Thursday, April 30, 2009

McCalls Jeans Done

I added a couple more pictures to the jalie post so you can see the side and back view of those jeans too.

These are fine, but I'm not as enthused about them as I was with the Jalie jeans. There's nothing really wrong with them... but I prefer the fit of the Jalie pattern.

I used most of rocketboy's tutorial, but when it came to sewing the waistband ends, I used the standard method. Here's a pic:

And the finished waistband:It really is a nice finish... Thanks Rocketboy! You can also see how I changed the shape of the pocket lining in order to get rid of that straight line across the thigh.

Here's what I do like about these.
There was NO gaposis in the back.
The pattern is easy to find at any sewing store. I picked it up at Walmart.
If you like a very relaxed fit, these will do. I altered the legs to make them flared.
Alteration lines are already drawn in on the pattern.

What I didn't like:
The yoke doesn't slant enough in the back. I think it makes me look wider across the hip.
The back pockets are too low. This one could easily be fixed, just shift it up a bit.
The zipper installation was not as easy as the Jalie pattern.
The zipper ends lower, and I think it looks a little odd. I'd raise the bottom of the opening up by about 1" if I made it again.
The front pocket openings curve too low. I think it would look much better if it were higher. Again, an easy fix, just draft the curve a little higher.
The pocket lining is only on the front piece. The back part is all denim. Jalie has a pocket lining piece that is denim and lining. The denim only covers above the pocket opening. McCalls piece is one piece, all denim. It's a bit bulky. I cut mine to curve a bit because the bulk left a line across my thigh. Not something I'd like to emphasize.

Although this pattern is meant to help you find the perfect fit, it doesn't include fitting instructions. You need to purchase the pants fitting book for that... hmmmm...

But they did come out pretty good. I'd recommend this pattern too if you like a relaxed fit for jeans. Just make sure you compare the measurements to your favs and cut the size closest to that after measuring the pattern pieces. Don't go by the measurement charts. Here are the pics of the finished jeans.
One last thing, these are my favorite sewing tools for making jeans. I use the hammer to flatten the seams when they're too thick to sew through. And the other one? I'm sure you can figure that out.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Moulage drafting

I started working on a new moulage since my measurements have expanded :( just a little. Yes, I plan to lose that extra inch, (right...) but till then, I want something true to my current measurements so I can work on things RIGHT NOW! LOL. Anyway, here's how it looks:

Mine looks a little odd and I'm wondering if I did it correctly. See the hip curve? It's not true to my measurements. If you look closely, you can see another line that goes inwards at the half hip line, then slopes back out to the hip. THAT'S the real line. It looked so odd that I decided to just draft a regular hip curve. I'll see how it turns out in the muslin.

Also, look at that weird shoulder... My first one had the same kind of strange lack of slope. My shoulder point is about 1/2" - 3/4" higher than the first shoulder line. Is that right?

I tried doing a trial one in 1/2 scale first and ended up with the same issues. Does anyone know if this is "unusual, but normal?"

I measured twice, but had to do it alone since my DH is DIY deficient, and my 5 year old would definitely be no help here. Anyone who could've been helpful was unavailable... Wish I had a sewing partner. I guess the muslin will be next and we'll just have to see if it's right...

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Jalie Jeans DONE! LOVE EM!

I love 'em so much I'm planning on doing a few more for my daughters and myself... definitely. Now... I have to find more stretch denim in my stash since I promised not to buy more fabric for a while. Either that or I have to sew more stash and make all those other projects I have fabric for. And here they are!

These fit wonderfully. If I were tall and leggy, they'd look like the picture on the pattern... but for my shape (petite and big thighed), they are very flattering! After adding the extra to the side seams for my saddlebaggy thighs, I added even more (1") for fitting insurance. I'm so glad I did because these definitely would be unflattering for my fat thighs without the extra space. I like snug jeans, but I'd rather they glide over the bulges than hug them. I also added an extra 1" at the top of the waist in case they were too low. Which I felt they were when I tried them on before applying the waistband.

Once I put the waistband on, it was fine. I love this pattern! I think if I had chosen a bigger size, and made view B, I would've had a better fit to start with.

The gaposis problem I had with the jeans. Instead of making darts, I just redid the CB seam. I think when I retrace the pattern, I'll trace a bigger size in view B and make some other adjustments to the CB seam and the yoke piece.I used Rocketboy's tutorial on waistbands (you can find it on page 31 of the jeans sew along at Patternreview), but had cut the lining on the straight grain. Next time, I'll cut on the bias. I don't mind the straight band, rather than contoured, but I would like a little more give when I eat...

And that wonderful waistband application:

I have the McCalls pattern to do. I don't know if I'll like this one... it was much shorter in the back and I don't like to have anything showing back there... ewwwww... I did make adjustments, adding more to the back crotch length. And it also has 1" extra fitting insurance, so we'll see.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Undies again

I made a couple more undies. These use the original KwikSew 2908 pattern, but I reshaped them to make them lower on the hips. I don't want them to peek out of my jeans when I make the Jalie jeans.

First I used the original size Medium Bikini cut undie pattern and redrew the waist much lower. I made sure there was enough seam allowance for my elastic waist treatment. Here's the front and back patterns I made for the low rise bikini panty.

Then I retraced again so I could use a wide stretch lace waistband. I found my attempt on the last teal ones would show when I sat down. It was a little higher than I expected... I guess because of the stretch factor. When sewing these, I measured the elastic to start where I thought they'd be on the leg, then pulled a bit tighter. I hope it works out... at least these should be no show... And that's all I'll be doing on undies, unless I find more puka undies that need replacing. Or I find more good undies fabrics in my stash.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Detour... Undies

I got a little sidetracked this week and wanted to make some new undies. I'm trying to reduce stash and I just got rid of two remnants of soft knits by cutting out 4 pairs of undies. okay... now I can buy more! muwahhahahaha!!! NOT!

There's a panty sew along on and I was inspired to make some new undies (which I've been meaning to do, thus the knit remants in my stash). I used my TNT KwikSew 2908 pattern view B. I replaced the elastic waist with some stretch lace. I like the way wide stretch lace lays flatter against my skin than a regular elastic waist. There're fewer bulges that way.

Here's two that I finished tonite... tomorrow I'll finish up the other two before getting back to my jeans. I really needed new undies, and these are so much nicer and softer than the cheap Hanes stuff I usually buy. These are tencel knit, and I think the other set are rayon knits. Sooooo soft. Plus they don't dig into my hip with that bulky elastic bump at the side seam. I made a flat seam at the back of mines.

Here's a pic of the inside. On the instruction sheet, it doesn't say to tack the crotch lining down in the front, so it's usually left unsewn. I use a small zigzag stitch and secure it, otherwise I find that it curls.

No more Hanes for me. These are a quick fix for my sewing addiction. And they always fit just right.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Jalie or McCalls jeans? Alterations to both patterns

I'm so glad Spring break is over and I can finally get back to my sewing! Now that all the kids are back in school, and my workload is still very minimal, I can work on my jeans again.

Alterations have been finished on both pattern. Here's what I did after comparing each pattern to my favorite pair of Levis.

Jalie was the same in crotch measurements, so I'll start with this one first. I wanted a little more width in the upper legs and hip and considered tracing another pattern. Instead, I just added the extra generous 1/8" to the side seam from waist tapering to the knee. Most of my baggage is unfortunately located in the outer thigh, so that's where I added the space. If you click on the pictures, you can see the addition of blue alteration lines.

I also decreased the length by chopping off 4 inches from the botton. When I measured it out, the distance from crotchline to knee was pretty close to my measurements, so I made no length changes above the knee. I also made the adjustments necessary for the yoke/pocket/waistband pieces.

McCalls alterations are a little trickier. First I retraced a size 10 since 14 seemed way to big for stretch jeans. 10 was much closer in measurements to my Levis. After lopping off 4" from the hemline, I adjusted the back crotch length, adding 1 1/2" to make it a little closer in length to my Levis. I also tapered in 3/4" on both sides at the knee to add some shaping. This alteration was tapered from 2" below the crotchline to the knee, then back out to 0 at the hem. I added a generous 1/8" to the sideseams for a little extra space at the hip to waist. Thigh measurements were actually close enough that I didn't feel I needed to make any adjustments. Again, if any adjustments affected the pocket pieces and yoke, I made those as well. Click on the pics below and you'll be able to see the blue adjustment lines.

Yippee! We're getting to the good part.

Ready.... set..... CUT!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Jalie Jeans or McCalls?

The new Jalie Stretch jeans pattern just came out and I've been wanting to sew a new pair of jeans. I had started tracing the McCalls pattern a few weeks ago, but decided to wait on cutting them out when I heard about the new Jalie pattern.

Here's a look at the front and back pieces of both patterns. If you click on the picture, you'll have a better view of the differences between the two patterns. The McCalls patterns have 1" seam allowances, but even after tracing those in, you can see a significant difference in size. This is before any alterations were done. I went with the size charts and tried to trace the one that matched my measurements closest. Jalie pattern size T matched waist and hip measurements perfectly, while McCalls size 14 pattern was within 1/2" of my waist and hip. However, after tracing the two patterns and laying the Jalie pattern on top the McCalls one, you can see there's a significant difference not only in style, but in sizing! And yes, both require STRETCH DENIM. For a minute, I thought the McCalls pattern was for non-stretch denim... but nope, it lists both regular denim and Stretch denim, and there is a stretch meter on the side of the package. Hmmm...

In comparison, the Jalie pattern is much more fitted from waist to knee. The rise is a bit lower in front, and the center front slants at a slightly greater angle. It is also much closer in angle to my favorite pair of jeans.
The CB seams on both appear to have a bigger wedge cut out than my favorite pair of jeans, though both angles are very close.

Okay. So then I compared the measurements from both patterns to my favorite pair of jeans, and because the McCalls pattern seemed way too big, I included size 10 and 12 as well... here's how they fared (Favorite jeans, area measured, Jalie, McCalls 10, McCalls 12, McCalls 14):

7 3/4" (Front crotch:) 6 3/4" , 7 3/4", 8 1/8", 8 1/4"
12 3/4" (Back crotch:) 12 3/4", 10 1/4", 10 1/2", 11 1/8"
37 3/4" ( Hip:) 37", 37", 38 1/2", 40"
23 1/4" (Thigh around crotch line:) 23 1/4", 23 1/2", 24", 25 3/4"
22 1/4" (2" below crotch line - around the saddlebag): 21 1/2", 22 1/2", 23 3/8, 24 1/2"
15" (knee): 15 1/4", 19", almost the same as size 10
17" (leg opening): 20 1/4", 19 -20" for McCalls sizes

I did NOT take into consideration basic length measurements as those can easily be adjusted. So far, Jalie seems to be closer to what I'd want to wear.

Next post: Alterations