Friday 15 December 2017

Jeggings Attempts #3 and #4

It's been a journey, guys. This post represents the large amount of time and mental energy that has been taken up by this quest for successful jeggings. Remember when I was talking about ways we can pursue making great, long-lasting garments, thus making sewing a more sustainable activity? Well this whole journey has definitely ticked a whole load of those boxes, although I certainly couldn't muster up the energy to attempt to perfect every project/pattern to this degree!

But let's back up. If you're interested in the details of where I'd got to with The Saga of the Jeggings, then please head to this post to read about my first and second attempts. The black pair (#2), despite their issues, have been worn HEAPS. Like, almost daily. The quality of the denim I used is amazing. The colour has faded quite a lot, as you'd expect with repeated wear and laundering, but they keep their shape so well, and by the end of the day they haven't sagged at all. But, if you already read that post then you know I was pretty stumped about where to go next with improving the fit.

A while ago I'd bought, but not fully watched, the Craftsy class called The Perfect Jeans with Jennifer Stern-Hasemann (my new favourite person). I returned to that class after a tipoff from TATB employee and general amazing lady Vanessa (who had read my Jeggings Attempts #3 and #4 post so knew of my troubles) that it may hold the key to my fit issues. I watched the relevant sections of the Craftsy class but still felt unsure of how to proceed. I then spent a number of evenings reading pretty much all the fit issue questions posted by viewers in the class notes and Jennifer's responses to them, partly because I was finding it fascinating, but mainly in the hope that someone would be having the same issues as me. Then it finally dawned on me: I could just bloody ask Jennifer myself! I was a little concerned that she'd tell me that her class was about fitting 'proper' jeans, not jeggings, but as a paying customer I was hoping that she'd throw me a bone and offer some advice anyway. She did.

Jennifer suggested I scoop out the crotch a bit (see the red line in the picture above that she helpfully drew on). The aim of this was to create more space for my bum so they didn't ride down so much at the back when I sat down, whilst also to picking up some of the excess length I had on my black (#2) pair. I also lowered the waistline by 2cm for comfort, shortened the leg length, tapered the leg at the ankle a bit and repositioned the pockets. The navy pair you see below are the result of making these changes.


Better, no? I used some cheap stretch twill from Fabric Land in Brighton that has four-way stretch. I'm not sure I've knowingly encountered a woven with four-way stretch before, but it's made for very comfortable jeggings. They are basically the only pair of trousers/jeans/jeggings that I don't change out of as soon as I get home (I'm wearing them now, in fact). As for construction, I didn't bother with any real or faux felled leg seams this time, just closed ones on all seams. I also selected a very narrow lightning stretch stitch on my machine as a few stitches have popped around the waist seam on my black (#2) pair. I spent quite a bit of time creating some gently shaping around the calf so that they fit really nicely round there which I'm super pleased with. 

However, there's the following:
  • some excess fabric around the back thigh
  • they ride down at the back a fair bit when I sit down 
  • the pockets are still too low and too close to the side seam  
  • and now I've got some kind of knock-knee issue going on
Back to Jennifer...

She suggested I corrected the knock-knee by slashing both the front and back pattern pieces at the knee and shifting the bottom half towards the inseam about 1/2", then reshaping the leg seams (the adjustment in red labelled 1 in the picture above). (We decided against making the adjustment labelled 2 in the end.) I also extended the back crotch point, but only about 1/4", to help a bit more with the riding down at the back when I sit. Oh, and added some length back to the hem. The results (#4):


Pretty good, I hope you'll agree. Well, that's what I thought when I first put them on. Then I wore them for a morning and they kept riding down at the back every time I bent down (which with a tiny toddling little guy around is OFTEN) and it was driving me crazy. I was so desperate to take them off as soon as I got home, that I must confess, I changed out of them before I even unclipped Frankie from his pushchair! 'AGH', I thought, 'They're a bust'!. I put it down to this cheap stretch twill (once again from Fabric Land, I'm not proud) that has only two-way stretch. 'Maybe I can only make this pattern in four-way stretch', I thought and prepared myself to chuck them in my textile recycling bag. Then I checked and found that the black denim that my #2 pair is made from only has two-way stretch (albeit much better quality), so I had a re-think. I went and bought some wider, sturdier and better quality elastic, then unpicked and remade the waistband with the new elastic inserted. It made the world of difference and these now stay in place as I move about, bend down etc. Phew! I think the lesson I need to take away from this pair, that I already mentioned in my sustainability post but clearly hadn't taken fully on board, it that quality fabric and notions can make a massive difference. 

Next step:

I don't think there's anything further I can do to this pattern. I've accepted the slight excess of fabric around the back thigh as necessary for being able to walk and sit down properly. This pattern is as close to perfection as I think I can get. Jennifer agrees. This week I went back to my black (#2) pair and re-hemmed them to make them a bit shorter, then unpicked and restitched the waistband having lowered the waistline by 2cm. Now I have three wearable pairs of jeggings: black (faded to grey), navy and red. I'm particularly thrilled to have red ones, despite it probably being the worst quality fabric of the three, but I've had my eye on owning some red trousers or jeans for years. That's probably a sufficient quantity of pairs of jeggings to own. It's great to know that I've got the pattern ready as and when any of these become unwearable. However, I've got a gorgeous piece of turquoise/blue stretch denim in my stash (this I think), and I fancy pushing myself a bit further. I'm talking 'proper' jeans. Like, with a yoke, belt loops, fly front, the whole nine yards. Jennifer thinks I can adapt this pattern a bit to become a proper jeans pattern, so watch this space for that.  


Ainslie said...

They look great! I have been making the Closet Case Files Ginger jeans. Fingers crossed they will be ok! I’m sure you have already considwred this, but in her e-course she mentions that the back leg from knee to crotch is slightly shorter than the front. This requires a little easing in but then helps for a snug back thigh fit.

Yvonne Bennett said...

Oh wow! Those red ones are fit perfection! Enjoy wearing them,

Jo said...

Great post especiallyl as I am about to embark on a pair of jeggings myself. After reading your post I thought my fabric might be too thick but then you are right - they need to be good quality. My pattern has a ribbing waistband like maternity jeans which I am ridiculously excited about on the comfort front. Jo x

nettypoole said...

Interesting to follow your process through these 4 pairs. I have similar fit issues as you. I had success with the Jalie Eleonore Pants (accepting a few under bum wrinkles as this was my first attempt), then more success with the Ginger Jeans after working my way through her list of fitting issues on her website and doing the same scoop of the rear crotch line, plus an interesting sideways dart that effectively shortened the side seam to hip length but left the seat seam as was (this was done on the paper pattern before cutting out version 2). I was then left with knock knee pull lines like yours, so my next pair will have Jen’s knee modification.
I had intendeded trying the Sew Over It Ultimate Pants, but maybe I would be better just perfecting the two patterns I have already had success with.

Unknown said...

I'm struggling with the same issues over on my blog:

I love Jennifer, too. I took a great jeans class from her a few years ago, and I was able to go to her house for help finishing them. Lucky me!

Good luck to both of us!!!


Fabric Tragic said...

Such fab persistence. I think these are great. High five.

Mother of Reinvention said...

What great fitting trousers. I think that your leggings are just about perfect. The red ones are a lovely colour. How brilliant to have a well-fitting trouser pattern. Xx

Zoe said...

Thanks so much for your comments! I think if I'd seen that Jalie Eleanore pattern sooner then I would have started with that rather than copying my RTW, but alls well that ends well I guess! Good luck everyone with your trouser fitting xxx

Anonymous said...

So nice style post of cotton ladies jeans.View Men's Faux Leather Jackets.

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