906

A quick pair of jeans

They were quick. Although ‘jeans’ may be a stretch.My fabric is a 100% cotton, brushed-twill in a deep-dark, almost-black, blue. Brushed twill is a wonderful fabric but not the classic denim that jeans are usually associated with.  However, I think my choice of pattern, Trudy Jansen’s Designer Jean a#906, with all its jean styling makes these jeans.

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Deep dark blue lightened 100%

Back there in late summer/early fall, I discovered that I need new ‘blue’ specifically ‘blue’ jeans. I donated a few pairs of jeans 1 of which was made from TJ906 about 6 years ago. I’m fairly sure it shrunk as opposed to my growing, because the pair I made last year still fit comfortably and the shorts made in June this summer have lovingly been put away for next summer.  So I pulled out the previous copy of TJ906 and pressed the pattern pieces carefully. I noted some pins in the pattern; placed in a narrow dart just under the butt. Reminded me that I had been seeing some slight ripples but not the big ol’ mess in back that I usually have.  I had attempted to correct the ripples last year by pinning a little dart under the butt. Didn’t work. I took out the pins, press out the dart and then made a new 1/8″ dart right at the hip line extended across both back leg pieces.  Then stitched as usual up to the waistband unit which I added using water-soluble thread. Although that is normal. Attaching the waistband with WST for the first fitting is normal for me.  After fitting most pants patterns, I stitch permanently the pockets, zipper, crotch and inseam but use WST for the first fitting along the side seams, waistband and hems. This slight deviation, stitching the side seams permanently, allowed me once last chance to easily adjust the fit. Which I didn’t need to do after all.

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I did not do any fancy top stitching or pocket embroidery.  I really just wanted to get this done and in my wardrobe. I did use a contrasting fabric for the pocket bags and waistband lining because I like to and because the lighter quilting cotton reduces bulk in both the pockets and waistband. Minor goof here, I had intended to triple zig zag stitch but used a straight stitch to understitch the waist band.  I really like the difference using the triple zig zag stitch for understitching along the waistband. Somehow it is much better at securing all that bulk and persuading it all to turn to the underside nicely.

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I used a button closure this time. I like using buttons. It’s really given me the chance to use up strays and singles but I think the slacks hooks hold better. I abandoned those regular jeans button thingys that have to be hammered on a stud. They hold the least well for me, usually coming loose the first wearing.

I made another slight goof with my front pockets. I fused the edge with tape but did not top stitch or understitch. Consequently, the pocket bag had a rolled instead of crisp edge and it wanted to roll to the outside. I knew it wouldn’t be possible to completely top stitch after the fact, so I chalked marks about 1.5″ away from the inner edge and 3/4″ away from the side seam on both pockets, and top stitched between the marks.

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I’m blaming any and all front and side  wrinkles/drag lines on the fact I’m not wearing a belt. These sit just below the waist.  I’ve noticed that with waistband that sit at the waist, all my pants will stay up in place. But the somewhat more attractive below the waist waistband, droops slightly. I really need a belt for those pants to ensure the pant stays in place all day.  Past experience tells me as soon as I put my belt on, all the drag lines seen in the pics will just disappear.

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The back, looks great. No mess under the butt.  I thought I might need to scoop the crotch a little, but it feels comfortable and looks good. I’ve been working on slimming the leg of this pattern. Out of the envelope, it has a 22″ circumference. Much too much for this petite, plump lady. I’m down to a 19″ circumference but would prefer 18″.  With each new pair, I’ve been making a little dart starting at pant leg hem slowly decreasing the circumference.  I didn’t continue to reduce the circumference this time because I was tweaking for the under butt wrinkles.  On previous patterns, I discovered that there is a point at which my narrowing of the hem starts introducing drag lines around the knees. I’m still not really sure what causes those wrinkles, so the narrowing will continue to be a slow process.

BTW, I’m not just proud of these pants for their looks. I also love that I stitched them up in less than 6 hours (I’d never make it in one of those sweat shops. I’d be first the first day. First morning.) I’m really loving that I’ve used an old Walmart fabric. It has to be older than 10 years.  I’m also delighted to have used a non-stretch fabric and achieve a comfortable result. As good as my Talia’s look, they don’t feel this wonderful. Point is, I’ve noticed that I tend to make the stretch fabrics into pants and leave the non-stretch marinating on the shelves. Stretch fabrics are more comfortable to wear. The stretch makes up for any lack of fitting. Truth is, non-stretch fabrics have to be made into good fitting garments.  Not just good fitting, because the Talia’s are good fitting, but near perfect fitting. The better the pants fit, the better they feel. I’m reluctant to use TJ906 for all my non-stretch pants, but maybe I should?

 

 

Eleanor, Jalie

Eleanor 2

After making my tissue changes, I selected a wonderful fabric.  Surprisingly, it’s a Joann’s Rayon Ponte.  The inside looks like you expect of Ponte but the outside is a nice smooth knit that is wonderful to touch. This fabric is beefy — I wouldn’t wear it in the blazing heat of summer.  Marked at 50% off, I paid $15/yard. Wish I had bought more, but I’m not sure how well the rayon ponte holds up.

I finished the waistband first thing, again.  using the Wawak elastic. Skipped pockets. Didn’t even top stitch to give the appearance of front pockets. Stitched the yokes and crotch permanently but decided up water-soluble thread for side seams and waistband attachment. I pinned the hems up and took the first pics. OMG these are near perfect! I  have some horizontal wrinkles at the knee, totally acceptable to me.    I’m going to wear these a time or two and take more pics.  Garments can hang a bit differently after they’ve been on your body. Denim is famous for this.

So I replaced the WST with permanent stitching. Used a blind hem for my pants and took Final pics. This ponte is such a dark blue that even lightened 100%  It’s difficult to see. However the front is near perfect:

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as is the side:

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Looking at the WB I think I’ve  shortened the back elastic a bit much.  That’s more of a feeling then being able to point out a definite issue.  I do think that I still need to shorten the side seams bout the hip about 1/4″

dscn6468_exposure_resizeThe back has a couple of issues.  I feel it pulling down at CB waist. I need to add a little length.  The crotch has been scooped 3/4″. That’s usually more than enough. It does feel comfortable which can be attributed as much to the fabric as the fit. Those horizontal wrinkles I saw at fitting have been joined by more diagonals above the knee.  I’m questioning exactly the issue. Is the hip to knee-length too long for this particular fabric? I shortened that area another 1/2″ making it a total of 2″ shorter. 2″ is what I’ve used on the other pants which fit nicely. This Ponte had  30%  widthwise stretch. No appreciable lengthwise stretch. I mean, I feel it give, but when I try to measure lengthwise stretch I keep coming up with ZERO. When that happens usually I think the widthwise stretch has somehow also become diagonal/bias stretch. What is astonishing to me is how well these look at the first fitting and how much/badly that changed just a day later from hanging in the closet.

I stand by my decision to wear them a few times and see what happens. They could shrink a little. Denim is infamous for growing; Rayon for shrinking.  If it shrinks, I’m betting 90% of the wrinkles disappear.

Note to self:  Possible tissue alterations

  • 1/4″ under waist dart
  • spread 1/4″ at CB below waist.
  • leg may need to be shortened for 4-way stretch or 30%+stretch fabrics.
Eleanor

New Eleanor’s

Now this will sound insane, but I’m refitting Jalie’s Eleanor.  Yes my great fitting pattern that doesn’t need to be refit. The thing is I’ve discovered that I need new blue jeans. Specifically blue colored jeans.  I also want to know if Peggy Sager’s pants fitting procedure is reliable or if easily fitting  Otto #11 5/2016 was a fluke. So I’m starting from scratch, almost.  I know what I had to do to fit the 11’s.  I’m going to repeat that and modify Peggy’s procedure through these steps:

  • Trace size CC
  • Shorten the leg 1.5″
  • Remove 1″ at hip level (dart)
  • 1″ inseam horseshoe dart
  • Scoop crotch 1/2″
  • Use Seam Allowances
    • side seam front 1/2″
    • side seam back 3/4″ (my prominent seat always needs a little extra ease
    • Crotch 3/8″
    • All else 1/4″

I selected a fairly recently acquired fabric. Bought at a time when large florals were popular for pants.  Didn’t think I could do the large florals but an ice-dye print? Maybe. However, it has marinated for 3-4 years because I just can’t see myself wearing something like this. I think if will make a fine muslin.  If the first fit is successful I can use it as PJ’s to gauge DH’s reaction. If he’s negative, I know I won’t want to wear it publicly.  This fabric is a cotton/poly/lycra twill with a built-in lining. The lining is a very thin, almost transparent batiste. Not sure how the two layers are attached because the fabric still has the required 20% stretch.

I finish the waistband immediately. It’s satisfying to having something done so quickly. I’m using Wawak’s braided elastic .  It’s a little firmer than Louise Cuttings famous elastic. No matter how much I shortened Louise’s elastic it would stretch some more and this type of pant would droop. Wawak’s  stitches easily. Slides up over my butt without problems and holds at the waist without dropping slightly through the day.  I also permanently stitched the crotch and back pocket pieces.  I had taped the front pockets pieces to the pattern and cut them on the pant front. When I started sewing, I top stitched to give an appearance of a front pocket. Hey these pockets aren’t big enough to hold a key. Mostly they just rumple up and have to be pressed to stay flat. Top stitching gives me the look of front pockets without the fiddly sewing of such itty bitty pieces.  Side seams, yoke, hems and attaching waistband to pant were all stitched with water-soluble thread (WST).

 

I’m going to cut to the chase. I  tweaked the muslin 5 times.

3 of those tweaks were because I wimped. With the last pair of Eleanors I had decided the AA length was perfect for me. I wimped when I realized I would be shortening the back crotch length (taking the CB dart doesn’t just pull up the bottom part of the pant).  I thought the extra 1/2″ the CC length would be needed. Nope.

The other 2 tweaks involved scooping the crotch. I have that supposedly rare high-low anomaly i.e. the bottom of my crotch is not parallel with the floor. It is tilted upwards towards the front. Even the easily fit Eureka’s, PP113s and TJ906 needed to be scooped just a little (1/4″). I did scoop the back crotch tissue but I scooped in the wrong place. It may be easier to show:

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On the left in red, I scooped the tissue in the well of the crotch.  I should have extended the crotch upright down then curved upward (left side purple).  When extending the stitching to the front, the front curve is changed slightly. Just enough that front and back meet smoothly over the inseam. Then I trim the SA to 3/8″.   I stitched the final side seams at 1/4″ instead of the 1/2″ I allowed. I don’t like this ‘reveal everything’  trend. I want my garment to skim my curves. Letting out those seams was just enough for me.

Note I needed to adjust the exposure of the pictures to clearly see the drag lines. The fabric is  much darker than the pics.

 

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I still have a few issues.  The leg is too long and has to be adjusted above the knee.  I’m shorter from hip crease to knee than the average person. I know that because anytime the legs are shaped, I can’t hack the fabric off the bottom to fix the fit issue.  The side seam between waistband and hip crease is too long.  I can tell because I can pinch the side seam and remove a substantial number of drag lines on side, front, back.  To correct the length any more on this muslin, I’d need to remove the triple-stitched back pockets. (Why did I put pockets on a muslin?) There is a time when you can no longer tweak the fabric. You have to change the tissue and cut new fabric.

For the next pair I plan these steps :

  • Trace size CC width AA length (1/2″ less length than CC)
  • Shorten the leg 2″ above knee
  • Remove 1/2″ at hip (dart)
  • 1″ inseam horseshoe dart
  • Scoop crotch 3/4″ (extending the back crotch upright not in the well as done on this muslin)
  • Use Seam Allowances
    • side seam 1/2″  by adding
      • front 3/4
      • back 1″ (I add 1/4″ extra ease to the back hip whether it’s tops or bottoms. Helps to cover my prominent seat.)
    • Crotch 3/8″
    • All else 1/4″