Saturday, March 18, 2017

Made by a Fabricista: Mama and Me Jeans


Hello, all!  My name is Jess and I'm so happy to be here writing my first post.  The sweet toddler is my son, Cheeks.

"Mommy and Me" is a popular thing in the world of girl-moms, but I haven't really seen much of it around for boy-moms. This got me thinking: why shouldn't my boy and I have some matching clothing?  Mama and me for Mama and Cheeks.  YES!

When planning a project, I am almost always inspired by either a fabric or a pattern (very rarely by a design seen "in the wild"). These projects are no different.  I had an entirely opposite idea in mind at first, but this duo of pants are a definite case of fabric inspiration.

I was looking through the New Arrivals section and happened upon this pinstriped indigo and blue stretch denim.  With a stretch of 20%, it dawned on me that it would be absolutely perfect for Jalie's Eleonore Pull-On Jeans (#3461).
 

For Cheeks, I chose Patterns for Pirates Captain Comfort Jeans.  They have a couple of pocket and waistband options:  I chose the patch pockets, very comfortable knit waistband, and stitched hem (which were rolled for the photos, since I always make his clothes a bit big).  The alternate options include slat pockets, jean waistband, and rolled hem.  The waistband is made from a cotton/spandex jersey I picked up at Fabric Mart many moons ago.


When I got this stretch denim in hand, I was really impressed.  It's surprisingly soft and has great stretch and recovery.  It's firm and has a nice amount of body without being bulky.  Unfortunately, it's sold out now, but you never know what you'll find next at Fabric Mart!


 

I began by making a wearable muslin from a different stretch denim (with comparable stretch) for my Eleonores, and found that the size U grew quite a bit over wearing.  I had also proactively added 3/4" to the back rise to account for my booty, and found that the crotch felt a bit long over the course of a day.
 Had to include this one because Cheeks is so stinkin' cute.

So, when it came time to cut into this fabric, I made a size T and omitted the full seat adjustment.  Big mistake; who am I to test The Sewing Gods when my hips are 39" (which is a size U per the chart!)  It's always hard to account for the ways two different fabrics will behave, and too late I realized this fabric was a bit firmer than what I had used previously.  Even with 1/4" seams instead of 3/8", my pinstripe pull on jeans ended up...tight...  I'm pretty disappointed, especially since this is my first post here.  Le sigh.  Please be kind as you continue to ogle my drag lines...



Even though they are too small, these are still a big accomplishment for me:  they are my second pair of (semi) wearable woven pants I have ever made for myself (the first being that test pair I mentioned!).  I tried another indie pants pattern about 4 years ago and got so discouraged by the way they fit that I gave up on sewing pants entirely:  they were just too intimidating and anxiety producing.



Despite my over-fitting mistake, this pattern is a game changer, and it's no wonder:  I love Jalie.  They really understand how to fit the body.  The funniest thing about these is that I attended Pattern Review Weekend last year, which had an indie pattern theme, and about 30 ladies decided to make the Eleonore in red!  Wishing now that I had taken the plunge then: this pattern is a definite confidence booster!




As for Cheeks' pants, I opt for bigger when sewing for him:  these are a size 3T  shortened 1" (per measurements he should be in a 2T).  This is a fairly newly adopted philosophy on my part.  As we all know, children (especially toddlers) grow like weeds; I'd sometimes cut a garment for him and then wait to sew it, and he'd be almost grown out of it by the time I was done! This has happened enough that I've started cutting his clothes at least a size bigger so there's a good chance he'll actually get to wear what I'm making for more than a split second.



Overall, the pattern is good.  It seems to be drafted well, but it sorely lacks notches and markings in several spots that would make everything crystal clear instead of a bit of guesswork.  Particularly:  notches to line up the front patch pockets, the center front marked so it's clear where to stitch through the faux fly, and placement markings for back pockets.

For example, see how the pockets hang over the top edge?


And some flat shots, including the hem unrolled, the fun lining I chose for his front pockets as well as the rear pockets.




This fabric was really great to work with overall, but topstitching with this tiny of a stripe was a tad disorienting.  I think I'm just uncrossing my eyes now...


All in all, I'm fairly happy with how both of these turned out (Cheeks' more so than my own, of course...) and am very excited about our matching Mama and Me jeans!



Thanks for reading!  Until our next sewing adventure...

Jess

15 comments:

  1. Yours jeans look great. Snugly fitted jeans will always have a few draglines. Cheeks is a cutie. I remember sewing little boy pants. Sewing for sons (I have 2) was T shirts, jackets and pants until they reached an age where they wanted to wear RTW and then it was Halloween costumes and troop flags and neckerchiefs for Boys Scouts. I hope to have grand daughters to sew for one day.

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    1. Thank you! True on the snug jeans, and aww on sewing for your sons. Hope to sew for my boy as long as he lets me.

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  2. Hi Jess- glad to see your Mom and son matchy outfits! He is definitely a scene stealer- so cute! I feel your pain in regard to pants sewing, I have had a lot of confidence bursting experiences with pants patterns as well (so I usually choose pants patterns that are little less fitted to sew up). I think your Eleanore's turned out great despite your described difficulties. Looking forward to seeing your makes in the future!

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    1. Thanks for the kind words about Cheeks and for the pant commiseration!

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  3. Great outfits! And Mr. Cheeks is beyond adorable :)

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  4. Yes, go for matching. I loved matching my mom dresses that my aunt made (and she made the mistake of using my "age" as the size pattern to use when I was already as tall as my mom) but hardly got any wear out of them. Hope to see you again.

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    1. Aw, that's too bad. But a really nice thought of your aunt's! :)

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  5. I love the sewing world, where you can gleefully exclaim, YOUR BUTT LOOKS GREAT! :-p

    I think they turned out fantastic and you should churn out more! And of course, little Mister is just bringing all the cuteness.

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    1. Hehe! Thank you! :D

      I am definitely not done with this pattern for either of us!

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  6. Sweet, how cute! Mommy and son are adorable. I like your jeans. I definitely understand the fitting issue, but overall they look good. The more you sew pants the better you will become. Keep up the great work.

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    1. Thanks for your sweet words and the vote of confidence! I'm definitely going to keep chugging away at pants.

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  7. Great pants for both of you. I've made 4 Eleonores and they all fit differently but made of similar fabric if that is of any consolation. I was doing all kinds of wacky things to the crotch line after my first pair (such as scooping it...what was I thinking) to try and get more room in the backside. I finally matched up another pair of pull on pants (Elle from StyleArc) and copied both the crotch and rise and voila. Perfection. So, don't despair. It's all part of sewing. And I also recommend adding to the sides on the front and back when you cut out (don't forget the yokes) so you'll have some wriggle room in case the fit is different.

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    1. The crotch curve is the trickiest area of them all! So interesting that you made FOUR and they turned out so differently. Woohoo on getting them to fit the way you'd like, though!

      Good idea on the larger seam allowances. Could have definitely benefited from that with this pair.

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