Monday Outfit: Small Fry Skinny Jeans


I did it! I made skinny jeans! For K!


This was a labor of love folks, because let me tell you, these jeans required some sweat, blood and loss of sleep (I am very protective of my sleep). Well, okay, mostly loss of sleep. And only because I decided to start sewing this in the late afternoon and once I got going, I was having too much fun to stop until I was done. I opted to go with the no zip, half-fly option, and that was a good move since trying to install a zipper might have meant no sleep at all. Doesn’t that look like some kind of jeans ad up there? I’m swooning a bit.


I reviewed all the recommendations I received from you lovely readers and purchased patterns for both the Small Fry and Peek-A-Boo skinny jeans, and decided to start with the Small Fry. The results are grade A professional, and I love how Laura added so many authentic details like the top stitching on the sides, the way the pockets are constructed, etc.


K harangued me the whole time I was making it, asking every few minutes, “Are you done yet??”


I was nervous when I started prepping this project because the thin denim fabric with supposedly 3% spandex that I wanted to use didn’t stretch at all. I finally figured out that it stretched ever so slightly up and down (along the grain/selvage) and not side to side the way most woven fabrics do. So all the pieces are cut cross-grain — I called upon the sewing goddesses so that K would be able to shimmy herself into them without losing blood circulation.

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The instructions are detailed and excellent, and I found the photos to be immensely helpful. Though this was a major time commitment due to all the pieces and top stitching and whatnot, the elements came together easily. Based on the measurements, K was between a 7 and 8; since I wanted these to be snug, I went with the 7.  As you can see, the fit is fantastic (whew). Do you like the wonky butterfly on the back pocket? K specifically requested one butterfly on one pocket. I aim to please.

We tried a variety of tops with her new favorite jeans. Do you recognize some of them? The stripey top is still going strong, and I just recently found that orange cashmere hoodie buried in the back of K’s closet. I’m pretty sure my mom thrifted that from somewhere and is actually an adult size small that must have shrunk. That jacket is from almost two years ago! We should really retire it, but it’s one of my favorite things I’ve ever made. The bolero sweater is so, so old and ratty but she adores it.

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K wants me to make a pair of skinny jeans in every color possible. I’ll need to recharge for a while to start on the Peek-A-Boo version, but now that I’ve entered the jeans-making realm, I’m feeling like I might be able to sew up a decent pair for myself. I’ve got these and these and these ready to be prepped. Stay tuned for the skinny jeans pattern comparison!




29 thoughts on “Monday Outfit: Small Fry Skinny Jeans

  1. These are awesome! I started a pair of these last February, but had to stop at one point and they just got moved further and further to the back of the to-do pile. I do remember finishing the fly though and thinking Laura was a genius!! Such a professional pattern- maybe I should pick them up and finish!

    1. These jeans aren’t for the faint of heart and I don’t blame you for putting them aside, Erin! Once I got past the fly, the rest came together a lot faster than I expected so I think you’ll be able to finish them in a jiffy 🙂

  2. Fantastic job Sanae! I really love this pattern. I have made one pair complete and i have one more to finish with zipper included. The fit is amazing and K look really pretty. I love the styling in the picture too!. looking forward for your skinny jeans. I would love to make the Ginger jeans, but you know…my mountaineer legs are a bit against it :P. Happy Monday!

    1. Thank you, Maria! I say go for the Ginger jeans – skinny jeans are awesome to wear with boots and I strongly believe with the right top to bottom proportion, anyone can look great in skinny jeans!

    1. It was SO worth the effort Fiona! I feel like I improved my skills by another notch, which is a very satisfying feeling and Laura’s instructions are very, very good.

  3. Wow it looks like you’ve just unlocked a new sewing level. Well done. These jeans have hundres of pieces and topstitches (?) all over the place. Since I also depend on my sleep, I’ve moved it to my never-to-sew list haha

    1. Ha! So funny Jing! I do need to take a breather before launching into another pair of jeans, but it was a super rewarding project all around!

  4. I made the free toddler version last week (only have to buy a snap button as my machine just refuses to sew the buttonhole). it’s pretty amazing to sew something like this, isn’t it! i was so proud!

    1. Ah, bummer about the button hole issue, Annika! My machine makes pretty shoddy button holes too…but yes! So proud! It almost felt like the time I first learned how to ride a bike!

  5. Nice! I was looking at the Small Fry Skinny Jeans pattern last week. I also purchased a pattern for jeans for myself from Burda, and have yet to make them. I have the fabric, thread & all, but have put it off because I am scared I’ll mess them up. Yours for K came out so nicely!

    1. I saw that pattern from Burda and debated whether to get it. I wasn’t a fan of the pockets if I’m remembering it correctly and didn’t want too many patterns that I would have to tape together…do let me know if you give it a try, Kelly, and I might have to add it to my skinny jeans comparison!

  6. So professional looking, and they fit her so well! And wow, thanks for posting that Jalie pattern for women’s jeans. I need to try my Sewaholic Thurlow pattern first, though.
    Looking forward to seeing your jeans experiments, Sanae!

    1. I considered the Thurlow too, but the “narrow waist” description is so not my body type so I decided to hold off. I hope I get around to the jeans experiment sooner rather than later! The holidays are coming up and I am notoriously overly optimistic about what I can get done. 🙂

  7. It is a great pattern, right?! I still consider myself sort of an advanced beginner when it comes to sewing. There’s so much I don’t know how to do but this pattern made me feel pretty confident. And for my tall skinny boy the fit was spectacular. I’ve been thinking of sewing jeans for myself since finishing his so thank you for posting links to your three options.

    1. You’re very welcome, Bridget! I’m excited to give them a try and yes, the Small Fry pattern is terrific! I just love how professional the results are!

  8. You’ll be whipping out skinnies for yourself in no time! Great practice! They do look like a jeans ad and if I was K I too would request one in every color! I am going to be making the ginger jeans too, very excited about it!

  9. Fantastic, Sanae! I’ve waited to sew skinny jeans also, as I wanted to see which patterns received your stamp of approval:) These are so great, and the butterfly pocket is the perfect designer detail. Love the fashion shoot with all the different tops – isn’t is awesome how jeans go with pretty much everything? Glad you’re getting a lot of wear from that fantastic jacket!

    1. Jeans are the most versatile clothing ever in my opinion 🙂 Definitely give these a try – just make sure to set aside plenty of time. The steps are straightforward and the pattern pieces come together very well, so this was a thoroughly enjoyable project for me! Thanks, Lucinda!

  10. they look fantastic! she’ll get so much wear out of these. i’ve made two pairs of SFSJs and the second pair went a lot faster – skipped the flat felling and the belt loops, and the process just went quicker once I knew the order of assembly and all that. i’ll be so curious to hear how your next ones go!

    oh also – they sure are kid-pleasers! my son wears both pairs a lot! hope K does too!

    1. Oh so smart, Kristin! I was on the verge of skipping the belt loops (good thing I didn’t since K loves ’em) and I’m sure I can do away with the flat felling too. I’m debating whether to make a gold pair or a purple pair for the second one…

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