Eureka! Pants That Fit… and they do!

Today I’m taking a break from my jeans preparation, and am going to talk about a new pants pattern.

Eureka! Pants That Fit is a fitting pattern. I became interested in this pattern when I did Sarah Veblen’s pants fitting class at Pattern Review. It is an expensive pattern, but another sewer in Australia kindly gifted it to me. It’s a clever pattern that comes with three backs for each size – drafted for each of flat, medium and generous derrieres. The pattern has a comprehensive sizing chart to help choose the pattern. The booklet also has detailed instructions for constructing and fitting a mock up garment.

I choose my pattern size and was able to get a decent fit straight off. I’ve made a few changes, but realistically they’re fairly minor and I was able to get to cutting my ‘second-best’ fabric quickly. I did have the opportunity to join in a class and I took it there. The teacher suggested we take in the inseams a tad, scoop the front, and shape the waistline appropriately. This pattern starts at a point I only got to after three or four toiles in the past. The pattern is designed to finish at the waist, for fitting purposes, and they give instructions for lower that (which I did). I also widened the leg just a bit.

This pattern doesn’t come with pocket pieces, though there is an add-on pattern to add trouser detailing (and one to add jeans detailing) which I don’t have. I won’t buy either of them, since I’m confident enough with adding those details. I did have another pattern on my desk that had a useful pocket, so I just grabbed that one, but they’re not difficult to draw. (Pants *have* to have pockets!)

I made them in a tropical wool that I’ve had for a while. I had pants made of the rest of this length a few years ago and loved them, but I didn’t want two pairs at the same time so I put this length aside. A bug ate bits of it! So I had to fussy cut, and my pocket position is entirely determined by where the holes were! I had to add a faced hem for the same reason.

So, how does it look?

Overall, they’re a smidgen too big. I think, if I’d added a waistband it would have been okay because I could have eased the band on. As it is, I’m going to have to retrofit a couple of darts or add some elastic. I think the front could do with just the tiniest scoop more.

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back after pinch at centre front

This is after I’ve taken a big pinch out with a pin at the centre front – it’s probably too much, but it feels much better so I’m on the right track. The back isn’t bad, though it could probably also do with a bit more of scoop – just a bit. It could also probably be taken in just a bit at the thigh. You can’t see, because of my top, but it also needs a bit of extra height at the side seams. When I wear it the way that feels right, I get unsightly drag lines. (See next picture.)

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These are the draglines. They more or less vanished when I tugged the waistline down at the side seams only to mimic adding another 1-2cm at that point, and tapering to nothing at centre front and centre back.

I need to add those changes to my pattern, but this is the closest I’ve had to a well fitting pants pattern in a long time. I’ve got a good jeans pattern (the Jalie 2908), and a good pants pattern! I’m a happy camper! The next project is a knit yoga pant, but with what I want I rather think I can start with the Eureka!

Back to the Jalie Jeans next week. Happy sewing!

Jalie 2908 Jeans Sew Along – Extra Seam Allowances!

When I traced my jeans, I added some extra seam allowances to my circumference edges. (Inseams and outseams, basically, and the relevant edges on pockets etc.) This is because a less stretchy denim might need a bit of extra width, but it is unlikely to need extra height. It does mean that I need to be careful of which seam allowances I’ve extended, and which I’ve left alone, so I make sure to mark any changes on the pattern.

This picture shows how I go about adding the extra seam allowance. I just use the ruler to mark out where I want the new cutting line – in this case 2cm extra – and then use the curved ruler to join up the lines. That means I can always find the original line.

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Generally, I love Jalie’s 1cm seam allowances. The small bits like pockets go together really well with that small seam allowance. I do want a bit of insurance seam allowance on the circumference to allow for a denim that might be less stretchy, so I’ve settled on having the circumference seam allowances wider, and leaving the others as they were. The main thing, I think, is to mark any variances on the pattern pieces, so that I can tell at a glance what I’ve done.

My next post will be about cutting and marking the denim.

Jalie 2908 Jeans Sew Along – Leg Shaping!

Jalie 2908 is a bootleg pattern, and I already have a pair of bootleg jeans. My wardrobe will benefit more from a pair of straight legged jeans, so I’m altering the pattern for that.

Out comes my handy-dandy toddler size pattern for convenience of photography. Rest assured I have a grown up sized pattern tracing that I’ll use for my jeans. But to show how I did this, it was easier to have the smaller pattern.

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Here is the tracing (with the pocket infill at the top of the pattern for when I’m cutting the toile/muslin. The first thing I did was to relocate the grainline to the absolute centre of the leg. This will make it easier for me to make sure I’m taking the same amount off each side of the leg. I measured the width of the pattern at the hem, and worked out how far across the new centre line needed to be. Then I marked the same distance across at the knee, and drew the new centre line.

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Then I measured the width at the narrow point before it flared out, and then transferred this measurement to the lower part of the leg. (For this toddler-sized pattern, I could have just measured in from the bottom and used my ruler to draw straight up. For the adult sized pattern, though, that was awkward because my ruler was too short, so doing it this way meant I could add another waypoint, and make sure theย  lines were straight.)

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Then I drew in the new cutting lines, going from the narrower point, straight down to the new markings. Then I drew two little lines on the line that I’m going to ignore. I’ve drawn the lines down past the hem cutting line, ignore that. It doesn’t mean anything. ๐Ÿ™‚

Then do the same for the back pattern piece, taking in even amounts of both sides.

This doesn’t make the jeans skinny, just straight, at least not on my legs! I didn’t want skinny jeans, so this is good for me.

The next post will talk about cutting the jeans.

Jalie 2908 Jeans Sew Along – Pockets!

Jalie 2908 are a four pocket jeans pattern, with no coin pocket. I’d like to add a coin pocket, and happily, it’s really easy to make one. I also like my front pockets to be a waist stay, so I’ll adapt the front pocket piece for that.

Coin pockets first, since it’s really easy to do. There’s lots of variations in RTW jeans for the coin pocket, so I didn’t think I could get it overly wrong. I went to my RTW jeans, and poked my fingers into the coin pocket. I fitted three fingers in easily, so I measured that. It’s about 6 cm ish. So I started with a 6cm width, added 1cm on each side to turn under, and then, since they’ll be applied to the front yoke with two lines of topstitching, added another 1.5 cm or so to accommodate that. Then I rounded it to 10cm, since that’s a nice round number. I made mine 8cm deep. The top and both sides will both be turned under 1cm, and the bottom will be overlocked, since it will be hidden and not visible so I don’t need to bother with turning it under. (I should mention that this size pocket is for my adult jeans, not for my teeny weeny toddler demo pattern! I imagine that a toddler jean would need a much smaller coin pocket. Or no coin pocket.)

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For the pocket stay, one pocket piece is extended into the front fly stitching. I dithered a bit about which piece to extend. There are two pieces, F and H (if you’re doing View A, this will be pieces E and G). Piece H is the piece that has the yoke appliqued onto it, and is the part nearest to the body when the garment is worn. If I extend that piece, the other pocket piece is hidden in between it and the denim, so will be hidden when you look inside the jeans. If I extend piece F (the part with the pocket “cutout”), the other pocket piece will be visible when you look inside the jeans. However, extending piece F means the pocket seam is another layer of fabric further away from the denim and so will show less from the front when it is worn. I decided to do the version that makes the layers show less when the jeans are worn. I’m not sure if there is a “right” way to do this, but since they’re my jeans, I’ll do it my way. ๐Ÿ™‚

To extend the pocket into a stay, I took my pocket tracing and put it onto the top of the front pattern piece, lining up all of my notches. I then traced the top of the jeans onto the pocket piece, about three quarters ofย  the way down the fly extension and drew a curved line that joined into the pocket piece. This will be cut from lining fabric, so it won’t add a lot of bulk into the fly facing. I’ll photograph the sewing stage when I get there.

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The next stage is cutting out the jeans, and testing out the topstitching.

 

 

 

 

Jalie 2908 Jeans Sewalong – Tracing the Pattern

We’re having a Jeans sewalong, with Jalie 2908 as our main pattern, over on the Sew Along Pants – All Pants, Anything Goes Facebook group. I’m co-leading it with Samantha. We’re still in the “gathering pattern and materials” stage of the sewalong, and I’m assembling some resources for the group.

I’ve already made this pair recently, and I’m wearing them now! Really comfortable, and a really nice RTW-like finish. It’s a pattern designed for a denim with 20% stretch. It has really favourable reviews on Pattern Review. I elected to make View B, which is the regular rise version that finishes at about the navel.

The first step, from my point of view, is to trace the pattern. This preserves all of the sizes and, since it contains sizes from small child to a woman with a hip of 135cm (53 inches), that’s worthwhile. I like to use kitchen paper, as it’s cheap, is great for tracing, and comes in a roll. The downside is that it’s 30 cm (about a foot) wide, and not really wide enough for some larger pattern pieces. I tape strips together for bigger pattern pieces.

I measured my hip, and chose my pattern accordingly. My waist was actually a bigger size and after much dithering, I elected to ignore that. I’d intended to add bigger seam allowances to the pattern anyway, so I figured I could let it out in my toile/muslin. (As it happens, I didn’t need to – the stretchy fabric was fairly forgiving.) I’ve already made this pattern, so for the sake of this post I’ve re-traced the pattern in a small size. This made it easier to trace as I didn’t have to join paper, and it was nice and small!

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The legs are drawn in two parts on the pattern – one lower leg and one each upper leg for the two views. You need to trace both parts(!) and join them. With my teeny pattern tracing I was able to trace the top part, and then just line that up with the lower leg and trace that. With the adult size that I made for myself, it was easier to trace them separately and then tape them together. There are quite a few pattern pieces! Make sure to get them all.

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After I’ve traced all of the bits, I added some extra seam allowance to the “circumference” seams – side seams and inseams for the legs, side seams for the front pocket pieces. I left the back pockets alone. You can decide how much is necessary, but for my toile, I added an extra 4 cm which was too much. It was a bit awkward to sew. I’d probably add an extra 2 cm in future, for fitting.

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I actually only used four pattern pieces for my muslin (and, actually, only cut that muslin to shorts length). The front leg has a cutout for the pocket, and I used the pocket yoke piece to fill that in – no need to fuss with pockets for a muslin! I lined up the yoke’s notches with the front pattern piece’s notches, and filled in the “missing” bit of the front. The back is cut in two parts – the back and the back yoke. You’ll need the yoke for fitting reasons, since the back dart is built into this pattern piece, so these were the other two pattern pieces used.

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I was lucky enough to join in with a sewing class for a couple of evenings, so I enlisted the teacher’s help with the fitting. As it happens, the fit was actually really close straight off the tracing, but we took in both inseams (quite a bit), and scooped the front crotch. We also lowered the waistline in a few places to make it sit straighter on me. Other than that, even though my waist is a size larger than I traced, it was fine. I was really thrilled.

The next post will talk about adjusting the front pockets. I like my pockets to be a “stay”, and so I’ll alter the pattern for that. This is also a four pocket jeans pattern, and I’ll draft a coin pocket to add to the right hand front pocket. This is optional, obviously, but I like it and it’s really easy to do.

 

Almost there

I pondered my changes for a few days and today I cut a new toile. I’ve made quite a few changes. From the original pattern, I’ve:

  • Raised the waistline 4cm. This puts the top of the curved waistband at more or less my natural waist. This is much more comfortable and happily seems to dispense with some of my high hip related fitting issues.
  • Straightened the centre back seam to try to reposition some fullness across the back leg to give me a bit more shape there.
  • Let out the back inseam and the front inseam and that dealt with most of the wrinkles in the back. Yay!
  • Took in the side seams. This partly compensates for the inseam letting out – I must be wider front to back and less wide side to side.
  • Lowered the centre front by about 1cm
  • Narrowed both legs by 2.5 cm at front and back inseam and outseam, keeping this straight to about the knee and then tapering to nothing by the hook. They still look fairly wide, but I think they’re good now.
  • Took approximately seven metres from the length of the leg. Well, not quite. ๐Ÿ™‚ But I’ve shortened the pattern a chunk.

After cutting and sewing it, I’ve also:

  • Put a horizontal dart across the seat seems to have dealt with the rest of the wrinkles. Looking pretty good now. Well, good enough. I’m not going to achieve zero wrinkles and still be able to move, I think, so that’s good.
  • Taken in the waistband at the side seams because it was too loose (uncomfortable, and made it hard to work out other fitting issues). It might not need quite so much taking in when sewing the final version, but it will be close. I’ve sewn almost immediately back to the side seams directly below the waistband.

The back is very comfortable, though I think that letting the side seams out 1cm might be more flattering. Then again, I will reserve judgement for now. I’ve got acres of seam allowances so this is an easy change. (Once I’ve finalised the pattern, my intention is to leave 2.5 cm seam allowances on side and inseams, and probably 1.5 cm allowances elsewhere. There is currently a 3cm hem allowance. I’m barefoot in this picture, but I think the length is more or less right. I’d need more if I wanted to wear heels.)

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The front is the stumbling block at this stage.

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The front has a wad of extra fabric that I’m unsure how to deal with. Taking the front inseam a bit hasn’t done much. This is obviously looking worse on the right side because I’m pinching a chunk out, but it has improved matters on the left side! Hmmmm.

Still, awfully close! I might go back to a previous version to try to work out what the difference was in the front.

Terrible pictures, pinning

I’m trying to decide how to best adjust the leg to accommodate the big pinch I’ve taken down the centre back below the seat. I’ve pinned bits out at the side seams to mimic the changes, leaving the right leg with the pinning down the centre as my “standard”.

This is similar to what the Palmer Pletsch book would achieve – taken off entirely down the side seam.

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This is the Linda Lee version:

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And Kayl’s version – with a bit off each side:

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The pants are pulled up too high in that last one but that won’t happen once I’ve got the waistband sorted out.

Two steps forward

I think. I hope!

I’ve lowered the waistband on the back of the pant by a lot – about 2.5 cm – and most of the back issues have gone. This tapers to nothing at the side seam, though it wasn’t done properly, so the next thing is to do that properly and see how it looks.

I’ve also pinned out the excess width along the vertical grainline from the seat downwards. It starts at nothing at the seat, but tapers fairly quickly to a 1.25cm pinch/tuck, so that’s about 2.5cm of width taken out from the back. This makes the pants feel much better and I can still sit down (very, very carefully – on pins!).

I think the front looks a bit better too, which is interesting. I haven’t done anything more to that.

 

 

 

Adjustments

I’ve opened up the side seams to about the hip and made a shallower seam on the front piece only. I’ve then taken that same amount and formed a bit of a rough dart. Not perfect, but it’s solved some of the front wrinkles. Perhaps this is a pointer to the solution for the front drags. Not sure what that mess is at the knee. I haven’t seen it before and there is so much fabric around my legs that it’s not catching on anything so I think it must be coming from higher.

I’ve also pulled the right side down a bit and the diagonal wrinkles have gone. This tells me that I need about a 1cm extension at the top of the pant on that side.