Jalie jeans 2908 muslin part 2

Subtitle: Making a sandwich wrap sloper/block

While thinking about my ill-fitting jeans muslin over the weekend, I remembered Phat Chick Designs' post on using Kathleen Fasanella's method for making a bodice block. I read this several months ago, even bought the unperforated sandwich wrap and packaging tape. Unfortunately, owing to uncooperative daughter and PhD-writing husband, I haven't had a chance to try it out yet. Until my epiphany over the weekend: why don't I wrap myself up in plastic wrap from the waist to the knees or thereabouts, then use this plastic garment as a sloper to figure out the flaws in my jeans pattern?

I must mention here that I have been trying to understand the fitting problems for a while now, and have been reading up about pants adjustments, but for some reason the intricacies of crotch fitting are just beyond me. It seems counter-intuitive. So: learning by doing.

Yesterday, I put on my tight bicycle shorts, armed myself with Glad wrap, packaging tape, permanent marker, small mirror, narrow elastic and several pairs of scissors (you'll see why soon).

I stuck long pieces of packaging tape to CF, CB and side seams. I marked a straight line with tippex (I think it's called white-out elsewhere) before sticking them onto my pants. Don't bother with this step - the lines moved and I had to remark them anyway.

Then I started wrapping myself with plastic. It wasn't difficult. The trickiest bit is getting the wrap between the thighs and to add enough to the crotch area to form a stable "fabric". It wasn't uncomfortable either. I still had enough freedom to walk around in my sewing room, set up my tripod to take photographs, and draw lines on my waist, CF and side seams. (The back waist and CB seams needed a helper, though. Uncooperative DD stepped in to draw a line on my b***.) The only thing you can't do is pick up things that you've dropped - so leave several pairs of scissors on surfaces you can reach easily without bending.

After wrapping, I taped over the waist, leg, CF, CB and side seams with clear packaging tape, then drew the final cutting lines ...

... and cut the shell apart on the side seams. I managed to cut a hole in my shorts with initial overenthusiastic wielding of a pair of small scissors. Large shears worked better.

The result is a weird ghostly replica of myself.

The next step was cutting the left and right sections apart along my CF-CB line. Then I relaised that I hadn't marked the inseam when the wrap was still on me. In the end I put it back "on" as well as I could and marked where I thought the inseam should go. The left side looked the sturdiest, so I used it for all my next steps.

The first thing I noticed was that the blocks were not flat - they still retained my gentle curves. How to convert them into a paper-pattern-resembling flatness? My feeling was to find the centre point of the "fullness" (I find that such a weird dressmaking term) and cut right to it from the edge. I started by measuring the width of the waistband all around, and cut that off. Then I used my Jalie yoke pattern on the back, drew around it, and cut that off. This left me with the front and back pieces.

On the back block, I only needed to pinch out a small wedge to get the piece to lie flat. I cut out the wedge, cut it in half, and added half to the top and the other half to the bottom of the CB seam. I am still not entirely sure whether my technique to get the front piece flat was correct. (I may redo it after "reconstructing" the original piece by tracing it onto pattern paper.) I made several cuts to the fullest point, which lies in the tummy area. Then I moved the resulting pieces around till it approximated the Jalie pattern. This added some space, marked in black. I am a little worried about this as some of this extra fabric is under the tummy - exactly where I was getting my creases. I drew in a smooth curve from the waist to the thigh to eliminate the "dent" caused by my saddlebags. This should disguise them somewhat in the final jeans (she hopes ...). Here are my final block pieces. I ended up moving the small wedge from the back inseam to the front inseam, and may do the same with the little half-wedge added to the yoke-back seam.

I found it interesting that the front waistband is almost straight, whereas the back half is curved. There is also "added room" in the booty area, while the side seam on the back section is almost straight. I think in the original Jalie pattern, the butt area is straighter, while the side seam is more curved.

Next step: cut out a partial muslin (I only have enough stretch cotton left for one half of a pair of short shorts) to see whether this thing fits!


  1. Debra Martin said

    I am also baffled by pant fitting. I am very interested in the results of this process you are using to achieve good fit. Thank you for such detailed images.

    Kat said

    You did such a fine job with this! Yes, when I did mine for the bodice, it was cut to the peak of the fullness to create darts. I learned this when I took Jean Haas' Darting Below the Beltline class. Sometimes it requires two cuts, but for a jeans draft you did an outstanding job with your cuts with the back yoke, waistband and all, because really the back yoke is a dart seam and as well as the curved waistband providing shaping. Sometimes if there is minor, extra bulging in a seam area it can be eased instead of making an additional cut. Very informative how you handled the front! I love your take on applying this to a jeans draft.

    The Hojnackes said

    Oh, this is such a good idea!!

    Emily said

    Hiya Tina - I know you haven't posted more on this but I'm really hoping you will one day! How did you get on with the jeans? And the gladwrap sloper? Oh please do tell .... I am confounded by fitting skinny trousers and this approach has really tickled my fancy.

    Anonymous said

    Hello Tina! Yes, Emily said it exactly. Here we are three and a half years on and jeans patterns are a hot topic in the blogosphere. You are ahead of your time. Please do let us know if you ever saw it through to the finished product! I am about to do a jeans pattern and am seriously considering this approach.

    Anonymous said

    If you are really using Jalie jean sewing pattern, it is ridiculous to wrap yourself in plastic as these patterns fit very well whatever size you are.

    Nina Christiansen said

    Love it! What a fabulous idea! I'm definitely going to get the cling wrap out and try this one... When I find the time :) baby, toddler and partner permitting lol

    Barbra said

    I am a little confused, are you saying this can or can't be used to make a pattern for pants?

    Barbra said

    Anyone here?

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