I’ve noticed something. I’m probably not the first to notice this. It’s probably been noted long ago somewhere else. But I’ve noticed that the better my clothes fit, the more comfortable they are to wear. I’ve also seen that the better my clothes fit, the closer to the body they can be fitted and therefore I can often wear a size smaller than would be anticipated.
When I put these on to take final pics, I didn’t want to take them off. Seriously, they felt that good. But I had problems when finishing them. My new serger the Viking S21 didn’t like more than 4 layers of thick corduroy. You get more (don’t forget the thread from serging) at the pockets. You get even more at the belt loops. It also didn’t like trimming off 3/4″ of 2 layers of thick corduroy especially at crossed seams. This is a hefty fabric. I bought it intending to make a jacket. I used it for pants because I faced the fact I was never making a jacket of this particular color. I don’t wear many jackets and this color is simply not that versatile in my wardrobe, YMMV. I broke a needle. BROKE. A. SERGER. NEEDLE. SIZE 90. To solve my problems, I manually trimmed the excess seam allowance with my rotary cutter before serging. Where the serger skipped stitches, or the thread broke leaving only one row of locking stitches, I reinforced at the sewing machine, my Viking Designer Ruby.
Ruby loves all fabrics. Give her the right foot and she mows through the toughest situations like its everyday routine. For these seams I used a new foot which was designed for Janome machines. It’s called a Rotary Feed (RFF) foot. I’ve marked it with a green arrow
because it comes with the 5 attachments shown. I didn’t use any of the attachments just the basic foot which I introduced to DH as “My personal Sherman Tank”. He could see what I meant immediately. I have a Janome, MC9500. I love it for embroidery but don’t like to sew with it. I gambled that the foot would fit on my Ruby because the MC9500 came with several feet which I use on my Ruby. I often like the Janome version of the same foot better. Maybe the Janome feet have to be better because the machine sews like a squirrel.
Maybe I should explain that. If you’ve never sewn with a Janome or maybe you only sewn with a Janome you have a different experience from my own. I love the way the Bernina 9mm feet control the feed of the fabric. I have the same experience with my Ruby. As I stated above, put the right foot on Ruby and she sews anything and begs for more. The Janome stitches fine. Comes with a nice range of stitches as well as making beautiful embroidery but when I sew on it the fabrics seem to float. I have more uneven seams and wavy seams than I would think possible for a woman with over 5 decades of sewing experience. I should be able to execute a straight seam in my sleep. But if I’m sewing at the Janome, I have to pay attention because the feed system is different, the fabric will float and I will have wavy seams.
So I took a chance and sure enough, the RFF not only fit my machine but works wonders. I had the straight stitch foot on, but with it Ruby had problems dealing with the edges, especially during back stitching (usually solved with a shim of some type). Slip the RFF on and the problems were gone. I could have used the Walking Foot., I bought one. Spent an hour trying-out it and its interchangeable parts. The first time I really needed the Walking Foot, I spent 10 minutes jiggling it around without getting it in place. Frankly, I’ve gotten so accustomed to the easy slip on/off feet of the Viking that I’ve forgotten how to use the feet which need to clamp on. I think the RFF will replace my walking foot.
Back to the pants,
because I had sewing issues the final stitching wasn’t exactly on the basted stitching. Oh and I had to rip out some of the basting. Some of the seams crossed and had to be ripped back just a bit to allow serging of the uncrossed. I had also noticed when stitching the legs that the back leg seems just a bit longer than the front. Just a little, like maybe it was the effect of the corduroy either slipping during cutting or during stitching. Because the butt kept bagging a little, I ripped the yoke from the leg and trimmed 1/2″ off the top of the leg (where it meets the yoke). In the end the pant is more than good enough to wear. The waist is still a bit large most notable by the fact that the back and center front both sag a little. If I keep gaining weight, I may come to appreciate the extra ease.
I didn’t intend to make two versions let alone 3 of this same pattern. But I”m going to. I wanted a classic jean pattern for woven non-stretch fabrics. I wanted it fitted and ready to use on a moment’s notice. Well it’s fitted but I wouldn’t want to start another pair with this tissue. I made too many changes. Too many to remember; too many that were geared to altering this specific garment to fit. I’ve decided to make another pair. On the next tissue
Back will be cut size 50 with size 52 inseam
Front will be cut size 50
Legs shorten 1.5″ above the knee and 2.75″ below the knee
Front waistband add 3/4″
I haven’t decided what to do about the back crotch. The TJ906 back leg doesn’t line up with Style 16. Tj906 is drafted for 2 back leg pieces as well as the yoke and waistband. The dart and ease can be shifted around and divided up a lot more with that many pieces. Also I scooped twice. It’s difficult to determine where to line up the pattern pieces to create the same scoop. I’m thinking I might be able to borrow a Burda back crotch from one of the Burda pants I’ve already fit. Trouble there is that those patterns were designed for slacks and trousers. The draft for slacks and trousers is vastly different from jeans. Even the grain is marked differently. I know that grain can be manipulated successfully but and that’s a big BUT you need to know what you are doing or you will get spurious results. If I do this wrong, instead of a nice fitting crotch and cute tush, I could get something ugly.
Note about sizing. According to my cm’s I should select an Otto size 44. A womanly size but much smaller than the 50 I will be using for this jean pattern. I think the difference is with the way I want clothing to fit. I like a little ease. I would describe my desired fit as semi-fitted but maybe loose is more accurate. I like enough ease so that nothing is pulling, straining or hampering my movements. That’s part of why I choose to wear the styles that I do. But I like my clothing close enough to still show I’m a lady. I believe the Europeans like their clothing to fit closer and perhaps the 44 would feel fine if I were European. Conversely, with the Big4 patterns I’m always using 2 sizes smaller than they recommend. I’ve noted many, including other Americans, stating that the ease in American patterns is drowning. There was great excitement about the Australian company, Style Arc, because the ease is more like all of us expect from RTW and what the majority like to wear. For myself though, I gave away both my Style Arc patterns because they were too small even though I purchased the size they recommended. I have wondered if I’m taking measurements correctly. In fact I measured in several places to be sure I’m using the largest bottom measurements