Let’s Sew Some Jeans!

I have had jeans on my mind this month! I released both the Walkers and the Billies and I thought it would be fun to have a sew along this week. We’ll go over things like conquering the working fly, embellishing the pockets, and we’ll spend some time looking at the other Momma Quail pants patterns, like the Calvin Cargos. Today we’ll talk about modifying the pattern pieces to fit your child.

Let's Sew Some Jeans! Sew along with Friends Stitched Together featuring Momma Quail PatternsFirst, let’s go over the difference in the two patterns: the Walkers are relaxed fit jeans with options for straight or bootcut legs.

Walker Jeans by Momma Quail Patterns for Friends Stitched Together Jeans Sew Along

Straight leg jeans, size five length blended with size two width

I like to call it a “boys’ bootcut” because it’s not as pronounced as the typical girls’ bootcut, which flare more at the ankles. I try to do a lot of research before releasing a pattern to see what’s on-trend and relevant and had noticed a fair amount of boys (and men!) wearing the bootcut style – I went to Target the weekend after the Walkers released and walked past a whole stand of bootcut jeans in the boys’ section and got so excited I had to take a picture!

I literally said "Those are my jeans!" out loud and got several funny looks...

I literally said “Those are my jeans!” out loud and got several funny looks…

The Billie Jeans have slim and skinny options and are more fitted around the hips and thigh.

Billie Jeans by Momma Quail Patterns for Friends Stitched Together Jeans Sew Along

Left: slim fit, capri length cuffed to below-the-knee, five length/two width. Right: skinny fit, capri length with a split hem, size seven.

They have seven length options – any length can be cuffed by cutting at the next length line and following the instructions for cuffing.

Both patterns feature the classic five-pocket styling and working flies. Don’t be intimidated by those! I’ve worked hard to simplify the instructions while still giving you a nice-looking fly – we’ll also cover it in-depth tomorrow.

How to Blend Sizes

This was originally posted on Project Run & Play – they are doing an amazing job of collecting tutorials and how-to’s this year! Scroll down for tips on modifying for cloth diapers.

The tutorial I’m sharing today sounds super boring, but it’s so important – blending sizes in a sewing pattern! I think the older the person you’re sewing for, the more important this is. John is just getting to the point where he’s needing clothes that fit him well, so I’ve been practicing this a lot lately.

How to blend sizes in a sewing pattern • a tutorial by Friends Stitched Together for Project Run & PlayI’ll start off with a pair of jeans. John is almost five; he’s about 43″ tall (typical size five), but has an 18″ waist (size two or even smaller), so I’ll be using the size two (blue) for the width and the size five (red) for the length.

How to blend sizes in a sewing pattern • a tutorial by Friends Stitched Together for Project Run & PlayObviously, I have access to my own pattern pieces on my computer, so it’s easy to make my own custom pieces (I’m using my Walker Jeans pieces in this example). For the other patterns I own I print out both sizes that I need and put the smaller piece on top of the larger. I line them up at the point of the crotch and then make sure the smaller leg is completely on top of the larger one.

How to blend sizes in a sewing pattern • a tutorial by Friends Stitched Together for Project Run & PlayThen you just trace around the smaller piece (green), but continuing the top and bottom to the height and length of the larger. This is especially important at the crotch area – there’s enough of a difference between the two pieces that he would spend all day picking at his pants if I used the straight size 2 ;)

How to blend sizes in a sewing pattern • a tutorial by Friends Stitched Together for Project Run & PlayAnd here is the front. Because the size two is lined up at the crotch, I followed the size five lines for the fly to keep it from getting too long.

How to blend sizes in a sewing pattern • a tutorial by Friends Stitched Together for Project Run & PlayThe other important piece to modify is the back yoke.

How to blend sizes in a sewing pattern • a tutorial by Friends Stitched Together for Project Run & PlayNow you can just cut out the pattern pieces from the size five and not waste any more paper! I’m lucky enough that little brother still wears a size two, so I can use both pieces ;) I save my patterns in a folder for future use, so I always mark the size on the modified pattern pieces.

For the rest of the pattern, like the pockets and waistband, you can just use the smaller size.

How to Modify for Cloth Diapers

One thing we really worked on while testing the Billie Jeans was fitting them for cloth diaper babies. This is a super simple mod and is included in the Billie instructions – but it will work for any pants pattern that has elastic in the back of the waist.

Modifying pants for cloth diapers - Friends Stitched TogetherFind the lengthen/shorten line on the back pants piece. If the pattern you’re using doesn’t have one, draw your own line straight across, about an inch or two below the top – you don’t want to go too far down because that would mess with the curve of the crotch. Cut along the line, starting at the center. Stop about 1/4″ from the other side, leaving the pieces still connected.

Modifying pants for cloth diapers - Friends Stitched TogetherPlace a piece of paper under the pattern piece. Slide the top of the back up about 1″ and tape in place. During testing, this was the average amount needed to get the coverage for the cloth diapers. If you need even more coverage in the back, modify the yoke piece as well (see below).

Modifying pants for cloth diapers - Friends Stitched TogetherStarting at the top of the back piece, re-draw the crotch line (red line) so it’s smooth and cut out your modified pattern piece.

Modifying pants for cloth diapers - Friends Stitched TogetherThe back yoke can be modified the same way. Remember to start your cut at the center (the higher side). This way, the sides of the back are the same, so you don’t have to worry about messing with the front of the pants or your pieces not lining up properly.

I don’t recommend adding more than 1″ to either pattern piece. If you find you still need more coverage, go up a size or two, blending with the width as necessary (following the tutorial above), and then modify the back pieces as needed.

Tomorrow, we’re going to tackle the fly and get that out of the way!

 

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