Does anyone else ever have a project in mind that takes you an entire season to cut out? How does that happen?!
I had a goal to make the Mountain View Pull-On Jeans by Itch to Stitch this summer and it took me 4 months to finish them! I had other commitments and projects I wanted to finish before starting this pattern. Coincidentally, I saw that @whitney.makes on Instagram was hosting a challenge to make jeans, called #joinusforjeans so I decided to participate.
This incredibly easy jeans pattern has functional front pockets, a faux fly, a contoured elastic waistband, and a seam down the back leg that goes right over the fullest part of the bum. This seam is easy to take in (or let out) just where you need to give you a great fit and it can make your BOOTY look FABULOUS.
I used a wonderful white stretch twill (20% stretch) from Harts Fabrics. I decided to make shorts again, and estimated that I would need about 3/4 yd. When I laid my pattern pieces out, I realized I had not accounted for the extra fabric required to make the contoured waistband. *SHUDDER!* So I ordered the fabric again (luckily it was still in stock) and got to work.
I made a lot of changes fit adjustments to this pattern. I don’t want to bore you, so I’ve bulleted them below. (I made a lot of the same adjustments on my previous jean shorts, the Liana Jeans.
–Flat pubis adjustment
–Shortened the rise by 3/8″ inch
–Removed length in the thigh for my petite height
–Low seat adjustment
-Took in the Center back towards the top of the pants.
-I tried a new thin thigh adjustment on the back leg/crotch area. ( See Closet Case Files
*I did not perform a standard flat seat adjustment because the designer told me that the seam over the bum WAS my flat seat adjustment.
How to Modify a Jeans Pattern for Shorts
This pattern is intended to be quite fitted through the thigh, so if you plan to make shorts, you should increase the ease from the hip to the thigh on the outer side seam. You’ll want to increase the ease on the inner leg, as well.
However, I have thin thighs so this adjustment added too much ease and I ended up removing it. Next time I will leave the pattern as-is for shorts.
I was in between sizes for this pair of shorts, and when I tried them on, they were too big. I had taken my measurements seated, so maybe that is why. I took the outer leg side seams another 1/8″ to compensate. The waistband was very large and I took it in another 3/8″ on each side. Then it was time to adjust the waist elastic.
In case you didn’t know, I love tight waist elastic like I love biting down on a metal fork.
But at a certain point you have to have a heart-to-heart with yourself, and say, “Self, those pants will fall off if you don’t shorten the elastic.” And so you shorten the elastic and you pray that it doesn’t cut off your circulation. Cuz after all that work I am surely not going to rip it apart and fix it if it’s too tight.
This is how the shorts looked wrong side out before I clipped the seams. It doesn’t look as good as I had hoped. I posted in a Facebook group and was encouraged by the comments.
I lowered the seat a bit more, turned right side out and pressed. Much better!
(You might notice a crease near the edge of the outer back leg…I shortened the pattern too much just on this one pattern piece. I added some fabric at the edge to make that piece the same length as the other leg pieces.)
Flat Seat Woes
Adjusting the seam over the bum helped give the pants a better shape, but I still do not have those booty hugging jeans I was dreaming of. In my days of eating oreos by the sleeve and ordering take out, I did not need a flat seat adjustment. But genetics caught up to me, necessitating more rabbit food and no dairy. This leaves little chance I’ll be performing full seat adjustments any time soon. I have done a bit of research and believe that the ‘fisheye dart’ would be the most helpful for my flat seat. I will try it the first chance I get!
The seat is still a little high. I’m going to use the tin foil method for a more accurate low seat adjustment next time I sew this pattern.
Problems with the Thin Thigh Adjustment
A quick thin thigh adjustment involves taking a little triangle of fabric from the back crotch area. This also results in a slightly shorter back crotch length. The problem with this adjustment, is that now my crotch seam pokes me right in the vag. Let me know if you know of a different thin thigh adjustment I could try! I’m thinking of trying this one next time.
I used jeans top stitching thread for this project. Topstitching jeans is time-consuming because it means you have to sew every seam once and then topstitch it 1-2 times. But friends, it’s worth it!! It makes your pants look like they’re hot off the rack.
I freehanded the back pocket stitching design and mirrored it for the back pockets.
*TIP*: Before stitching a back pocket design on stretch denim, you may want to put some tear away stabilizer (or tissue paper) underneath your fabric to prevent the fabric from stretching out while you sew.
I usually distress my denim, but I obviously don’t need to distressed white twill! Making jeans without a fly zipper and not having to distress made this project go twice as fast!
*Another TIP* I used yellow paper and a tracing wheel to mark my back pockets. The marks did come out in the wash. Another marking tool I used was a heat erase marker. I tested a frixion pen on my fabric and decided the marks didn’t heat erase enough for the white twill. I used it to mark areas that wouldn’t be visible (like the wrong side of the fabric).
I finally got these shorts outside for some pictures! Forgive the wrinkles…I wore these in the car ride down to the city in sweltering heat and what felt like 105% humidity. This is part of Rainbow Row in Charleston, SC.
It looks like I hemmed one leg a smidge higher than the other, but it’s too late to fix that. They are functional shorts, so I’m calling that a win.
I wore them around for a few hours and decided that they are very comfortable! I’d like to raise the pockets a smidge next time.
These are currently my best fitting shorts! Even though I’ll be wearing shorts into late fall I’m hoping to make a pair of pull-on jean pants soon.