Saturday, April 28, 2012

The Never Ending Quest

Hubris does come back to haunt you and in the case of making jeans it's certainly bit me on the ass.  I was so sure that I could make a better fitting pair than the jeans from Net a Porter I posted some time back.  Quite a while back. 

I started out with copying a rtw pair that was too small but I thought had fit me nicely.  Enlarging them seemed to focus on how they really hadn't fit as well as I thought they had.  I guess I was just willing to accept less perfection from a pair that was really just ok as long as I didn't have to make them.  The front was fine, but the back had my usual problems due to a flat low seat.
I chucked those and decided that of the many jeans patterns I owned I'd make the Hot Patterns dressy jean.  It had that L shaped crotch that fit me and after all my tnt pants started out as the Razor Pant from Hot Patterns.  Enter many, many muslins and two pairs that were supposed to be finals.  The  black corduroy I posted were great in the front, but way too short in the back and pulled down uncomfortably. The  pants ended up with a really pointed back crotch and when I cut it off it made the back crotch too short, and if I didn't cut it off it made the front crotch look like this:

This is what the back crotch ended up looking like as I tried to get more room in the back crotch so that the pants wouldn't pull down when I sat.  

The back didn't look bad, unless you count the fact that they were just too low at the waist.
I've put them aside for the time being while I figure out what I want to do.  I've gotten so far from the original pattern, which by the way also had this very point back crotch, that I am considering starting over with another pattern.  But not now.  It's taken too much of my time and a lot of denim.  I need clothing for spring and summer so I am going to give it a rest and try again later.  I may even go shopping and try to find a pair that I can live with.
If anybody has a pattern recommendation that works for a flat low rear end do let me know.

I leave you with my pile of rejects and this isn't even all of them!


  1. I sympathize with you, Nancy...I've got the same problem. I have an appointment with Lynda Maynard the end of May; she will fit me and I will wind up with a pants pattern that FITS. I am tired of trying over and over to get the look I want. Put your trial pants out of sight for a while and make something springy and fun!

  2. I'm so sorry about your frustrating jeans project. I have a different figure issues with jeans. I still haven't gotten pants fitting quite right for myself, but I live with what I make and try to do better the next time. I found Angela Wolf's pants fitting class quite helpful on PR. She is very helpful with suggestions for muslin adjustments based on your pictures. I am hoping that when I put the time in I will end up with a great result. I think it is a mistake to start with a formerly great fitting pair of pants that no longer fits. I find that a fluctuation of 5 lbs makes a huge difference in pants fitting, and the very areas that fit well in a smaller size need adjustment in the larger size. I hope that with a breather and some successful projects to ease the pain, that you find the solution to your jeans fitting.

  3. I can understand wanting to step back and take a break from the jeans. Sewing some light and easy summer clothes might be therapeutic! I have no fitting suggestions, I'm far behind you in that sort of skill.

  4. Been there, done that!

    A few years ago I traced a pair of brand new RTW that DID fit other than a gap at the back waist. I figured easy, peasy, dart it out and fit a new waistband. At least 6 pairs later they still did not fit anywhere close to the RTW. The only thing I could figure out was that I just wasn't able to get a denim with the same stretch.

    Fast forward to last September. I was going to spend as much time and denim as needed to get a pair that fit. Roughly 25 yds.of denim and 3 months later I was no further than I was in September.

    January I gave in and ordered the Jalie stretch jean pattern 2908 that was so popular on PR. I'm closer to the fit I want now than I've ever been. This pattern is superbly drafted. I usually hate working with stretch denim becuause it stretches out and ends up way too big. If you make the correct size it's actually drafted with negative ease. Freshly washed they feel like sausage casings (!) but within an hour they have stretched just enough to be comfy but not sloppy. One of the keys with this pattern is to use a denim that has the required amount of stretch. Ask me how I know!

    I took a break after 2-3 muslins and 3 wearable pair that still have a bit of a problem with each pair. I'll pick it back up in the middle of summer when it's too hot and I want to stay in with the air conditioning!

  5. I feel your pain. This is not on my to do list in any near future but I admire you for your fortitude. I know you will get it worked out.

  6. Yes, leave it for now and sew some nice spring/summer items. This is so frustrating that you need a break from it. And it might indeed be a good idea to try and find a rtw pair you "can live with". I've done that for 2 light colored jeans recently. Wearing one of them now and the only thing I had to do was shortening the legs.

  7. This is absolutely frustrating. I recently too my TNT pants pattern and converted them to a jeans pattern and made a muslin and so far so good. I have yet to cut the actual jeans. I agree with the other commenters that you may want to put this project aside for a little while and then try it again.

  8. I feel your pain, Nancy, as I also have a low flat bottom. I retire this year and my main sewing goal is to make perfect fitting slacks AND jeans TNTs so we'll be on the same journey this fall. For now enjoy sewing some easy summer garments. Your are an excellent sewist so give yourself some sewing satisfaction

    Karen in Houston

    1. It's a good thing I hate wearing jeans in the summer. I bought some dress patterns for easy fitting summer coolness and hopefully those will work out better!

  9. Nancy - The first thing I read with this, is you are so tenacious as me and YOU WILL WIN THIS BATTLE!!!

    Next is that I don't think a lot of folks realize that pants normally ride short in back when we sit. This is natural. Think about it and there's a lot more area to cover when we are sitting, as our inseam is usually in the same spot standning as sitting which means it's really in front when we're sitting, so what happens when the pants are left to cover a lot more space?....the pants ride down in back.

    If you have a pair of pants that don't do that, then they are stretch or they are baggy - this is the bargain you make when you make your pants - either they're a little baggie and don't ride down in back when you sit, or they are tight when you stand and ride down in back when you sit. It's just a law of nature...Sun rises in East, sets in west; Pants ride down when tight standing, don't when they aren't tight standing.

    Next is in the photo....this gets into that zone of where to release.....when you start hitting below the hip line and into the bottom of the crotch, then you have to release through the crotch, and also in the inseam. What I do is draw a line starting at about the knee on the inseam and parallel to the grainline up to the waist. Make a slash and split it 1/4" to 1/2" - no more, and cut out and fit again. If it's too big, take it up in the side seam which is easier to control.

    Also make sure that your crotch/fanny and crotch/stomach lines are matching both front crotch (stomach) and back crotch (fanny) profiles. My fanny has sunk a little in the last year (lack of hiking) so I have to square mine off...I'm almost straight down then squared at the bottom....that's part of shaping to match that back or front profile. (I'm a little rounder in front)

    OK - hopefully that helps - and go get 'em!!!! Good luck!

  10. Awww poor mom. Jeans are a pain in the tuchas. The pile of rejects is kind of funny though.