Monday, February 3, 2014

When Life Gives You Skinny Jeans, Fight Back

 According to a completely unscientific and most likely inaccurate poll performed just last week, less than 5% of middleschoolers actually wear pants.*

Add to this a recent (well, a couple of months ago) horrific shopping excursion for said pants, and one can only come to the conclusion that I live in a pants desert.

After shopping on line, even Boden had let me down, with my options being narrowly defined as "straight", "skinny", or God-forbid: "super skinny".  

Fine.  I'll buy your straight leg pants, but I'm not through.  
I'm sure there's a pattern out there somewhere for what I want.

The Facts:

Fabric: Kaufman Ibiza cotton/spandex twill, from, + leftover cotton scraps for facings and 
Notions: 9" zipper, 1 black 3/4" button, 1 clear button, interfacing

The details:

Uh, actually, I made these shorts last summer, and spent some time dinking with the fit then.  At that time, I ended up adding length to the crotch at the back inseam.  On these, in stretch fabric, they were huge, and I ended up taking in the inseams by about 1/2", and also the outer leg seam by about the same.  That may not have been the right thing to do, as they might have stretched a bit as I sewed them, and they're a bit snug now that they've been washed again.  

I top-stitched the darts and around the back welt pockets, as well as the inseam and along the hip to just below the pockets, because I wanted a more casual look to wear with sneakers.  I also top-stitched the waistband, and went with a regular button front rather than a concealed hook.

And I added a 7th belt loop right at the center back.  And serged off the the back extension and top-stitched that seam, too.  But that's it, really.  

Also, those wrinkles under the butt drove me nuts for about a week. I think they're there for movement, but I'm open to suggestions on what to fix for the next pair.  Also, is that rear seam too snug?  It doesn't FEEL snug...but like I said before, give me free tips, please.  I ask my husband, and just get, "Looks great."


Verdict?  They're not perfect, but they'll do.  

"Oh, good.  The trash men are here."

*Data was obtained by frequency count of students walking past my classroom in the hall after dismissal, wearing pants that were neither leggings nor jeans.  For the purpose of this study, sweats and track pants were also excluded.  As were shorts, because that's ridiculous.  It's January in Missouri, people.
Estimated sample size is about 250 students; approximately 5 met the criteria defined for 'pants'.

** I like skinny and straight leg styles, too, but a person craves a little variety in her leg styles, right?  Also, full disclaimer: Not all shirts work with skinny jeans.  Or if you plan to wear knee socks.


  1. The jeans look great! I think those wrinkles are just for movement, when I started sewing pants I had the same thing so did a big fish eye dart at the back to get rid of nearly all the wrinkles, then I couldn't walk/sit properly in them! The rear seam doesn't look to tight to me, you could probably drop the rear crotch by 1/2"-1" though (if in doubt drop the rear crotch, lol).They look great as they are, really nice topstitching too!

    1. Thanks! I can't tell you how many times I tried not to catch myself staring at peoples' butts this past week, doing the normal/not normal wrinkle check. I did drop that seam a little, but I'll definitely try going a little deeper on the the next pair.

  2. Nice work! I'm really liking them. I was worried the thurlow pants leg was TOO full but they look good on you!

    1. Thank you! The line drawing on the pattern scared me a bit, too--they look oddly flared above the knee. It wasn't any work to take in the seam allowance on the legs, though, and if you look at the Sewaholic blog, there was a post a couple weeks ago about altering the leg shape on the pattern. Also, I don't know why I didn't realize this last summer, but the shorts are drafted with a wider leg than the pants, so that might help a little with the volume, too. : )


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