I’ll just come out and say it – I have a fairly big bum. Generations of fertile women have passed on their signature hips to me, and for that I am grateful. I suspect, however, that I am the first in that long line to attempt to squeeze those hips into pair after pair of skinny jeans.
When I started sewing I believed, for a minute, that all my jeans fitting issues would be resolved once I’d start making my own. Ah, if only things had been that easy! Take a look at my first attempt: Named’s Jamie jeans.
My biggest problem here was that my waist is much smaller than the size of my bum would indicate. I cut a straight size 40 according to the pattern and had to take at least 4cm out of the waistband to make it fit. Lesson learned: grade down at the waist. Also a bit annoying is the wrinkling at the upper thigh. I think this is because I have wide thighs (and can we all agree on how sexy I’m making myself sound here?), a problem I think I can solve by adding some width to the inseam of the pant legs.
Now as for the front… this is where I felt I had the most visible issue. Baggy crotch! Ew. I really had no idea what went wrong here or how to solve it. After googling such unsavory terms as ‘crotch length’ and ‘crotch depth’ I think I understand the issue much better. These two posts helped tremendously. Here’s the next issue though: I clearly need to remove length from the front, but definitely not the back since a ‘big butt adjustment’ is still in order (I’ll get back to that). So what I need to do is change the crotch length without touching the side seam. That means that I will need to use a cut-and-lap method rather than folding over the excess length from side seam to mid-crotch.
Most of this I learned only after making a second attempt with a different pattern. Like I said, I wasn’t sure what went wrong and wondered whether Jamie and I were just not made for each other. My next project was Anita.
Anita and I clearly have some things to work through as well. This is a size 38 and I find it generally a bit loose. Of course I had to take the waistband in quite a bit. Again the crotch is clearly too long at the front (eek, crotch wrinkles). And finally, I would never dare to sit down in these pants. Big butt adjustment to the rescue. Or should I say FBA (full behind)? GGA (grotesque ass)? This stuff is confusing. To sum up, for my next attempt at making my own jeans, I will need to 1) grade down at the waist, 2) adjust the crotch depth to fit my thighs, 3) adjust the crotch length to avoid droopiness in the front and 4) create room for my derriere in the back.
That was a lot of talk about crotches, all to get to this: it took me a looooong time to figure out which adjustments to make to these patterns. So here are a few links to the most helpful resources, all for your convenience!
- Best ever: a list of resources from the Texas A&M University’s Extension Service, put together by Joy of 21 Whale;
- A Fashionable Stitch’s views on crotch length and depth, here and here;
- Sarai’s full/flat butt adjustment for the Clover pants;
- These helpful tips on crotch length and depth from Simplicity.
You’re ever so welcome!