It's impossible to see in this photo, but trust me, there's a pattern in the fabric! (more pictures to come)
With the fullness of the vest and the gathers in the shirt, I knew the pants had to fit more like leggings or slim pants. I ran up a 'trial balloon' of a pattern that I did for knit pants and....let's just say that balloon did not get much lift! I put the fabric aside to wait for some inspiration.
I had plenty of mulling time while I was visiting with my Mom and one of my sisters in Sonoma, CA for a long girls' weekend.
We were concerned that the trip might not happen when the fires started, but by the time we arrived, things were getting back to normal. It was scary to see some of the burned structures, or what was left of them, but the land actually knows what to do about fire. The old Live Oaks have been dealing with fires for 100's of years, vineyards, it turns out, are so high in moisture content that they act as a natural fire break. By next spring the dark charred land will be sprouting new, fire nourished green and the cycle will continue. AND, the grapes were already bubbling away in their tanks turning into lovely Sonoma Valley wine! We took several opportunities to bolster the economy and add to our cellars!😏
Me and Mom! ...and the gorgeous fall colors of the vineyards!
I made the pattern several times to get the fit and the details the way I wanted them. Because of the way you construct the jeans, it is difficult to do any fitting once the pants are finished. The seams are stitched and top stitched as you go so you put the last seam in and hope like heck that you got it right.
The amount of stretch in the fabric also makes a big difference in the final fit, and I was pretty sure from my earlier experiments with the pattern that my fabric would work with the adjustments that I had made. Some of the changes I did...I raised the rise! I am OK with my jeans sitting a bit lower than my waist, but these were more extreme on me than I was comfortable with. I straightened out the boot-cut legs. And I added my own pocket logo stitching (that was fun to design).
There are not many times that I just cut and stitch without fitting or draping as I go, it made me a bit nervous but I just cut, sewed, finished and hoped like heck that I got it right.
Pretty happy with the results!
I added some squares of interfacing to the inside to help stabilize the fabric where the belt loops are attached....I did a riff on my initials (BF) to make the pocket logo stitching. You can see the pattern in the fabric better in these pictures.
Making jeans is one of those things that most people put on the 'mission impossible' list, which is where I had put it until I came across this Jalie pattern. The instructions are very well done, the fit (with a bit of tweaking) is very jean-like, rather than pants with jean details. All in all a satisfying sew!
It has definitely turned the corner here from summer to fall and we may even be looking at some wintery stuff in the next week! Actually finishing a fall project in time for fall... Bonus!