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Pattern Review - Simplicity D0844

A bit ago, I saw this Instagram post come across my feed.

I was intrigued because pants, and especially jeans, are the most difficult to fit to a person, and I have found that most pant patterns are not fitted to anyone, and almost always require adjustment. I will give that they have gotten better in recent years with the addition of curvy, skinny, and average sizing, but even still there are fitting issues.

After reading all of the comments from Simplicity and MimiG, my mind was made up that I would give these jeans a go. I know I have mentioned on a few occasions that I am not a one-size-fits-all girl. I span 3 sizes from bust to hips. So much fun! Not. In addition to spanning all those sizes, I regularly have to lengthen patterns, because they are made for the average(?) female. Although these jeans have a 30" inseam, which seems extremely short to me. Usually, I prefer a 36" inseam, because high waters scarred me as a child. No one likes high waters, Mom! It wasn't her fault. It was a different time. They didn't make long length jeans the way they do now. Being as these jeans are skinny jeans, I didn't need 36". 34" would do the trick. So now with all of the tidbits settled, it was time to create new pattern pieces from the originals.

I watched MimiG's sew along videos for these jeans, not because I needed to know how to put them together, but because the guide sheet was not very clear on how to choose the right fit for your body for these jeans. MimiG did go into more detail, but really you could devote an entire 15-minute video on how to properly fit jeans to your person. She spent maybe 30 seconds, but it was an informative 30 seconds. In the video, MimiG says that she likes her clothing to be form-fitting, and denim will lose its elasticity and sag after a bit, and who wants a saggy butt in their jeans? No one. So she has the pattern piece in front of her and says that she could cut out the pattern of her hip measurement, but because she likes her clothes to be well-fitting, she opts to cut out the next smallest size, which happens to be 2" smaller than her actual hip measurements. This is not new, but it's totally dependent on how you like your clothing to fit your body. I like my clothes to fit well and follow my curves, but I don't like looking like I've been poured into them.

So I follow her advice and decide to cut out my pattern a size smaller as well. This happens to the be the size that my waist measurement falls into. Let me try and clear all this up because it's a lot of words where numbers might be better.

My hips are 48" around. My waist is 34". According to the powers that be my hips are a size 22 and my waist a size 20 according to this pattern (and every other pattern almost). For a size 22, the finished hip measurement (finished = hip measurement + wearing ease) is 48-1/2", which would fit me great, but the waist would be oh-so-gappy. My biggest problem with all jeans is that the waist never fits, so cutting out this pattern at a 22 would not do me any favors. The finished hip measurement of a size 20 was 45-1/2", which is 2-1/2" smaller than my hips, but the denim I was going to be using has a fair amount of stretch, so I could cut them out and not worry about not being able to fit my hips in them. Cutting them out as a 20 would also help ensure that the waist would fit more accurately. So with this plan in place, I set out to make myself new pattern pieces to accommodate the added length I would need, and ensure that I could reuse the leg pattern, because if these jeans turned out well, I was going to be making myself some more jeans, maybe in a boot cut!

As a side note, I could've altered the jeans through the hipline, but I've done that before and I don't like how it looks. It's much easier to just go with a smaller size and pray for the best. Not the most reliable of chances, but I've made enough pants, and been dissatisfied with enough of them that I was willing to take the chance.

So after I got my new pattern piece made, it was time to dig through the stash and figure out which denim I was going to use. Yes, I have multiple cuts of denim, because I hoard fabric. This is another chance at stash-busting my hoard, and if the jeans don't work out, then at least I have one less cut of fabric in the stash.

I also took a chance on a different way of cutting out my pattern. For years, I have pinned my pattern piece to the fabric and then cut it out, making sure to notch out the placement triangles. This time I used really big washers (same as MimiG did in her sew-along) and cut out all of the pattern pieces, and instead of notching out the triangles, I cut very small slits at them. This was big people. I don't do change, but I've taken several classes on sewing and pattern design and this is the way the instructors all do it, so why not see if this way worked for me. It was different. I did like not having to notch out the triangles, as that can be a pain in the ass, but not having the pattern piece pinned down was nerve-wracking at times. I don't know that I'm totally sold on not pinning down the pattern piece, but I'll give it a few more goes just for the sake of thoroughness.

So my pattern is cut out and it's time to sew. The guide sheet was very good at detailing and instructing on how to sew up this pattern, so I'm not really going to expand further on that. There are parts of pant/jean construction that will always be a pain, and this pattern is no different. My machine is starting to show her age and persnicketiness and gave me trouble at several parts of construction due to the thickness of the fabric layers. I may have to invest in a new machine here soon because to get her serviced/tuned up would cost as much as a brand new machine. This makes me sad. I may be more attached to my sewing machine than is healthy. I opted to invest in a nicer top-stitching thread, and the details really stand out. The jeans are starting look like legit!
 I get to try on the pattern before attaching the waistband, and I love how it fits so far! My hips are being hugged by the denim without being too tight. The waist is loose, but the waistband isn't attached yet, so I'm not concerned about that.
I get the waistband on and I'm in LURVE! They fit! They look great! I'm so happy. I will be making one small alteration though. Across the front of the jeans, they are a perfect fit, but once you reach the small of my back, it's gappy. Hello, gap. You haven't been missed. Luckily, the curvy pattern of these jeans allows for a taller yoke at the small of the back, and they sit almost at your natural waist. This is a good thing for all of us belt wearers because the jeans will be less apt to sag down below the belt while wearing them. So for the next rendition of these jeans, I will be altering the yoke to be a size 18 at the top of the yoke, and a size 20 at the bottom. I will then cut out a size 18 waistband, and hope for the best, because I will definitely be making these jeans again, and while digging through my stash I found another gorgeous denim which is just begging to be made into some trouser-type boot cuts.
I added rivets to my finished jeans and then proceeded to wear them the very next day. They are the most comfortable jeans I own, and I can't wait to make another pair. Right after, I pick up more top-stitching thread.
 I can't thank MimiG and Simplicity enough for these jeans and pattern, but I would suggest adding a page to the guide sheet on fitting said jeans. I would say that these jeans would be appropriate for an advanced beginner to beginning intermediate sewer. The fly is the main reason for this because even as an experienced seamstress it's still a pain in the ass. Its the nature of the beast.

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