Thursday, July 5, 2018

Morgan Boyfriend Jeans

Woohoo I'm back! It's been too long, friends in blogland. At the beginning of June I had to pack up all my belongings, including my sewing room obviously. Mid-June we moved, but it wasn't until two weeks later that we had internet at the new house. My sewing room is still a disaster but I have a big backlog of projects to discuss in the meantime!

I showed lots of peeks on IG of these Morgan Boyfriend Jeans. I might venture to say that they are the best-made pants I've ever sewn. I love the fabric, the color of the topstitching, the details I added. The fit was surprisingly great. Those are all the good things, and honestly they are not minor so I don't want to downplay them. But I have a long history with Closet Case Files and I found the same problems cropped up here as with past projects.

I'll get the details out of the way first (thank goodness for my Sewist's Notebook or I definitely would have forgotten everything by now!). My measurements put me pretty squarely at an 8, so that's the size I cut. I was almost positive that I removed some length in the leg for my 5'4" height, but I didn't make a note of it and I can't find my paper pattern at the moment. I might be mis-remembering and confusing these pants with my in-progress overalls! The fabric is a 10oz 100% cotton Robert Kaufmann denim, in Bleach Indigo Wash. The brass notions are from the Button Fly Making Kit, packaged by CCF and sold via various retailers. The fabric and notion kit were both purchased from Fancy Tiger Crafts. Rivets and snaps were set with tools I purchased on Amazon and I've mentioned them a few times, most recently in my short overalls post. The leather patch was cut from a purse that was damaged by water, that my mom graciously gave me.

I think this is the first time I've made pants from a non-stretch fabric. No fudging fit here! I was pretty nervous as I was sewing, but like I said, the fit ended up pretty darn close. I have some back gaping in the waistband, some wrinkles indicating a flat pubis adjustment is needed, and when the legs are unrolled there seems to be some twist to the leg. I have bow legs and I think I need an adjustment for that to eliminate the twist. CCF has a GREAT fit guide for jeans that I've referenced many times for all kinds of pants. The photo below is the best to see the wrinkles I mean (pants are uncuffed).

On the fly to adjust the waistband, I used this tutorial from It's Always Autumn to insert elastic into the back waistband. It's not super pretty, and in retrospect I wish I would've just cut a smaller waistband, but I was over it at that point. I highly doubt I'll ever tuck in my shirt so it shouldn't be noticeable (and I could cover it with a belt). I raised the back pockets 3/4" per a recommendation from Novita's review at Very Purple Person (actually she was reviewing the Ginger Jeans but I assume the placement is similar). The back pocket design was chosen from the ebook CCF provides when you sign up for their newsletter.

I think that's all the positive praise I can dish out before getting into the negatives. I tried to keep this list as neutral as possible (and also, I wrote it out immediately after finishing the jeans). I feel the need to say that I don't have it out for CCF (in fact, I bought the Morgan Jeans pattern even after swearing off the company!). But I can't let other sewists spend their hard-earned money and time without giving a proper warning of what's ahead.
  • Fabric cutting diagram for 58" size 0-6 single layer has incorrectly labeled pieces (I and H are both labeled F). There may be more errors in the cutting diagrams but I didn't look.
  • Pocket lining/bag, it's never specified how the pockets will turn out by following the directions. They will be done with the print of the fabric facing your body. When you look into the pocket you will see the wrong side of the lining fabric.
  • When sewing buttonholes on the fly front placket, there is no direction on whether or not to use topstitching thread. Most people use it in the top and regular thread in the bobbin, so it does matter which side is the "right" side of the placket. If you follow the directions and diagrams, you will end up with your topstitching thread facing your body, instead of out/under the buttons when they're done up.
  • Before adding the waistband, the instructions say to stay stitch the waistline and ensure the fly front is flat. For me, this resulted in sewing the fly front closed, which makes it impossible to put the waistband on correctly. The diagram does not show the front to verify either way.
  • The alternate waistband method on the Closet Case Patterns blog is MUCH easier (worth noting that it was lifted from Lauren Dahl's Birkin Flares).
  • The terms "left" and "right" are used differently depending on the situation, without explanation. For example, the coin pocket is sewn on the right, but then later the buttonhole is also sewn on the right. One is correct for which leg it is when the jeans are being worn, one is correct when looking at them from above.
  • If you order a hardware kit it is not obvious that there are two different sizes of jeans buttons. Nowhere in the directions does it make mention of two sizes. Apparently, they are 3/4" for the waistband, and 1/2" for the fly front. I didn't know there were two sizes until after I installed them so now mine aren't right.
Aside from all of these issues, I simply do not jive with the flow of the directions. I had the same problems when I made the Kelly Anorak. I kept making silly mistakes I don't normally make, I had to read everything four times, and consult photos and online tutorials when things weren't clear. Now that I've made one pair, I can easily make another with only a brief glance at the directions, but it shouldn't have been so difficult. I don't know if it's just me, or because most people don't like to point out flaws in indie patterns.

All of this said, I could see myself making this pattern again, and MAYBE MAYBE purchasing the Ginger Jeans pattern, ONLY because I feel I fit decently well into the size chart, AND because there are very few patterns with a low rise option (it's an extra cost add-on though). Next time I want to make jeans, I'll be giving serious thought to Megan Nielsen's Ash Jeans instead. But for now, I'm exceptionally pleased with myself for how nice these are. They're the kind of jeans that will just get better with age, wear, and washing, and they're 100% unique.

Pocket bag fabric is from Organic Cotton Plus and is leftover from this dress (which is now on its second child!!). The bottom button in this fly is the larger one.

Coin pocket stitching was meant to mimic the back pockets. It's my favorite part!

Do not make this back pocket design. It is WAY more time-consuming than it looks!

So those are my Morgan Jeans. Perfectly imperfect. As much as I love summer, I won't be too disappointed when fall hits and I basically have a brand new pair of jeans to wear!


  1. Thanks for your review, I think it’s true that people often cringe and recoil from critical reviews of indie patterns, but honestly if you’re going to shell out a more significant amount of money for them I’d think you’d like to have an honest review. I’d especially think that when you sat down to make the pattern you’d appreciate corrections in the instructions. I’ve made the CCF Sophie twice and and found the instructions to be fair. But I attempted the gingers and they were a complete disaster on me...just wasn’t a block built for my figure and there would’ve been way too many adjustments so I shelved that one.
    I love your jeans and would wear them on repeat, the color is awesome.

  2. I appreciate your thorough review! The little coin pocket is so cute and these jeans look pretty great on you!

  3. These turned out great - they already look like a well loved and worn pair of jeans. I appreciate your honest review, all the patterns can't possibly be as perfect as other bloggers would have you believe. The pocket design, love it!

  4. I tried two versions of the Nettie (bleh) and the Clare coat was just a NO. So I like the idea of the Morgans but have been too nervous to try them! I use a Style Arc pattern for straight leg pants and the almost-Kendalls by B+G for skinnies so not interested in the Gingers.

    It’s good to hear the honest reviews because people often downplay issues with Indie patterns and it’s so frustrating! I would’ve been crazy with the change up in directionality! Eeek!!!

    But like you said the pattern itself works! They look REALLY good!!!

  5. Looking for a bit of inspiration to wear your trendy jeans and you still hesitate to give in to the sirens of the boyfriend jeans! – OK, PROBLEM SOLVED!
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