Just recently all my favorite jeans seem to have worn out. Since I've been on quite a sewing binge lately I decided to give pants another chance. I bought and returned a $100.00 pair of jeans to tide me over while I sewed. After only a few hours of wear the yoke had stretched out and bulged. Since I'm usually a $30-50 jeans girl I was particularly disappointed that these jeans couldn't maintain a good fit for a day's wear and took them back.
My recent attempts at pants have been fairly unsuccessful. I even took a four week class and wasn't happy with the pants I produced from the $200 tuition.
I purchased Angela Wolf's jeans class on Craftsy hoping that she could give me some new tips to help me in my efforts. (The class is on sale for $19.99 right now and I recommend it highly)
I decided to take a week long "staycation" for the week of Thanksgiving. On my agenda were shopping for the Salvation Army Angel Tree (we adopted a 4 year old girl to shop for), daily yoga or other exercise, healthy meals, and SEWING.
I finished my Woodland Stroll Cape and made a denim Colette Ginger. Then I made a pair of ponte leggings using McCalls 6173.
I made a discovery while making my leggings. Although they are a stretch fabric and should be fairly easy to fit I still got the dreaded bagginess at the crotch that has been plaguing me. I decided it was good enough and moved on to the jeans. When I sat down I noticed a little dart forming at the crotch that got me thinking about what I might do in the future to remedy this issue.
I made a muslin of McCalls 6610 in a size 12. The pattern measurements suggested a 14 but judging by the looser fit on the envelope I thought I could get by with a 12. My muslin was tight, but I knew that would be OK because I was going to use a stretch denim for the final garment. But even still, the baggy crotch was there.
The alteration that we tried in my pants class didn't work for my baggy crotch. I looked in my new fitting book that my American Sewing Guild buddy gave me and also my pants book and I could not find the answer. So I hesitantly googled "baggy crotch pattern alteration" worried about what that combination of words might produce. I found a sewing blog for petites. I am not at all petite at 5'8" but I decided to give it a whirl.
It was magical. Taking out that "dart" of fabric at the crotch curve was just what I needed.
|Image taken from thepetitesewist.BlogSpot.com|
I still had quite a few fitting adjustments to make as I put these together because I wanted them to be just right. I slimmed down the legs quite a bit to make them more of a skinny leg rather than a straight leg. It didn't turn out to be just as easy as increasing the seam allowances below the knee for me. I ended up with baggy knees. Luckily I had enough fabric on each side of the leg to make another "dart" at the knees to straighten them out and eliminate the excess fabric, something like what you'd do for knocked knees.
Another adjustment I made was to draft a curved waistband rather than the straight waistband in the pattern. This made for a better fit at the waistline. I also combined the two pocket pieces like Angela Wolf recommends. It's a completely unnecessary seam at the bottom of the pocket.
All of this basting, adjusting, and resewing took up most of my Thanksgiving weekend but I'm happy with the result.
I decided to forego the distressing technique Angela teaches for this pair of jeans. I did however use her topstitching tips. I loosened the needle tension, used a jeans needle, and used two spools of matching thread rather than struggling with topstitching thread. The result is a little more subtle than regular topstitching but I am happy with it. I used an olive green thread just to have something a little different than the usual gold or white.
I convinced the Hot Italian to take a few photos. He insisted on the hip pop.
These jeans have a higher waist than what is most common right now, but I think that the higher waist suits my pear shape and doesn't look at all matronly. The Hot Italian says that these are the most expensive jeans I've ever owned simply because I spent about 30 hours perfecting them. The supplies themselves were less than $20.
Update 2/1/14: I've just become a Craftsy affiliate. After purchasing several of their courses I have chosen to advertise on my blog.
Labels: McCall's, Reviews, Sewing