Every Day It’s A-getting Closer

Going faster than a roller coaster…oh sorry, I was just singing to myself here for a minute.

Ok, the jeans I showed you yesterday? They’re done. They’re not what I wanted but I think I know how to fix that…so here’s the pic:

Butterick 5682, View B

Observant people will notice that they are somewhat large. Guys, I measure as a size 14. I normally sew a size 12, but that can change with pants so I sewed an actual 14. I compared the pattern measurements not only to my body but to measurements I had taken of my RTW jeans. Nonetheless, I had to take in the side seams ONE AND AN EIGHTH of an inch on each side. And they’re still far too large. I also added a wedge to both the back and front pieces, 1 inch at the center back seam tapering to 3/8″ at the sides then another wedge in the front pattern piece, tapering from 3/8″ at the sides to nothing at the front seam. Hopefully a picture will make it clearer:

This is a picture of the back piece; the front looks similar but with a much smaller wedge.

This fixed my swayback, put the front and back of the waistband at the same level, and made the entire rise far too long. On the plus side, it doesn’t pull at the back center seam (yippee)! So I think I need to do the same adjustment, but on a much smaller level. In fact, I think I need to make these jeans in a size 10. The sizing on this is RIDICULOUS. On the very good side? I made NO adjustments to the pattern other than the rise adjustment, and they’re the right general shape. I plan to buy another copy of Butterick 5682, as I think this is going to end up being my TNT pattern, if I can just get the sizing right. I might even be able to sew a 10 straight out of the package.

A few other observations: the fly piece and fly shield are really short on this. I actually thought they were weirdly short — I had to attach the waistband at 3/8″ to accommodate the usual 4″ metal fly zip I prefer on my pants. I also have to wiggle a bit to get the waistband over my butt, even though everything else about these pants is large and in charge. I have a note on the pattern to extend both pieces by 3/8″ next time around. Also, I didn’t bother reading the instructions so I have no idea if they suggested stay-stitching, but my yoke ended up a teensy bit ripply because I didn’t stay-stitch the top back piece or the top yoke. Definitely stay-stitch everything on this pattern, especially if you are using a stretch denim.

The last time I made it all the way through a pair of jeans, it took me two weeks (no kidding). This time around, it took me three days. Not bad, not bad….I might get the hang of this denim sewing thing after all.

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Posted on January 26, 2012, in sewing. Bookmark the permalink. 14 Comments.

  1. Is this gonna be your new thing now? Song as Title = put some movie in Misty’s head. (Stand By Me, btw).

    They do look a bit . . . roomy. Maybe you are really a 10? I mean, looking at you, you definitely don’t look like a 14. Unless it’s vastly different when you make the clothes than when you go buy them. Because, seriously, if you were to buy a pair of jeans? Tell me you don’t buy a 6. Right?

    • I wasn’t planning the “song as title” meme — when my mental soundtrack gets stuck in repeat, that just tends to become a title. I’m trying to give everybody my ear worms by association.

      I buy an 8-10 in RTW jeans. Sewing sizing hasn’t been updated since the seventies, so it’s itty-bitty vintage sizes. Some women’s patterns still go down to a 4 and you think, who would wear a 4 in a pattern — children? However, thanks to things like wearing ease and the current sloppy fit of clothes, the sizing is a mere guideline.

  2. “Hey, they look somewhat large!” Maybe you need to remeasure yourself? Again, I know nothing about sewing but I can’t see you as a size 14 or 12. I think you are a single digit girl. Now, where’s this headbanging today? I need to wake up! 😛

    • Ha, see my answer to Misty, above! Sewing sizing is old-fashioned sizing. That’s why I get annoyed with people who say, “Marilyn Monroe was a size 12!” Yes, she was, honey — in the fifties. Today, that’s a size 4 with boobs. I’ve seen her dresses and girlfriend was TINY.

      No headbanging before coffee! Tsk. Headbanging does not commence until Happy Hour is over.

  3. Oh yes, definitely on the roomy side. I’m guessing they put more ease into this pattern than is necessary for a stretch denim? Degree of strech certainly adds a little mystery to sizing. I like the dark wash of the fabric and the double button. It’s certainly worth trying again with the alterations you’ve mentioned.

    • I’m trying to figure that out — is the stretch of the fabric partially responsible here? The pants are currently not even close to being stretched over my body. I’m now wondering if I should test them in a plain twill, to see how that moves. I definitely need to take it down to AT LEAST a 12, more likely a 10, possibly an 8 on the outside. It’s so hard to know for sure!

  4. You need to try the JStern Designs Jeans pattern, try the size 8. They fit small and more like ready to wear. You might make a muslin before you do all that lovely topstitching. There is a chance you could take apart the legs and recut them since the top fits fine.

    • Thanks for the tip! I’ve considered the JStern Designs Jeans, but I can’t find out where to buy the pattern? All the links I’ve found connect to the designer’s blog.

      I also considered the Jalie pattern that is so popular on patternreview.com but it is bootcut and I’m not sure how easy it would be to alter to straight legs.

  5. It makes me crazy that the sizes are so off on some patterns, it wouldn’t be nearly so bad if they were consistently off, but I swear sometimes they just randomly add ease to patterns.
    Nice work and lovely topstitching.

    • I KNOW! If I compare a pattern to a TNT and it’s close, then I can have a pretty good idea of how it will fit. But if I have no TNT in a certain style, it’s impossible to tell whether something will sew up loose or fitted. Even a few millimeters makes such a HUGE difference.

      What’s kind of crazy too is that clothing manufacturers have the same fit model so if you are a size 12 in say, J. Crew, you will probably be a size 12 in most of their things. There is no such rhyme or reason here…I’ve cut out patterns anywhere from an 8 to a 16 from the same company.

  6. I agree with the comment above–you are the smallest size 14 I’ve ever seen. I’m a 2 and you look just like me. I think you need an unbiased person to give you the low-down on what size you are. There seems to be some distortion happening somewhere.

    With sewing patterns–the rise is ALWAYS too long. This is why I quit sewing–frustration over pants patterns. Seriously. The pattern companies just can’t get it right. Or even close, really.

    I find safety and security in knitting now because I know nobody ever knits pants.

    • Ha, I’m definitely not a 2 but I think you are quite a bit shorter than me. It’s entirely possible that we’re the same general proportions.

      Shortening a rise is actually fairly easy. I have to modify for a tilted pelvis — long in back, short in front — which has a bit of a steep learning curve. It’s safe to say I’m still learning.

      And now I kind of want you to knit pants. Rainbow striped pants. Cause that would be AWESOME.

  7. Yep they are, umm, lots lots too big and the top-stitching does look fab! Please don’t even talk about knitted pants for grownups. It worries me on many levels!!! :o))

    I am going to watch with interest to see what you decide to do next with down sizing …. Sorry I haven’t any pearls of wisdom as am so far from wise on this ….

    • I’m kicking around the idea of cutting out shorts from scrap denim to fine-tune the fit at the top — less waste if they’re unwearable.

      Knitted pants are HILARIOUS. I am a firm believer in encouraging other peoples’ oddities, that way I appear normal. Well, more normal….

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