My big sewing goal for the year was to learn how to make jeans, both for myself and for my husband, A. He is a tall, slim guy with a small butt, and RTW jeans have a tendency to slide down at the top and still be too short at the ankles. I found this free pattern for men's jeans via Katharina of Froebelina. The pattern, 101 Le Droit, is from a French company, 1083, and is available on their website for download (scroll down to the bottom under "Kit Zero Kilometers").
The pattern: I printed this on letter paper, glued it together (this was a bit tricky--the margins didn't come out properly, maybe since I used letter paper, and it was a puzzle to figure out which piece went where), and initially traced a size 30 W/34 L based on the provided measurements, making sure to add a seam allowance before cutting. The front piece is provided twice as a mirror image; I only traced one copy. It took me a while to figure out what each piece was.
Instructions: There are some brief instructions written in French on the pattern, but (1) I do not read French, and (2) I needed a lot more hand holding for my first pair of jeans, so I relied on Closet Case Patterns/Heather Lou's Sewing Your Own Jeans ebook. The 101 jeans have a button fly front, which isn't covered in the ebook, so I used Heather Lou's online tutorial, "How to Install a Button Fly." These sources were both excellent!
Fitting: The first muslin ended up being much too large, so I retraced a size 26 W/34 L instead and recut the muslin. The fit was better in the waist, but much too baggy in the butt. I made a small butt adjustment and a thin thigh adjustment, taking out more from the back legs than from the front and transferring these changes to my paper pattern as well. I tried not to overfit, based on A's preference for more ease.
Sewing: I used a 14 (?) oz non-stretch dark wash denim from a going out of business sale a few months ago. (I honestly can't remember which site, but they had very nice quality fabric. Of course I just discovered them when they were going out of business!) I used a denim needle, switching out the upper thread for topstitching thread when needed and keeping the same standard polyester thread in the bobbin. The inside seams were finished with navy overlocking. The pocket bags were made from fabric rescued from a cotton button-up shirt that A never wore.
Final thoughts: A is pleased. So am I. I have enough of the same denim to make him another pair in the fall. I still think the butt needs more work in future versions, but he finds them comfortable to wear, they don't fall down (even without a belt), and they are long enough, so a lot of wins compared to RTW!
Why is he looking up? No one knows.