Monday, 5 March 2018

First Cashmerette Ames jeans



The good news is I finished my Ames jeans. The bad news? Siberian temperatures prevented me from modelling them without a coat. Minus 10 ℃ and strong winds, brrr! Well, these jeans go with a lot of other things I've made recently so once The Beast from the East has left the country the Ames will show up as support act in the next few blog posts.

The pattern:



The Ames jeans are a mix-and-match sewing pattern with interchangeable pelvis fits (apple or pear) and leg fits (skinny or straight).  

I'm neither apple nor pear shaped. I'm more of a figure 8, a full hourglass with a high hip curve. 

According to the Cashmerette site:
Apples typically find waistbands too tight, have a flatter bottom, smaller hips, and a larger waist.
Pears typically find waistbands gape at the back, have a larger bottom, larger hips, and a smaller waist. If you’re not sure, I’d suggest starting with the apple pelvis, because that’s most similar to existing Cashmerette drafting (which is for apple/hourglass figures).

I reluctantly declared myself an apple, based on the larger waist part. I liked the look of the skinny legs better than the straight cut so no doubts in the leg department.

I bought 2.5 m of black stretch jeans, with a weight of 10 oz / 280 gram.

I traced the pattern and measured the pattern pieces against a more or less well fitting pair of jeans. Most obvious was the difference in length, which came as a surprise. Cashmerette patterns are drafted for a height of 5'6", I'm 5'7" (173 cm). I always need to add one inch to the bodice of Cashmerette patterns so I figured that if the height difference was in the torso, the legs should be okay.
However, the inseam of the Ames measures 76 cm, while I am wearing 82 cm. 
I've seen a few reviews mentioning the pattern runs short and I agree.

I lengthened the legs with 2''/5 cm above the knee by using the lengthening/shortening line and added an extra inch to the hem for extra insurance. Note: in the pictures you see a temporary hem. I always wash my jeans several times before deciding on the final length. 

Although the pattern description mentions the Ames jeans have a high rise, the pattern envelope clearly shows the apple version does not hit the true waist. For me, as an 8-shape it is essential that it does. When your high hip measurements are almost identical to your full hip measurements it is a good idea to anchor your jeans at the dents of your true waist so they will stay up.
I lengthened the rise by adding 1" at the pelvis lengthening/shortening line.
Of course this meant I also needed to lengthen the pocket facing, pocket lining and zipper shield with the same amount.

I added a little extra width to the high hip and shaved a bit from the low hip and felt that after these various flat pattern adjustments I was good to go. Sewing jeans is so much more fun than fitting them!




The pattern has a pocket stay for smooth shaping. I wanted my jeans to be quite neutral on the outside, black on black topstitching, no rivets. All the more reason to go wild on the inside!




So far, so good. I liked the look of the front and back pockets and the fly front but would they actually fit? At first glance I was pretty happy. The back rise needed a bit of extra length but for a test run it looked allright. That was, until I saw the pictures... 

Wrinkles at the back legs. Ouch!



Apparently I have the same drag lines in my expensive RTW jeans.
I need to go down the rabbit hole to see what these wrinkles tell me. Do I really want to know whether I have a low derriere? Yes I do if it helps me to get the fit right!
I'm not new to jeans sewing but I'm clearly dealing with challenges that didn't exist earlier on in my sewing career!

During the 'All you can watch' Craftsy weekend I watched the Melissa Watson / Pati Palmer class on fitting pants and I checked my fitting books. So far I'm thinking I need to scoop out the back crotch, let the front inseam out by 1/2" and take the back inseam in by 1/2 to 3/4". 
In the class Pati Palmer made the remark that in order to really get the feeling for pant fitting you should make five pair of pants in a row. I like that thought.

I also want to remove some of the bagginess at knee height. 




Now, is this pattern the Holy Grail for curvy jeans sewing? No it isn't, but then I didn't expect it to be. When it comes to fitting pants so many measurements have to be taken into consideration and I don't believe any pattern will miraculously be drafted with exactly the right crotch length, depth and width, hip curve and leg length to fit anyone straight from the envelope. This pattern is a good starting point and with the adjustments I've made so far I think I'm ready to take Pati Palmer's approach and make four more to slowly fine tune the fit.

If you have any thoughts on solving the wrinkle issues, please share!

To be continued......

19 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Not sure I agree, Faye. Let's hope I can make progress!

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  2. I've been following HandmadePhD blog and she has been working her way through pant fitting - absolutely brilliant! I've saved all her posts, bookmarked them, starred them...I do NOT want to lose track of her tutorials :) You might want to read through them for some additional help. I have the Ginger jeans where I thought I'd start with my jeans making and go from there :)

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    1. Thank you for directing me to HandmadePhD, Kathleen! I've read her posts and found them very interesting although her fit issues are different from mine. I think we all have our individual conundrums to solve when it comes to pant fitting. Good luck with your Gingers!

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  3. Well, if you have the same problem with RTW jeans, then at least these are "just as good", so a success, in my book. But I agree, you want to get them to fit better, just as good is not really the goal!. Agree with you about anchoring pants at waist if you have a larger high hip measurement. They look fantastic.

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    1. If this exercise told me anything so far it is that ALL my jeans have a terrible fit in the back! I'm very determined to learn how to fix it. I even dreamt about pant fitting last night!

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  4. Despite your misgivings, I think these jeans look fabulous and I love the bright insides. I will follow along with great interest to see how you eliminate those back wrinkles, as this is an issue I have with pants too.

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    1. I'm determined to get to the bottom of this (pun intended) Ideas are starting to form and I will keep you posted!

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  5. Peggy Sagers at Silhouette Patterns has the solution for your fitting problem. She has lots of free videos on pants fitting. I have the same problem as you and Peggy's pattern adjustment makes my pants fit perfectly in the back.

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    1. Thanks Sheron. I did watch some of Peggy's videos last week and am intrigued by her dead dart method. Is that the one you're referring to? I've also seen Kenneth D King address the matter in a slightly different way. I hope to able to buy the same fabric next week and start all over!

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  6. Well I think your jeans look very nice on you. But if you want to tweak the fit, I'd suggest taking a look at Closet Case Patterns Jeans and Pants Fitting Download.

    Closet Case Patterns: Jeans and Pants Fitting Download

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    1. Oh and meant to also comment about your tenacity on taking these photos outdoors. Hope spring is coming, for you and me both.

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    2. Thanks Sue, I do have the Closet Case Patterns download and checked it for solutions. I think I need to do something more drastic to the back leg though. Starting new pants next week! As for going outside, there was no way in the world I could get pictures inside that showed the disastrous back leg! Spring has reached us now, hope you'll have a sunny weekend as well!

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  7. Mem it almost as of you have too much fabric in the inside half of the back leg but no the side . I have tackled different lines in the past by pinning them out into dead darts and then taking the garment apart and making sure that grainlines are kept as the should be redrawn the pattern piece . I recon you need to run a dart from the centrehem up to the bottom of your bottom to start with . I will watch with interest . I tend to live in Barb pants from Stylearc . I have been thinking though that som jeans might be a good idea . mem

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    1. Thank you for this input! I watched several Peggy Sagers video's about the dead darts-approach. It's one of the solutions I will look into. StyleArc Barb pants are waiting to be made as well, but at the moment I don't want to throw an extra pattern in the mix. It's confusing enough to tackle one at the time ;)

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  8. Beautiful pair of jeans Marianne, even it you're not so happy with the fit. I have no advice to give but looking forward to see what solutions you will try. I want to sew a pair of jeans again, this is inspiring.

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    1. Thanks Sigrid. I hope to end this journey with a TNT jeans pattern!

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  9. I'm late putting in a comment. I'm trying to fit pants at present using Sarah Veblen's approach using HBLs but have tried all sorts of approaches. My tutor is repeatedly surprised at the amount of change required in everything we do; she doesn't at first believe it then has to. I've also found my RTW badly fitting which is why I started on this journey but am depressed to find that the ones I thought not too bad are really not good!! Especially from the back. Those wrinkles! I need more and lower derriere room by a lot; tilted waist; knock knees; full calves and of course length issues as I'm tall. I don't think the pattern I started from was ideal (recommended by Sarah) as the legs are too skinny. I think my body shape is similar to yours as my high hip and hip are the same size but my legs are heaftier. I'm going back to my self draft which is better but will draw on the HBLs to improve it. Honestly, I would have preferred to use a commercial pattern and modify but I am so far away that I do think it will be better to start with the block and modify for style. I will look at some of the resources mentioned, thank you. Good luck with your next pair.

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    1. That's an impressive list of changes, Anne! I've come across solutions for everything you mention, but I'm not sure about the right order in which you have to make these changes. Have you tried one of the Palmer/Pletsch pants patterns? They come with extra adjustment lines and helpful info in the instructions.

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