originally published 9/3/10
I have decided.. I didn’t decide overnight. No I thought about this carefully. I blogged about my experience the day after the second set of alterations. I wore my new jeans that day and was infinitely pleased with them. The next day I did mending, straightening and a little cleaning and the following day some monthly shopping. But the point is that for 3 days after the construction of Pair #2, Size 12, TJ906, I gave the situation the light touch. I put it in the back of my mind and let my creative side contemplate until I reached some decisions.
One of my decisions is that the jean fabric may have been savior just as easily as or more likely than sinner. It was a heavy weight denim. It was stiff. But it also behaved very well during cutting and cooperated heartily during steaming and pressing. Yes I had to recut pieces as they were sewn together. Yes I had to steam and stretch to get pieces to seam together. But it did cooperate during this handling and was surprisingly comfortable during wear. I realized that the consecutive pattern alterations as well as all the handling was probably the culprit preventing the shapes from fitting together.
So I started by retracing size 12 from the original pattern. Then I carefully removed 1″ from the length above the knee on all 3 pattern pieces. I made sure I removed the same amount all the same distance above the knee and all folded in the same direction. Then I did the same below the knee but removed 2″. I carefully renewed the grain lines and trued the curves. Since I seem to have an excess of fabric between butt and knee, I chose to true more to the inside i.e. removing a sliver of fabric rather than adding a sliver. After careful consideration, I also added 1.25″ length to the back crotch. I did so by taping the 2 pieces together and slashing across both. This is hard to explain but I added 2 pieces of tissue so that I could maintain the seam allowances on both back leg pieces. I thought carefully and then extended the back crotch extension a mere 1/4″. I was afraid if I didn’t extend it at all, I would have the butt vortex again. I can remove that little bit easily – with a little ripping of course- but adding it afterwards is difficult. I’m not comfortable with front pockets. They seem too small for my hands. So I drew new pocket shapes thoroughly intending to incorporate a tummy stay. I was surprised to find that the original pocket pattern didn’t match up with the pants front. Oh it’s not off that much. Maybe I shouldn’t even mention it because I’m talking about 1/8″ here and 1/16″ there. Not much at all. These differences might actually be needed so that the pockets lay correctly. I have made 3 pairs of TJ906 in the larger size and each one was wonderful. It occurs to me that TJ is right and I am being anal and shooting-myself-in-the-foot. But at this point, I am so intent on making the pattern just as perfect as I can. And then….
I wanted to think about my changes overnight before cutting my fabric. I don’t have a shortage of fabric. But I’d like to know that my TNT pattern is once again a TNT becuase I did everything right- for a change.