Yay, the jeans are done! I sewed the back in part 1, the front in part 2, and now it's time to put it all together.
For the most part this was really easy. I basted the inseam together, all the way from one ankle to the other, with a long machine stitch. The thigh area is longer in the front than in the back so I had to stretch the back A LOT. (Which tested my patience A LOT, but I think the results were worth it.) I then basted the side seams together with the chain stitch on my cover stitch machine. I have to say that's a huge time saver when I know I'm going to remove a basting stitch - as long as I can find the right thread to pull the whole seam disappears in a couple seconds! I tried the jeans on to make sure the fit was good enough, and yes it was!
I whipped out those chain stitches in the side seams, sewed, serged and topstitched the inseam (and left the basting stitches in place), sewed and serged the sideseams, and wow, they look like jeans!
The waistband was a little more time consuming. I followed the suggestion in Kenneth King's Jean-ius class on Craftsy and cut a straight waistband then steamed it into a curved shape. It's probably a great idea for someone with a fairly straight waist but I have a lot of curve between my waist and hip so I need a lot of curve in a shaped waistband. Next time I'll try a contoured waistband so I can compare the results.
Otherwise the waistband went on quickly, except that I somehow made a little mistake on the front edge and forgot to compare the two waistband edges before topstitching, and they are absolutely not the same size. To make things worse, my sewing machine completely refused to make a buttonhole between all those thick seam allowances. I finally just cut it, zigzagged around it the best I could, added a few hand stitches, and called it a day. I know when I'm beat.
I really like the "boyfriend" fit of these jeans when they're rolled up. Not so much when they're not rolled up. Then they just look big and sloppy. But that's ok, these will be great spring and summer jeans. I've learned some things about how jeans fit my body and I'm already halfway into a slimmer fitting pattern. Regardless of style, these are the best fitting jeans I've ever owned and I'm really looking forward to making some more.