By Pati Palmer with Helen Bartley
I created 10 jeans patterns for men and women for McCall’s since 1980. So how is this new Butterick jeans different? There are actually two patterns, B6911 for misses sizes 4-20, and B6912 for Plus sizes W20-W38. Together they accommodate a hip size range of 30.5” to 63”. Both patterns have two leg widths (slim and straight leg) and two rises (at the waist and barely below). The patterns are available
at our website and at somethingdelightful.com.
The other difference is that jeans connoisseur and Palmer/Pletsch Certified Sewing Instructor Helen Bartley has since written a jeans book for Palmer/Pletsch! She has studied jeans since she was a teenager and knows more about jeans than I could ever imagine. So, while she was writing, I sewed seven pair to learn her techniques and become a better editor for her. We also offer a digital, searchable flipbook at https://palmerpletschdigital.com/
View the tutorial on that site to see the advantages of a digital flipbook.
She wanted pocket bags with a bottom fold for less bulk and uses techniques and a sewing order that allowed for fitting-as-you-sew. Most important, she provides a new way to select your size based on your fabric and your personal preferences. She’s even found a way to adapt tissue-fitting to tight jeans made with stretch denim to tissue-fitting. Who would have thought?
The guidesheet for my new Butterick patterns is based on Helen’s book Fit and Sew Custom Jeans. I highly recommend the book for the most complete jeans fitting and sewing education. The guidesheet credits Helen’s book for the use of its copy and art. Refer to the book if you need more in-depth help. Get the spiral binding so you can open it flat. Or purchase our flipbook version to keep open your your computer.
USE THE RIGHT SIZE:
Here I am doing a “stretch test” to find the finished hip measurement for my fabric. In other words, how tight can I wear this fabric and be comfortable? I am stretching my fabric around the fullest hip, using a double layer to allow for pockets and seams. I will look at the finished garment measurements on the back of the envelope to pick my size. This amount of fabric measures 37” so I will use the size that has 37.5” as the FGM, which is a size 12.
READ AND FOLLOW THE TIPS IN THE GUIDESHEET:
Page one of the pattern guidesheet shows you how to determine size and how to prepare the tissue so it won’t tear when you have negative ease. Adding a “chunk” of Perfect Pattern Paper will allow you to try on the tissue even though it is smaller than you are, so you can check the crotch.
Page 3 shows techniques and sewing order that allows you to fit.
In the book you can see us fitting several different body types (men and women) in tissue and fabric. Follow along to “hear” Helen as she thinks out loud in the captions.
We fit the men in our other jeans pattern B6840 jeans. It is not a men’s pattern, but when you tissue-fit, what you see is what you get. Alter accordingly.
We also show you the steps for tracing a PDF pattern onto tissue.
Our alteration tissue Perfect Pattern Paper comes with two sheets of gridded tissue 40” X 85” tissue in a package.
Or, use Pamela’s Pattern Tracing Fabric, a nonwoven fabric that you can write on and tape to, allowing you to then alter with Perfect Pattern Paper
FREE BONUS TECHNIQUE VIDEO ON YouTube
Try out a hidden button fly placket. Helen, author of the Fit and Sew Custom Jeans book, has filmed a video for you. Go to youtube.com and search for Palmer/Pletsch hidden button fly. At PalmerPletschVideo you’ll find this wonderful sewing tip and other creative video resources to help your learning journey.
Our next blog is about fitting a plus size woman in a super stretchy denim.
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ONE LAST TEASER IDEA
Helen loves playing with design mods when making jeans. Chapter 8 in Fit and Sew Custom Jeans will give you lots of ideas and below are two photos of one more— she has widened the legs for a full flare—an easy thing to do