Fabricista Fashion Challenge #3

First off, I know I didn’t update for last weeks challenge. I promise I will get to that this week.  But for now here is the week three challenge.  This week we were challenged to copy one of our favorite ready to wear garments.  We were to use the RTW garment to get the pattern for our version.  This definitely challenged me as I have never attempted this before.

I spent 2 days trying to figure out what I wanted to try.  I decided not to do a t-shirt because it would be to simple.  The problem with that is that T-shirts make up the majority of my RTW.  I thought about doing a jacket that I love but I really didn’t want to try to copy the pattern as it has a lot of different pieces.  Plus I had a different idea on how to recreate that garment, which unfortunately didn’t fit within the rules of this challenge.  So in the end I decided to copy my newest pair of Express Skyscraper jeans this time and I will be attempting the jacket later on.

Musings of a Seamstress

Jeans have been something on my must make list for the longest time.  Why not try to tackle them now?!?!  I began by searching Pinterest for different copying techniques.  The first method I tries was where you put tracing/pattern paper under the garment and trace around the piece.  I totally failed at this. It was not good.  Then I tried the painters tape method, I found it on Cheap and Picky.  This actually worked out really well.

Musings of a Seamstress

I do not want to write yet another tutorial on how to do this since it was not my original method and because there are already several others out there.  The internets does not need another.  Instead I want to share how this worked out for me, some tips I found that helped and the finished results.

Musings of a Seamstress

Here is what my taped leg piece looked like. At first I taped in straight lines but when I went to peal it off they did not stick together.  My recommendation would be to put additional strips of tape going diagonally across at several different spots.

Musings of a Seamstress

Once I pealed it off I traced around it adding 1/2″ seam allowance on all sides.

Musings of a Seamstress

Now, I did not use this painters tape method for every piece. For the pockets and the waistband I drafted those by hand.  They were a lot of straight lines so I figured it would be easier to measure measure measure.  I will stand by this method over taping.  It took less time to do this and all the pieces matched exactly.

Musings of a Seamstress

So, here is where I had issues.  Remember earlier when I said I had never tried this before?  Coping RTW and making jeans?  Yay, so I don’t know what I was thinking when I decided that regardless of those two things I didn’t need to make a muslin!  Possibly because I liked the way the RTW fit, but I cannot answer it because I knew the stretch of the denim was greater than the stretch of the fabric I choose.  But I was stubborn and forged ahead.  I cut them out of 1.5 yds of yellow stretch denim that has been in my stash since last year because I wanted yellow skinnies.  I still do by the way.  Well, I spent several hours on these before I was able to try them on.  There is so much detail stitching that needed to be done before I even had a full leg to try on.  I had them stitched all the way to where all I had left was to attach the waistband and hem them.  They didn’t fit!  They didn’t fit so badly that there is no way I would ever post pictures here.  It was bad!

Musings of a Seamstress

So, it was back to the beginning.  The next morning I went out to Jo-Ann’s and bought 2 more yards of a different color stretch denim to start over.  I needed to add width to the legs and I did not want to add it to the inner seam or outer seam because I didn’t want to change the pocket size nor the crotch depth.  So I split the front and back legs, the waistband and the back yoke parallel with the grainline in spots where the split would go from the top all the way to the bottom without affecting the pocket or crotch depth.  For the front I added 1″ and for the back I added 1/2″, because the back was already so much bigger than the front.

Musings of a SeamstressMusings of a Seamstress

After many many more hours of restitching I came out with a finished pair of jeans.  On the left are my original pair and on the right are my new colorful pair.  I will say one thing I never noticed about my RTW jeans until I made the red pair is how loose and baggy they are around my knees.  At first I thought it was something I did while sewing until I looked down at the jeans I had on and they did the same thing.

Musings of a SeamstressMusings of a Seamstress

Uggh… here is the back view of each.  I am not one to willingly post back pics were my rear is the focus.  Sadly my copy pair is a terrible picture.  But they do fit about the same.  Both have the bagginess at the knees and a little bagginess under my rear.

Musings of a Seamstress

 Here is the side view of my version.  I didn’t remember to take a pic of the side view of my RTW.

Musings of a Seamstress

Detail shot of the back.  I put a lot of time into double stitching just about every freaking seam on these.

Musings of a Seamstress

 Front detail.  See even more double stitching!  One thing you may notice is that I have no belt loops.  Yeah, I completely forgot about them.  I have enough fabric leftover that I can cut some and hopefully add them on this week.

All in all I think these turned out pretty well for my first pair of jeans and my first RTW coping experience.  I would love to make these again.  Luckily I wrote construction details down as I was going.  Way to go foresight!!  I am going to make a few adjustments to the pattern before I do that though.  I want to add a little more to the center front, as these pull slightly, therefore exposing a bit of the zipper.  I also want to find a better stretch denim.  Jo-Ann’s has a terrible quality stretch denim selection.  But they did have fun colors and that was what I wanted at the time.  So now I am on the hunt for quality stretch denim.  Any recommendations?

Click here to vote for me in this weeks challenge!! Thank you!

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10 Responses to Fabricista Fashion Challenge #3

  1. valerie Strunk says:

    I think you did a great job copying the jeans! They are not easy to do! I have a suggestion about the fit at the knees. It looks like the jeans are tight at your calf – therefore the fabric is riding upward to accommodate. I think if you widen the calf area a little, the jeans will not ride up. Of course, you will need to shorten them a bit. Val

    • smclevenger says:

      I thought that too at first but the length on all my jeans is perfect and they all do this. Even my boot cuts and slight flares, which are not tight at the calf. I even started paying attention to that area more on pins from Pinterest and people at work today. Most everyone has it. I was thinking maybe it has something to do with knee movement.

  2. dinagideon says:

    That stinks that the yellow version didn’t work out, but those wine colored ones are so nice. Great work!!!


  3. Michelle says:

    These look great! I get that same bagginess on my RTW jeans, but I don’t know what causes it. I’d be curious to hear what someone more knowledgeable in pant/jean fitting says about it.

  4. Nakisha says:

    Love these! The details are so nice and I really like the color

  5. Lynn says:

    Great job copying the jeans. The painter’s tape method works very well.

  6. Becky says:

    It looks like a good copy to me! It is annoying that you have to do so many details before trying on–for my skinny jeans that I made over the summer, I honestly basted the whole thing together to test it first, then ripped it apart and sewed it for real. Beats muslin-making.

    Also, if you do find a good source for nice stretch denim, please do let us know!

  7. Pingback: Me Made May Days 11-17 | Musings of a Seamstress

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