In Which I Learn Something About Myself

So, I spent part of the weekend sewing aqua jeans. Or trying to, anyhow. I ran into four snags:

1) I forgot that I need to sew 3/8″ inseams in this pattern. I sewed 5/8″ inseams, serged and topstitched, then had to pull it out. A word to the wise: when sewing tightly woven stretch twill, you need microtex needles rather than denim needles. The denim needles left ugly little holes, like so:

You might need to enlarge this to see the needle holes. Or maybe not.

Also, because I’d already serged the seam, I ripped it out to the serged edge but couldn’t make the seam any narrower. So they were closer to 1/2″ inseams than 3/8″.  Still better than the 5/8″ inseams which pulled the pants out of shape around my derriere. Sewing a smaller inseam really helps me with fitted pants as it allows for my muscular inner legs, so I made a note to myself to always pin fit with a narrow inseam.

2) The waistband doesn’t fit on the top of the jeans. I actually can’t figure out if this is a user error or a pattern error. I’ve made these pants in a 10 and a 14 and both times, the waistband went on perfectly. I might just need to stay stitch the front as well as the back.

3) I really need a size 10 in the front. I gain all my weight in the back, and my current cheetah pants (size 10) fit fine, if a bit slim. However, I tried to make these in a size 12 and this is the result:

Self-portrait in filthy mirror.

I apologize for giving y’all a better look at my stretch marks and zombie t-shirt than you probably wanted.  Anyhow, the pants — they’re ok in the back but wrinkle and bag out way too much in the front. If I want more room, I’m probably better off sticking with a 10 in front and going up to 12 or 14 in the back.

And the final realization, 4) I’m not really an aqua jeans kind of person. There’s a reason why I gravitate to black. Usually, my eye-catching garments are confined to my upper half, and good riddance. The cheetah pants work for me because they’re a subdued color and match with black. Even if these jeans had come out perfectly, I’m not sure they would be my cup of tea.

I have enough aqua twill to make a skirt or a pair of shorts. I think I’ll pull the zipper out of this failed pair and chalk this one up to experience.

Next up: Horrifying the Neighborhood with Home Stretch!

 

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Posted on April 4, 2012, in sewing. Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. Wow I hadn’t thought of doing one size at the back and a different one at the front. Brilliant! I’ve stuck that into my toolbox gray matter thingy. And actually I agree with you about the colour. I love it but it’ll be a lot of aqua so I understand your reservations.

    Oh and good tip about the needle type – another addition to the tips n tricks to remember.

    So do you think you’ll finish the trou?

    • At this point, I’ve set them aside. I don’t have a waistband that will fit these pants, and I’m unsure if I would wear them when finished.

      I’ve made quite a few skirts with a smaller size in front — if you measure your RTW clothes, you’ll find that they are usually not symmetrical, but smaller in front than in the back.

  2. Seriously- why has it never occured to me to use a different size for the back? My last pants are an unspeakable fail and that may be the reason….thanks for the illumination!

    • I figured this out by flat measuring my clothes and comparing them to flat measurements of similar patterns. I’ve seen people say that you need to measure your front and back separately, since they’re rarely the same size, but I can’t figure out how to do that in a way that translates to pattern sizes. Much easier to measure clothes instead.

  3. Learning is good. Wadders, less so, but as long as you learnt something ;).

    I have similar issues with a pair of RTW jeans I have in a black & white combo. They’re very striking, but they don’t go with many of my tops—they really need a plain black on top. And, despite my goth ambitions, I don’t really look that good with that much black right around my face. /sigh.

    • I figure I make at least 2 wadders for every decent finished product. I should be a straight A sewist by now!

      Oh yes, the wardrobe orphan. I have plenty of things that only go with black, it seems to be a recurring problem around here.

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