a good omen.

    • Yep, she’s a pretty girl our Zelda! She does occasionally pick something up in the sewing room only to have me launch myself at her face prising open those strong little jaws! She likes to surreptitiously chew on the silks – they’re on the bottom shelf!
      Actually dreamed about Clovers the other night! I’ve never bought the pattern but it was always the intention for my self drafted block. Looking forward to seeing your dungarees, I lived in them in the 80s – so comfortable.

  5. Great jeans/jeggings. Shame about the red coat but hey! you got a puppy. Hope the troubles don’t last too long.

  6. What a lovely post. Full of useful information – including the notes on distressing – and great photographs. Especially the James Bond one. And funny – Barbs from Grandma. I am not sure I would have made trousers with an elastic waist, but why not? In my case because I almost always tuck in tops.

    Anyway on sewing trouser legs together. I have done it every way there is and I don’t think any approach is always right. It depends on the method and the type of trousers, I would say. I often do everything but the back seam (if they are fly front) so I can alter, and finish there. Other times I fit through the inside legs so do that seam last. I suppose if I have a TNT or well toiled pair I would do the inside legs together at the end.

  7. Now you’ve got me wondering how I sewed mine together – front to back or whatever… I love distressing denim, along with the topstitching and pounding on the rivets. So much fun! Your jeans/leggings/jeggings look fabulous!

  8. Ohmigod; PUPPY!!! I lurve your jeans too; they look super cool and beautifully fitted, not a front wedgie to be seen anywhere! You had me stop and think; which way DO I sew up my jeans? I think I do it the wrong way, hmmm…

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