originally posted 3/15/2010
I finished tracing all the pattern pieces and I do mean all as in both View A and B. I doubt that I ever use the low rise jeans pattern. I’m just not comfortable wearing a low rise jean. But the Mid-Rise is my absolute favorite. RTW jeans in a mid-rise come very very close to fitting and they almost look great. The mid-rise is actually attractive for my pear shapped figure. I had to recheck every pattern piece, though. I had started tracing Size W and somewhere along the line changed to Size X. I rechecked every piece and made sure they are all Size W. Then I sorted the low rise pieces from the mid-rise and put them in their very own envelope.
At this point I took a few minutes to compare with my trouser pattern. I’m not sure that was a good idea or bad idea. Thing is a trouser pattern fits very differently and is drafted very differently. So even though I love my trouser pattern, I’m not sure it’s a good ruller for the jeans pattern. I was pleased with the front.
The jeans front is much narrower under the thigh. Which makes sense. My trouser is loose, but not oversized. I mean I have plenty of wiggle room, but it is not full like a palazzo pant would be. Curiously, even though the trouser pattern is designed for wovens and the jean for stretch fabrics, both fronts have almost the same amount of width through the hip, thigh and crotch.
The back is a different and scary story.
It is much slimmer than the trouser pattern. Well, maybe it should be . There have been times I was tempted to try and remove more of the ease from my trouser, but decided that much ease really is in keeping with the “trouser look”. It is the crotch curve and width that is scary. Previous to my trouser pattern all pants both RTW and home sewn suffered from the “butt vortex”. By that I mean they all look like my butt is trying to suck the pants crotch right into the interior of my body. It’s pretty disgusting. And I can see that the crotch extension for these jeans is far too short. A quick and dirty comparison to my RTW jeans reveals that the rear crotch extension is less than my RTW jeans. Well, I’ve been wearing the RTW jeans for 3 years. I know they have stretched to fit my back crotch length. So maybe they also stretched the extensions and the length I’m seeing would have been the length the RTW jeans had when new. But that doesn’t solve my problem. I really don’t want to make a lot of alterations to this pattern before seeing how this pattern fits out-of-the-envelope. There have been so many really really good reviews. Most people find the Jalie 2908 fits with few if any alterations. I am reluctant, but decide I cannot ignore this glaring difference. I left my original tracing intact and placed another sheet of tracing paper under the back crotch. I traced the crotch and then split the new tracing 1″ from the crotch point and almost all the way down to the leg about 7 inches. I left a little hinge; rotated the split off piece out an inch; slipped a little more tracing paper under there and using repositionable tape, lightly secured everthing together. I lined up my front and back, grain lines in the same direction and knees on the same horizontal. Then I drew in my new crotch extension.
If this isn’t right, I can easily, rip out the sewing and using the original tracing recut the crotch. I think this is a much better solution that trying to piece the crotch later on, although that is a possibility too.
** Oh forgot the one big goof. I’m hoping this does not turn out to be deadly. My 2.25 yards of denim was not enough to cut the waistband on the bias. I noticed in reading PR’s 84-page chat that many of the participants cut the waistband on the straight of grain AND they didn’t have any problems. I do know that with my own RTW medium-rise jeans the waistband is cut on the bias. Because of that I suspect that the bias waistband may actually be necessary. I won’t know until I finish. Sigh
I made 2 more changes. I drafted the front pocket facing to also be the stomach support. Sounds fancy but really it’s just a matter of copying about the top 9″ of the pant front. I’ve liked the wide pocket facing ever since I first wore a pair of pants. I like that it keeps the pockets in smoothly in place and it keeps my tummy smoothly in place. Change #2 wasn’t necessary to do now. I like to change the shape of my front pocket and sometimes it’s location; and I like to make up my mind at the last second. If I’ve cut the pocket shape right away, I can’t change my mind. This was an easy change, mind you. I hadn’t trimmed the front tissue. So I put the pocket facing on top, lining up the notches, and then just traced the pocket facing onto the front tissue. When I trimmed the tissue, I didn’t cut out the pocket, I cut around the lines of the pocket facing on the side and the top (waist).
I’m thinking I may have some future changes to the pattern. The legs look too long, but I think I’ll wait to fix that until I’ve had a chance to try on the jeans. I also like a little wider fly facing. But I can work with this for now. I also like to snip the front fly facing under the zipper application, but I like to snip before applying the zipper. (Did that make sense?) I didn’t find that mark and a couple of other marks that I like to have, like the fold for the zipper facing. I can add all of those as I go along or wait until the end when I’m sure that where I’m marking is where I really want to mark.
I have been thinking about top stitching and my favorite, Machine Embroidery, especially for the pockets. I couldn’t resist the lure of embroidery. I found an interesting deco in 2 colors. I changed the 2 colors to gold and a rose-gold. I’ve already finished the pocket embroidery (14 minutes each pocket) and can assure you that it looks classy. Very nice. Top stitching will be restrained. I want to concentrate on fitting the pattern. That means I need to be able to rip PRN (as needed, everytime needed, everywhere needed). If I nail down seams with top stitching, I won’t be doing any unsewing. I did 2 rows of topstitching about 1/4″ apart, on the back yoke and around the pocket. I plan to topstitch the zipper and the belt loops. But I doubt that anything else, well maybe the hems when I’m done, will be top stitched. Oh, BTW, I feel like I’m sinning or at least cheating. I’m using a yellow-gold jean-colored thread purchased from Atlanta Thread Supply and I’m using my triple stitch to do the top stitching. It is looking really good and not giving me any problems. OK, I take that back. I had to switch to my Bernina foot 38, the dual level foot. Even with the 1/4″ straight stitch foot, the seams were so unlevel that the straight stitch foot was slipping off during top stitching. I had to rip out 2.5″ of triple stitching YUCK. After that and using good ol’ 38, top stitching went smoothly and perfectly. I think next time I will lengthen my stitch. I have it set at 3 which is giving me a neat short pearl type stitch. I’d like for it to be just a little smoother and shiny.
Tonight as I’ve put away sewing for today, I can see that I’m making progress. Not lightening speed and not effortless. But pattern pieces are traced, trimmed and sorted into View A and B envelopes; all fabric pieces are cut; yokes are stitched to back legs and topstitched; back pockets are embroidered, stitched to back legs and top stitched. I’m moving along. Doing good.