This story begins with the end:
Ahahahahha. End, see. Hahhaha.
That book I’m reading? It’s Bright Star, which is a collection of the love letters from John Keats to Fanny Brawne. There was a movie of the same name, the love letters themselves are way, way better than the movie.
The movie I really want to see though is the movie of Fanny Brawne’s second life. You know, after she has this all-consuming teenage romance, after her tragic poet boyfriend dies far far away from her and she cuts off her hair and wears black and walks the moors for years, after that, I want to see the movie of her at thirty three, when she got married and had children. What was that story. I mean, she rejoined the living and moved on, but how? What was that like? Was it love again?
Anyway anyway. Jeans:
This is the raw material. Two pairs from the thrift, one plain old perfectly average pair, and -very important- one pair of button-fly. That pair happened to be Lucky Brand, which means they were priced higher ($14 maybe?), because the thrift shop recognizes that as a fancy denim brand name.
Is Lucky even cool anymore? I have no idea. I just wanted them for the button fly.
What I do know is that this particular thrift shop is unaware of J Brand jeans, which usually run in the $300 range, which I snapped up a ~brand-spanking-new looking~ pair of for $7 that same day, and passed along to my sister.
Here is a diagram of what I did:
Red represents what was taken off and discarded, blue represents what was used, arrows show where it all went. Pair 1 is the Gap pair, Pair 2 is the Lucky’s with the button-fly.
So basically, I removed the waistband of 1, took the entire upper section of the 2 and settled it into place, tried it on, pinned until it sat right, and then stitched it together.
I also removed the front pockets from pair 2 and pieced in some denim, to avoid having four pockets in front. I did try the four stacked pockets look briefly, since it would’ve been way less work, but it looked hilarious and bad and I had to fix it after all.
I used the back pockets from pair 2, because I liked them better. Oh, and because the pockets from pair 1 had a bunch of dumb pre-distressing and holes, obviously factory made that way. Hey, Gap, quit doing that. I used pair 2 to patch all the other dumb pre-distressed holes in pair 1.
The lower diagram in the picture was drawn by a five year old who wanted to get in on all that exciting pants drawing action.
The challenge of course with adding a second story to a pair of jeans is what do you do about the zipper, so here’s a picture:
The zipper proceeds as usual, then the buttons take over, it ended up being pretty simple.
All my double topstitching is done using a cover stitch machine. Automatically parallel and even!
If I could do it over again, I’d try and do that front-pocket-replacement thing with the lighter color denim rather than the darker color, just to break up the look of the front a little. Right now it’s very obvious that it’s one pair laid above another, and I think that works in the back but looks kind of dorky in the front. But it’s not too bad. And most of my shirts cover the upper level anyway.
So that’s it. Low rise straw into gold!