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Borderland Jeans

August 16, 2012

Meow. Hello whiskery crazy crotch. Let’s pretend this is a Japanese horror flick from the turn of the century. Crazy crotch gets a little closer.





You can see it a mile away. Aliens have spotted this oddity and are descending for closer inspection.

If I’d known there would be a castle, you know, just a starter home, I would have worn a pretty little dress for our walk in the woods. But I wanted to test drive the revised jeans pattern. Of course, it was a searing, muggy, swampy walk in said woods. Not great for hot off the press tight jeans, unless you really want to push your boundaries of comfort. I was becoming a little irritated with my rub off jeans pattern, which was made from a pair with elastane in them, and ended up trying on my first pair of jeans from a pattern. And you know what? They fit so much better than when I’d finally finished them. There are still issues with length, and the front comes up too high. But overall, they are nowhere near as bad as I recall. Out comes the measuring tape. I’ve trimmed 2 inches off my full hip. No wonder! So, I started fresh with that pattern. With changes, of course. I straightened the outseam as much as possible, keeping a slight curve around the hip. (Remember, I’m interested in using selvedge denim.) Then, all the curve was shifted to the inseam. I also lowered the front of the waist, raised the yoke a smidge to where I prefer it, and these jeans are the result. Not too shabby.

I LOVE that my outseam is totally straight. And I LOVE not needing a belt. The butt is pretty good. The waist feels great.

Under the butt needs some pinching out. But that crotch. Yeah, no pants tent, and the legs are nice and snug. But seriously, guys. So many whiskers. Granted, after three days of wear, the crotch is far less constricted, the whiskers less noticeable. But the photos are just screaming too tight.

While wearing them, I tweaked my pattern. First stop: pinch out 1″ under the butt. Second: lower the zip stop so I can actually pull them on without wriggling in. Then, after several combos of letting out the inseam (legs too baggy, weirdness in crotch), flattening the crotch curve (extra special weirdness in crotch, like a saggy camel toe), lowering the crotch end point 1/2″ (almost right), this is what I ultimately went with.

Not Goldi-crotch. Not at all. Whiskers are replaced by a frown, and a much more visible pouch in the concave area between my quads and prominent hip bones.

(Just ignore the extra scissor nip near the zipper, and the misaligned fly, okay.) I like the waist sitting on my hip bones, as it tends to feel secure, but I think I should drop the center front a bit. They are more comfy straight away. And after wearing these all day, the frown is more of a wearing crease. But you know what? When I tried on the first pair again, I almost liked them better. The fabric had begun to break in, and the wrinkles had lessened.

In comparing with all of my RTW jeans, all with elastane, I am now utterly convinced that the elastane is what helps diminish the wrinkles/whiskers. The crotch is allowed to be snug, the inseam and outseam can also be snug to the leg. And the fabric simply stretches over the concave Y of the pelvis and up to the quad. All with comfort and ease, and only the slightest wink of a whisker. I tested out my theory with a pair of shorts (coming up) from this same pattern. Because all signs indicated I needed to let out the inseam, I did just that. Everything hangs as it should, but of course a jean made this way would never be snug. It would be a trouser. Sigh. At least I have a good trouser pattern. And a moderately okay husband jean pattern.

16 Comments leave one →
  1. August 16, 2012 3:29 pm

    LOL love the Japanese horror flick reference… if you were all in white with hair hanging over your face, it would be even more convincing LOL

    Honestly, the first pair looks damn good to me – I agree that jeans NEED a little bit of elasticity, because to look good they should be fitted (not screamingly tight, but not loose either.) The second pair is too loose IMO. Super duper job on the fly and detailing, they look really professional!! Either way, your bum looks fabulous in both. Just sayin’ :P

    • August 16, 2012 3:39 pm

      Right! We should go back for a horror photo shoot in the autumn! This was kind of afterthought when I saw the photos :P

      How the heck did people get tight jeans before stretch denim? Seriously. It’s driving me a bit mad, because I hate how stretch denim wears out, and it’s tough (for me) to find quality fabric. Thinking back on the pair of deadstock 80s Jordache jeans I found in college, they were totally uncomfortable at first. Maybe that’s the key!

  2. August 16, 2012 6:36 pm

    not too shabby at all :-)
    before all our jeans became stretchy people had to lie down to do them up!!! in fact come to think of it, i used to pull on just washed jeans and then lunge about the place to make them feel normal (still do with 1 particular pair!!)… i think you’re right about the elastene but personally i’d prefer some wrinkles that ease out with wearing than a pair of jeans that stretch out way too soon – i’ve one pair (that i went to check the label on but content has faded off it) that do up just fine when i put them out straight from wash, but all i need to do is walk 2 minutes down the road and they are in MAJOR need of a belt and are actively slipping down – not ideal ;-)

    • August 16, 2012 8:22 pm

      Exactamundo! The stretch wears out, and before you know it, the ass is saggy and I can’t bend over for fear of crack revelation. Not fun. At first, this only happens after I’ve worn them a half dozen times. Then, a year or so later (I keep clothes fo-eva), one hour into wearing and I feel like I need braces and a belt. Now that’s a look :)

  3. August 16, 2012 7:40 pm

    The butt is pretty good. So good in fact, that it hath distracted me from all else.
    The jeans look pretty good to me i.e. pretty similar fit to well made ready to wear. I bought a couple of stretch denim fabrics recently because my one ‘go to’ pair of jeans is really falling apart (they fit almost perfectly and are the stretch kind-from Guess before they went the ‘everything is now Made in China’ route). The patterns I’m looking at though are.. very pieced i.e. 3 bits make up the front legs, two bits make up the back legs etc so that there’s a lot of place to take in or let out seams.. It’ll be a b*tch to trace and cut out but I’m hoping it’ll make up for it in the altering session. Of course I’m hoping no alteration will be needed but looking at all you ladies’ jeans that seems to be akin to hoping gold nuggets will fall out of the sky XD

    • August 21, 2012 9:27 am

      Dude, your comment went to spam? Was it the gold nuggets? B*tch? So weird, because you’ve commented here more than once. Bizarro mondo. I think you’ll make a brilliant pair, and stretch denim will be more forgiving. I keep trying on all my falling apart jeans (I have a stack, but I refuse to get rid of them before I get this pattern down), all stretch denim, and think “what the frack am I doing/I should go stretch”! But I know after a few weeks of wearing, the butt sag will just bring me down. Sigh.

      I even found a pair with piecing as you describe. Brilliant as far as fitting goes! But boy, all that cutting… I KNOW you’re going to rock it.

  4. August 18, 2012 11:24 am

    They are so cute!! They fit you really well. The whole post made me laugh out loud though. All of the words used to describe fitting pants must turn up some hilarious search traffic.

    • August 21, 2012 9:13 am

      I don’t even want to look at the spam filter! Okay, so I just looked, and am a little disappointed. Nothing hilarious to report. Maybe I need to toss “crotch” around a little more. Haha!

  5. bubiknits permalink
    August 19, 2012 2:24 am

    wow! they fit properly and you’re gorgeous in them!!

    • August 21, 2012 9:14 am

      Aw, thanks! I’m not completely, 100% happy with the fit yet, but getting there.

  6. August 19, 2012 5:51 pm

    So, I’ve been staring at your crotch for a couple of days now (wait, you’re not supposed to say stuff like that?), and I have some thoughts. Or at least two.

    First – holy cow my hats off to anyone who makes jeans that looks this good! Such a feat!

    Second – whiskers: I think it’s pulling from being a little tight right across the front. Instead of being able to follow the contours, it now has to go straight across. So if you’re so inclined to tinker with the pattern for the future, I’d suggest a little more width from the bottom of the zipper, towards the endpoint of the crotch-curve, but only along the center front line. (hope that makes sense, and I’m not too presumptuous by offering unsolicited advice!)

    • August 21, 2012 9:21 am

      That’s what I get for staring at strangers crotches everywhere I go! Seriously, I sat in a coffee shop two weeks ago staring at crotches and bums for two hours. Between glances at the pages of Rilke, of course. Because I’m classy like that.

      Your thoughts on the whiskers make total sense. In fact, that’s what I did when flattening the crotch curve – it gives just a little more width. And I thought it would be a brilliant fix and I’d be done. Instead, I got this weird saggy camel toe kind of thing going on, which looked worse than the whiskers. Maybe the 1/2″ was too much? Anyway, I may have just garnered insight from my husband’s jeans, am going to try something, and will report back!! (Unsolicited advice totally a-okay :D )

      • August 25, 2012 12:57 pm

        Looking forward to hearing the results of this continued experiment, and glad I’m not alone! Maybe we can start a “staring at strangers in the name of garment construction” club? I had a period of serious coat inspection, which was generally a lot less awkward than staring at crotches and bums.

  7. September 5, 2012 9:04 pm

    Hey, I think I might recognize the problem with the front whiskers because I’ve had that problem, too. The easiest way to describe it is what Amy did on her blog ( Like what indigorchid said – the center front sits too far out from the crotch rather than hugging closer to the legs. It seems kind of counter-intuitive because you want that area to be tight yet you have to let it out, ya know? I had that issue on pants I made that had some stretch and pants with no stretch so it might not just be an elastane thing. Although, I’m convinced that RTW companies get some kind of amazing stretch denim that is not available to the masses because I just cannot copy an existing pair of jeans and have the new pair look or feel like the original. :(

    Oh, and I also admit to shamelessly staring at strangers’ crotches. Awkward…

  8. October 8, 2012 10:35 am

    heyheyhey-I have a semi-perfect (need to make it in the right size XD) non-stretch jeans pattern tested. Let me know if you’re into it and I can happily trace one for you (in your size). Cheerio XD


  1. Episode #17: Jeans! Couture Advice from Angela Wolf |

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