The Refitting Sagea: Jalie 2908 Stretch Jeans

originally published 9/3/10


I wanted to make a quick post about this pattern because I will be using it as is.


According to the chart I could use a smaller size.  But the 2 pairs I have and which fit 16 pounds ago are still good to go. I’m sure that’s because of the high lycra content.  After each wash and dry the jeans fit tightly when first zipped up.  Slowly stretch and within a short time are comfortable to wear.  By the end of the day the waist band could use some tightening and there is a little bit of room at the small of my back. They do seem to have gotten a little shorter.  So perhaps the 2″ hem was a good initial call that I should have listened to and obeyed. But, essentially the jeans I made in January are still fitting in September.


My plan for this pattern is adding 2 more pair to the winter wardrobe and at least one new pair every 6 months thereafter.  I believe that new jeans are a good casual garment, especially when properly accessoried. Note I said NEW.  The jeans that I have in my closet have slowly discharged their dye and no longer read as new.  That’s fairly typical and I’m not unhappy with the fabric.  But I do want a new looking jean for some occasions.  So even though I probably don’t need a large number of jeans, I will be adding a new pair from time to time.


During construction, I will tweak the fit a little and add lots more topstitching than I’ve used in the past. This is possible because my weight loss has tapered off.  I’ve just re-started the drink-water-until-noon dieting.  Which I hope is all I need to lose the last 14 pounds. But you know, it is nice for the weight to be somewhat stable. It isn’t possible to fit TNT, basics/classics during rapid weight loss.


Just when I think I’ve figured it out..

originally published 5/13/2010

Pants fitting that is.  Just as I think I’ve figured out how to fit pants, something new happens.  In this case it is lycra.  Jalie 2908 is the perfect pattern for me to use with stretch denim.  I do still have some very minor wrinkles between knee and bum.  But they are hardly noticeable.  In fact, if I didn’t use the lighten tool in my graphics program, I’d never be able to even see the 2-3 wrinkles only on the back leg-just above the knee and below my bum.  Bless Jalie 2908.  As long as I’m using stretch denim, bless Jalie 2908.


However, I’ve now made 3 pairs of stretch twill with Jalie 2908.  I believe they are all 3 going in the donate box.  The wrinkles between knee and bum are massive.  I did a lot of research and several experiments.  The only change which helped a little, a very little, was adding more ease right across the knee. With these pants,  I can see that I am at least slightly knock-kneed.  I’ve never noticed that before, but it is evident in each of the 3 pairs of stretch twill pants.  In addition to the wrinkles between knee and bum, there are deep horizontal wrinkles across the back knee and 1 or 2 wrinkles  completely cirumvating my upper thigh.  What is suprising is that there is plenty of fabric in these areas.  I can pinch at least a thumb full that’s about a half-inch, so 1 inches of ease minimum (more by the knee) and still there are wrinkles.  Also, the butt vortex has reappeared and my tush is clearly outlined.  (I got tired of typing bum.  Tush works, doesn’t it?)  Now if I was 20-something, I’d be OK with the tush view.  But being slightly more mature, I prefer a more flattering drape.  Something that skims everything and reveals nothing.  As opposed to the hair counting that could be performed with the stretch twill Jalie 2908 jeans.


My conclusion is that I must use the Jalie 2908 only for stretch denim.  Not stretch twill, or stretch broadcloth or stretch anything else.  I tested the amount of stretch in the fabric before cutting.  I got the required 20% the pattern specifies.  But the stretch twill does not drape like stretch denim.  So I’ve marked the envelope, “use with stretch denim ONLY”.


2908 after the wash

originally published 4/29/2010

I’m still thinking about my X wrinkles in my pants.  The third version of 2908, the one where I corrected my mistakes, also developed lots of wrinkles between the knees and the butt.  After the first wash, there are even more wrinkles in the same area, plus the back crotch which looks perfect during the first wearing is now absolutely too tight.  Yep it’s butt votex all over again.  My fabrics are all preshrunk.  As soon as they come in the door I serge the cut ends and wash every single piece whether it is washable or not.  Sooner or later it will end up in the wash.  May as well face the worst that can happen before I invest my time in constructing a garment.  I was therefore very shocked to see how much this fabric shrunk.The cause of the wrinkles between knee and bum preplex me even more than before.  I had nearly concluded that the cause could be an athletic or full calve.  Actually, I do have very nice legs.  I was athletic as a young woman and even into my 30’s.  After I that I retained walking as my primary form of exercise.  It’s also very good for clearning the mind and reducing stress.  If you’re interested in that kind of information.  I do have a posture problem. I tend to lock me knees back whenever I’m told to stand up straight.  This locking back can intensify the look of the full calve.  In looking at the photos of my pants, the wrinkles are always in the back.  Had the problem been knock knees I should also have wrinkles in front.  At least one of minor proportions pointing to the knee.  But I don’t.  My pants nearly always hang perfectly in the front.  That is, after I have shortened the crotch to the correct length. I’d also tried the rememdy for knock knees without success.  Point is I was truly thinking that full calves might be my issue.  That is before the yellow pants shrunk, I was thinking the problem might be full calves.  Sandra Betzina also said that the problem with full calves will lessen or disappear when the legs are too tight because at that point the fabric can’t move anywhere.  But here was this pair which shrunk and the X wrinkles were worse than before.  What’s with that??? So now I’m thinking this may indeed not be the problem.  I really didn’t want to alter my pattern without at least some confidence in the results.  The first 2 pair fit very well even with my error matching the front pocket.  There is hardly any wrinkling.  Even now after several washes and the loss of 6 pounds.  As I considered the situation in front of me, the thought that the tighter legs could reduce the amount of X wrinkles stood out.  I decided, I couldn’t hurt these pants anymore.  So I basted an extra 1/8″ on each inseam and outseam strarting about mid thigh and going down just above the hem.  I don’t have pictures to share; and this was not 100% successful, but there are less wrinkles.  I’ve also taken pictures of my RTW stretch jeans which are now too large in the waist and hip.  I’ve lost enough weight that the butt vortex has disappeared, and there are no wrinkles in the back leg either.  I think, I’m going to trace the leg of the RTW and try to merge it with the leg of the 2908.  I’m not messing with the 2908 drafting above the mid thigh.  This yellow pair, though I loved initially, has issues because of the fabric.  And althought I just traced the size Y and used it for the yellow pair, I’m going back to the size X.  I’ve lost that much weight. Yes already.  It only took a few pounds of hamburger to make a difference with the pants.


Jalie 2908 Gen 2 update

originally published 4/22/2010

I did want to share my experience with the last changes to my Jalie 2908 jeans.  First of all, marking the notches and carefully lining up all pieces was absolutely, fantastically perfect!  The outseams stitched together perfectly.  I had added 1/2″ to the waistband, because previously there just wasn’t enough waistband. That was totally unnecessary.  Once the outseams matched, the waistline was corrected and the previous waistband fit just like it should.  Another sewing surprise was the ease with which the yokes were stitched and matched to the back legs.  Before this pair, I always stitched the yokes to the back leg, stitched the outseams, the inseams and then the crotch.  Because I wanted to try Jill Stearns recommendation for thigh wrinkles, I stitched in a different order.  I completed the front pocket units, then the zipper and fly; stitched the inseams, stitched the yokes together at the center back and then stitched the yoke unit to the leg back unit.  Yes, that’s an unweildy amount of fabric, but I did it and I was amazed at how easy it was to stitch and match the back yoke to the back pant’s legs.  I have always struggled with matching the yoke to the upper leg.  Often I’ve ripped and restriched several times and in frustration, I’ve given up, trimmed and hoped for the best.  Well creating a back yoke unit and a back leg unit simplified the whole process.  I needed a pin at the center back and one on each end.  I also stitched with the yoke and pant leg on top to let the feed dogs ease the yoke.  It worked like a dream.  So even though that’s a little awkward, I so love the results, I will be following that procedure in the future. 


After I stitched the yoke to the back leg, I stitched the outseams, basted the waistband to the pant and hemmed the pants.  BTW, initially the yoke was stitched only 1 inch on both sides.  The center was left free:



I hope you can see that yoke is free, while everything else is stitched. 



I was able to pin the yoke in place and then top stitch using a long basting stitch. As I understand J Stearns’  thought, to remove the wrinkles from under the butt, a wedge is taken in the pant.  The wedge is located above the butt but below the waist, just a little lower than the yoke .  I reasoned that I should be able to pull up any excess, topstitch the yoke, and then trim the excess.  I reasoned that I would be able to measure the excess and then transfer that to my pattern pieces.  To my surprise, I got the super wedgie predicted, but none, like not one under butt wrinkle was removed.  To my surprise even the yoke bubble was still mostly visible:


Yes the yoke bubble seems to be gone in the center of the yoke, but you see it on the sides both within and below the yoke.  I was confused.  I had carefully measured and marked the seam allowances, turned up and pressed the yoke seam allowance and then measured and marked a full 1/2″ down below the 3/8″ SA already marked on the upper part of the back of the leg.  I was expecting to see a significant reduction of the wrinkles.



There’s hardly any reduction in winkles.  If anything there are more wrinkles.


However I did note that these wrinkles are more horizontal than diagonal and they all originate/terminate at the knees. Also looking at my own knees they look more like the knock kneed lady in the Palmer Pletch Pants fitting book; like these:




And I was perplexed. Several months ago someone kindly suggested that knock knees might be my problem. I, in sheer desperation, tried the Palmer Pletsch remedy, with no effect.  I mean it made no difference in number, direction or placement of the wrinkles in my pants.  I decided to Google knock knee fit and found that Sandra Betzina also has a fitting book with specific instructions for knock knees.  I was able to view the first page and 2 pages after her solution on line.  It does appear that she adjusts for this issue differently than do Palmer and Pletsch.  Since I’m still desperate for a solution, I did the one-click purchase thing on Amazon.com and expect my book to be arrive in about a week. 


I do want you to note, that I consider this a success.  My primary concern at this time had been with correcting the outseam.  That worked beautifully.  It may have even helped to determine what is causing my X wrinkles.  And my new pants are wearable.  In face, heh, heh, heh, I wore them all day today.  This size Y is perfect.  It is comfortable.  The waist is fabulous.  I’m sure it’s the stretch fabric that is the cure here.  It stretched and retracted through out the day as I needed it.  God, I love them.  They are slim and close fitting without be revealing or constricting.  No butt vortex. They are wonderful. If I never fix the X wrinkles, I’ll be happy making this pattern over and over everytime I want a pair of jeans.



Continuing with the Changing Seasons: 2908Gen2Update

originally published 4/18/2010


Wow that’s a lot of veiws of my bu!!. I’m displaying only about 1/3 of the pictures I took 2 days ago. I don’t know how you feel, but I was pretty stunned.  The thing is the only way for me to tell that my pants fit is to take pictures.   Most people will not tell me the blunt truth.  Even my DH will say that I look OK even when I’m not looking really good.  Partly that’s because I always make the effort to pull myself together.  So even if one thing is wrong with my look, I have several good things going on. Also he compares me with the women out and about wherever we go.  Even I will admit that I look better 90% of them.


With the need to change from cold to warm weather clothing I knew I had 2 challenges facing me this spring. I knew (1) my previous pants patterns and RTW pants didn’t really fit me; and (2) I’m slowly losing weight.  I’ve lost 10 pounds from last year at this time, 6 pounds since the end of last summer (Sep 2009).  Part of me said I should just get rid of all my pants.  But another part said, well they weren’t all that bad.  I could live with the wrinkles in the back on my upper thighs.  In fact as long as the bu!! vortex wasn’t present, I could live with all the rest of the winkles.  After all as soon as a person starts to move, the person’s pants begin to accumulate wrinkles. 


Yeah, wimp, wimp and whine, but I have to add warm weather clothing to the active wardrobe and I do not want to be running around with the bu!! vortex, thigh wrinkles, front crotch wrinkles or any other detractive aspects to my lower half.  So when I took the pants out of storage, they were washed dried, lightly starched, pressed and then each and everyone was photoed.  Out of 24 pairs of pants I’m keeping 7, the last 4 I made, 1 RTW dress slacks and  3 pairs of RTW jeans just until I can make more 2908’s.  I need jeans.  Jean are good for all the dirty work I need to do.  Jeans are really good for most of life’s casual activities especially if the jeans are new or in good condition and fit perfectly. Actually have only 4 pairs of pants suitable for spring/summer wear which look good on me; and that may not be true for long.  Part of my shock when looking at my pics, was how many looked just horribly, horribly too big all over.  I was swallowed by my pants.  At 149 pounds, I was wallowing in my pants and they were hanging off me.  I did not realize I had lost that much weight.  Even the pants I would be wearable if I ignored some of the wrinkles, wouldn’t work because they were too large. 


I was so stunned that even though I’ve only lost about 6 pounds so far this year, I stopped and measured myself.  Generally I measure myself after losing 10 pounds and the next planned measuring was at 145.  Once again I was stunned I’d lost  2 inches for my high bust, gained 1 at the bust;   lost 1.5 at my waist, 2 at my abdomen and 1 through the hips.  That’s a stunning loss of inches in relationship to the few pounds lost.  I wondered about what caused this surprising loss.  I know that retirement life suits me.  I’m no longer getting up before I’ve had enough sleep, eating when I have time and what is at hand instead of eating when I’m hungry and choosing from a nutricious delicious selection.  I’m able to walk, my major exercise, throughout a much longer period of the year.  I.E. I walked at lunch if the weather permitted or after work.  I didn’t walk at night after the time changed and it was already dark when I got home; and walking at noon during 110 temp days didn’t happen either.  As a retired person, I am able to switch my walking to the time and temperature of the day that suits me.  I am therefore walking much earlier in the year, continuing through summer and into winter.  I walk most days from about March 1st through mid Dec.  I do not walk during blizzards, thunderstorms  or on the opening day of any hunting season.  My home offers a new source of exercise.  I have 2 flights of stairs which generally are traversed several times daily – great for tightenting buttocks, thighs, and legs -hard on knees and ankles.  And I’ve found new delight in dancing while ironing.  Yeah, I just plug in the ol’ Ipod into speakers, turn it up loud, sing and dance away my chores.  I’m ironing more often because it’s more fun.  OK I will check in on the eating side of things.  Not dieting per se.  But eating when I’m hungry and choosing from nutricious selections rather than stuffing my face with junk food, fast food, or dining out; certainly does reduce calories.  I have an aflliction that has a silver lining.  I have reflux and it’s really bad.  Especially if I eat after 6PM.  After one partcularly bad week I just made up my mind that I’d rather die than go through this again and I quit eating after 6PM.  I’ll drink water or coke but no food otherwise.  I’m just tried of being sick and up all night.  I’ve even been very, truly hungry with the stomach growling loudly and experiencing pain.  I told myself no.  I could have water or coke but no food until I was ready to get up and start my day.  I’m sure that helped by reducing the calories, but I also think that helped with the abdomen measurement and the whole tummy bloating thing.  Anyway, I am surprising slimmer both weighing and measuring less which means some most of the close from last year are going to be donated.


One downside though, the trousers and TJ906 jeans fit just weeks ago, are already getting too large.  I will have to refit them soon.  Sigh they too will be joining the other 17 pairs in the donation box. Also I’ve been concentrating on the pants since I knew they were probably bad when I put them up last year.  I have washed and pressed the shorts and the tops, but I haven’t been looking at them closely.  I don’t like to face the facts, but I have to.  I’m probably going to be replacing most of my clothing AND I still have 19 pounds to lose.  That means the replacements I’m making now, will also need to be replaced and hopefully (yes HOPEFULLY) before the end of the season.  After that I’m into maintenance mode.  Oh happy day.  When I get to that point.  OH H-A-P-P-Y DAY!



Now about Jalie 2908, Gen 2 Jeans


I’m so happy to talk abou them. Oh yes I am.  Something bother me about these jeans, both versions.  Just nagged at the back of my mind but couldn’t be clearly identified or expressed.  One of the things we talked about on SG was the need for accurate markings on patterns and that some pattern lines didn’t have sufficient markings.  I kept thinking about the comments on that thread and the fact that both 2908 jeans were 3/4″ longer on the back outseam than the front outseam.  Initially I assumed that I made some kind of error during either tracing or adjusting the leg length.  But that didn’t really fit.  I knew that accurate tracing, marking, cutting and matching were critical.  I planned to use this pattern  not once, but as the basis for every stretch pair of pants I make for years into the future.  I was deliberate and careful during the tracing and altering of the pattern and later during the cutting and sewing.  So why did both pairs have the same error on the outseam?  If it was a drafting error, surely someone at Pattern Review would have noted the error.  Surely all the blogs I’ve read would not have been screaming “perfect fit first time”.  Wouldn’t they have been screaming “perfect fit after I fixed the outseam”??? So I compared my Size Y (the last tracing) back to the master pattern.  Made sure all the notches were amrked.    Then I got out my notcher purchased from Nancy’s Notions


I paid $29.95 for this beauty, plus shipping.  Tried it out a few times and then hung it on my notions wall.  I decided it was time to put this to use.  I notched every notch on every pattern piece as well as notching both sides of the knee on both front and back leg patterns. Then  I aligned the front leg with the front-pocket facing and the front pocket back. Wowzer!  When I created the front facing which extended to the fly, I shorted the front by 3/4″ at the top. Both times I traced this pattern.  So I fixed the front pocket-facing pattern-piece.  With eyes gleaming, I start hunting through the stash for a suitable fabric to try out my discovery.  Ah that took several hours.  Actually I had seperated my pants fabrics into stretch and non-stretch categories.  I now sorted the stretch into warm weather and cool weather categories.  Then tried to decide which fabric to use.  I’m like 99.9% sure this is going to be wearable, so I’d like to choose a fabric that works well for me at this time.  I finally selected a  4-yard stretch-twill, 97% cotton 3% lyrca in a muted yellow.  I reasoned that if this fit beautifully, I could make it again when I lost the additional weight. 


So currently, I have cut a 3rd pair of J2908’s and am beginning to sew them together.  I’m absolutely drooling over the possible result.  I do realize that my fix takes care of the uneveness of the outseam, it’s not really addressing the wrinkles under the bu!!.  So I’m also changing my sewing procedure slightly.  I want to try out J Stearns solution for smoothing out those wrinkles, but I don’t want to be so commited that I ruin these jeans.  Usually I sew the back yoke to the back pants leg and then sew the outseams (yes there’s some other steps in there). This time I’ll be sewing the inseams, the crotch, sewing the CB of the yoke and basting the back yoke to the back but leaving most of of the center unattached; proceeding to the outseams, and waistband.  Then with the yoke free-floating, I can pin it down into place during the first fitting.  In words this is confusing.  I’ll try to take pictures and explain in my next post.  If it works, this will be a great way to fit pants with a yoke in the back.


Jalie 2908 Jeans: Gen 2

originally published 4/14/2010

I’m continuing to sew pants with every other completed top garment.  My last top a kwik sew tank, is in the wash and I may have to fix it before posting pictures. But I’ll explain about that in another post.  While it is washing and drying I proceeded with the pants sewing goal with another version of Jalie 2908.  Yes I loved the first pair.  I have worn them 4 times and washed and dried them equally.  I felt I wanted to tweak the fit just a little. 


For starters the hem is 4 inches.  I’m definitely missing some of the intended shape of the pants by loping off 4 inches.  I have read that manufactuers design good quality jeans with a 36″ inseam.  The intention being that the wearer could hem and rehem as needed.  Well, I know if I paid $300 for jeans I would want that feature.  But I think the person who can afford $300 jeans probably wouldn’t want the white line that shows up when letting down a hem.  I can’t see the likes of Angelina Jolie wearing lace on her jeans to cover up that line.  (One of the recommendations for camouflaging a rehemmed garment).  As for myself I see no point in wasting the fabric which I paid for by either turning up a 4″ hem or loping off a smaller amount for hemming. And that makes an extra construction step, which takes extra time and effort.   But there is something a little more for me.  Long ago I decided my hems would be 1.25 inches.  At the time, we’d never heard of sergers and I couldn’t afford a pair of pinking shears. Oh and by the way a zig zag machine was a dream or for the rich.  Though a straight stitch was normal in most households and was regularly and expertely used by all female members. So all my hems were manually trimmed to 1.25 inches and then the top edge was folded under a precise 1/4″.  I could blind hem in such expert fashion that the thread was not seen from top or bottom.  I think that’s why I’m always dissatisfied with machine blind hemming.  It never has and never will be able to achieve my own personal best.  And the point is, the 1.25″ is my standard.  My personal standard.  The 1.25 inch hem says made by Bev.   So Tweak #1 I want to remove 2″ from the length of the leg.


The first pair seemed, well snug from the get go.  I thought that might be the styling. My hip at the time was about 1/2″ smaller than the recommended for size X. I realized that my perception was affected by working with non-stretch fabrics for the last 9 months.  What looked too small, would be in a nonwoven, but would be fine in a stretch fabric.  So Size X is what I made.  But the last 4 wearings have confirmed that this was just a little too snug.  I can’t breath the first 5 minutes – I’m told that’s normal but I don’t care for the sensation.  It takes about 4 hours to actually feel unrestricted.  By that I mean, by lunch time I feel OK in the jeans and I can bend and reach for anything.  But that first 4 hours can be interesting as I bend for something and can’t bend far enough. So I wanted to make a size or 2 larger.  In the meantime, I mean since the first pair was constructed, I’ve continued to lose pounds and 1/2″ from my rear and stomach.  Oh and I hope and pray that I continue losing another 19 pounds.  (I’d still be overweight according to my doctor, but hey I get to make the choice.) So I pulled out my pattern and compared to the master sheet.  Looked at the differences and decided, just one size larger.  Tweak #2 Just cut size Y, for now. 


During the first pair, I just could not understand how that back crotch was going to fit me.  Even with 4% lycra, how was it going to stretch underneath me when I normally need to alter the back crotch extension by 2″.  So when it came time to actually cut the fabric, I added a 1″ extension. I don’t really notice it during the morning.  But by after noon that extension is pushing forward, not quite a bubble, but definitely too much room underneath. What???? Yeah, the way this pattern is designed I don’t need an extra 1 inch in my back crotch extension.  For the Size X a 1/4 to 1/2 inch might have been better.  So what should I do  with the size Y which is larger all over?  I compared carefully and realized that it was total about 1/2 inch maybe a smidge more wider than the the Size X.  So I didn’t, let me make that clear, I did NOT think I needed more for the back crotch extension.  I reasoned that I now knew how to add a gusset.  If this was incorrect, I could make it better.  Tweak #3 Trace the size Y without altering the crotch extension.


Before I show you the nearly completed garment, I want to say a few things about it.  First it is basted together and the hems are tacked at 2″.  The belt loops aren’t even stitched into the final place, infact the center back loop is missing.  And I made a mistake. I didn’t match at the dots.  When I finished the back outseam was 3/4 inch too long.  Did I redo that?  No.  Like a dummy I thought I must have done something wrong while removing the 2″ from the pattern leg.  I loped off a 3/4″ wedge at the hem and checked the pattern latter.  I do believe that 3/4″ should have been eased in.  That’s important because look at this new version:

The pics on the left are unretouched and show about how I’d normally be wearing the jeans.  (When I wear the Tshirt this summer, I promise to wear my slimmer).  Jeans on the right side were lighted slightly so we could see the wrinkles.  But ignore the wrinkles on the right front picture.  I’m standing strangely which adds more wrinkles.  I’m seeing a bubble in the back yoke.  I think I need to take 1/4″ off.  The back legs are starting to show wrinkles.  Is that because they are a size larger?  I don’t remember these wrinkles in the smaller size. Is the leg too long above the knee?  I removed 1″ above the knee and 1″ below the knee.  Should both have been removed above the knee?  Did the wedge I removed, help? Should have been removed above the knee? Or is something else involved here? BTW over all the jeans look and feel good.  It helps that they are black and once again 4% lycra.  They are also a light weight denim which is wonderful for summer.  Oh and I’m going to finish and wear these almost exactly as they are.  Because, the front looks fine, the lower legs look fine and the butt, well it looks GREAT.


I did a comparison of 3 jeans.  I still love the first Kwik Sews that fit everywhere except above the knee in the back – same as the Gen2 Jalie Jeans. So I added them first then the first Jalie Jeans Size X and finally what I’m calling Gen 2 the last pair almost made and size Y:


Over all the Jalie’s look better from the back.  It’s not just the darker fabric or the loss of 6 pounds.  Or for that matter where the camer is located.  (My standing station and the camera station are both marked so that I will use the same places everytime. You should be able to see the masking tape beneath my feet.)  The Jalie’s are nearly skin tight, although Y is much more comfortable having 1/2″ more ease and 1/2″ less butt. Of course, lycra is more comfortable to live in.  After the first 4 hours, even the Size X, the size too small, are less movement restrictive.  


I have more stretch fabric.  Which means future stretch jeans.  Note for future is ease in that 3/4″   on the outseam and reduce the back yoke by 1/4″


Jalie Jeans !! FINISHED !!

originally published3/19/10

New Jeans :


Nice Huh?  Even on my nearly 60 year old body, this is a nice cut.  I think I even prefer the shirt-tucked view, but untucked is more my style. Oh wait till you see the lightened version.



I think th majority of the wrinkles are from how I am standing.  I make it a point to flex my legs and stand in positions that allow me to keep my legs flexed.  Otherwise I lock my knees and look very bowlegged and of course a whole different set of wrinkles.


I am particularly pleased when I compared the wrinkles in the finished back to the wrinkles of the first fitting back:


I think there are more and deeper wrinkles in the back of th first fitting.  The day before yesterday, I started to just finish the jeans and wear them as is.  Thinking I could get a few days wear while I decided how to correct the pattern.  Or even if i wanted to correct the pattern. 


For starters, I’m not accustomed to wearing skinny jeans.  But these don’t look terrible to me either in the pictures or in the mirror.  DH is usually really good about commenting when something looks bad or out of place.  He never said a word.  So although I’m undertain about the skinny, they do have plus points.



I like a mid-rise because it comes up to my waist, like these.  I don’t like low rise.  I have definite muffin-top.  No, lets me honest, I have revolting disgusting, vomit-producing muffin top. Low rise are no-go for me.  The regular rise ends up above my waist.  Who wants to wear their jeans all the way under their armpits?  Not me. So these are good as far as the rise.


I’m in the habit of trying on petite jeans too.  If I can find a pair that nearly fits me, I won’t have to lop 6 inches off the bottom and lose all the leg shaping.  I’m not sure if I want to alter the leg length of these.  I did hem them 3 inches, but as I wore them (oh forgot to mention I wore these all day yesterday), as I said as I wore the jeans they did seem to shorten in length. I’m waiting for the wash.  I only wash and dry my denim once before cutting.  Others recommend 3 wash and dry; or 1 wash and dry before cutting and one wash and dry before hemming.  I did not cut anthing off the length, just hemmed it 3 inches.  Oh and I used Steam-A-Seam to hem.  The legs looked terribly long.  When I folded the hem into place, it looked like only 3″ needed to be hemmed.  But I was still uncertain and used the SAS so that I could easily change the hem length.  Possibly I will be following the 1 wash and dry before cutting and 1 wash and dry before final hemming.   So uncertain about the leg length, but possible good or nearly perfect, depends upon the fabric.


I made 2 siginificant changes while finishing these jeans.  First was that I switched to 1/4″ seams throughout.  I think that gave me just the extra room that I needed.  Earlier I had thought that the jeans were too small in the back.  But I think that might be a trick of the camera, where and how I was posed.  I checked in the mirror and the seams were only slightly towards the back.  As the day wore on, the back actually stretched into place and it was hard to see that the side seam was not exactly bisecting my side.  So we get a plus for the 1/4″ seams and a + for the width of the pants.  I’m sure I could live with 1/4″ seams.


2nd significant change needs a visual aid:




You have to look closely at this picture of the back crotch and inseam.  The dark nearly vertical line is the original inseam.   I wanted to add an inch to the width of the back crotch.  I’m a person that needs more sitting room, more shelf room, more depth, more to go under me.  However you say it,  I need more fabric in the back crotch bottom.  This is accomplished by making a nearly vertical cut about an inch away from the inseam, cut all the way down about 7 inches leaving just a hinge.  Then rototate out the desired amount, for me it is usually 1 inch.  Slip a bit of tissue underneath and tape it all down.  Then the instructions are “true the crotch and inseam lines”.  Well,I wasn’t sure exactly how to true the lines.  I used my curve and lined up the front and back so their grain lines were identical and the knees level.  Then I shaped my back crotch up to meet the front crotch.  What you are looking at here with the red line was the thought, what if I ignore the front crotch and merely pencil in the crotch and inseam?  The difference is about 1″ on the inseam and some scooping out of the back crotch.  I have in effect been adding 1″ to the inseam as well as the back crotch.  When I sew the front inseam to the back, what happens to the excess?  Well first, I ease it in,  Easy to do, put the back inseam down, front inseam up and hold firmly on both sides while stitching.  Especially when easing between knee and crotch, it’s easy to squeeze in an extra inch.  I have been ruching the back inseam to the front inseam.  If you look at the back picture again you see the ruching begins at the knee on both sides.  The lower leg, from the knee down is smooth, wrinkle free.    Look:


If there was a first shouldn’t there be a second?  On every jean FIRST I ease the back inseam to the front inseam, then I stitch the crotches and then the SECOND change is to scoop about 1/2″ out of the back crotch.  “Truing” the lines as I did yesterday, results in both those things happening at the same time.  Now I worked that out on my pattern first by taping another sheet of tissue over my traced pattern.  Before I stitched up the inseams and crotch at 1/4″, I folded the backs together, placed my new pattern on top and trimmed away the execess:




interesting, doesn’t that look like about 1/2″ scoop from only the bottom of the crotch?   


I’m pretty sure I’ve been dong the same to all my pants.  I’ve known for several months that I need the sitting room.  But couldn’t figure out why I kept getting the wrinkles under the bum and in the upper leg.  Advice from the net ranged from knock-knees to flat-butt-adjustment to just pull up the back.  None of these ever worked.  I did finaly get a decent pattern that already had the room built into the back crotch and obviously the designer knew how to “true the lines”, because my JSM trouser pants are really good.


Final thoughts of these jeans, having worn them a day.  Because they are stretch fabric, I didn’t need a full 1″ extra in the back crotch.  I noticed while sitting that the back inseam was not bisecting my inner leg, but was coming forward and creating a bubble when I sat. Fortunately only when I sat.  That’s actually common, more in men then women, but is common.  I will take some of that out of the pattern.  Although I hate altering once I’ve serged seams, I may fix these jeans too.  At this point as far as the length of the legs is concerned, I’ll transfer the knee marking to the pants and measure that on me.  If the knee mark is lower than my knee (which I suspect to be true), I’ll reduce that amount out the leg, otherwise, I think I’ll leave the length alone.  These were advertised as a “boot cut” but they felt almost ’60’s to me.  I will be reducing the width of the boot cut.  It doesn’t look bad on me, but I already lived though the 60’s.  It’s not a decade I want to repeat. Finally, I want to compare the inseams to each other with a thought toward reduce the back inseam length even more.  Other than, I may get used to skinny jeans and this pattern will be a KEEPER.


Jalie Jeans Part IV: First Fitting

originally published 3/17/10

I’m finally at the point of trying on these jeans.  I know they haven’t taken that long in hours.  Because I did a little everyday, they seem to have taken a long time.  But see how great these look:


Oh and when I stand with my legs apart, I have legs that go all the way up.  These jeans are a delicious, deep, dark navy blue.  It’s such a fabulous color and they feel good.  The fabric is smooth and dense, even though it is more of a light weight than heavy denim  I really wish I had bought much more.  This looks so fabulous, ……. until I lighten the picture so I can see the wrinkles.  Then I get





OK, at least there is no butt vortex or front camel toe.  But they definitely look snug.  Maybe I should go up a size, except when I look at the side view:


I’m inclined to think only the back is toosmall, as in not wide enough.  Clearly my outseam is on the back half of my leg.  It should be bisecting my leg.  The front is having to reach across my side to meet the back side seam. 


Unfortunately, I don’t have more than a few remnants of fabric.  Not nearly enough to cut a new back.  I do have some gross grain ribbon that I could insert. They don’t feel too tight.  I can grasp the side seam and find ease without any difficulty.  I don’t have to pinch and tug, just pinch.   Sigh, I don’t know what I want to do with this pair.  Jeans should be snug.  They should feel as good as this pair does.  Maybe I should just hem them and wear them for a day.


Jalie Jeans: Part III

orignally published 3/17/10

Yesterday was an odd day.  Not busy and my only commitment was to gather all the trash for Wednesday trash pickup.  Yet I couldn’t seem to get to my sewing room.  It was after 8PM when I landed there.  A quick review revealed that both back pockets were not stitched to the back legs.  So I started by finishing the pockets.  Remember that yummy deco embroidery, I wanted to use.  Well here’s a sneak peak:

I absolutely love it and the top stitching.  It’s the color of the denim that is making the difference, but the topstitching is absolutely glowing.  Here, look at the zipper:

So yes, I got the zipper done last night.  I did have a brain fart.  I did the zipper first then turned to my top pockets.  When you use a combination facing/front support, the support needs to go in before the zipper.  But I’d already goofed and nailed that zipper down with the topstitching.  I wasn’t even going to try removing tripple-stitching.  I jury rigged the facing, stitching it to the edge of the zipper facing and trimming about 1.5 ” off the facing/front support piece. 

Oh I and I got cold feet.  I had planned to use and had already cut the facing/front support from a beautiful Jacobean print -a never used set of pillow cases-  It is 100% cotton and has absolutely no stretch.  After thinking about this non-stretch factor, I trimmed it to the pocket edge and replaced the cut away with some stretch, nylon tricot. 

This nylon tricot is an interesting fabric on its own.  I’m pretty sure it was used in lingerie, specifically slimmers.  I purchased it from Walmart along with several others that were similar.  These were $1 fabrics that no one seemed to know what to do with.  But I recognized them as bargains from the lingerie fabrics and purchased 4 yard cuts of each.  Sadly, Walmart no longer gets these and after 15 years I’m down to 3 pieces.  Eventually I’ll have to pay big bucks for these.  But for now I use about an 6×8″ rectangle and shape to fit the front.  They provided just enough stretch to be comfortable but still provide support for my tummy.


So last night, I stitched the second pocket to the back, put in zipper and topstitched it; put in front pockets and top stitched them (only 1 line of topstiching on the pockets), serged the side seams and basted the inseams.    Once again, making progress. 


I added a few pics to yesterdays post.  I had taken pictures of the comparison between the jeans pattern and the trouser pattern.  I thought it was significant and decided to add the pic’s to my post. I didn’t change the text very much, so you don’t really need to read through, but you might want to check out the photos.


Jalie Jeans: Part II

originally posted 3/15/2010

I finished tracing all the pattern pieces and I do mean all as in both View A and B.  I doubt that I ever use the low rise jeans pattern.  I’m just not comfortable wearing a low rise jean.  But the Mid-Rise is my absolute favorite.  RTW jeans in a mid-rise come very very close to fitting and they almost look great.  The mid-rise is actually attractive for my pear shapped figure. I had to recheck every pattern piece, though.  I had started tracing Size W and somewhere along the line changed to Size X.  I rechecked every piece and made sure they are all Size W.  Then I sorted the low rise pieces from the mid-rise and put them in their very own envelope.


At this point I took a few minutes to compare with my trouser pattern.  I’m not sure that was a good idea or bad idea.  Thing is a trouser pattern fits very differently and is drafted very differently. So even though I love my trouser pattern, I’m not sure it’s a good ruller for the jeans pattern.  I was pleased with the front.


 The jeans front is much narrower under the thigh.  Which makes sense.  My trouser is loose, but not oversized.  I mean I have plenty of wiggle room, but it is not full like a palazzo pant would be. Curiously, even though the trouser pattern is designed for wovens and the jean for stretch fabrics, both fronts have almost the same amount of width through the hip, thigh and crotch.


The back is a different and scary story.



It is much slimmer than the trouser pattern.  Well, maybe it should be .  There have been times I was tempted to try and remove more of the ease from my trouser, but decided that much ease really is in keeping with the “trouser look”.  It is the crotch curve and width that is scary.  Previous to my trouser pattern all pants both RTW and home sewn suffered from the “butt vortex”.  By that I mean they all look like my butt is trying to suck the pants crotch right into the interior of my body.  It’s pretty disgusting. And I can see that the crotch extension for these jeans is far too short.  A quick and dirty comparison to my RTW jeans reveals that the rear crotch extension is less than my RTW jeans.  Well, I’ve been wearing the RTW jeans for 3 years.  I know they have stretched to fit my back crotch length.  So maybe they also stretched the extensions and the length I’m seeing would have been the length the RTW jeans had when new.  But that doesn’t solve my problem.  I really don’t want to make a lot of alterations to this pattern before seeing how this pattern fits out-of-the-envelope.  There have been so many really really good reviews.  Most people find the Jalie 2908 fits with few if any alterations.  I am reluctant, but decide I cannot ignore this glaring difference.  I left my original tracing intact and placed another sheet of tracing paper under the back crotch.  I traced the crotch and then split the new tracing 1″ from the crotch point and almost all the way down to the leg about 7 inches.  I left a little hinge; rotated the split off piece out an inch; slipped a little more tracing paper under there and using repositionable tape, lightly secured everthing together.  I lined up my front and back, grain lines in the same direction and knees on the same horizontal.  Then I drew in my new crotch extension. 


If this isn’t right, I can easily, rip out the sewing and using the original tracing recut the crotch.  I think this is a much better solution that trying to piece the crotch later on, although that is a possibility too. 


** Oh forgot the one big goof.  I’m hoping this does not turn out to be deadly.  My 2.25 yards of denim was not enough to cut the waistband on the bias.  I noticed in reading PR’s 84-page chat that many of the participants cut the waistband on the straight of grain AND they didn’t have any problems.  I do know that with my own RTW medium-rise jeans the waistband is cut on the bias.  Because of that I suspect that the bias waistband may actually be necessary.  I won’t know until I finish.  Sigh


I made 2 more changes.  I drafted the front pocket facing to also be the stomach support.  Sounds fancy but really it’s just a matter of copying about the top 9″ of the pant front.  I’ve liked the wide pocket facing ever since I first wore a pair of pants.  I like that it keeps the pockets in smoothly in place and it keeps my tummy smoothly in place.  Change #2 wasn’t necessary to do now.  I like to change the shape of my front pocket and sometimes it’s location; and I like to make up my mind at the last second.  If I’ve cut the pocket shape right away, I can’t change my mind.  This was an easy change, mind you.  I hadn’t trimmed the front tissue.  So I put the pocket facing on top, lining up the notches, and then just traced the pocket facing onto the front tissue.  When I trimmed the tissue, I didn’t cut out the pocket, I cut around the lines of the pocket facing on the side and the top (waist).  


I’m thinking I may have some future changes to the pattern. The legs look too long, but I think I’ll wait to fix that until I’ve had a chance to try on the jeans.  I also like a little wider fly facing.  But I can work with this for now.  I also like to snip the front fly facing under the zipper application, but I like to snip before applying the zipper.  (Did that make sense?)  I didn’t find that mark and a couple of other marks that I like to have, like the fold for the zipper facing.  I can add all of those as I go along or wait until the end when I’m sure that where I’m marking is where I really want to mark. 


I have been thinking about top stitching and my favorite, Machine Embroidery, especially for the pockets.  I couldn’t resist the lure of embroidery.  I found an interesting deco in 2 colors.  I changed the 2 colors to gold and a rose-gold.  I’ve already finished the pocket embroidery (14 minutes each pocket) and can assure you that it looks classy.  Very nice.  Top stitching will be restrained.  I want to concentrate on fitting the pattern.  That means I need to be able to rip PRN (as needed, everytime needed, everywhere needed).  If I nail down seams with top stitching, I won’t be doing any unsewing.  I did 2 rows of topstitching about 1/4″ apart, on the back yoke and around the pocket.  I plan to topstitch the zipper and the belt loops.  But I doubt that anything else, well maybe the hems when I’m done, will be top stitched.  Oh, BTW, I feel like I’m sinning or at least cheating.  I’m using a yellow-gold jean-colored thread purchased from Atlanta Thread Supply and I’m using my triple stitch to do the top stitching.  It is looking really good and not giving me any problems. OK, I take that back.  I had to switch to my Bernina foot 38, the dual level foot.   Even with the 1/4″ straight stitch foot, the seams were so unlevel that the straight stitch foot was slipping off during top stitching.  I had to rip out 2.5″ of triple stitching YUCK.  After that and using good ol’ 38, top stitching went smoothly and perfectly.  I think next time I will lengthen my stitch.  I have it set at 3 which is giving me a neat short pearl type stitch.  I’d like for it to be just a little smoother and shiny.


Tonight as I’ve put away sewing for today, I can see that I’m making progress.  Not lightening speed and not effortless.  But pattern pieces are traced, trimmed and sorted into View A and B envelopes; all fabric pieces are cut; yokes are stitched to back legs and topstitched; back pockets are embroidered, stitched to back legs and top stitched.  I’m moving along.  Doing good.