Thursday, June 4, 2009

Jean Pool - What's the Right Fit - Part I

Lately, there has been a sewing frenzy of the ever so proper jean. The blogging designers/sewists have been doing an amazing job with providing tutorials and information on their sewing experiences.

All of this activity prompted me to sew up my own version of a stylish, great fitting pair of jeans. First, I searched through the many, many patterns that I own trying to find something interesting to sew for myself and DD. I came across a couple patterns to make. One special pattern to digest is a oldie, McCalls , Palmer/Pletsch. This pattern is loaded with ideas and tips for a stylish, great fitting pair of jeans.

Some of the tips and techniques are familiar to me and may be familiar to you as well. I thought I would catelogue the information here so that other sewists can take advantage of the tips and techniques.

The first page of the instruction guide is divided into three basic sections: fit, quick and pro tips. Each clearly discussing approaches to make the perfect pair of jeans. So for this first post, I'm documenting general information on fit. This is an area that is a hot topic for most sewists/designers. Everyone wants to achieve the "perfect" fit while customizing their clothes to their personal taste in fabric and embellishments.

Palmer/Pletsch discribes the design of the pattern to allow the sewist to fit as you sew. Most of the seam allowances are 1" or more. Ninety percent of the fitting can be achieved as you sew. Some standards for jean fit are given. They are:

- less crotch depth
- less ease in the hips 0-1"
- lower waist at center front
- no ease in the thighs - tight
- more ease in waist - loose somewhere so you can bend and sit.

None are engraved in stone, but a standard to start with. The comfort is as customized as the selection of fabric used and whether or not you should topstitch.

One paper patter fit is suggested for the waistband. Try it on your body to make sure it fits and is smooth on your body. If it isn't adjust by adding, clipping, and/or taping where necessary.

Special feature is the contour band, which is best for jeans comfort for women. The natural waist is in the middle of the band. Keep that in mind when you tissue fit the waistband.

Please NOTE: It's my goal to make a couple pair of jeans this summer, but I will work them in as I sew other garments. So I will report/post as I proceed with making my own version of jeans.

Closing with a Pro Tip:

Plan your sewing project in blocks. Four blocks are recommended.

1 Prepare patter and fabric, and assemble all goodies
2 Cut; sew front pockets and zipper
3 Sew back and back pockets; assemble body
4 Fit and finish

Happy Sewing!


  1. Türkiye'den selamlar, sevgiler. Dikişleriniz çok güzel ve çok net. Ben hobi olarak sadece kendim için dikiyorum. Sizi, işlerimi görmeniz için, bloğuma davet ediyorum. Ben sizinkilerin hepsini gördüm ve çok beğendim. Sevgiler tekrar.

  2. Me too on the jeans. I have a few patterns too and I bought a new one from Palmer Pletsch at the last pattern sale. I have at least 5 pieces of denim, 5! It is time to make jeans! I look forward to your progress.

  3. I used a Palmer/Pletsch pattern for my jeans and I love them. They are not low-rise, which I realize is stylish now. But, I made jeans the way I like them. I intend to make many more.

  4. Great post. I have 2 pair of jeans that I purchased from the Loft and the fit is right on and have 2 patterns that I hope will give the same fit.



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