February 2, 2014

Finally - that jeans post

Today, E took some pictures of me in my new jeans. I looked through the lot and I have to say this is one of those items which is really hard to photograph in a somewhat flattering way. And it doesn't help that I've been wearing them for two days and just decided to keep them out of the laundry basket so I could take these pictures...
To be honest, from the first moment I started drafting these trousers, I knew this wouldn't be a conventionally pretty garment. I was going more for quirky and kind of cool, than for looking as skinny and streamlined as possible.

Although they are hard to photograph, these trousers are supremely comfortable and I really like how they dress down rather formal items like my curvy tweed jacket (which pre-dates the blog, but hasn't been worn a lot because it was always hard to fit into my every day wardrobe). 

I've shown you the details, like the pockets and closure and those nice little points at the back before, so I hope you'll excuse from showing them again. I took pictures, but a combination of lighting issues and posing problems makes me really reluctant to show those.

Some people have asked me what I was going on about concerning the crotch angle. It is kind of hard to explain, so I made this drawing:

The black lines are the normal, fitted trouser sloper, the blue lines are a more relaxed with, with a slightly dropped crotch. The red lines are for these trousers. As you can see, the crotch is a bit lower than usual and the center front and back are flared out, to give some more ease and room for movement. 
A lower crotch can really limit the wearer's room for movement and this adaptation prevents that.

These trousers give plenty of room to move about. 
To be honest, if I hadn't been so impatient to start sewing, I would have gone for a little less extra room. This pair of trousers looks a bit funny if I stand with my legs really close together. But to be honest, how often do I stand like that?

And I'd like to add a little remark about washing fabric. I know a lot of people pre-wash every fabric before they sew it. I don't. I only do that if I have reason to suspect the fabric of shrinking badly. And contrary to its reputation, most jeans and/or denim you buy nowadays doesn't. In my experience, most modern twill-weave jeans will shrink about 5 percent at the very most, which is reduced to about 2 percent (also at most) after ironing. 
The big advantage of washing your new jeans for the first time after sewing is the way the fabric will develop. You know that signature bobbled bleach effect RTW jeans has, especially at the flat felled seams? You don't get that if you pre-wash. It's caused by warping of the fabric when it is washed for the first time after it was sewn.
And there's another thing: regardless of when you was for the first time, any jeans fabric which is just a bit too firm and stiff can be softened up by washing it with a double dose of fabric softener. This will both wash out the starch (a lot of fabrics are lightly starched during weaving) and soften up the fibres. It worked really well for these trousers.

1 comment:

  1. The trousers look great! I like the look of them and I understand that the fit is not "textbook" flattering. Thanks for the illustration about the pattern changes. I understand now!