Big Butt Baby Jeans and the Art of Simmering

House projects, travels, and various work projects filled up April and May. I came to the middle of May and wondered where all my sewing plans ended up. They were neglected because my sewing space was buried under a house project and I didn’t have specific time designated for sewing.

I was talking to a friend about my interest in playing the guitar and said, “this is a season of life where I have to decide on the few things I want to do and focus on them.” She responded, “Isn’t that every season of life?”

Remembering that I’m not in any unique situation reframed my thinking. Yes, I can only do so much during any season of life. I want sewing to be one of the things I make time for. In that interest, I’ve carved out a few hours on Sunday afternoon for sewing. I probably won’t be taking a bunch of sewing classes and churning out wardrobes full of finished projects but my skill will slowly improve.

Years of cliché usage has provided me with a solid image of my life as a stove. 2-3 hours a week gives me enough time to think of my sewing as simmering on the back burner. Hopefully, 10 years from now, I’ll have a well-developed skill (sewing fluency is my goal). To take the metaphor too far, it’ll be like a meat sauce simmering for hours until the flavors fully emerge.

Recently, this simmering has produced another pair of Big Butt Baby Jeans. I love this pattern and it’s not just because of the name.

BB baby jeans

This time around, I focused on top stitching. Have you ever noticed that most machines have two spool pins? I’ve stared at it for years and never known why it was there. Maybe an extra if the other one breaks?

Last fall, I took a jeans sewing class and discovered the 2nd spool pin helps with top stitching. The solid, sturdy stitching on jeans is not created by one thread. You run thread from both spool pins and those two create a lovely top stitch.


I had fun with topstitching the baby jeans.

BB jeans back

The topstitching on the hem and fake fly added a finishing touch to these faux jeans. My favorite top stitching is on the back pockets. The topstitching emphasizes their delightful lack of pragmatism. No wallet, spare tissue, or house key will ever be stored in this pocket. They don’t even function as reinforcement – knee pads would have been more practical (and might show up on the next pair). They exist for the pure joy of top stitching.


That’s what I have simmering: what creativity do you have simmering?


2 thoughts on “Big Butt Baby Jeans and the Art of Simmering

  1. Kady Boden

    I’m simmering on some embroidery projects. I was thinking about taking Simon and Garfunkel’s Bookends album and interpreting each song into thread. My favorite visual image from the album is the line “antelopes are missionaries”– I like to picture an antelope with a big gold cross around its neck 🙂

    1. Michelle Post author

      How fun! I can see a quilt or a set of throw pillows. That would be quite a few throw pillows though.


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