Friday, December 23, 2016

These are not the jeans I was looking to make

I decided to have a go at making my own jeans, since there are now quite a few sewing patterns for jeans.

The really popular ones are from Indie designers and they cost about $30. So, despite hearing great things about Morgan jeans from Closet Case files (and others), I went for a cheaper pattern to save money.

McCalls 6610 has had a number of positive reviews so that's the one I bought from PatternPostie.

I first made a test pair in stretch navy needlecord, because 1) I got the fabric cheap, and 2) since I don't much wear cord I wouldn't care much if it didn't work out.

Unfortunately it's really hard to see fitting issues on really dark material which hasn't got any contrast stitching on it. So I made a second test garment in stretch indigo denim which I also got cheap on sale.

As before, I cut a size 12 at the hips (going up to 14 or more at the waist and down to a 10 at the legs) even though my measurements would point to a 14 at the hips. But I possibly should have cut a 10 at the hips because the whole garment looks oversized in my opinion (you'll see when you get to the photos).

I did a bunch of fit adjustments, after following a page of fit instructions that came with the pattern. I also made the same adjustments that I'd made on my previous trouser makes e.g. scooping the back crotch seam to accommodate my low-hanging bum, going down a size on the legs and going up at least one size up the waist, adding to the front crotch seam to accommodate the inner thighs, removing from the back crotch seam because there's always too much fabric in the back, shortening the crotch depth at the front, adding to the crotch depth at the back (because the last pair didn't come up high enough), shortening the legs...

I even went as far as taking measurements from a shop-bought pair I like the fit of, and using these to help me decide on the adjustments for the pattern.


From here they look pretty good, eh? (I haven't hemmed them yet as I want to put them through at least another potentially shrinking wash first)


Below is a close-up of the front. You can see that my top-stitching is great except when it's located in an extremely visible place i.e. the fly. You might be able to discern that I've used two different colours for my topstitching thread - bright yellow and bronze.
And below is a closer-up, where you can see I didn't have much choice in jeans buttons. It was either the spares that came with previously bought Max jeans or these cheesy USA! buttons like the one you see below.
You'll also notice I didn't quite manage the sewing tension right - I had the thicker topstitching thread in the top and normal thread in the bobbin. I didn't want to muck around with the bobbin tension so limited myself to adjusting the top tension. It didn't really work, but the stitches seem strong enough.
That's the relatively good news. Don't look at the following images if you are offended by old-lady butt.
I'm not proud of this butt. I think I will have to do a flat-butt adjustment (it's a real thing) next time. Last time I tried that there wasn't enough room in the back, so I will have to do more research. The pockets are also way too big and maybe a little too low ( I should have listened to the blogosphere). Also, those damned wrinkles just above the knees. 
The front view is not quite as bad, in my opinion.
The legs are also way wider than I would like, even though I was going for a straight leg. It's probably not helped by the fact this is a super stretchy denim, so it stretches out a lot with wear (it's really best used for skinny jeans I think).

Conclusion

I'm pretty sure my shop-bought jeans fit way better than this, so I must be the only sewer who can't make her jeans fit as well as her ready to where.

I don't want to work with high stretch denim any more (the only reason I have any is because that's what was on sale). A little bit might make fitting easier, but lots of it makes fitting harder and also makes topstitching harder to do without causing it to stretch out of shape. If I do use this stuff again I will cut the pieces on a single layer of fabric rather than folded double which is the usual procedure. These legs got a bit twisted, which may or may not have caused some of the back leg wrinkles.

I have some really rigid denim but I'm aware that no stretch at all will make it hard to get the fit right too.

I think this pattern is probably no worse than any of the other jeans patterns by the mainstream pattern companies. I just need to find one that is close to ready to wear in cut.

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