Monday, September 10, 2018

Morgan Jeans: The Fit

Closet Case Patterns Morgan Jeans

This whole journey started because I found a length of denim fabric in my stash from my previous sewing life and thought that I could make a pair of jeans in order to clear it out of my stash. It's been hanging around for at least 8 years. I can't remember for sure where I bought it, but I'm guessing it's from Joann's. I thought that it was 100% cotton, because it lacked stretch, but I no longer think that is the case. I decided to use the Morgan Boyfriend Jean from Closet Case Patterns since it calls for non-stretch denim.

I put a lot of thought into choosing a size. I followed the advice of a youtube video to pick a size based on my hip and then measure up from the front crotch to the rise designated in the pattern for that size to find out where the jeans sit on the waist. Then I measured my waist at that point. Using those measurements, I cut a size 4 at the waist, blending to a 2 at the hip, and grading up to a 6 at the calf, going back to a 2 at the hem. I also shortened the inseam by 4".

As you may recall, my last attempt at sewing jeans did not go so well. I had a terrible time with fitting the Jalie jeans pattern and eventually gave up after going through 5 muslins and one unsuccessful pair of jeans.

Closet Case Patterns Morgan Jeans

I am happy to report, however, that all that work was worth something. This time around I did as the pattern suggested and baste-fitted my jeans before sewing them. I only cut out the legs, one waistband, the front pocket pieces, and the back yokes to do the basting in case I needed to recut anything. I cut 1" seam allowances for the crotch and inseams because I knew from last time it was likely that I would need to fit those areas. I got everything basted and tried it on, and yep, I had major issues with the crotch and inseams.

Basically I had a giant wedgie in the back and couldn't pull the pants up properly, and I also had extra fabric in the front crotch. I painstakingly made one alteration at a time though I did resort to safety pinning the inseam at the crotch rather than sewing it because I had to keep ripping it out to make changes over and over again. I ended up scooping out 3/8" from the back crotch, adding 1/4" to both the front and back inseams, and scooping the front crotch 1/4". This resulted in the pants sitting right under my belly button where they were supposed to. After that, the only other change I made was to take in the back waistband 1/2" at the top and 1/4" at the bottom tapering to nothing at the bottom of the yoke. So I did have to recut the waistband and yoke pieces since they became more curved.

I am happy with the fit of this first pair but I still have some adjustments to make for next time. Because these are meant to be a looser-fit, I find that I'm more forgiving of fit issues that I would probably want to fix in a skinnier pant.

  1. I finally figured out what "knock knees" are, and I definitely have them. I've never heard of the term before and all the fitting guides just say, "if you have knock knees, do X." Not knowing what that means, I had no idea whether I needed the adjustment or not. finally I did a google image search for knock knees and realized that I have a pretty pronounced case so I do need to account for it. I *think* that is what is causing the wrinkles on the back of the leg.
  2. I also need to check where the knee placement is on these pants and compare it to my actual knee. When I shortened the pattern I split 3.5" in half and removed that length evenly from above and below the knee, and then after trying on the jeans I cut off an additional 1/2" from the bottom. I think that my actual knee is probably lower than where I have it marked on the pattern and that may also be contributing to my back wrinkle issues.
  3. Finally, I need to decide what to do about the waist. it's loose, which is very comfortable, but that does mean the jeans slide lower down than I would like. When I bend over I'm dangerously close to a pronounced case of plumber butt. when I pull the jeans up where they should sit, they fit better through the seat as well. I may end up shaving off just a tiny bit from the waist to get them to sit higher without making them uncomfortably tight.
Closet Case Patterns Morgan Jeans

So that covers fit, and I'll be back tomorrow to talk more about construction. Spoiler Alert: It went well, but it also did not go so well, and now I'm dreaming of buying another sewing machine.

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