Monday, April 11, 2016

Oops, I Made Jeggings

Wow, two posts in two weeks! Slowly, I'm beginning to photograph my many finished projects, albeit imperfectly.

My big spring sewing project is jeans... for me, for Taco and maybe Phin too, although he may prefer shorts. So, to get my jeans sewing mojo going, I jumped on the bandwagon and decided to try the Jalie 3461 Éléonore Pull On Jeans.  Frankly, who could resist the promise of jeans without having to sew a fly, rivets, belt loops, etc, etc, or doing lots of complicated fitting?  It seemed like some strange voodoo magic that I wanted to investigate.

Yeah. All black is tough to photograph. Sorry, kids. 

That said, it was not without some trepidation that I approached this pattern. Afterall, voodoo. Pull-on is not usually a sure thing when, like me, you have a 14 inch difference between your waist and hips. Smartly, I did a little math and realized that the called-for stretch woven fabric - with 20% stretch - cut to roughly my waist measurement (as this waistband is) would probably not stretch enough to go over my hips.

Instead of moving on to a different pattern, I decided to give the Éléonore a try in a mid-weight knit that had about 50% stretch. I bought this Bebe knit from FabricMart to make maternity leggings, but never quite did. It has a diagonal texture that makes it look a little bit denim-like. I would be shocked if it's RTW use had been anything other than "ponte pants," which it is perfect for in every way, despite not really being ponte.

So, I cut most of the pattern pieces in a size Y based on my hips, and the waist in a size  T, knowing that I would likely have to do some tweaking to the area between the hip and waist. And predictably, the only problem that I ran into with the fit was that I had major gaposis at the back yoke where my figure transitions between sizes. If you don't follow me on IG, here's what I posted (sorry for the crumby back-lit phone photo).


This makes perfect sense since this is the place where I start narrowing dramatically. I figured that I would have to narrow the yoke while also adding some depth to it, so as to avoid a case of plumber's crack. However, I tried simply basting out the extra width first and that seems to have solved the problem entirely. These equally crumby phone photos are from after I attached the waistband.

No gaposis here! (ha ha, I love the debris field in the background)

And here is a sunlit picture of the back. I tucked in my cami so you can see the waist and yoke.

Again, no gaposis!

After that, Éléonore was a cinch to finish. I cut a lot of corners by using my serger for most of the seams, and I used a twin needle for speed and stretch for what little top stitching I did do.

So, I'm about as happy with these as could be. As usual, Jalie really nails the fit. I've never gone wrong trusting their size chart, measuring tape in one hand. These pants have exactly the right amount of negative ease. The only change I would make would be to lengthen by 1-2" above the knee. I sewed the tiniest of hems and these are still ankle length, which is normal for me.

The question that remains is whether I will sew these again in a stretch denim or not. Probably not. I hadn't really meant to sew jeggings or ponte pants, but that seems to be what happened in this case. And that's fine. But when I tested the stretchiest denim (25% or so) in my stash by marking the waist measurement and seeing how far the fabric would stretch, it was indeed not far enough to make it over my hips. So, if I were to sew these in a fabric with only 20% stretch, they would need a zipper or a larger (and therefore gathered) waist. And doesn't that defeat the purpose of all that voodoo?

Anyway, I will enjoy wearing these as a yoga-pants/work-at-home-day alternative. And if I do come across another perfect fabric - maybe a fun print - you may see another version. And now, on to actual jeans!

No comments: