I’ve made many stops on the journey to my perfect pair of jeans, and this one is verrry close to being the final, perfect one. I chose to sew flared jeans this time, but I think the base block for the hips/rise/waist is almost perfect for me and then I can adapt the legs to different shapes. I’m thinking boyfriend style next.
These started with a pair of ready-to-wear jeans that fit well every where except the waist. So I did a rub off pattern of them.
I increased the waist a little and curved the waistband to fit a better in the back than my ready to wear pair did. Next I lengthened the rise a little and muslined the pants to check and improve my pattern fit. From the muslin I adjusted the crotch curve a few times, shaving off 1/8 – 1/4 inch each time until I got a good fit. Then I flared the legs and cut my actual fabric.
I baste fit the jeans in the actual fabric before committing to the full sewing experience. To baste fit, sew the pockets onto the front, just basting them in flat along the curved opening. You also need to baste the yoke to the back of the jeans. Then you can baste the side and inseams (leave the fly area open) and step into the jeans to check the fit.
Funny story – I forgot to do the yoke on the jeans back for my baste fit. And even though these are 100% cotton denim without stretch (I used this fabric, affiliate link, which is the same denim I used for one of my Tillery Skirts), the weave of the denim does allow it to stretch much more than I thought. Enough so that I somehow stretched the yokeless back to fit the side seams of the fronts. But then the fit was TERRIBLE and so much different than my muslin that I was entirely confused for a good hour. I kept trying to adjust the crotch curve (which did need a little adjusting since denim is stretchier than muslin) and the fit was still bad until it finally dawned on me that I hadn’t sewn on the yoke. Once I did, boom, lovely fit like my muslin achieved and crisis averted.
So here are the changes I plan to make next time I sew these. I added a little too much to the waist, so I’m going to take it in a little. When I raised the rise, I forgot to raise the curve of the pockets in the front, so they’re too low. Luckily fixing this will also make the pockets bigger and more functional than they were on the original pair, so that’s another win. And I think I may try a shorter boyfriend style leg. I love the flares, but length on flares is tricky. These are just a tiny bit shorter than I’d prefer to wear with the wedges I have on here, but they’re also too long to wear with flats. I may end up deepening the hem, because I’m more likely to wear flats on any given day.