I did a quick (front, back, yoke) muslin in a non-stretch twill. So they were REALLY snug. My denim has just a touch of stretch (no fiber content available as I got it from SR Harris) so I thought a a non-stretch woven was best for muslining.
They were SO tight! LOL!!!! But I knew they would be fine in the denim.
Based on my 33" waist and 43.5" hips, I chose a size 33. The pattern is of higher rise; not natural-waist high but high. There is 3" of negative ease at the hip and positive ease at the "waist". However, don't be put off by this. Choose based on your natural waist. The area of the body where the waist hits is wider; thus the larger measurement.
Jeans don't normally take a lot of fabric but these are (awesomely!) extreme flares. I was all "pfft! 3 yards?!" but I *totally* used that yardage. I could have preserved a little bit but...trust the fabric suggestion.
I cut denim single layer. 1) My sad hands can't take the double layer 2) it's easier to ensure you're on grain.
I lay the denim out and using my wide ruler (5" x 24"), I make 'extra' grainlines. Lining the ruler up with the selvedge I use a pen to make a few extra grainlines across the width of the fabric.
I line up my pattern piece and take measurements from the grainline to the edge of the cutting table at the top, center and bottom to ensure the grainline is straight. Flip the pattern piece and line up with one of the "new" grainlines and do the same.
No twisted legs!
*Removed 2" from the length on the paper pattern. The pants are designed with 34" finished length and there is no universe (or high heel) that exists in which I need a 34" inseam! :).
*Shortened front crotch length 1/2". This is standard. I haven't 'met' a pants pattern where I didn't need to shorten the front. No change to the back rise though! :-O I didn't need a 'big booty adjustment'! Woohoo!
*1/4" full inner thigh adjustment
*I added 1/2" at the side seam for insurance but ended up sewing a 3/4" seam allowance. So basically the straight pattern with 3/8" side seams. Next time I'll sew 5/8" seams. They relaxed a bit during wear. Not stretched out of shape but just relaxed, as denim does. The next pair will be really snug through the hip.
*Raised the pockets 3/4" and brought them in to center 1/4". The pockets on these are big but I like them.
*Pressed the yoke seam UP instead of down. These jeans manage to be higher rise without making the pockets appear too low, which is one of my biggest gripes with the beloved Gingers. The yoke looks so ridiculously long/tall that it makes many of the versions out there look like the pockets are on the back of folks' thighs! (Obviously the low rise version of that pattern fits differently...). With my Sandra jeans, I shortened the height of the yoke. I will do the same on these. Just a tad. Again, all of my RTW jeans --even higher rise-- have 'skinnier' yokes.
*Used a one piece waistband
*Interfaced the buttonhole area (the waistband doesn't need interfacing and none of my RTW jeans have an interfaced w/b). But I've learned the hard way, and especially with stretch denim, to interface the buttonhole! Or alternatively, use a stabilizer.
*I cut the extension off the wrong front piece. And instead of just reversing my zipper, without thinking, I cut the extension off the other side too! So I don't have a perfectly hidden zipper now :(
*I must have dulled my needle at some point and continued trying to sew with it. It was hell. I spent nearly 2 hours sewing and ripping out topstitching on the fly front before it was halfway presentable. My thread kept nesting, breaking, shredding. It was horrible!!! I took a break (I had a massage already scheduled that day - ahhhh!) and came back and got it done. I then basted the side seams. The next day, I sewed the (deeper) side seams, pressed, serged and was ready to attach the waistband.
You see where this is going?
I pulled the zipper pull off the top of the one side. Now, I've done this before and found the 'fix' of putting it on from the bottom. But, I have never, ever did this and had a zipper work 'normally' after. It catches, it skips, it doesn't work well...So I did the unthinkable.
I ripped out all the fly front stitching. The topstitching, the zipper stitching, all of it. And inserted a new zipper. So disappointed in the results though. This was made MUCH harder as the pants were fully assembled at this point so trying to work around everything was tough.
Took several tries again for the fly topstitching and it isn't perfect. My thread kept nesting and I kind of gave up.
*All this waste of thread and redoing things...I ran out of topstitching thread. Seriously. I still needed to do the waistband and hem. At this point I am over the whole process. I mean, I like the jeans and it isn't their fault! :) But I was OVER.IT.
Luckily the second time I sewed jeans I decided to get regular thread, that matched the topstitching thread, to use in the bobbin. I just doubled this thread to do the remaining topstitching.
Isn't that a thing of BEAUTY!?!? I think from now on I'll just topstitch with two spools. Worked marvelously.
*I somehow missed that the waistband piece was cut 2 -- as in waistband and facing. All of my jeans have a single waistband piece that is folded over. And then I didn't have a large enough piece. I wasn't thinking; I should have just added a CB seam for the waistband. I was clearly not functioning at my peak at this point. I needed that CB seam because my waistband was gaping like crazy. Again, being OVER.IT., I used the elastic trick that I've used on RTW denim instead of having them taken in at the waist. I have a 10" length of elastic that is stitched at the ends. The stitching is hidden by the carriers.
*They fit very well through the butt, hips and thighs. Really love the fit!
*The fabric is nice. Heavy but not too much so. They suck everything in nicely! And just a little bit of lycra. I hate really stretchy jeans. Hate. Hate. Hate.
*The flare is SO fun!!! I want to make another pair in a lighter wash denim.
*There are some really great tips for sewing these! Things that I'd not thought of before and really help to make things look handmade vs. homemade!
Just a couple...
*The front pockets are shallow. But the bottom of the pocket piece is straight so deepening them will be a cinch. I need at least another inch of pocket depth. If my phone can't fit, it's not okay! ;-)
The final pattern will have pockets with 1" additional depth.
*The coin pocket. It is prepared same as the back pocket. When I chose the SA Sandra as my intro-to-jeans pattern, I reviewed others in my stash -and- my RTW jeans. All of them have the coin pocket 'caught' in the stitching/serging of the front facing piece.
Blunders and mishaps aside...I LOVE THEM!!!!!!!!!!!!
That flare is *EPIC*
I've tested a few patterns now but I think it's clear that I wouldn't do a test unless it was a garment I was actually enthused about. It's time and effort and often on a tight deadline and who wants to do all that work *JUST* to get a free pattern?! Not I.
I hemmed these Saturday morning and took the photos above...and then I decided I just had to wear these that day. Styled as such:
I felt really awesome and glamorous and fantastic all day!!!