I desperately want a jeans pattern that fits me. I live in trousers, slacks and jeans but find jeans to be my favorites. I purchased Butterick B5403 ( the Connie Crawford jeans pattern) after reading the rave reviews from Mrs Mole. Granted Mrs Mole raves about the trouser patterns and I’m using the jeans, but I find that Indy designers tend to use the same block and drafting decisions with every pattern they create. Within a particular independent designer’s (Indy) line, the garments retain their fit from garment to garment. Did that make sense? What I mean is that it is very likely the jean pattern will probably be as good as the trouser design which gets such rave reviews because the same designer makes the same decisions during her/his drafting process. Mrs Mole not only speaks well of the pattern but also speaks my language when it comes to fitting. So with a hopeful attitude, I purchased the pattern.
When the pattern arrived I said “uh oh”. If ever there were a pattern for Mom Jeans, this would be it. It has a straight waistband, curved front pocket and traditional back pocket. It does have a unique curved yoke and the choice of straight or flared legs. Still, close examination of the line drawings indicate the despised “mom jean shape”. But then I thought “time out”. I probably have the typical “mom” shape. Childbirth changes the female shape a lot. Fashion may drool over the 12-year old’s figure, but real men obvious prefer something more shapely. It also occurred to me that my “mom shape” was rather like lines upon my face. I earned every one of those. They indicate character; solid, dependable, consistent character. Maybe like my mom face, my mom b@tt should be loved.
So I chose size based upon my hip. The Xlarge should fit the 43 to 46″ hip. At 44.5″, I’m pretty much in the mid-range. I rough cut the tissue apart and then compared my JSM with B5403. Now, I don’t expect a match. Jeans should fit closely, trousers loosely. All I really compared was crotch length (front and back) and over all length. I was surprised to see that these lengths were perfect.
I cut my fabric and began stitching. I expect to make fitting changes. Pants seldom fit without alterations. So even though I’m encouraged by my initial comparison with the JSM I baste all seams except the zipper and front pocket. I skip the back pockets. Yes, jeans look better with back pockets, but I don’t want to spend any time on them. I cut the separate right and left waistband. I hate that. I did it because I do try to follow a pattern as much as possible on the first attempt. I like to add my belt loops to the waistband. Of course I added them to the wrong side and ended up swapping sides. But the real surprise was the first try on. I was surprised I could zip these up. I thought they might be OK if I’d used a stretch fabric instead of the cotton twill I’d selected. It was such a persistent thought that I checked the envelope for fabric recommendations. I need to slap myself, because the recommended fabrics are “stretch denim, stretch….” etc. My mistake. I spend an hour ripping every seam and then restitching at 1/4″.
Final analysis: I can’t let these seams out far enough to even begin to check the fit. Oh well. Try again tomorrow.