Is anyone else totally over wearing real pants this winter? Lately the only things I’ve wanted to wear have been stretchy and have elastic waists. When I saw that Itch to Stitch was testing a new pull-on jeans pattern, I was 100% in! Easy wearing elastic waist pants? In. All the professional finishes of jeans? Double in. Testing for one of my favourite designers? You don’t have to ask me twice!
Okay, so upfront – I’m a bit of an Itch to Stitch (aff. link) fangirl. I’ve made a lot of their patterns, and loved every single one. Also, since I tested this pattern, I won’t have a lot of bad to say about it. I always try to be perfectly honest with you folks, though.
So the Mountain View Pull-On Jeans (aff. link) are pretty essentially pull-on jeans. The pattern is drafted for stretch woven fabrics (20-30% stretch), has elastic in the waistband, four real pockets, and a faux fly. There are no closures, so this pattern will sew up quicker than a pair of traditional jeans. The leg view as drafted is fitted through the thigh, and straight from the knee down. The pattern also includes a note on how to modify to a skinny leg. The back has a shaped seam for a better fit, and a bit of interest.
I made a size 18 graded to a 16 waist. For most Itch to Stitch patterns I have made a size 16 graded to 14, but my current physically active job has me doing a lot of squats, and so my measurements – err, booty – have changed. I made a muslin using fabric that had 20% stretch, and that size fit perfectly, if a smidge tight. Then I cut into my fancy fabric, stitched, serged and topstitched, all without trying on. As it turns out, this fabric has 50% stretch, and that makes the pants fit a little bit looser. Ugh. Every time I skip a step I regret it later. It’s okay, they still stay on. The waistband is a little loose, and doesn’t quite sit flush against my back, but I can always take a few seams apart and take them in, right?
The only alteration I made to the pattern (other than grading the waistband) was to add length. Itch to Stitch drafts for 5’6″ and I’m 5’10” so I always add lots of length. I added 1″ to the rise, 2″ to the thigh, and 3″ below the knee. I should have tapered the rise height to 0″ at the center front like I usually do, I don’t know why I didn’t. I also didn’t really need all that length in the leg; I ended up hemming 2″, rather than 1″ as directed by the pattern. But when you’ve spent your life “wow, do you play basketball” tall, you really don’t mind a little extra length in your jeans!
I used the phenomenal stretch twill from Simply By Ti. She has said that she won’t be able to get more of this fabric in (which is really sad!) so stock up while you can! This is a nice cotton stretch twill with more stretch than I’ve ever seen in a woven, and a really nice recovery. It’s still a little stiff, but I can tell that it’ll soften up as I wear it.
Now, I do need to talk about my fabric choice. This pattern calls for stretch woven with 20-30% stretch. I used stretch twill with 50% stretch. In typical Robynne-fashion, I did not think through how this would effect fit, and how I should compensate. Although on first try-on, the pants fit perfectly, by the time I took these photos (1 hr of wear or less), the pants were too big. I really need to take in the hips and legs by about an inch, maybe more. You can see a lot of looseness and wrinkles in my photos. Most of those wrinkles were not there in my muslin, and you won’t see that looseness in other tester photos. I want you to know this was my mistake, and a fault of my fabric choice, not the pattern.
If you buy the same or similar fabric, you can certainly still use it. Just baste them together and try them on inside out to see how much you should take in.
I went with navy fabric, and used a blue-purple jeans topstitching thread. For my back pocket design, I followed one of the templates in the Closet Case download. I love how the topstitching isn’t contrasting, but still catches the light to show off.
In these photos, I paired my new jeans with my Itch to Stitch Vienna that I blogged here a couple summers ago. In the photo below, I’m wearing it with my Hey June Halifax. I’ll blog that one soon, promise!
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