The Ren Jeans - Free Sewing Pattern

Posted on July 23, 2021 by Helen Castillo

There's been a lot of debate about whether skinny jeans are out and baggy jeans are in. Whichever side you land on, the Ren Jeans ought to make their way into your wardrobe this season! With a fitted high waist and a sleek, flared silhouette, this free sewing pattern gives the best of both worlds. Try yours in a crisp denim or any one of Mood's colorful cotton twills!


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Start with preparing your pockets; don't forget to clip notches in all your pattern pieces before assembling!

Press top edge along notch, press again to cover raw edges along the second notch to represent what will become the top clean edge of your pockets:

Topstitch using the double needle to secure the folded edge of the top of the pocket:

Press the corners in towards the wrong side of the pocket, use a clapper to help keep the crease:

Topstitch along the sides and bottom edges with the double needle about 1/8" from the folded edges. This is an opportunity to do a decorative embroidery as a novelty along the center of the pocket you see often in iconic denim. Set your pockets aside and grab your two back pant legs.

With back pant legs (right sides of fabric facing) sew down the center back seam:

Clean finish the raw edges using a serger or zig-zag stitch, repeat this step in upcoming areas where indicated. It saves time and adds to the integrity of your seams to clean raw edges before joining to the next portion of the garment the seam corresponds to:

Press the seam allowance towards one direction, this will be the same direction for the center front crotch seams and will join to one another:

Sew closed your darts and press towards center back seam:

Attach your back pockets, using the markings transferred from your pattern. I prefer to indicate these with pins rather than mark them with chalk as it can be permanent or leave residue on the fabric.

Topstitch your pockets along the side, bottom, and up the opposite side. You can either use one of the rows of topstitching from earlier as a guide and stitch over that or do an additional topstitch 1/8" from the folded edges. Optional: Do a bartack at the top corners of your pockets (small/tight zigzag usually indicated by a buttonhole style setting on your machine)

Taking your two front leg pieces with right sides together, stitch from the crotch to the notch point indicated in the photo below. After having sewn the front crotch, zig-zag the raw edge. Press this seam allowance towards the same direction as your center back seam - if towards the wearer’s left side, press this towards the same direction, so when they join at the crotch seam, it creates the illusion of one continuous seam allowance.

Attaching the pockets:

With pocket pieces right sides facing your front pant pieces, align the curve (this will be the pocket opening) stitch with ½” seam allowance. You can either press this curved seam or understitch - this is when you catch both seam allowances AND the lining side (in this case the pocket itself) so to secure those layers from rolling out of the pocket when the pants are finished being sewn. This is usually under 1/8" distance from the original stitch line you had just sewn.

This is what I call ‘elephant ears.’ Although it may look wrong, this is correctly assembled and it provides an opportunity to use a contrast lining for your pockets as it will be camouflage inside the garment and masked by the pocket facing:

Understitch 1/16” away from the original seam of the pocket opening; catching the seam allowance of pant front and pocket and stitching on to the actual pocket fabric all in one step.

Grab your pocket facing piece and zig-zag or merrow the curved edges:

With the right side of the pocket facings facing up (wrong side of pocket facing to right side of pocket), topstitch along the full perimeter of the pocket facing to secure it to the pocket 1/8" from the raw edges of the facing.

Press your pocket opening nice and crisp so that the pocket is entirely on the inside of your pant front pieces:

View of the wrong side of front pant:

Close bottom of pocket bags by using a zig-zag or merrow along the bottom raw edge of the pockets, only stitch the pocket closed - do not stitch the pocket bottoms to the pants themselves:

Using a pressing cloth (muslin or scrap fabric that is cotton and light-colored), press the pocket in half so the pocket fold is on the inside of your pant. Repeat for both pockets.

Where my pins are locked, use a running stitch (longest stitch length on straight stitch setting) and secure those areas ⅛” from the raw edge so the pocket does not move when attaching the waistband and back pant legs. Remember: your notches are your BFF.

Finished pockets from view of inside of pant:

Closing your side seams:

Optional: jump ahead and attach zipper fly closure before attaching front and back pant legs. It can be difficult to keep the fly aligned and placed into the machine with the bulk of the back pant attached.  Photographed is in reverse order, I took the difficult route and closed my side seams first, then attached my zip fly and found it difficult at the machine with maneuvering my zipper foot with many layers of fabric to avoid accidentally catching when doing this step.

Attach front and back pant legs with right sides facing. Using the crotch seam as a ‘notch,’ align the front and back at this area. Sew the inseam from this point down one leg, and from this point down towards the other inseam to avoid the pant legs shifting when sewing this seam. Optional: zig-zag or merrow the raw edges. I recommend checking the fit before clean finishing the outseams in case you need to make fit adjustments.

Zip-Fly Closure:

Prepare fly shield and fly extension pieces, fly shield will have clean-finished edges along the perimeter. Fold wrong sides together and zig-zag or merrow edge the raw edges before attaching the zipper.

Sew the fly facing to the wearer’s left side and press open, here you can do an understitch to keep the seam allowance towards the fly facing, this will help with alignment later:

Place the zipper on the wearer’s right side pant front, so you see the wrong side of the zipper facing you. Be sure to position the zipper stop 1/2" below the top raw edge of the pant so this leaves room for attaching the waistband later. Using a zipper foot, sew no more than 1/4" distance from the zipper teeth. As you get to the zipper pull, drop the needle into your fabric rotating the handwheel towards yourself and lifting the presser foot - allowing you to pull the zipper closed and past the presser foot to continue sewing.

With right sides together, attach your fly shield to the wearer’s right side. This will attach right over the stitch line you previously used for your zipper in the last step.

This is how it should look having the zipper sandwiched between the front pant and the fly shield:

From the right side (fabric right side facing up) topstitch 1/8" where my pins are placed, this will secure the zipper to lay flat:

Taking your wearer’s left side, align the center front so that it overlaps the topstitching you just sewed. This overlay should lay as naturally as possible so that the original center front seam is represented by the edge created when joining the fly extension to this (wearer’s left side) of the pant:

Placing a pin or wonder clip to keep the center front aligned, pin to catch the free side of the zipper tape as this will be stitched in the next step using the positioning established in the previous step:

Before removing pins, you can baste the zipper tape by hand using a needle and thread, then remove the pins. This side of the zipper tape will only attach to the fly extension:

Last but not least, topstitch the J-seam only catching the fly extension. As you get to the center front, be sure not to sew over the zipper tape or it will break your needle. If you have to, walk the needle by hand or secure a bar-tack by hand. Reference a pair of jeans you own for the specific finish in this area.

Preparing the waistband:

I find it helps, when cutting my waistband pieces, to keep them with their corresponding pattern pieces. It is important to differentiate the left from the right waistband as this will play a major part in attaching them to their corresponding sides of the pant to allow for a button closure at the top of the zipper fly.

Sew two sets of the waistband making sure you have both sets reflecting one another. Do not be hasty with this step as it is easy to confuse the waistbands and sew them in the same direction. Notice that mine have seam allowances face up and face down for either set.

Use a pin or wonder clip to help remember the center front of the wearer’s side with the extension *this overlap is noted on the pattern piece

Bring right sides together and sew along one short side, the top, and the other short side leaving 1/2" from the bottom edge so you can press the lip up to allow for this covering the seam allowances of the waistband and pant waists once the waistband is attached.

Clip the sewn corners before flipped the waistband right side out:

Flip the waistband right side out and press the seams open:

Here is where you will press the INSIDE waistband ½” upwards to the wrong side, allowing for this free edge to cover all the seam allowances of the waistband by using a slip stitch as the final step of the waistband assembly. When attaching the waistband, only attach the free-raw edge to the pant!

Align the notches and stitch 1/2" seam allowance:

Before attaching the waistband, be sure it is folded open looking like this, so you are ONLY catching the raw (right side facing out side) of the waistband:

Last you will attach your button closure and add a button hole! Be sure that when you hem your jeans you clean finish the raw bottom edge, press up 1/2" and topstitch.

The Ren Jeans - Free Sewing Pattern - Mood Sewciety
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