Because, y’know, thinking about sewing might be even more fun than actually sewing (for one thing, you never hugely goof up just thinking about it).
Mostly about those Jalie jeans again. The pattern should be here next week sometime (5-7 days shipping in Canada… so nice to actually order from a Canadian company!). With any luck I can get out to Fabricland sometime this weekend to scope out the stretch denims… I haven’t paid much attention to them in the past. I’m thinking I may scavenge a zipper from an older pair of jeans… we’ll have to see on that front. I should fit into a Q or R size (Q is the largest kids size, R the smallest adult size)… not sure which I’ll go with; as I understand it the kids “low rise” isn’t really, but I’m pretty sure I’m going to be reducing the rise either way, so maybe it doesn’t matter. The Q is allegedly 1/2 inch too small, but I think I like my fit a little snugger than the model on the cover… on the other hand, it doesn’t have a very large seam allowance, so perhaps I should cut the R and just increase the seam-allowance from 3/8 to 5/8… that would add up to about an inch reduction over the whole thing, I think.
In terms of alterations:
1) leg length. Obvious. The inseams given for the sizes that would fit me in the hips are like 29-30″; my minimum required is like 32-33, preferably 34. ALTHOUGH, the illustrations show a heels-length jean, so it is possible that the garment inseam is already longer than the actual inseam is intended to be. Have to measure the pieces and find out, I guess.
2) tightness. I already mentioned this a bit. The problem is, in order to be tight enough for my liking once stretched out, I pretty much have to be jumping up and down and wrestling my way into the jeans when the fabric’s freshly washed. Obviously this won’t work for pinned fittings, and since every denim stretches a little differently, I don’t think I’m going to be able to make a me-fitted pattern that works for every future denim. I’m THINKING I will have to add a “fitting wear” stage (maybe before attaching the waistband?) to see how much they stretch out, and then take them in.
3) leg width. Flare, or the lack of it. Although I’m not a huge fan of skinnies (despite their current preponderance in my wardrobe) I think I’m done with the flares for a while. I want to seize the opportunity of making my own to make some “stovepipe” legs; I had a pair like this a couple of years back that I LOVED… they were snug to the calves, and then straight down from there. Like the narrowest boot-cut ever. Of course, if I manage to nail this and make my own jeans for the rest of my life, I can play around with whatever I like. But that’s my first goal.
4) waistband. The pattern recommends you cut it straight on the bias (stretchy) or, if you’re low on yardage, on the straight grain (less stretchy). However, a LOT of people seem to have back-gaping problems with this pattern (not a major issue to fix, but not improved by a straight waistband). Upon examination of all my jeans (which are all low-rise stretch denim, relatively high-end, and do not gape at the back), they ALL have a contoured waistband: the band is usually on the straight grain at the back and a slight to full bias at the front overlap part. Now, for the record, rear-end gaposis (isn’t that an awesome word?) is usually severest in people with a big difference between hip and waist measurements. I have no such issue—my hips (ulp) are only about 7 inches larger than my waist, and quite narrow (or my waist is large… after flipping back and forth between the two viewpoints since I was 15, I’m settling on a little bit of both). BUT, I do have a bit of a swayback, and whatever fullness my bottom does possess is located directly to the rear… RTW jeans often gape on me (just not the ones I actually buy). So I am TEMPTED to try and make up my own contoured waistband for the pattern (because, y’know, how hard can it be? /sigh). Alternatively, I’m tempted to try a straight-grain and see if I can create a stretch jean that doesn’t fall down. (I doubt this is possible for jeans as low-rise as I like mine). I’m also wondering about lowering the front waist (which I will) more than the rear… I am extremely attached to a waistband that goes BELOW my pudgy parts, but I’m not especially attached to the plumber’s crack. Anyway, just a thought.
I will edit with some pics of my FAVE jeans of all time, my old Buffal City-X low-rises. I love these jeans. I think I had about five different pairs over a couple of years. Sadly, they don’t make the style any more, and I was less thrilled with the most recent pair of Buffalos I got last spring (hence my more recent foray into GUESS… with mixed success). But at the moment my camera is being poopy (again) so I’ll just post this (after like five days in the works) and get it out there.
Edit: not the best pic, but here’s an idea of the fit I’m looking for. Unfortunately I can’t get good shots of my own bottom.