Sunday, September 1, 2013

Denim Pleated Trousers: The Pants Odyssey Continues...

I need jeans.  I own one RTW pair and they are threatening to rip a hole in that exact spot where the top of the thighs touch when I walk (you know what I mean, my thick thighed friends.)  I was generally pretty happy with my last version of this pattern (My Image 1253 from the Autumn/Winter 2012/13 issue)  that I thought I'd give it a whirl again with a couple alterations in hopes for a better fit.  

I used a medium weight cotton denim with 2% spandex.  I made the same size this time, 42 then graded to a 46 for the thighs and bum.  My last version dipped lower in back on the waist (due to a fuller rear end) and had a fair amount of wrinkling on the back legs.  I am happy to say the waistline is now even from front to back but there's some wrinkling still on the back leg.

I am sure that with very close fitting pants like this there is bound to be some wrinkling, but I know I can do better yet.  For this pair I followed the advice from my book Singer's Sewing Pants That Fit for a 'protruding back seat' and lengthening the back crotch to make room for fuller thighs and rear.  Don't be fooled by the dated look of this book, it's a clear and easy to follow compendium of advice.  I paid $4 for mine a couple months back and it's a nice addition to my sewing library.  Here is a great example of on Threads Magazine's website for pants alterations.  Colette also has a pants fitting cheat sheet that's quite helpful.  
Shorten or lengthen the crotch
I only lengthened the back for a full derriere
Move the back inseam
How I lengthened the back crotch
I did not alter the height of the rise nor the size of the waist.  The waistline is awfully high and will be nicely hidden under long tops.  Plus it's an elastic waistband, something better kept under wraps for this style of pants.  The waist band is a little on the large side and I'm hoping it will shrink some in the wash.

My absolute favorite part of these pants has to be the pleated panels on front.  They come together so nicely and help flatter a fuller leg.  

Because the waist is too high, it sort of is weighs down some, causing some wrinklage and buckling on the top of the leg/crotch region.   I think this is more obvious in the photo below.

Overall I think this is another positive learning experience in my pants sewing odyssey.  I'm not sure what pants pattern I will work on next... to shake things up maybe a simple one with a leg that has more ease.  I know I also need more basic, casual t-shirts (I had to dig and dig through my closet to eventually find one... this striped version of Dixie DIY's Hot Cocoa Sweater.  It's seen better days and has been washed and worn many times!)

I'm loving Sally's Style Arc Ivy t-shirt for an everyday, casual top.  I've been wanting to try Style Arc patterns.   I'm a big fan of Anne's blog, Sewing Engineer-- she does some beautiful work with Style Arc patterns and has gotten me hooked on reading her reviews of them.  I tried to order something from then yesterday but there was some sort of error on the site, I'll try again.  I might download Grainline's Hemlock Tee Pattern, it's a freebie that's been floating around on the sewing blogosphere.

And P.S.  Here is my first incarnation of this pattern.  I made the other view as a pair of running tights for cooler weather.


  1. Great looking pants - that side pleating detail looks very stylish and creative! I think you are on a winner with these...J

  2. Thanks, Judith! I really like these ones, too. They will be a nice staple in the fall/winter wardrobe. Plus they are super comfy and you can't beat that.

  3. Thanks so much for the mention, Kathy! I LOVE these jeans - the pleated panel on the front is KILLER! I may have to just make my own pair :) And then you can make an Ivy Tee! And then we can be twinsies! ;) But really, these jeans are awesome.

  4. Looks like you are achieving a great fit with these pants. Love the pleated detail. Very flattering on you.

  5. I just really like your Ivy shirt! And I was able to order it last night so then we can totally be twinsies :)

  6. Thanks, Jean! I wish I could wear them already but it's still so hot here for jeans.

  7. Looks great- you are inspiring me! its almost pants weather again, after all!

  8. Such a fabulous pair of pants from what appears to be a really versatile pattern! I'm so intrigued by the detailing on the leg... I might have to acquire this puppy! Looking great :)

  9. Love these! The seaming details and pintuck panel are so cool! The fit looks really good.

  10. OMG I am so in love with these. Is it possible to get the pattern?

  11. Thanks! I've worn them a few times. The one problem is with the fabric... they stretch out and don't have good recovery :( But the first few hours they are great!

  12. Hi, Gwen! Thanks! Yes, you can get this pattern from My Image. This pattern is from their magazine. You can get this issue (Fall/Winter 2012/2013) here in their webshop

    It's under $7 USD right now and shipping is under $4 USD for 1-2 magazines. It's such a good deal. Or you can get a package deal for $16 that includes this issue plus two others (all issues are really solid)

    I'd sew and wear about 75% of their patterns if I had the time... maybe not the droopy crotch pants patterns but almost all of the other designs.

  13. Oh man, I'm so sorry to hear that! It really stinks when that happens! :(