Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Hot Date Jeans!

Sometimes, the sooner one accepts that one is a freak and gets on with it, the better.

I accepted this fact a long time ago.

With my recent weight loss, I have found myself pining for pants that fit me. Really fit me and that do not swim around my backside. People will say to me, without much sympathy, "just make some!"

If it were only so easy. None of my TNT patterns fit me any more. I have "measured out" of most pattern lines. My hips are now 34", which is a size 4 in the Big 4. Most patterns do not even go down to a size 4. I have tried a couple, but they have a "trouser" like fit through the rear - in other words, they loosely skim the derriere region.

I do not want a trouser like fit, with no butt definition. I want a jeans-like fit. I used to go down a size in the back for a better fit, but I can't do that anymore, at least not in most patterns.

I have become a butt-less wonder. Woe is me.

Finally, out of desperation, I bought two pair of jeans on ebay. I went to the store to figure out what size I now wear in the Not Your Daughter's Jeans brand. The size 0 fit me through the hips, but I could not zip them over my ooshy-gooshy belly. Because, you see, if you have a 34" hip, you are supposed to have a 25" waist. My waist is somewhere around 32", depending on the time of day and how snugly I'm pulling on the tape measure.

In the end, I compromised on a size 2 in the NYDJ brand. These are still a bit roomy through the hip, and they also throttle me in the waist. It's nothing I can't handle, but it's not the most ideal situation.

So I decided to give the Jalie Jeans pattern another try, mostly because of the enormous range of sizes they come in. Back when I last made a pair, a couple years ago, I had traced off a size V. According to their chart, my hips are now a size Q.

That is a childrens size. The size of a 13-year-old, if you believe their chart.

Hence the freak comment.

My waist is between a size U and W on the Jalie chart. That is no problem, of course, but just a matter of a minor alteration, of several pattern pieces.

I traced off a size Q, enlarged the waist and all of the corresponding pattern pieces (mostly pockets), straightened the lower leg to remove the boot cut, grabbed some pink denim and some printed denim, and my plans for Memorial Day weekend were complete.

I first made the pink jeans. For these, I used a straight leg, but otherwise followed the pattern as designed. Wait, that's not quite true. Instead of an actual zipper, I used a mock fly and an elastic waist. Now, I know many of you scorn the elastic waistband. And if you have a waist that is several inches smaller than your hips, I understand why. But if, like me, you have a 1" or 2" difference between your waist and hips, an elastic waistband makes a lot of sense and doesn't add bulk. Believe me in this and do not scorn me.

Working on the front pockets

and the back pockets

I have to thank Margy for this excellent denim, sourced from Emma One Sock. It was listed as red stretch denim, but when it arrived, Margy didn't feel it was her red, so I gratefully inherited this lovely fabric. It it such a light red, that I call it pink, though it's more like a soft strawberry red.

I was pretty happy with these jeans, so I went back to the pattern and created a more tapered leg. For the second pair, I wanted to change things up. I wanted to use some big, bold zippers I had found locally and a wild printed black-and-white denim. (I'm not positive, but it may have come from Emma One Sock, but long ago.) I wanted to make this pair more tapered, with angled front zipper pockets and zippers at the hem. I had pinned some pants to my Pinterest Jeans board for inspiration.

This pair sewed up quickly. I had to change the order of construction around, due to the zippers, but it was not difficult.

I just love these jumbo zippers! I wish I could get more of them. They are 7" long, 1.5" wide, and the teeth are 3/8" wide.

I plan to create a tutorial showing how I inserted the zippers into the hem.

Oh, you probably want to know, are these jeans really for a hot date? No, I was joshing you. I did wear them tonight, but it was to an event at DD2's high school - she was giving her senior project presentation. Afterwards, a friend and I went out for dinner. A fun evening, but hardly a hot date. :)

Blogger Meetup - Fare Thee Well, Amy!

Thanks to Britex for the photo!

You know that I love me a good blogger meetup! And this was a great blogger meetup, though the occasion is a bit sad.

Amy, of Sew Well, has abandoned our fair city and escaped to northern climes. I hear that she wanted to be closer to Puyallup and the famous Sewing Expo. Or she is tiring of temperate weather and seeks a climate that requires more layers of clothing with opportunities to sew a larger wardrobe. Or maybe she just wanted to follow her husband to his new job.

We may never know the full truth.

The worst part is that it means we must now be deprived of one of the nicest sewists (and people) that you could ever meet.

Because Amy is a natural born organizer (and I am not), she arranged a farewell get together. Britex graciously offered to host a blogger gathering, complete with champagne toast.

After leaving Britex, we repaired to a local wine bar, for more bonding.

It was a great meetup! I have been lucky enough to attend all of our meetups since the first one that Beth, of Sunny Gal Studio organized a couple years ago.

Both Jillian and Beth have already done a great job of recapping the evening, but, I have to say, we just about closed down the wine bar with our amiable chatting.

Yes, the window of the All Saints store, next door to Britex, is full of antique Singers.

It is so nice to be among one's own kind! I think that Kelly summed it up well when she said that it's rare to be in a group of people, and mention something, like the "Colette Sew Along", and people understand what you mean!

Amen, sister. Amen.

Vanessa and I are deep in conversation. (Thanks to Jillian for this picture!)

I am very grateful for my sewing community, both in person and online. At least I can continue to keep up with Amy's activities through her blog. And, one of these days, I just may make it up to Seattle and I will have a sewing friend locked and loaded.

I also want to link to all the bloggers:

(Thanks to Jillian for this picture!)

Amy, may you find a warm and welcoming community of sewists and bloggers in your new city. I wish you all the best!