Jamie Jeans Sewalong Pt 4: Baste and Check Fit
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We’re back today with Part 4 of the Jamie Jeans
Sewalong! Today's and tomorrow's posts are all about fit. If you’re not keen on the baste and fit method, or you just want to sew these jeans straight from the pattern, that's no problem. Just tune out for the next two posts and join us again at Part 6 of this sewalong.
If you’re looking to achieve a better fit on your first pair of Jamie Jeans, pay close attention to this post and the next. The baste and fit method does require a few extra steps. But for me, the extra time is worth avoiding wasting two yards of fabric and several hours on a pair of jeans I just can’t wear.
Now, I'm not saying that your first pair of Jamie Jeans will fit so well you'll be tempted to throw out every pair of jeans you own. A few attempts at this pattern is normal to get achieve the fit you're after. Take Lindsay's Jamie Jeans
as an example, her final pair are utterly stunning. As you sew, I encourage you to focus more on the process than the perfection of the outcome. When you sew your second pair you’ll be more equipped to make the correct adjustments for a pair of Jamie Jeans that really do fit like a glove.
Okay, let's get basting.
Baste Stitch Settings
For the entirety of this post I’ll be using a basting stitch to sew each seam. A basting stitch is a long straight stitch that acts as a temporary seam. It rips out easily, making it ideal to test the fit of a garment before sewing the final seam. For my basting stitch, I use a straight stitch with a length of 4. I don’t backstitch when I’m basting.
Baste Back Yokes
Pin the back yokes to the back pattern pieces so that the longer of the two short edges is closest to the crotch curve. You may notice that the back yoke pieces are shorter than the back pattern pieces. This is intentional and will require you to ease the back piece onto the yoke as you sew by stretching the yoke pattern piece ever so slightly.
Baste the back yoke onto the back piece with a 3/8” seam allowance. Press seam allowances down towards the leg of the jeans.
Baste Inner Seams
Pin the inside leg seams (the shorter edges) of the front and back pieces with right sides together.
Baste the inner seam with a 3/8” seam allowance and press seam allowance towards the center front seam.
Baste Side Seams
Pin the outer side seams (the longer edges) of the front and back pieces with right sides together.
Baste the outer seam with a 3/8” seam allowance and press the seam allowance towards the back piece.
Baste Crotch Seam
After basting the inner and outer seams you should have two separate tubes of fabric that are the legs of your Jamie Jeans. Place the right leg inside of the left with right sides together. Align the raw edges of the crotch seam so that the raw edge of the right leg extends 1/4” beyond the raw edge of the left leg. Align the inner leg seams and pin well. Baste with a 1/2” seam allowance using the extended right raw edge as your seam allowance guide.
Turn your jeans right side out.
Baste the Outer Waistband
Press the raw edges of each side of the zip fly towards the wrong side of the fabric. The right side of the zip fly (when you’re looking at them) should be pressed right on the notch. The left side of the pants, should be pressed so that the raw edges of the fabric align with the notch.
Now grab your outer waistband (the buttonhole should be on the left, button on the right).
And pin the waistband to the pants. The longer edge of the waistband (the convex edge) should be pinned to the top raw edge of the jeans, right sides together. Match notches as you pin.
Baste the waistband onto the jeans with a 3/8” seam allowance. You may need to stretch the waistband as you sew so that it lies flat on the jeans. Press the seam allowances up towards the waistband.
Try On Your Jeans
Okay the time has come folks, try on those jeans! Yes they’ll be basted together and nowhere near as lovely as your final pair, but you’ll be able to judge the fit of the pants.
Pin the waistband where the button and buttonhole meet. Don’t be discouraged if your Jamie Jeans look like one big trainwreck. Case in point:
Where to start with my basted Jamie Jeans? Well, for starters, they’re probably an entire size too big. As soon as I tried these on I knew I should’ve sized down to a EUR 36/US 4. Maybe it's the stretch percentage of my fabric, but I’m drowning in what are supposed to be snug fitting skinny jeans.
The waist of my Jamie Jeans is huge. But that’s no surprise, as my 27” waist puts me somewhere between a size US 2 and a US 4.
What else? They’re too long, as expected, but that’s an easy fix. And there’s a lot of excess fabric around the knees in particular.
Take front, side and back photos of your basted Jamie Jeans. Write a list of what doesn't fit or look right. Take front, side and back photos of you in a well fitting pair of skinny jeans for comparison.
Here’s my favorite pair of ready-to-wear jeans. These jeans have a more relaxed fit than I want for my Jamie Jeans. Also, the fabric has much less stretch. But overall they fit my body shape well.
Now is a good time to step away from your Jamie Jeans for a day or so. Try them on a few more times and let your thoughts about the fit settle a bit.
When I first tried on my way-too-big jeans I was pretty frustrated. I thought I’d have to cut out a new pair in a smaller size. But after a day or two I thought of a few solutions that worked well. I’ll cover those in the next post. Have no fear, your Jamie Jeans are not a lost cause!
Also, reward yourself for just basting up a pair of jeans! The rest of this process will be smooth sailing. I’d love to know how your Jamie Jeans fit right from the pattern. Upload your photos to Instagram and tag them with #jamiejeanssewalong.
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