The Birkin Flares


If you follow me around Instagram, almost a year ago I was celebrating the fact that I made my first lined coat. I celebrated by using a cute little line, and I think I´ll make it a tradition from now on, so here it is: I F@#$%*G MADE A F@#$%*G PAIR OF JEANS! (pardon my french again, it didn´t get any better).

This is a new age, ladies. The PDF pattern designers are empowering women all over the world, giving them pratically all the tools they need to be masters of their own wardrobes and don´t become slaves of what the ready to wear industry tries to impose them: wheter by style or sizing issues, sewing your own clothes never meant so much and was never so good to your self esteem as now. Think about it: at a ridiculous price, you get a pattern that fits (if not at first, you can always search the web for free resources to alter it) and all the insight about professional techniques that are valuable for countless other patterns.
Now, the Birkin Flares. If that name doesn´t say it all, I don´t know what will. Well, pictures maybe.

Let´s get into some details. First, what I really need to shout out is it´s not hard to make jeans. The hardest part here, in all honesty, was getting the topstitching right, specially at the fly (there´s a template provided in the pattern for it). Other than that, fill yourself up with patience to keep switching from regular to topstitch thread or set up a second machine, if you have it. And unpick whenever you´re not satisfied. I made these in 5 days, from pattern printing to the final stitch, with lots of unpicking in the middle, working each seam and obviously normal mum´s life going on around.
The denim I used is medium weight with 5% stretch (required is minimum 2%); stretch is absolutely necessary since there´s a genius negative ease at the hip area. That´s why every single pair you´ll see looks beautifully fitted straight from the pattern pieces or with minimum tweaks.
Without the obvious alteration for height (I´m 5´2"), which required me to take 10cm total, no other mods were made for my size 24. I´ve got some tiny waves at the upper back seam (just below the yoke) which I also get on all my RTW because, as you can see, I´m bottomless. The only time I got that bottom filled up was when I was pregnant but then things wouldn´t fit at front, ha!
The fact that I had to shorten so much, even distributing it in the 2 lines for shortening provided, made me lose the proportion between the front and back pieces, so I get that twisting to front inseam effect. They don´t cover the heels entirely because I hemmed at a height where I can also wear flats, which I wear the most in everyday life. Also, the fly is a major feature that needs absolute preciseness - I must have missed a few mm somewhere so it gaps a little.
The instructions are flawless and nothing is left behind: starting at fabric suppliers to tips for getting the perfect topstitch, all the notches and markings, creative freedom on the pockets to make your own design and even some hammering - that´ll be perfect to release the stress caused by all your bobbin jamming. Yes, I won´t lie: unless you have a power horse, your machine will most likely crank up in some places. Nothing going manual on the wheel won´t solve.
But if you´re crazy like me and have a super simple machine and still wanna make these, I would say go for it. The most important thing is knowing it well and knowing what the motor and feed dogs are capable of.

About the hammering: it´s the most wonderful thing to reduce the bulk in areas where it´s strictly necessary, like the pockets or the belt loops. I pressed my seams hard, steam on full power, and hammered the places indicated by covering the fabric with a towel - simply to avoid markings since I used a real hammer instead of the indicated softer rubber mullet. The rivets were applied in a professional prenser, in a small haberdashery store in downtown Lisbon, in the famous Rua da Conceição.
One of the things that comes to mind when thinking jeans is that you might want something basic in your wardrobe and flares might just be a trend. Yada yada yada, well, true, but if you look closely I´m sure you´ll find a little corner in your closet where these would look great. Maybe not, since you´d be wearing them non stop, ha! Another thing we´re not used to anymore is that high waist. I´ve been using low waist since my teenage years and I´m never going back. The high waist is positioned to end below your natural waist, so they are really really comfortable to wear and it just adds so much to our figure.
So, I put together some handmade options that would pair up with the Birkin like butter on toast. No, I didn´t drink anything, not really sure where I got all these ANTM wannabe posing, I was just feeling the vibe, ha! That´s why some of them are a bit out of focus, yours truly didn´t stand still (talk about the kids, ha?).

Something important as well is the actual cost of these versus rtw. These are based in designer jeans, with unique detailing, that retail for about 120$. My spendings resume to this:

Denim - around 20€ for 2m (local store)
Topstitch thread - 3,60€ for two bobbins (Gutterman color 106)
Button - around 0,70€ (Millward pack of 6 for 4€)
Zipper - 0,80€ (local shop)
Rivets - 4,8€ (6 rivets and professional application)
Total cost - 29,90€
Total value - unvaluable

The denim color on these detailed shots is lighter than the real thing - they´re actually dark as the photos featured above show. Here you can see how it´s important to test for tension on scraps before beginning. My tension is surely off, but the stitches are secure - this just has to do with my sewing machine and it was the best the poor thing could do. And I sure am amazed how it endured all this!

And do you wanna know what´s cooking? An expansion pack for different leg types (skinnies, perhaps?). I´m never buying jeans again. Check out the hashtag #birkinflares on Instagram. There´s a discount code for $2 off pattern with code "birkinrelease" and all other patterns in the shop are 50% off. Both promotions end at 11:59pm PST on Sunday, December 13.

This blog post contains affiliate links. I received the pattern for testing purposes, but all opinions are my own

12 comentários

  1. I was thinking abour what to say here... but I honestly have now words! Just WOW WOW and WOW!

  2. You are quite the model, your pictures are great. Eventhough high waisted flares are not my thing, they look great on you.The pocket lining was a pretty surprise.

    I love sewing denim, one day I'll make some jeans for myself.

    1. You know that was my first exact thought when I saw this? Serious, high waist? And flares? But look at me now, I´m converted haha! ;) And thank you, credits for the modeling part go to my auto timer and the around 200 pictures I took for this so I could have something worth showing haha! Big kiss Olu, thank you for stoping by! <3

  3. These are seriously gorgeous! I mean, you always look flawless, but they are beautiful!

    1. Oh thank you Melissa! Haha, flawless is just here in the blog where i can spread my alter ego! <3

  4. You are a SUPERSTAR and I have nothing else to say! Thank you for sharing, you're definitely a huge inspiration. <3

    1. Thank you for being there and for encouraging me! Love you my friend! <3

  5. Wow!! absolutely perfect!! You're my hero!! 😍😍

  6. P-E-R-F-E-C-T!!! There's nothing more to say, except I'm off to buy that pattern! :D

  7. Amazing!! So perfect! They look great on you. Congratulations ;-)

  8. Opá! Isto é espetacular? WOW! Estou sem palavras. Parabéns! :)