Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Testing, testing: Birkin Flares


This is latest pattern from Lauren at Baste + Gather, the Birkin Flares. The Birkin Flares are described as "high-waisted, flare-leg, classic jeans that are equally perfect with your comfiest tee or a flowy, silk blouse." You can read about the pattern release here on Lauren's blog.


I helped out with her second round of pattern testing. I sewed the largest size (35). Lauren says, though, that she is considering expanding the size range in the future if there is demand. I think there certainly will be!

There were a few changes made between this tester version and the final, but it sounds like most of them were to the instructions. You can read the details from Lauren here.



I am super happy with how these turned out! I had my doubts about how flare jeans would look on a curvy, bottom-heavy gal like me, but I am pleasantly surprised at how much I love them! I particularly like the high, but not-too-high waist, which has a smoothing effect on the love handles. Also the butt. is. fabulous.


I was absolutely delighted to discover that, after a quick baste fitting that the fit was pretty spot on! I went ahead and sewed up the pattern straight out of the envelope (err, printer?). I expected gaping at the back waistband, which I typically experience with RTW jeans and had to make alterations for on my Ginger jeans, but the Birkin's curved yoke seems to have taken care of that... no gaping here! Woo! I am super happy with how my butt is looking in these jeans. I am never happy with how my butt looks in photos, but damn, dat ass!:


My fabric is some lightweight black denim that I bought here in Bangkok. I think it's a bit lighter weight than Lauren called for, but I went with it and found it works (although the dark color did make photos hard to take)! I do find that, at least with this weight denim, that I need a little more structure in the belly area. Maybe a pocket stay/tummy stay in my next pair?


Unlike the last pair of jeans I made, I went with contrasting gold top-stitching. My stitching is not perfect- still working on finding the ideal setting on my machine- but it's still so satisfying for some reason to see those little, brightly colored stitches pop up! My bar tacks are a bit janky, although they got better with practice. My machine has a bar tack mode, but I didn't like it, so I opted for a short, narrow zig-zag stitch.


I couldn't get my machine to do a button hole because the fabric was too thick to get it under the presser foot, so I decided to *gasp* hand stitch it (I hate handstitching) with my topstitching thread. It seems ok, but I have no idea how long it will hold up. We shall see.


The Birkin Flares pattern instructions are pretty great. This is the easiest and best zip fly I've sewn thus far in my sewing career! Also, the waistband insertion method is awesome. I've always struggled to get evenly stitched waistbands using the method where you sew the outside waistband and then fold the facing inwards and try to topstitch, catching the facing in the stitching. It always looks a bit sloppy. But Lauren's method, attaching both sides of the waistband to the jeans, pressing them upwards and then turning the top seam allowances inwards and topstitching, got me the neatest waistband I've ever sewn!


You'll see I accidentally put the coin pocket wrong side... oops! Note: this is not the first time I've done this. No fault of the instructions, just a momentary space-out on my part. I also skipped rivets because I didn't have any in my stash. I might add them later if I find some.


I cut 1" off the hem to pair these with the heel height I normally wear, 3-3.5". Although I'm taller than the height for which the pattern is designed (I'm 5'7.5"), I was unfortunately not blessed with particularly long legs!


After making and deciding I loved the Birkin Flares, I suddenly had some doubts about how they would fit into my wardrobe. What exactly does one wear with flare jeans? And lemme tell you, these things flare!:


T-shirts obviously work. Lauren has shown that the True Bias Roscoe's '70s style is perfect. But with some research in my own closet, I figured out that pretty much everything works with flares! For example, it works well with all of these me-mades from my wardrobe (plus more, I just got tired of changing and taking photos!):


From top left, clockwise:

 * Anna Maria Horner Painted Portrait Blouse * Marilla Walker Maya Top *

If the Birkin Flares strike your fancy, Lauren is offering a $2 discount off the pattern (use the code: birkinrelease) now through Sunday, December 13 at 11:59 PST!

42 comments:

  1. Damn girl! I love love LOVE these on you. Adding these to my to-make list!

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    1. Thanks!! I am so, so happy with them! Can't wait to see yours!

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  2. These turned out great!! I also recently discovered a place for flares in my wardrobe, despite being a steadfast skinnys girl. They are just so comfy!

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    1. Thanks, Helen! They really are comfy, and surprisingly versatile!

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  3. They look great. Very versatile. I like bootlegs, wore flares in the 70s - 'they' say if you wore it first time around it's not for you this time around? I've been going slimmer legged (but never skinny). Mmm. Do I or don't I?

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    1. Do, do! Who cares what "they" say! Lauren is also coming out with other versions of these jeans that might appeal to you, too!

      And thank you ;-)

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  4. They look great. Very versatile. I like bootlegs, wore flares in the 70s - 'they' say if you wore it first time around it's not for you this time around? I've been going slimmer legged (but never skinny). Mmm. Do I or don't I?

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    1. Thank YOU, Lauren! So happy with this fit!

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  6. These are freaking hot!!! And you're right, they look good with everything! I haven't worn flares in years - partly because I don't like wearing heels. I wonder how these would look with flats? Probably not as leg-lengthening. You totally impress me with your jeans-making skills (and yeah, damn your butt looks good in these!).

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    1. Thanks, lady! I think these could look pretty cool with flats, still. Lauren has a Birkin inspiration board on Pinterest that I've been stalking (although most of the inspiration pics are leggy, twiggy models) and some of them are rocking the flares with flats, even Chuck Taylors.

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  7. Meg they look amazing!!!! I found the same thing with my wardrobe. They magically go with everything!

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  8. Dude, if my butt looked that good I would be shakin' it all over town, and I'd never take those babies off! Wowsers!! I think they look great with everything you paired them with. It's funny, I never thought I'd get used to wearing skinnies, and now I can't imagine life with out them. I wonder if the same thing will happen with flares. LOL. I'm looking forward to seeing your next pair! ;)

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    1. Ha ha- I will shake it all over town in your honor, Heather! Bangkok won't know what hit it.

      It's hard to say if flares will become as ubiquitous as skinnies, but I am happy to have both in my wardrobe- they serve different, but equally important purposes ;-)

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  9. Damn dat ass! haha it´s amazing isn´t it? Straight out of the printer you get a perfect pair of jeans! And I love all your styling too!

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    1. Thanks!!It is pretty amazing, considering how much heartache trying on ready-to-wear jeans has brought me, that I could get such a great fit right from the pattern on this handmade pair!

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  10. Great job! Yes, that back view is looking good. And thanks for sharing Lauren's waistband method - I will definitely try that in future!

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    1. Thanks, Chloe! The waistband technique was eye opening! I'll use it on all pants from now on!

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  11. Nice butt, lady! They look great on you. I'm not quite ready to go for flares myself, but I'm sure by spring I'll be wanting that trend in my closet!!!

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    1. Thanks, Gillian!! I wasn't sure I was ready either, but now that I've got the flares in my hot little hands, I'm glad I went for it!

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  12. Cute! Cute! Cute! I'll be looking for that pattern when it comes out in bigger sizes!

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    1. Thanks!! Yes, fingers crossed Lauren releases more sizes... curvy girls deserve some of this lovin', too!

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  13. Wow! These look great on you. I am buying this pattern tomorrow

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    1. Thanks, Lori! It will look great on you! Can't wait to see yours!

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  14. The fit is extremely flattering! The flare helps to create balance and is very slimming. I definitely need to get ahold of this pattern.

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    1. Thanks, Shari! I was pleasantly surprised at how flattering it is!

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  15. Damn they look fine! I may finally be convinced to try jeans (after christmas....)

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    1. Thanks, Pips!! Ha ha- I don't consider myself a jeans girl, either, since they don't usually fit or feel very comfy to me, but these do both, so maybe I am a convert now.

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  16. I love these on you. I think this style looks really good on curvy figures, especially when the length is just right. Thanks for posting this.

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    1. Thanks, Natasha!! I agree, these jeans look pretty great on a curvy figure, despite my original misgivings!

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  17. These look amazing! I bought a pair of Gap high-waisted flares last year and have already worn them almost to death. It's so nice not to have to worry about my rear hanging out above low-rise jeans! I see Birkins in my future for sure. :)

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    1. Thanks, Elizabeth! I agree that high-waisted is the way to go. No plumber's crack, no tugging the jeans up all the time, love handles are smoothed over. Can't wait to see your Birkins!!

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  18. I simply love how these Birkins fit you and I am sold again. This is not the first pattern you convince me to buy LOL. Thank you for your thorough reviews are , honest and to the point.

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    1. Ha ha, sorry to be a pattern enabler! Glad the review was useful, though!

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  19. You're so right!!! I think, everyone I've seen with the birkins, just has a great but!!! Me too *lol* Love you're outfit combinations ;)
    Greetings from Spain, Mara

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    1. Yours are lovely, too, Mara! It's true- the butt on these jeans is just fabulous.

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  20. Nice one - it's great when we just know how good our bum looks! You look awesome.

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  21. They're the best fitting jeans I've seen online in a long time. Isn't it great when you can find a good fit without getting frustrated and ending up wadding it and putting in the trash? Congrats on finding such a great pattern. They look fantastic!

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  22. DAT ASS, INDEED! these are smashing!

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