Steely Seamstress

Sewing for life

Sewing the Seventies – Bell-bottom Jeans Part 1


As promised I’m finally writing a post about my third seventies make. I think I have been very ambitious for this project and it has been taking me a long while to sew. In fact, I’m roughly at the half-way stage and so this is a part 1 post.

My third make is going to be a pair of supremely seventies bell-bottom flared jeans. I’m using this Butterick pattern for my jeans:

Butterick 3065

This particular pattern was an Etsy buy. I’m not sure that home-sewers have really embraced sewing jeans so jeans patterns seem to be a little harder to get hold of. The thing I like about this pattern is that there are two quite different versions. Version A has patch pockets on the front, belt loops and a button fly. Version 2 has more traditional trouser pockets, a zip fly and a wider flare.

I’m not sure the world is ready for the dramatic flared trouser legs in Version B, so I’ve decided to go with version A. I did think about doing a mash-up of the two styles, but I decided to go with the button-fly option in the end. I’ve bought some jeans buttons specially for this make.

I bought my fabric at Sewn in Bristol. It is a medium-weight 100% cotton denim in a fairly dark indigo. I think this shade was reasonably popular in the seventies. I’ve also decided to use classic orange top-stitching. I think I have gone for more subtle top-stitching in the past, for example on these Peter and the Wolf trousers, but I wanted to embrace the classic jeans style this time. My confidence with top-stitching has grown and I feel sure I can produce some stand-out stitching that doesn’t wobble!

I’ve also decided to add some embroidery on the back pockets. I’ve seen some wonderful seventies jeans that have embroidery and I think it was quite a trend during this decade.

I don’t have an embroidery machine. My embroidery is going to be more limited in scope, particularly as I’m drawn to satin stitch embroidery. I settled on the idea of creating some Californian poppies for my pockets. I found a picture online that I liked and traced an outline drawing of the poppies on the computer.

I know there are many users of Adobe Illustrator in the blogging world, but I really can’t justify the expense of this software just for my blogging hobby. I have been using a freeware program called Inkscape for a while now. There’s a version for Windows here and for OSX here. I found it quite easy to use once I’d put in a bit of learning time. I have created various templates in the past using Inkscape, including this eye mask and this embroidery for a small camera bag. Perhaps I’ll do a post sometime to show the software’s capabilities. Being free it is certainly worth a look. I do think I need the latest version of it though, as I am missing some useful functionality.

Anyway, on with my process…..after creating my outline drawing, I produced a few different copies of the flower motif, changing the orientation, size etc, until I got the two flowers you can see below. These provided my templates for the embroidery.

I chose four different shades of DMC thread ranging from warm yellow to an orangey-red for the petals. I used a dark brown for the flower centres. The embroidery is just straight-forward long and short stitches, radiating from the centre of each flower, which I hope you can see in the photo below.

It was enjoyable to do, but rather time-consuming. Believe it or not, it took two weeks to produce my four flowers!

I’m now working on the waistband and figuring out how to approach the button-fly; the instructions for which are hurting my brain at the moment!




Author: steelyseamstress

Sewing a new wardrobe

7 thoughts on “Sewing the Seventies – Bell-bottom Jeans Part 1

  1. Wow! A lot of time, but they look awesome!

  2. The flowers look fantastic and make your jeans even more unique. I can’t wait to see the finished product!

    • Thank you. Just this waistband to sort out – it’s a facing rather than a conventional one so I need to try to figure out what my instructions say. Also, made some changes to the pattern pieces, so I’m having some difficulties figuring out how everything fits together.

  3. I love the embroidery. These jeans are going to be amazing

  4. Pingback: Still a child of the Seventies – Butterick 3065 Jeans | The Monthly Stitch

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