Loved and Needed…

originally published 2/11/12





I had to stop pondering fitting and sew jeans that would fit.  See, I have 2 pairs of jeans in my closet and often wish for just 1 more.  Oh I have many versions of JSM and TJ906 in non-denim fabrics and I wear them. It’s just that denim jeans are the goto garment for casual, relaxed or dirty work occasions.  Last week I realized I couldn’t wear my Jalie 2908 jeans anymore.


Back of New TJ906

I knew I was standing wrong when the camera snapped.

I have diagonals rolling from the inner knee to the outer hip.

Totally unusual, but when clothes are too small

you get totally unusual wrinkles.

I think I’ve made 5 pairs of Jalie 2908 jeans.  The first one died last week.  It shrank a little with every wash. I let down the hems and continue to wear them but finally I couldn’t zip them up. Nope, not even laying flat on back in bed. Jalie is not the first pattern I pull out.  It absolutely needs 20% ease. Forget the 4% lycra verbiage. I learned that the hard way.  I thought I had the pattern fit perfectly.  I ordered 4% lycra but cotton twill.  Denim is also a cotton twill so I don’t understand why the new fabric didn’t work other than, I didn’t test the stretch. I believed the 4% lycra.  I couldn’t bring them up over my hips. I ordered both fabrics at the same time. Cut both at the same time. Basted together at the same time. (I’m the one who needs to baste completely including waistband, facing and hems before checking fit.) I couldn’t pull these up to check fit.  They “died a-borning” as one of my aunts described a stillbirth.

Side New TJ906

I’ve been collecting pants fabrics with 4 and greater percentages of lycra. I stack them all in the same area. But you know the creative process.  As I sort through and restack when looking at possibilities, fabrics don’t always go back into the same stack.  I wanted to make jeans without failure or hassle so I chose pattern TJ906 and denim from the stack of stretch denims.  I yanked on it to be sure that it was a stretch denim but didn’t measure the amount of stretch.  I also didn’t pay attention to whether I was yanking with or cross grain.


Next twist in this story is that I’ve gotten it into my head that I should use a size smaller for stretch fabrics.  I even have it all traced, stored and marked sized for stretch.


Front new TJ906

They’re a little close.  Because I always wear my shirts out (as in the first picture), I will be wearing these for at least a few months. I have not lost all my Holiday weight. Think 5 pounds of hamburger. Imagine it on your body and you’ll agree. Yep get the Holiday weight gone. To be honest, I don’t know if it’s the extra 5 pounds, the smaller size or the lack of stretch in the fabric.  This is a lightweight denim something I’d prefer to wear in late spring, summer and fall. Not so good for early, mid or late winter.  Hmmm I really don’t even care for it in early spring.


Good news, I have enough of this fabric to make another pair of jeans and I think a pair of shorts.  I also have 2 more jeans cut out.  One is cut in the correct size and is a much beefier denim. That’s the one I’m probably going to be wear the most.


The other, which will be the subject of a future post, was cut from a aqua colored cotton-lycra plain weave. (I was dreaming of summer.)  But it’s nasty fabric.  I usually cut with a rotary cutter because I get the best results that way. Usually.  This aqua fabric stretched while being cut. The pieces were really distorted.  I recut using the scissors. But even that wasn’t perfect.  Look here:

I didn’t realize until I was ready to nail down the facing and make the button hole, that I had this huge front issue.  The top fronts don’t meet by about 1/2″.


Nothing I’ve done has helped.  I finally decided I should throw them away or rip out the waistband.  I tried them on first and now am in the process of ripping out all the stitching, serging, understitching that goes into jea