I’ve grown out of my jeans.  To tell the truth, I make jeans on a fairly regular basis.  I do not wear my jeans until the holes have holes.  I also do not distress my jeans to make them look old.  I like “new” jeans.  This probably because I grew up watching Roy Rodgers and John Wayne wearing their crisp new jeans that were carefully rolled up at the ankle a visible 2-3 inches AND knowing that in my family we didn’t even ask for such beauties because they were too expensive. I can happily say that I have achieved one of my childhood dreams, that of owning and wearing new jeans, and I’m not giving it up for the dubious pleasure of impressing you by wearing worn out clothing.  In general, as soon as my jeans are well faded, but before looking worn, I replace them.  Jeans do last 2-3 years. Usually I have 1 new pair and 2 that are 1 or 2 years older.  Because of the weight gain, I need new jeans today.  How did it happen that I can’t wear my jeans?  Well I don’t wear long-legged jeans when the temperatures hit 100+.  At that point I switch to tank tops, shorts and mint juleps -all inside the house.  So my weight has continued to creep upward and the jeans which I was able to wear at the end of May, are pretty close-fitting. Except for one pair.  The pair I had to lay on the bed to zip and that’s the pair which convinced me it’s time for new jeans.

I’m using my favorite pattern, Trudy Jansen #906

I love the center back seam.  Trudy has carved out the excess ease that we women always complain about by adding that center back seam.  These jeans fit me perfectly every time with little fuss.  I do seem to always need that little scoop taken out of the back crotch. But that is an easy fix and as long as it’s the only fix, Life is Good. I knew that I had trimmed the seam allowances to get the jeans fit I preferred. But I also knew I had shortened the legs and scooped the crotch.  I considered just splitting the pattern pieces vertically down the center but then decided maybe I had accumulated too many changes.  It’s rather like making a photocopy.  If you make a photocopy at 100% and then make a photocopy of the photocopy, there will be some visible distortion from the original.  Make another photocopy of the last photocopy and the distortion becomes even worse.  I see similar things happen when I have to make many alterations to the original design.  I end up with something that barely resembles the original and in this case doesn’t fit nearly as well. So I decided to take the time and trace the original at a size 14.

I’m really surprised at how long the pants legs are. I shortened the legs by 2 inches on the tissue and these are hemmed 1″.  That’s a total of 3″ removed from the length. Yet clearly, these legs are too long.

I’m going to share 2 very lightened pics (as you can’t see anything with the jeans this dark), because it shows the difference between having the correct hem length and the pant sitting in it’s proper place which I’ve accomplished with a belt. Here’s the first:

Now look again when the jean has been lifted to the correct waist level and the leg is at a better length

Most of the bagginess at the back thigh just disappears and even the butt looks better.  I’m not sure why the leg would seem to sweep forward at the ankle, but I’m pleased with how most of the wrinkles and folds have disappeared in both the front and side views.  At the time I made these I had only 1″ seam allowance for the zipper application.  I “stole” another 1/2″ by folding the flap at 1.25″.  I think that was a bad idea.  My jeans feel and look too tight right across the abdomen.  I’m pretty sure this is the right size for me,,,, currently.  What I will do is increase the seam allowance at the zipper flap to 1.5″ and shorten the leg another 2″.  I make my jeans a bit long to start with.  So far I’ve not found the process which effectively removes all shrinkage for all time from denim.  As usual I love these jeans and can’t wait to wear them.


ETA I did scoop the crotch and hem these an additional 2.5″.  The waist is a bit loose. I’ll always wear a belt with jeans, but I plan to alter the waistband to make it just a bit smaller at the waist.  This is easily done.  On the pattern about 2″ from the center back, I will make a tiny 1/4″ wedge with the big end at the waist narrowing to nothing towards the yoke. It does change the angle of the bias slightly but Trudy says that’s not important.  I also see that bit of excess ease behind the thigh. I’ve done nothing about it because when I sit, I spread and all that ease is put to use. These were made from a non-stretch light-weight denim.  I’m slowly using up all the non-stretch bottom weight fabrics and buying only those with at least 2% Lycra.  I too prefer the look of the closer fit, but I demand the more comfortable fit.  Just 2% Lycra is perfection for me.