Evening fillies! Spurred on by the Me-Made-March need for regular, every day clothes as well as Tanit-Isis’ recent denim do’s and don’ts post I decided to jump in to jeans-making. Of course, with my love of making everything difficult, I ended up with a pair of trousers that bears a suspicious resemblance to riding breeches… they also strike me as a tad bit on the martial side.

This all started with a pattern sale. I know everyone seems to love the Jalie 2908 jeans pattern, but, you know. I’d actually have to order that and wait for it. Last weekend I was flipping through the Vogue Pattern book at Joann’s and Vogue 1034 caught my eye. While there are some super-goofy details in the jeans, including giant double pockets, odd zipper pockets in the back and an optional ‘button trim’; they are a Sandra Betzina design, which was intriguing to me. I usually find her videos and books quite helpful, although I’m usually not a fan of the Sandra Betzina patterns. Also, the cut of the leg was appealing to me – there’s a slight bootcut, but not as flared as a lot of patterns look. I got the pattern, headed home and started plotting.

I picked up some inexpensive stretch denim from Joann’s and started the washing and drying process. I also made a quick muslin to fit. I used a woven fabric, even though I planned on using a stretch fashion fabric, so the muslin wasn’t super helpful. In fact, based on the muslin, I added 2 inches to the back crotch length by cutting horizontally across the back pattern piece and adding two wedges. In hindsight, I realize that was a bad idea – I don’t think the jeans were too short in that measurement, I think the lack of stretch made them hard to pull up! I skipped muslin photos – super tight striped woven pants are not a look that I should share indiscriminately with anyone

[new jeans for today’s Me Made March!]

There was an element of introspection to this project. I am always drawn to trouser style jeans or possibly a (as-yet-undiscovered) well proportioned bootcut jean. In real life, though, I tend to wear my jeans either tucked in to tall boots or rolled up a bit and with flats. I don’t really like the look of wider legged jeans (trouser or bootcut) unless they’re worn with heels and I don’t usually wear that much of a heel in my day-to-day activities. In trying to stay with my me-made practicality, I picked up some stretch sateen from Joann’s to make a pair of practice pants. I was thinking of getting black to make some Audrey Hepburn-esque cropped pants, but there wasn’t enough black at the store. I went with beige. After tracing out the pattern, narrowing and shortening the legs, I realized I was really heading into the territory of the foxhunt…

[image equinenow.com]

Since these were meant to be ‘practice pants’ I did a lot of the detail work, but not full on. I topstitched, but just used regular all-purpose thread. Here’s the topstitching around the fly.

I finished the bottom of the waistband with a piece of bias tape. Also, in this picture you can see the pocket construction – the pockets stretch across the whole front of the pant and attach to the fly – the pattern calls it a tummy control panel or something like that. I sort of liked the effect! I did all the construction at home, so no serging! For the most part the seams were either overcast or in a few places I did flat felled seams.

Speaking of pockets, there are some crazy double pockets on these pants! I knew I didn’t want the full-on pockets, but couldn’t’ really figure out which one I wanted to get rid of, so I just went ahead and made them both on the practice pants. They are surprisingly functional, but I would never need TWO pockets, so I’ll drop the lower ones from future projects.

The pattern said to topstitch the outseam, but I had a pair of my favorite Calvin Klein jeans on hand and had looked at Dan’s Levis – they were both topstitched on the inseam, but only topstitched on the outseam to right about where the pockets end. I did the same on my practice pants.

The other different thing about this pattern is that the back yoke and waistband are cut as one, there’s no separate waistband! It looks odd to me. I’m not sure I like it.

Here’s a view from the back.

I borrowed Taran’s dart-on-the-calf trick. I ended up needing two darts to get the cuff as small as I wanted it. the two darts are on the left – the seam on the right in the topstitched inseam.

Fitting troubles…

The practice pants are pretty comfy and I’m sure I’ll get a lot of wear out of them. There are a few fitting issues, though. I think they’re all around the super high waist. It is a VERY high waist! On other trouser patterns I’ve generally had to take a lot of the front crotch length. I left these fronts the way they were and the waistband ends well above my belly button. It’s not an unflattering look, but after wearing for a day, there was a clear foldy ripple where my finger’s pointing in this picture.

I also added way too much to the back crotch depth. The muslin pants were probably four inches lower than the practice pants and I only added 2 inches. I’ll have to take some of that back out – probably all of it. Hello working with stretch fabric! in the back there’s a ripple right below the yoke. I’m not 100% sure if shortening the crotch depth will fix it – anyone know the fix to the bottom of the yoke not fitting right??

After that giant picture of my rump, I’ll close with a couple more pictures of the practice pants! One more from the side, and one without boots, with a crazed elfin vibe to it!                                                                               

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