Image by Rachel Mills featuring Becca Haegar
One Sunday morning, much like any other casual Sunday morning, I reached for my favourite pair of perfectly worn, blue, high waisted, vintage jeans. Now, these vintage jeans are not just any pair of jeans.
My boyfriend brought them back from Melbourne, with the purpose of "these are tiny, they'll fit her". It was during a time where I hadn't been particularly well. I had lost a considerable amount of weight, all of my clothes were falling off me, and I longed for a pair of jeans that would fit my hips and backside like a glove. These were them, and I soon fell in love, smitten with the fact they were also second hand and had already lived an entire life of their own.
The jeans were cropped at just the right height for my neither short nor tall legs, they had the perfect amount of pleating at the front to allow for my large hip to waist ratio, and an even more perfect grain of washed out denim running through them.
This particular Sunday, I slid my legs into them as usual, did my comfy jean jiggle to get them over my hips and pulled up the zipper. I yanked the button across, ready to pull through the centre front buttonhole, but this time round something was different. There was pressure on the waistband. Although I could just get the button done up, they weren't the comfortable weekend wear I was used to. They gradually slipped out of my regular wardrobe rotation.
Over the next few months, as much as I tried, no pair of Levis 501s or replacement vintage could satisfy the same spot as those perfectly worn, blue, high waisted, vintage jeans. I pulled them out of the box where they sat folded, and racked my brain as to how I would ever fit them again.
It was so simple.
To make a pair of jeans smaller, you take fabric OUT through a dart. I wanted the opposite, so why not add fabric IN through a dart. I cut a split down each side of the back, found some contrast denim which I chopped into triangular pieces, then stitched the panels in behind making a "design detail" of the raw edges.
I am pleased to report these vintage jeans are now once again, in their rightful regular rotation.
Illustrated by Jeremy Olds