Monday, August 23, 2010

Jeans - Part I

So, I started working on a pair of jeans awhile back.  Apparently, it was a LONG while ago, because the McCalls pattern I am using, 5142, is OOP.  I couldn't even find a review of the pattern on PR.

Since I'm trying to replace the dreaded "Mom jeans" in my wardrobe (actually, I chucked the pants a couple months ago, and now have NO jeans at all), I chose the slightly low-rise View C (altered to a boot cut leg), and cut a size 14 out of some stretch denim I had on hand. Things were going along quite nicely; I had assembled the front pockets and fly, and attached the back yoke to the pant legs and meticulously placed the pockets and topstitched them in place. But I ran into trouble with the side seams - since I was using stretch denim, the pants were very loose when I basted the 5/8" seam allowances.  I pinched out the excess, turned the pants inside out, and marked new stitching lines along the pins.

When I tried them on again, something was definitely not right.  The back seemed too wide, with the seam along the outside leg off center.  So I ripped out the stitching and proceeded to pin and baste and try on another five or six times (no, I am not kidding) until I had something I thought was pretty decent.

Then I took some pictures using my camera's self-timer:

Gah!  They were nice and smooth in front, and the outside seam appeared to be centered and perpendicular to the floor, but the butt...I was back in MomJeansville.  Sigh...

I've been reading some back issues of Threads and remembered Kenneth King's "net gain/net loss" adjustment process, so I reached around and grabbed what felt like excess fabric and started pinning it out.

You can see (even in my off-center stance) that the left side where I pinned it looks much smoother than the right side.  And it looks even better from the side:

After pinning and photographing and examining things, I knew there was fabric that needed to be removed, but I had no idea how to go about it.  After spending a few minutes searching online at PR, I had my answer:  I needed to rotate out the fisheye dart I had pinned back there.  Unfortunately, the process required that I remove the excess fabric from the back of the leg and add it back by raising the waist at the side seam and extending the back crotch point.  (Translation:  I needed to re-draft/re-cut my pants.) You can see the effect that pinning had on the center back:

The center back is clearly too short now (I had MEGA plumber's crack when I tried to sit down in these); I think the fisheye adjustment will solve that problem.  I didn't have any more of the stretch denim on hand (did I mention I cut these out a LONG time ago?), so this effectively shut down my jeans production for the weekend.

The good news:  I think I have a solution, and I expect the next go-round to result in ACTUAL WEARABLE PANTS.  The bad news:  I am now noticing this issue elsewhere in my wardrobe.  (I've been a little preoccupied dealing with FBAs until now to pay much attention to the rear view.)  I was getting dressed this morning and pulled on my favorite pair of pants, and I noticed the same problem with them.  Guess I need to add "sew a pair of pants that REALLY fit" to my list of sewing goals...

1 comment:

  1. Christine, I've found your post from your comment over at Inside Out Style.Thanks so much for the link, these photos you have put up show exactly the sort of experimental pinning and pulling I have been doing recently on my off-the-rack pants to correct the excess bagging. All because I finally and belatedly got myself a second full-length mirror (for seeing my full rear view). I'm glad to see from your post that, although I don't sew, I was on the right track. Now all I have to do is find a tailor who can make me a pants pattern. Good luck with your quest for great pants, I am dying to see the photos of the finished product when it is complete.


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