Getting the Ducks in a Row

It’s always a judgement call how closely you fit clothes. The jeans in natural denim (last post) are a tad baggy on my legs, in fact I can grab a good 6 cms each side just below the pelvis without feeling any strain. Translated to the flat pattern, this amount makes quite a strange line down the side seam, and is positively weird at the top of the inseam.

Fitting books don’t dish out a lot of advice for ‘thin bits’. Leichty, Pottberg and Rasband, surely one of the most comprehensive guides, has 21 conditions of the hip area which might need adjustments, and ten leg quirks. ‘Thin legs’ comes last. The advice is, unsurprisingly, to take in the amounts evenly on the side seam and inseam and blend in at the hipline to the original line.

The devil is in the detail. The bagginess starts higher ( femur head) on me, and I don’t want the lower legs ultra tight. I’ve got a few rtw jeans which hug the legs and are fairly narrow, in a stretchy but not heavy denim. They’re passable but tight on the tum and waist. I bought and chucked out one pair of ultra fitted ones, designed by Gok Wan for you know which supermarket. Fit was ok but peeling these off at bedtime was just too hard on the intervertebral discs.

Enough waffle – the shape of this pair in black needlecord is a compromise between smooth fit and pain free existence, with a nod to a reasonable pattern line. I’m happy.

Black Needlecord Jeans

I battled the freezing Easterly wind in front of my frost blasted hydrangeas for this unclear shot, so I hope you can see that they’re slimmer, though a bit too long with the slip on flats.

Here’s the altered back pattern next to the card block.

Back Jeans Pattern

See the odd side seam? The crotch curve is moved towards more of an L shape too.

Front Jeans Pattern

Same on the front.

Despite vowing not to buy any more fabric, I failed to resist getting this from Les Coupons de Saint Pierre

Silk Denim

Its a medium weight twill weave matt silk fabric denim style, and was 30 euros for 3 metres, plus postage. Denim, but silk.



About jay

I design and draft patterns
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7 Responses to Getting the Ducks in a Row

  1. maryfunt says:

    To me it matters more that you have achieved a comfortable and flattering fit, not what the pattern looks like. Maybe more experience with “standard” patterns hinders as we tend to try and have patterns conform to that shape. I’ve drafted for multiple sizes and shapes and sometimes my pattern pieces look nothing like those of a standard commercial pattern but if the fit is right who cares? The silk denim does look irresistible.

    Liked by 1 person

    • jay says:

      So true, if we look at patterns derived from actual historical garments, they so often have curves, lumps and bumps where we don’t expect to find them because we’ve got used to standardised shapes.


  2. Naomi says:

    Fitting pants is a massive rabbit hole and the resulting pattern pieces can look cray cray. I do recommend the fit as you sew method from Palmer Pletch Pants for Real People. It’s been a great investment of a book for me.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I remember being very surprised at the funny shape of my first self drafted pattern – it was so different to the envelope patterns I’d tried. But it did fit better.

    Silk denim, what a wonderful thing!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. It is strange when you end up with pattern adjustments that don’t look like anything else in the world! That is why RTW doesn’t work for so many people, including me! You worked hard to get that perfect fit – good for you! (I am still working on it! LOL)

    Liked by 1 person

  5. piakdy says:

    I can’t see what’s strange about your final pattern!?!?!? Were you comparing it to jeans patterns or standard pants patterns? I’ve read that they typically look quite different – at least the patterns used in the RTW if not commercial patterns. I’d imagine skinny jeans probably look different from looser fit jeans as well.

    But the strangest jeans pattern I’ve seen so far has to be Joost de Cock’s instagram photo of his attempt at men’s jeans using Selvedge Denim…
    !!! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Ignore how the pattern looks and enjoy the fit. And your silk denim – how lucky are you !?!


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