I ice dyed some Cone Mills Denim natural color with a 20% stretch for these jeans you can read all about it here. Since I was essentially cutting into a piece of art, I made the fit version out of black denim also with 20% stretch from JoAnns. The quality in the two different denims was VERY noticeable.
My waist was 44” and Hips 51” this put me in a size 20 or EE in the Eleonore a pull on stretch jean in a straight leg full length or capri style. This pattern also offers sizes down to a toddler size 2 to a women’s size 20, and since I have girls this made a lot of fiscal sense. The preschooler has already asked for a pair, but her preteen sister is up next with her self designed capsule wardrobe (I will post if she’ll let me).
My body shape often requires pattern adjustments so I knew for my situation a fit version, toile, or muslin was needed. I had the black stretch denim slated to be jeans for the oldest kid but she has decided she doesn’t like jeans, so onto the cutting table it went. The instructions for assembling each side of the jeans (first front then back) was very clear and took no time at all. I wish I had set up another sewing machine as my topstitching machine, the amount of thread I wasted changing back and forth was a bummer.
For the fit version I cut out and assembled a straight size 20 or EE and basted the side seams. When I tried on the jeans I could see that I didn’t have enough rise in the back or enough taking in at the waist. I could have held a fruit bowl in the back bum gap, but that is the way of my body in most RTW jeans too. I took in two darts with about an inch at their widest near the waist, which helped but still would have been too close to a peek a boo bum when I sat. I also had way too much ease in the thigh and calf area. I made my notes and finished the fit pair that I dubbed my “Thanksgiving Pants”.
My alterations to the pattern:
- Cut out two sizes smaller, a size 16
- Cut the back rise sides at a 16 but the rise (where the back yolk seam is) at a 20
- Cut the length to a 30” inseam (I’m short)
- Adjusted the false pocket to match the size 20 back side seam though it was a size 16
- Took out an inch from the center back seam of the back yolk at the top only and re-drew the seam line
- Stitched the hip and thigh with 1/4 seam allowance and rest of the leg at 5/8
- Made the waist band a size 16 at the seam lines but a size 15 where the elastics attach
After the fit version I cut out my ice dyed denim in a size 16 waist and back but kept the height the same as the fit version size 20 for the back rise, giving more height to go up and around the booty. I made sure to grade up where seams would need to meet like in the false front pockets. If fake pockets make you mad here is someone who added real pockets to this pattern. I also shorted the pants by using a much smaller sizes hem line as there were no “lengthen here” marks and the drafted lines of the legs were the same (straight leg style) so there was no tapering to account for. Because these are stretch pull on jeans or leggings the waist needs to be tight to hold everything up but the thighs also need to be just right so the pants don’t constrict south aka fall down. I made sure to baste in the side seams and try on before finishing the inside and adding the waist.
This showed me that the thigh area was just a bit too tight and the calf area too big. I adjusted this while I stitched the side seam and before surging by decreasing and increasing my seam allowance where needed. A more patient sewist might have basted and tried on one more time, but I was not that person. The waist is constructed with elastics on each individual front and back piece without any tension added when you zigzag it to the inside. This makes for a smooth waist band but could also be a fit issue for some body types. If your full hips are a great deal different in circumference than your waist measurement this pattern could be very difficult to pull on and have sit comfortably against your waist. My waist does go in a bit so I adjusted the waistband pattern pieces to have the elastic part a size smaller than the seam that will meet with the jean top. I hoped this would create enough of a cinched waist as to keep the pants up and not create a tourniquet. It does! Now it is a little bit tight to pull on but not like trying to get in and out of too tight shape wear. It is just fitted enough to stay up all day while doing all the things this mom needs to do.