V8774: Pattern Review Jeans Competition Update

We’re now 2 weeks into the Pattern Review Jeans Competition, and it’s really time I got a wriggle on. After the Pavlova pattern modifying frenzy, I’ve decided to make it easy for myself and forget trying to make jeans from a traced pattern – instead sticking with a REAL jeans pattern (Vogue 8774), and using my old jeans to properly fit it to me. It better work because I’m entirely unimpressed with the fit of these jeans on the model:

Vogue 8774 – via Vogue Patterns

Vogue 8774 – via Vogue Patterns

Just say “NO” to badly fitting pants, kids. 

What’s with the excess fabric under her bum? Or the weird fabric gathering at her front nether region? Poor girl.

My apologies in advance for the closeups of my front and backsides – now’s the time to look away if such shots aren’t your thing. But in the interests of getting a good fit – here is V8774 V1.0:

Yeah, I totally ballsed the fly. You shouldn’t be able to see the zip!
Yep… too lazy to add the back pockets…

Not surprisingly, I had the exact same fitting problems as the Vogue Model. 

Changes made:
1. A dart under each side of my derriere took care of the excess fabric flopping around. You can just seen the seams of these darts – I had sewn them in before thinking about pictures!

I took about 2cm out of the inseam and tapered back to zero at the side seam. The centre of the dart runs perpendicular to the grain-line.

2. A dart at the front just under the fly to take care of the excess fabric here. As a great example of cause and effect – the darts at the back actually helped out the front issue a little by reducing the length of the crotch. But even after this there was still some flopping about as you can see in the front-on shot above.

3. Pinning a HUGE amount out of the back yoke – the waist band is curved and the yoke also has some curvature going on. I have a relatively non-existent backside, so extra space in the trunk isn’t really needed for me.

4. Had I made the size from the chart that matched my measurements, I’d have been a 16. From just looking at the finished measurements, I knew I didn’t want my jeans to have 8cm of ease. Are you kidding Vogue? Geez. I cut a 14. And even then I could have easily gone down to the 12. Denim has the tendency to expand during wear, and so I’ve pinned these pants to be as tight as possible.

The result of all these changes? V8774 V2.0:

Again… please excuse my dodgy zip and mis-matching leg widths!

A result I can totally live with. I might actually get these jeans finished by the competition deadline – 15th of February!

Here’s an additional few links about fitting pants that I found useful:
A fix for a baggy seat – By Kenneth Cole via Threads.com
The seam method of pattern alteration – By Judith Rasband via Threads.com
Everyone can have jeans that fit – by Sandra Betzina via Threads.com
Jeans and Pants Fitting Tutorials – via the Fashion Incubator. You’ll have to scroll down a bit to find them, but they are a fabulous read! Especially on the topic of the dreaded camel toe…

There’s one change to this pattern i WILL be making though – the back of the pocket bag is entirely made out of denim in this pattern. This is a lot of bulk, and certainly not done in any RTW jeans I own.

In order to document the process (I’ll admit – mainly for my own benefit) and for future iterations of pants-to-be-made, I’ll be doing a few upcoming posts on jeans how-to’s… so prepare to be bored with jeans construction techniques! :P



  1. I'm impressed! Two years after starting sewing I have a zillion dresses and not one single pair of pants I find them too intimitating, especially seeing as most of my weight is on my lower half. Yours look so well fitted I can't wait to see how they evolve! Well done!

  2. This is an interesting post. I think you are on the right track with the fit. Thank you for sharing all those helpful links. I'm looking forward to seeing how sewing jeans works for you. I've never tried it myself, but I am intrigued.

  3. Really enjoying this post – so impressed too. Have never made a pair of jeans but really will be interested to see your progress. Jeans never really suited me but again – it's all in the fit. Great sewing!!!!

  4. Hello! I've just found your blog. I have some jeans fabric and it's one of my experiments this year, to make jeans that fit me. Thanks for sharing your tips.

  5. I made jeans last year and I love them! They did take a long time, but now I have a pattern for life. Oh and they are way more comfortable than any store bought pants I own.

  6. Oh good fitting jeans, difficult! I knocked off a favorite pair I had worn right out last year and man have I loved every moment wearing them!Good luck on the rest of your project and making your deadline!

  7. That's an interesting post to me, considering the fact that I am currently working on the same issue. Yesterday I changed my pattern twice and I am curious about the fit now… I will test it until the weekend.I am looking forward to your upcoming posts.

  8. V2.0 look great! Can't wait to see the finished product! I struggle to find jeans that fit well…maybe you'll inspire me to give making them a go :)

  9. oh I'm so glad I found your blog & that you're doing this!! I am still struggling trying to fit my first bodice so pants are a little while away, but I confess I really want to try jeans!! Looking forward to seeing more! :)

  10. I found your blog really interesting as I'm currently making the same Vogue jeans. I also copied your idea for the jeans back pockets. I bought the book written by the author of the pattern 'trousers for a perfect fit' which doesn't suggest the use of a muslin but advocates using the paper pattern and then altering the fabric version. Big mistake. I too have a flat bottom and have ended up with a saggy crutch at the back. All the models in the book have trousers that hang perfectly from their rears. In fairness, if you look at the model on the pattern the jeans do have a big of a bag around the bottom of the crutch. Probably easier to get away with if you have a perfect body but it does not look good on me. I think this will be my last attempt at trousers.

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