The stunning realization that my size could get bigger while my weight stayed the same or decreased has prompted the recent rash of pant muslins. Looking back, I wonder why I thought I should try fitting new patterns instead of working with my tried and true standbys: Trudy Jansen 906 jean pattern, Joyce Simmons Miller’s basic trouser and Jalie 2908 stretch jean. They’ve been faithful companions through 3 size changes and lots of weight variations. I decided to re-fit my very favorite TJ906.
I picked a lovely light-blue gabardine. It’s almost lavender but when compared to true lavender it is blue. Although 100% cotton, it has a sueded surface on one side and lots of body. It’s a good candidate for a jean type pattern. I like to press the wrinkles out of both fabric and pattern before cutting. As I’m pressing I notice several large spots as well as some scuffing. Possibly, this will all come out in the wash but I can’t be sure until it is washed. Trying to cut around the spots and scuffing probably won’t work. So I apply spot cleaner and put the fabric in the laundry.
And look for another fabric. I’ve really been wanting new jeans. So I choose my dark wash, stretch jean fabric and give it a good pressing. Then I happily trace my pattern in the next larger size. Finally, I serge all the pieces together. Yep I’m that confident. I do baste the waistband and facing in place rather than using any permanent stitching. I take pictures and guess What? I can’t see a thing!
Even resetting the exposure to maximum doesn’t help very much. Dark jeans, photographed in the basement just don’t show up too well. I did think the pants felt really loose and so I increased the side seams another 1/2″. I may have increased the side seams too much. ..
..because now they look a little tight. Funnily enough, they don’t feel tight. They feel like I need to take the seams in another half inch and they are too long.
I didn’t want to alter the pattern very much. First, as you can tell from the pics, I couldn’t completely tell what the fitting issues were. 2ndly, I want to fit this for non-stretch fabrics and dummy-me used a cotton/Lycra denim fabric. Denim, without any Lycra content, will soften and stretch when worn just due to body heat. With Lycra content, denim can be very difficult to fit and certainly can’t be used as a guide for how to fit another fabric.
But by this time the laundry had finished and I was able to press the first fabric. Before cutting I folded out a scant 1/8″ along the grain line on the front and side-back pieces. (This is the pattern with the two-piece back leg.) I removed a total 1″ ease (1/8″ X 2 for the fold X 4 for the total parts altered i.e. 2 front pieces and 2 back pieces). It was too much.
These are unhemmed. Well the hem is folded up 4″but not stitched. The picture was taken after I scooped the crotch a mere 1/4″ I will scoop the crotch a bit more. I will also reduce the hem width to my standard 1.25″ and try to slim the legs just a bit. The hem circumference is 22″. I prefer to keep that below 20″. But I’m happy with these and I’m going to wear them. I”m particularly pleased with how the back leg looks. The only lines are indicating the crotch is too short. I do think that the smile lines at the crotch will totally disappear with just a bit more scooping. The slight dip at center front and center back are also likely to disappear. I’m pleased with how the grain lines are hanging nice and straight. I think the side seam is leaning slightly forward towards the front. I probably need just a little more ease in front. About the same amount as I folded out after using the pattern with the stretch denim.
In my mind these look fabulous after 1 fitting especially when compared to either versions of the MSS pant which each had 6 fittings:
And besides when I’m all dressed up what you really see is good and enough:
I have a yellow twill picked out. Also 100% cotton without any Lycra. I have a number of these fabrics in my stash and feel like I want to use them. On the pattern, I will be letting out the 1/8″ tucks, chopping 2.5″ off the leg length and working at narrowing those legs a little more.
One last thought, isn’t it amazing at how much wider the legs of the blue gabardine look compared to the denim? The denim jeans have a hem circumference of 23.5″. The blue gabardine are 22″. Totally different look.
The gabs were made one day after the denim jeans. Same pattern. The denim’s have 1/2″ wider side seams (the center back seam is unchanged) which reduced the ease across the hip 2″. The gabs ease was reduced 1″ through the use of pattern tucks. The gabs feel perfect when being worn but look a little tight. The denim’s feel like I need to take those side seams in a little more but looks too tight.