Monday, 2 December 2013

Sewaholic Thurlow Jeans

It just happened that my first Thurlows would be jeans.  The awesome dark Theory jean fabric (with some stretch) was on sale during my visit to the States...and I'm actually quite glad because I think that I'm much more exacting with jeans compared to other pants.  My Vogue pants, for instance, are a miracle because I can wear them.  The idea of getting them to fit precisely was so far beyond me when I made them! 

Jeans aren't like that!  They have to fit just-so.  Quite awhile ago I read up on making trousers, measured my crotch depth and length, and measured the crotch depth and length of all my favourite trousers.  Interestingly, the variation was less than an inch!  I also tried to spy ahead of time what sort of changes I should expect to make.  I read some of Katherine Fasanella's diatribes about camel toe and I can even admit to spying on butts in the city identifying flat-butt-jeans (made that way because it uses less fabric).

With all that behind me, when I cut out my Thurlows I felt (rather mistakenly...) like I already knew something, and added in all these changes.  I deepened the J of the crotch for what I diagnosed as a low-slung butt (no perky cheeks for me, sadly) by going from the size 4 line down to 0, then from there I extended the crotch depth by continuing out to the size 8 line, and then smoothed that back to a size 4 about 3 inches down.  Haha, so see what happens next...were my changes good or stupid??  It was almost torture to go through the sewing piece by piece!

Those butt wrinkles are nothing compared to what I started with.

WTF that stupid fly is going to fly away it's so far to the right!  ARG!!!

I prepped by reading lladybird's sewalong two or three times, so that I had a better feel for what each piece would be doing, and it was a very very helpful crutch along the way.  As a few have mentioned, the explanations in the instructions are sparse.  About 12 steps are listed in each numbered "step" and if you haven't done trousers before it can be rather puzzling.  With the sewalong providing pictures along the way it was easy not to get confused. Tasia never tells you whether the lining fabric should be face up or down!  Nobody really gives advice on finishing stuff - like when/how do you actually sew the back butt/waistband together without crazy mismatching?  Should I just know this?

I had heard that the Thurlows run big, but in the changes were so very irrelevant.  Big was not quite the word.  Once I had sewn everything together and got my mind around the architecture of a crotch seam, I started taking in fabric.  I took in about 2 inches at the inseam extending to about 5 inches below the knee.  Then I took in as much as I could from the bottom of the zip to the end of the butt along the crotch seam.  Then I took 1 cm off each side seam (I wanted to keep my pockets!) starting just below the pocket and extending that to 2 cm below the knees.  After all this I still took about 2 more inches out of the final centre-butt tab.  I almost overdid it once I got the waistband on - tried to taper the waistband and got a weird poofy bit.  In order to straighten that I had to take another small chunk out of the middle butt...and in the end it's crazy!  They fit!!  Oh yeah - this is why you do a muslin...I should have cut a straight size 0 and gone from there.  If my fabric had zero stretch a size 2 might have been good.  I would have a really hard time putting all my changes to paper though.

The main thing that drives me crazy is that the fly is on the wrong side, so when I look down the jeans look lopsided with the right hand fly.  Also the 4-way butt intersection where the waistband meets is still puffy due to my last minute ridiculous tapering idea.  I couldn't fix it quite enough, apparently.  But they are comfortable to wear, so I will chalk them up as a success.  I think a non-stretch, non-jean version of Thurlows would get a very different result!


  1. I still can't believe you made jeans! these are amazing. :)

  2. A bit high waisted for my taste, but they look comfy and the fabric is pretty. Way to go!