I've just finished a pair of jeans.. Ginger Jeans by Closet Case Patterns to be precise. I've made View A (mid rise stove pipe) in the organic stretch denim I have in the store. I'm pretty happy with the end result, but it's not to say there aren't things to improve next time.
The most time consuming part for me was getting the fit right - this is always a bit of a challenge as I vary so much across sizes, and sometimes I just want to give up and sew! But perseverance is rewarded - I am really happy with how these fit.
The pattern recommends you baste the main pieces together to check the fit - this is a great idea as it is not until you have almost finished the jeans (including all that topstitching!) do you have the opportunity to try them on. By which stage you can only take in the outer leg seam without having to do some serious unpicking!!
If you are really serious about getting a great fit, I'd recommend making a toile first. I have recently made a pair of the Morgan Boyfriend Jeans (also by Closet Case), so I was able to use them as a starter for my pattern adjustments.
I have a narrow waist, flat butt that sits kinda low, and plentiful thighs/legs. Ahh, there goes another joy of sewing - being able to critically analyse and describe your body curves...!??! So given this body, my major adjustments included:
- taking a significant wedge out of the centre back - about 6cm (2 inches). This helped with the waist issue, as well as helping with the flat butt!
- scooping out the bottom of the crotch to give a little more room for that low lying backside
- grading up a size through the leg to accommodate my dainty pins...
If you are wanting a quick and straight forward reference guide on how to adjust for your body shape, I recommend you take a look at the fit guide put together by Heather over at Closet Case Patterns.
Once the fit was nailed, the construction is fairly straight forward. This pattern includes clear instructions that are easy to follow. It's just slow and steady to get all that topstitching looking good.
Topstitching: I like to use a piece of tape as a guide, especially as my old trusty Singer has a simple foot and no markings on the stitch plate. I also kept the design on the pockets simple - to reduce the chance of messing it up! Straight lines drawn with a ruler first.
I stabilised the pockets with iron on interfacing to prevent them stretching, then cut out around the top stitching.
Leg Twist: When working with denim it is very easy to find the garment twisting around your body. This is due to the twill weave of the fabric - it is essentially trying to pull the fabric on the diagonal. To prevent twisted legs it is really important to cut each piece individually to ensure each pattern piece is on grain. I did this, but still found I was getting leg twist.
This was because the back outer side seam was about an inch longer than the front. Easing this much in along the leg causes the twisting. I reduced the twist (but didn't eliminate it completely) by cutting off 1/2 inch of the top of the back yoke and therefore reducing the amount of easing required. I also made sure the ease was happening in the hip area, and not the leg. Next time I will add some length to the front hip area and hopefully get rid of the twist.
Waistband: I don't think I've ever bought a pair of trousers that has fitted my waist, so I love it when I can make a waist that fits!
Because I had taken such a large wedge out of the centre back, I ignored the notches on the pattern piece. I simply lined up the centre back then eased in 1cm through each quarter of the waist. I eased 1 cm between the centre back and the left side seam, then the same for the right, plus 1 cm on each side of the centre front. This ensured a snug fit.
I choose not to interface the waistband - I didn't want any extra bulk and I still wanted it to be quite malleable to my curves. But I did add in some fine stay tape at the top seam to prevent it stretching out. I use the Mokuba tape I have in the store - it really does it's job with virtually no extra bulk.
However, in my eagerness to get to the finish line, I forgot to interface the small areas where the button and buttonhole go. grr...so I applied small pieces on the inside of the waist band, then cut as much of the interfacing away after the button and button hole were all done...hopefully this will stand the test of time.....!
The last job was simply to add the rivets - which I love, Makes them feel just like bought ones....except that they fit.!
Miss Maude Made Summary
Pattern: Ginger Skinny Jeans, View A by Close Case Patterns
Alterations: grading for fit.- detailed above
Fabric: Organic 9.5oz stretch denim
Special Equipment: jeans needle, topstitching thread, tape for seam guide, sandpaper to add some subtle distressing. Plus a hammer, metal surface, wire cutters and awl for installing the button and rivets..
Would I make it again? Yes - they are kind of addictive.
Where will I wear this? Everyday casual.
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