Spurred on by the relative success of my jeans (I’ve hardly taken them off!) I decided to try out a few alterations.

The jeans are a bit high in the waist, and although I like the wider leg, I’d like to try narrowing them slightly for another option. There’s no denim left in my stash so I opted to make some casual trousers in the same style as the jeans. I had some nice blue cotton drill (gifted to me in quite a haul) from my good friend LadyP, so I decided on that. But first, I had to look at the pattern…

I’d feared doing the crotch rise adjustment before as it sounded tricky, or like it could create more problems. And I suppose I’ve been guilty of rushing the paper bit so I can get onto the fabric bit.

I find it difficult to see what adjustments need making without making the garment up (and I’m usually far too impatient to make a toile!) I am getting a little better at transferring those adjustments back to the pattern. I am starting to realise, however, that my ‘method’ does result in half a wardrobe of ‘Clothing-With-A-Catch’…

  • Wide legged trousers that can only be worn with big boots.
  • T shirts that show flesh when reaching up.
  • ‘Decorative’ shirt collars – i.e. look good but won’t do up!
  • Having to wear baggy tops over high waisted trousers

I think it’s definitely time to start toile-ing.

Anyway, back to the pattern. I put my jeans on and conservatively estimated that I needed a -2cm adjustment. This also felt like it could go all the way round as the back was a bit high too. Mercy. Just a straight line adjustment.

pieces needed:

  • Front
  • Back
  • Front pocket lining
  • Fly extention
  • Back pocket

So I picked a spot that gave me a horizontal line which didn’t interfere with the scoop of my pocket or my back yoke. I marked out 2cm and folded away.

I also measured in 1cm from each side at the bottom of each leg and re drew a line to join up at the lower thigh area. Bringing the hem circumfrence in by 4cm on each leg.

I didn’t make them button fly. I take back what I said before about button fly being easier. The thing I found easier about it was not having the zip in the way so I could get the stitching neater. Now that I have had a few goes at sewing the fly without a zip, it has helped me to keep control when there is a zip.

Here they are laying on top of the jeans, you can see the legs are slightly narrower. I think I could go a bit further with this, I just didn’t want to end up with jodhpurs!

 I ended up stitching the waistband 1cm narrower as well, as they were coming up a bit high still… Now I can only fit certain belts through the belt loops, but hey, remember… Clothing-with-a-Catch!

I saw THIS VIDEO on twitter from @thriftystitcher (on using twin thread for top stitching) too late for my last pair. So even though I was only using black thread on blue fabric (not so much contrast!) I thought I’d give it a go on these. It’s my ‘Heart-monitor-initials’ design again. I really like the technique and will be trying it on all the visible stitching on my next pair of jeans.

Overall, I’m really happy with the alterations. My new trousers fit much better for it. And I got to wear them out last night to see Glen Close in Sunset Boulevard at the London Coliseum!

Notes to self:

  • More time spent on the pattern means less ill-fitting clothes.
  • Take another 1cm from rise, maybe just at the front next time.
  • Taper legs 1.5cm each side to mid thigh.
  • Maybe keep back pockets same size and lower them a bit
  • Don’t ‘sew-up-the-tube’ on narrow legs!
  • Flat-Felling is not a crime

Until next time, happy sewing!