**The #makeamuslin challenge is ending soon! If you want to enter to win some amazing Hey June patterns, you have until the end of the weekend to upload your muslin photos to the album in the Facebook group or take us on Instagram with the hashtag #makeamuslinchallenge!
Jeans making certainly is not for the impatient, that’s for sure. I’m almost done with my Birkin/Ginger mash up jeans and am on the baste muslin stage of my Liana Jeans. Even though this is a relatively time-consuming process, it’s so satisfying to see it all come together.
As you may recall, I did my baste muslin of my Birkin flares as well as a true muslin of the Liana jeans last week. Based on those muslins, I knew I needed a few fit adjustments to get the best fit I could Let’s just dive right in and take them one at a time!
I’ll start with the Birkins because these jeans are very nearly done. They are a very snug fitting jeans pattern, which is something I love about them. With a really snug fit, wrinkles are inevitable. I’ll never get completely smooth jeans because I need to move in them, and movement causes wrinkles. Period.
Still, I can and will minimize the wrinkles to the extent I can. Because I’d already finished the zip fly and the back pieces, I had only inseams and side seams to work with. But that was enough! I let out the inseam and the side seams by 1/4″ each (reducing the seam allowance from 5/8″ to 3/8″).
This accomplished several things.
- First and foremost, it gave my legs more room and eliminated some of the wrinkling that I had around the knee.
- Second, it gave me a little more wiggle room, so to speak, in the upper thigh. I don’t have the skinny legs that I had in my youth, and sometimes I need a little more room up there.
- Third, it gave me a little more room for my booty. I carry a lot of my hip measurement in my trunk, and a little extra fabric in that area is nice.
Let’s compare my final Birkins to my baste muslin:
From the front, the changes aren’t dramatic. Most noticeable is the legs. You can see that by letting out the calves, the legs fit better overall and I have far less wrinkling and bunching in the knees and lower legs.
From the back, once again the most noticeable difference is the knee wrinkles. Letting out those calves really reduced the wrinkling and bunching I had there. The wrinkles that are left are just due to movement rather than a fitting issue.
But here you can also see that my bum has a little more room. I took a smaller seam allowance all through the inseam, which had the effect of deepening my crotch curve just a bad and gave me a little more room in the butt. It also gave me a little more room in the inner thigh, which did reduce some of my pulling in that area too.
I felt confident enough in my Liana muslin that I cut the final fabric. I made a few alterations in my final fabric:
- I added an extra 1/2″ wedge of fabric at the bottom of the crotch curve on the back leg piece. My goal with that was to increase the back rise a little bit and give me a little extra room in the thigh and the seat.
- I added 1/2″ to the rise at the top of the back piece. I didn’t like how low the yoke sat in my muslin, so I was trying to raise that.
- I removed 3/8″ from the top of the center back yoke piece, tapering to nothing at the bottom. I had some slight gaping in the center back of my muslin, so I was trying to pull that in.
- I shortened my waistband piece by 3/4″, taking the length from the center back. Once again, I was trying to address that center back gaping in my muslin.
So let’s see the results, shall we?
Overall, I’m fairly pleased with the fit on these. One thing that I can see here, that was not visible in my muslin, is some bunching in the lower thigh, above the knee. The pants really don’t feel tight here, and the calf isn’t tight, so I don’t think it’s a simple matter of taking a smaller seam allowance at the calf. I suspect that what I really need to do is shorten the back thigh area by about 1/2″ or so and then ease in the excess. I don’t think that’s a change I can make at this point on this pair, so it will have to wait for my next pair. It also goes to show that doing shorts for the muslin on full-length pants can backfire.
Here is the baste muslin compared to the muslin:
My alterations did raise the yoke a bit, and I much prefer where it sits in my baste muslin. I think the pockets will be in a much better position with the higher yoke.
In both of these you can see the bunching I have in the back of the knee. I think this means I need a length adjustment, and it’s probably too late for that. If you have an other ideas, though, please leave a comment!
A couple of things I noticed on my baste muslin:
I have something funky going on here. I like that the yoke is sitting higher now, but I think moving it up may have messed with the shape just a bit. This should be a fairly simple fix, though. I’m pretty confident that I can adjust my seam allowances when I sew the final seams and remove that excess fabric that’s bagging out.
My side seams are fairly straight. That was true in my muslin as well, but I hadn’t really noticed it until the baste muslin I tend to have bulging front thighs, so I was surprised to find these side seams as straight as they are.
One other adjustment I need to make to these Lianas — the waistband. Increasing the back rise raised the waistband, which exacerbated the center back gaping I had in my muslin, despite the fact that I took a wedge out of the yoke and shortened the waistband. Sadly, the gaping waistband didn’t photograph well, but I can easily pinch an inch out of the top of the waistband before it lies flat.
My plan is to take a couple of darts in the waistband to remove that extra 1″ from the center back and make the waistband even more curved than it already is. And then I need to add some length back to the center front. I had to let out the seam allowances in my final version since my denim is more rigid than the stretch twill I used for my muslin. My baste muslin has 3/8″ seam allowances and has a very comfortable fit.
Whew! That feels like a lot, but it really wasn’t THAT much work. the extra effort is certainly worth it to get comfortable jeans that fit well.
Did you take our #makeamuslin challenge? Don’t forget to upload your photos to the album in the Facebook group, or tag us on Instagram! The deadline is coming up fast!