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The 50s Jeanies

Hi all, this is my first post here. During the spring I have wished for a pair of Freddies of Pinewood jeans but haven’t dared to buy them. Been afraid that the high waist and old fashioned shape would not fit me. So what to do? Decided to try sewing a pair 50s jeans. Found a suitable pattern for narrow 50s-style pants in the book, Vi tonåringar syr själva (We teenagers sew ourselves) by Karin Hedberg published in 1959.

When tracing the pattern I was surprised how strange the pieces looked, it reminded more of  jodhpurs than sports pants. Had to hit myself over the fingers not to alter the shape before testing it. The pants toile fitted me nearly perfect and after only a few changes, they where comfortably and looked just like the ones found googling ”1950s pedalpushers”. They are narrow but quite wide across thighs so there is plenty of room to move around. Did some research and found that there are a variety of ways to solve the closing.  First I tested the books suggestion on a pair of shorts while I was working on the fit. It looked OK as long as I didn’t sit down. I have tried to translate the instructions but its impossible to make any sense of it.

Studied further and found nice pictures of the sipper closure for a pair of Blue Bell Jeanies from the 50s that I decided to copy instead. The sipper runs diagonally inside the left pocket just visible from the side. Made the mistake of using a short sipper so they are hard to squeeze into. That will be corrected in the next pair. The fabric I made them up in is thin 100% cotton slightly lilac denim. The blouse is Taffy from Colette Sewing Handbook made in vintage 1970s cotton crepe. These were definitely worth making, the next project is a pair of summer shorts from the same pattern.

About the author: Swedish dressmaker and freelance illustrator. Obsessing over retro shirt dresses, French knickers and tweed.

{ 8 comments… add one }
  • EmSewCrazy May 30, 2012, 12:22 pm

    Those pants look very cool! I like the pleats in the front.
    Your book looks like an amazing find as well!

  • Marie May 30, 2012, 2:19 pm

    Wow, what a fantastic pair of trousers! They look so authentic and are fabulous on you!

  • Nicoleneedles May 30, 2012, 3:07 pm

    They look great! And what a fab book. I have a pair of Freddies, and your pair is almost exactly the same.

    • Cara13 May 30, 2012, 4:23 pm

      Was thinking the same thing! Verry nice.

  • Jessamyn May 30, 2012, 5:13 pm

    Those are adorable! I love the pocket trick, and also am admiring how good these look from the side – a tough angle. Thanks for sharing!

  • A.J.A. May 30, 2012, 5:59 pm

    These really look great on you, and I love the zipper application. Nice work!

  • Liz May 30, 2012, 6:21 pm

    Fantastic outfit – I love the whole look from the hair to the pants and top – great work!

  • Ange May 31, 2012, 11:11 pm

    These look great!

    The cut really is so flattering, I was bit terrified of the high waist myself, but have found it suits me – and it’s such a classic style.

    Well done, be great to see your next projects.

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