These jeans sell for $560 on Net a Porter. Yes, they are by Chloe, but they don't fit her very well. See those wrinkles in the crotch? Ouch! I think I can do better than this and I am not a size 2.
To facilitate fitting the perfect pair of jeans I bought Palmer Pletsch's new 2 disc dvd on fitting and sewing jeans. It really covers everything you need to know about making jeans, or so I thought.
The DVD fits Marta first as well as 2 other women of different ages and shapes. It's definitely better done than some of their other dvd's and covers a lot of territory without spending 5 minutes taping the tissue. They show the usual tissue fitting and then, instead of sewing up the pants with the zipper and details like pockets first and then pin fit, they have you pin fit before you sew anything except for the front and back crotch.
Even though I carefully clipped the crotch for the tissue fitting so that it could be pulled up to touch my crotch the crotch depth was a good 1" too deep in the denim. I had to really drop the back crotch and sew a deeper center back seam to straighten it out even though I already had lowered it during the tissue fitting. I had to pull up the center back to get rid of wrinkles below the rear end, a lot. It looked pretty good so I started sewing, putting in a zipper and doing the pockets. I basted all the seams together and put them back on. Hmm. Not bad, but not really good enough. I still had some wrinkles below the rear end and too much fabric at the lower crotch that I didn't catch in the pin fitting. This really can't be fixed once you've cut out the pants. The front pockets weren't wide enough either. Remember I copied these from a rtw pair that used to fit? I graded them up but I didn't make the front pockets wider. Unfortunate that, but since I had other issues I decided that these were a muslin. Nice denim but if they weren't a great fit I wasn't going to wear them anyway. I added a cb seam for the waistband, but it was also too big in the waist so I took it in a good inch or more using small darts in several places around waist in the tissue to take care of this. I have a pretty curvy high hip to waist and this makes it work for me.
After cutting and fitting these jeans I saw Peggy Sagers fitting videos on her website and gee she had one for fitting jeans that comes at it from a totally different perspective than Palmer Pletsch does. She recommends using denim for your jeans muslin, which I ended up doing if inadvertently. I pinned a dart out below the zipper and another one below my rear end that took excess fabric out. Also something she shows on the video.I also added back some fabric at the upper cb where the pants were pulling down (below the yoke as you don't want to change that size of that). Remember, I pulled it up here to get rid of wrinkles. She does not advocate scooping out which is a big aspect of fitting rear ends for PP. That's actually putting it mildly. She's very opinionated about it, but she does get results. Sagers recommends just using your muslin to cut your pants, but I find that awkward, so I transferred my changes to the pattern. She also suggests that instead of lining up your back pockets with the yoke seam that you line up the side of the pocket with the cb seam. I went to Net a Porter and looked at how pockets were sewn on high end jeans and sure enough the most becoming had the pockets sewn almost parallel to the cb. I was also looking for a treatment for those pockets and the high end jeans had very simple understated topstitching which is perfect for me. In fact, I think I'll use black topstitching to be even more understated. The back pocket needed to be a bit larger as well. Large rear, bigger pocket looks more proportional. I think that I am pretty close to a good fit now, certainly better than I can get in rtw.
One other issue I encountered is using a contour band makes it very stretchy as the whole thing can't be cut on the straight grain, or the non stretch direction while PP only has you interface the buttonhole area on both ends, I doubt that's going to work for me. If I don't interface I'm going to be wearing these around my ankles. I think that I'll cut the interfacing along a different grainline so that I end up stabilizing the waistband. Did I see this on your blog Sirgrid? It's a great idea.
On to cutting out my next pair, hopefully this time a totally wearable pair.
I have one question for you readers, if I am not going to tuck my shirt in or wear a belt with them, do I need to use the belt loops?