Free for beta testing: jeans pattern style #25025

Is anybody working today? I’ve been pretending to most of the day. I think it’s time to hit the fridge to see if there’s anything edible left over. But anyway.

After years of blathering about it, I’ve been working on patterns for resale. I have a jeans pattern, style #25025 that is in beta testing now as per the discussion in the forum. Read on to see how you can get a free copy of it.

Thanks to some help from Ann Vong, it’s been formatted to pdf for print out on 8.5″ x 11″, 11″x17″, and 36″x48″ (engineering plotters) paper. See the below screen shot -I tried to use as little paper as possible (click on the image for a larger view).

This pattern is a bit old school, a higher waist, back yoke, no mono-butt (yay!) and it has a gusset in the crotch. My kind of gusset, easy to sew, not those square things all the pattern books show. If this works out as a base pattern, I’ll use it to develop further styles. You know, lower waists and all that to be more current stylistically speaking.

Most seams are 3/8″ but one could modify that to taste. Typical of industrial patterns, there are no sewing instructions but we can discuss as needed. What is more typical is to mention the grade. That would be a one inch grade 6-12. Size 2-4 is a 3/4″ and 14-16 are 1.5″. The base size is a 10, waist is 31, hip is 42″. It is a bit difficult to know the hip exactly because of the bifurcation. One can only know by putting it on a variety of size 10’s and measure those bodies to get a more precise idea. If it were a mono-butt jean, it’d be much easier. Just one reason (imo) that mono butt has become so prevalent in that it’s easy to spec.

This pattern is available free to to renewing forum members who are current on their membership. If you aren’t due to renew yet, you can do it early. Hopefully it goes without saying that this isn’t to be passed around, it’s not open source. I intend to sell it to individuals and businesses. If to businesses, I can provide these file versions: dxf, Gerber, Optitex or StyleCAD in fully graded sets. I can also ship a plot if it’s needed in hard copy. If interested in testing this, email me with your size, and preferred paper print size. I recommend sewing a test sample in muslin to see if the fit and styling is to your liking.

Oh, almost forgot. I put a test grid in the upper left hand corner. I recommend only printing out page one of the pdf to check your settings. If that’s a go, print out the rest of it.

You don’t have to send it back to me. I’d be delighted to get photos but even those aren’t necessary. Feedback would be great.

Re: beta testing:
I do know the pattern is perfect as it pertains to seams walking and all of that. The issue is fit and whether the fit matches your taste and figure type. I would not sew this in denim! I sewed this in a muslin so any solid woven light to medium weight goods. It’s not prepped for a bottom weight yet. The denim version will have features you won’t find in any pattern book or pattern on the market and you need to know why the thing is cut that way so you don’t “fix” it.

Once released for sale, I can only imagine that the MGS (Mean Girls of Sewing) will be out in full force and having a field day.  Ever notice how the people who don’t really do much, have so much venom to spread around?

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  1. Catherine C Jones says:

    Hey Kathleen, Have you graded this up into plus sizes yet or waiting to perfect the missy fit first?


  2. Natasha E says:

    MGS aside you should have a good market for this. The so called holy grail jeans pattern that everyone seems to love is for stretch denim only.

    Though with the way sewing guru’s dole out “sewing secrets” is no wonder there are mean sewing girls.

  3. Natasha E says:

    An idea also when marketing this pattern is to consider doing a companion guide with in depth contraction details and “secrets”. I’ve noticed that some of the indie pattern companies are doing this now. I took a K King jeans class that I asked for my money back on because it didn’t give any info specific to jeans and I already knew how to make trousers. Plus he was snippy to me.

  4. Paul V says:

    I have seen more natural waisted jeans recently in many of the online catalogs and in stores where I live; something that I think looks better.So it is doubly good to see your pattern is at or near the natural waist.

  5. Kate R says:

    I’m not currently a forum member because I’m working for a company (not myself, and unlikely to be doing so for many years) and spend most of my time in a computer-free, internet-connection-free workroom (we don’t even have cell phone reception), so my online time is extremely limited. I would love to try this pattern when it becomes available to the rest of us though – I have the ‘holy grail’ pattern that I assume Natasha is referring to and, although I have made it up at least 5 times, I still don’t like it much. The stretch thing really bugs me. I used to like the old cardboardy 100% denim (NO spandex/lycra/whatever) jeans that required the use of a coat hanger to get into/you broke down a bit as you wore them. Anyway, the shape looks really interesting and the size 10 measurement would be perfect for me.

    I guess what I’m saying is I’d like to be a the front of the queue to purchase a copy please!

  6. heidi says:

    A very interesting draft. The back pattern is different from what I know.
    I hope that somebody will report soon how it fit.

  7. sfouche says:

    To Natasha’s post, most of the sewing gurus are self proclaimed and industry ignorant. The nuts and bolts of what you need to know is only interesting to people who are truly dedicated to the industry. I found this out when teaching a pattern making class to non industry individuals. NO ONE signed up again and NO ONE finished their projects. I would approach a class like that by project and not theory if I did it again. All that said, I make patterns for a woman who “has always wanted to design” and doesn’t know anything at all about the industry. I know a bit more than she does by experience in the field and reading Kathleen’s book. The sewers I work with are home sewers and don’t have sample making or factory sewing experience. I always have to write out instructions by step and give references for applications such as a “trouser fly front zipper application” in books that they might have. No home sewing book really addresses industry construction methods. I am hoping that Kathleen might take on that project some day!

  8. I agree, there is the home sewing method and the industrial method. I recently got a contract for 32 stretch velvet tunics. I made it using all of my newly learned trade secret industrial tips and it looked like it came from Macy’s. They took my sample and decided it looked so “easy” to make, they were going to sew it themselves. Good luck with that. I read the instructions included with the pattern, and as usual, they were completely ridiculous. The darts pointed to the neck, the facings too bulky, the contrasting bands on the sleeves attached after the sleeve was made first, etc. @ Nastasha E: I signed up for that K King class. Haven’t taken it yet, but bummer if it is just the same old home sewing crap.

    Thank Kathleen for this invaluable resource.

  9. Natasha E says:

    Yeah it’s the same old home sewing crap. My review is up there so you’ll see my full list of complaints. Luckily that company has a 100% guarantee policy. I can’t tell you what irked me the most but I think the insistance that you must use silk organza to do a rub off was one of them. I used Glad Wrap’s Press and Seal and got the same results FYI.

    Of course my complaints make me a mean girl

  10. Natasha E says:

    One more comment to compare the home sewing industry to the knitting culture. With the internet becoming more popular along with self publishing knitting instructions have start to be more specific about the techniques to be used often publishing instructions for the specified technique or referring to a specific online resource. This means pattern writers are no longer restricted to writing only things their knitters would know.

  11. Kathleen says:

    Natasha: the mean sewing girls I refer to are ones that are general mal-contents; they look for things to complain about when they haven’t bothered to get involved (whatever that means, taking the class or buying the product). With this one, it will surely be pricing because I won’t be targeting the mass market (not my customer) with patterns costing $10 to $19.99. Or perish the thought, less. These also won’t be printed but plotted to order.

    Catherine: I don’t agree one should grade up to create plus sizes. I know people do it -but are consumers happy with the results?

    I am not immune to these problems. While I am very experienced, I would have the very same stumbling blocks to developing plus size patterns. I don’t have a plus size fit model, a plus size form, or any of that. I’d be shooting in the dark.

    This is not to say I never would but I’m more attracted to other possibilities that are not served in the marketplace. For example, patterns for old hags -like me :). I think many of them may be buying plus sized patterns but I don’t think that is a good solution. It would be better to look at shaping first, then sizing to fit it.

  12. BeccaA says:

    Thanks, Kathleen, for making a new jeans pattern. I am a home-sewer and I love making jeans. I can’t wait for your pattern to be ready for the public. I agree with Natasha that a companion guide with industry secrets would be a great plus! I may need to grade down the sizing?

  13. sfouche says:

    Got to address the silk organza rub off. I noticed that “only silk organza” idea too when I saw the the trailer of the class. Made me suspect. The rub off at least for me leaves too much room for error. FYI, I thread trace pertinent grainlines and use a needle wheel to trace out each piece. I usually come up with an almost perfect pattern with proper balance and minimal truing. (Is truing a word?) I learned from Candace Kling while I was living in San Franciso. Candace’s ribbonwork art is stunning and her books inspiring. Takes practice though and I learn every time I copy a different garment.

  14. Mary says:

    Kathleen – I’m a home sewer who lurks because your writing and your ideas always challenge me. I’d call myself an intermediate sewist. For example, I’m working on a simple pair of Burda men’s PJ bottoms right now and the simple fly / cut on waistband directions are throwing me. I know I’ll figure it out but that’s just to give you an idea of my skill set.

    I’m intrigued by the fact that you’ll be selling a jeans pattern. Is there a hope that someone with intermediate skills would be able to sew a pair from your pattern? I hope I can afford a pattern!

    Do you have any other patterns for sale at this time? I love your work and your writing. I’d also love to see your patterns take off in a big way.

  15. vee says:

    Kathleen I started working November 23 nonstop for the next 10 days. On Thanksgiving, I had the holiday with husband, family and friends, but I worked several hours before I left and upon my return.
    I have a schedule, but I only break to eat, make phone calls on my 20 minute lunch hour and a few other things.
    I sell vintage items such as old books on ebay,, and amazon, so I pick up items at Michael’s for my sewing business and mail my other items at office depot because it is in the same strip mall. I have learned to be more accountable with my time.

    My passion is my small, part-time, in-house startup sewing business and plan to purchase your book next week but I have learned a lot of things through your online newsletter in the past.
    I sew hats and scarves from scratch by using newspaper and practicing.

    At one time, I had hat patterns but when my basement flooded, my patterns vanished but I had the cover and directions. So, I decided to use my prior knowledge, measuring tape, and newspaper and get to work.
    There is an inside desire in me to manufacture my items in Michigan .
    Yesterday, I purchased fabric at a small business fabric warehouse in Michigan with my Fed X, American Gift certificate. Of course, I spend more than the $25.00. I was his only and first customer with that card so maybe he will advertise for next year.

    Mary, you can do it. Sometimes, I can get one inverted pocket the first time and then the other inverted pocket has to be done 3 or 4 times. I am better at it now. It just takes practice. I believe the majority of designers started sewing at home. Practice makes perfect in sewing also. The winner of 2011 winner of Project Runway started sewing only 4 months before she entered the contest and she won. Go and get your sewing done.

  16. CarmencitaB says:

    This is quite exciting!
    Buying the book to be in the forum so I can get to test this is a bit far fetched, so I’ll wait for the pattern to come out. If I may suggest, I live in Europe so please when you release it, give us the option to print in A4.
    I’ll take this opportunity to thank you. Your information has been invaluable.

  17. re: Kathleen’s comment on grading up for plus sizes
    Complete agreement. You can’t. You’re working with a different set of figure proportions and it’s better to start from scratch. This is a hot button for me.

    There’s Kathleen’s usual thorough discussion including links here.

    [My] third comment from the bottom has a link to showing what happens with bodies.

  18. Traci Akierman says:

    CarmencitaB, the book is worth it even without the jeans pattern. Even, if like me, you are just an enthusiast/home sewer, there is tons of valuable information.

  19. Buying the book won’t get you the beta so definitely don’t buy it for that reason. The beta is available for *renewing* forum members. Meaning, you already had to be a member. No worries tho, it’ll come out soon enough.

    Vee: it hasn’t been my experience that the majority of designers start out sewing at home :). It seems the majority don’t sew or sometimes say they don’t because they don’t enjoy it or have limited experience. They’re more of a big picture thinker. With details of course but it’s the whole look they’re after.

  20. Natasha E says:

    The problem as I see it also is there are many more ways to be plus sized than they are to be thin since the weight goes on different ways and becomes more exaggerated the more you add on. It’s difficult for companies to address this and even when they do they tend to revert back. For example Lane Bryant used to have jeans in 3 different shapes and when they launched it I think I bought about 5 pairs of jeans and a few of the trousers. Well slowly they started to phase that out in favor of regular sizing again. Unfortunately they had sized those jeans/pants as 1-6 so I had no idea what size I actually was and was disinclined to try anything on that might be waaay to small.

    I eventually found the Not your Daughters Jeans had a plus sized line and those fit me like a dream but they are also higher waist so I think that’s the key. Wearing higher waisted pants makes my tops fit better over the abdomen and along with a good bra actually reveals that I have one. A waist that is.

    So yeah I’m not a big fan of patterns graded up to fit me because they never really do. When sewing I’d much rather take a reg size and do the grade/enlargement myself because I know what I need.

  21. nowak says:

    @ Natasha E: I think it really depends on the individual body. From when I started sewing to today I grew from a Vogue pattern 8 to a Vogue pattern 20/22 (for pants).

    But the alterations I have to make have not changed a lot. Only exception is that I have about half a cup size more and my waist isn’t that narrow compared to my hips. (But I had some major surgery going on there, so it is not even sure how much is due to gaining weight and how much is due to that.)

    Also my body fits very badly into plus size pattern, while a “normal size” pattern even with my improvised “grading” technique from multi sized patterns can be made to fit fairly easily.

    (I am using the sewing pattern sizes as a point of comparision because what I buy in German RTW would not help that much since we have different sizes.)

    So… it can work out for an individual.

    But I would not do it for industrial production. Which is probably one of the differences between a home sewer and a professional. :o)

  22. Cheryl says:

    Concerning plus sizes. My business is 90% alterations to ready-made clothing because custom made clothing is expensive. When I make custom clothing it is for plus-sized women. There are NO definites for plus sizes. I can state this fact. My larger sized customers are usually more of a square shape than a pear/apple or any other fruit. It is an art to fit them. Curves are usually non-existent. I am not sure ANY manufacturer can provide properly fitted plus size clothing. I do many alterations to those clothes. They tend to be manufactured with HUGE sleeves and legs. Many larger women have large torsoes, not arms and legs. I think the reason we see many larger-sized women wearing ‘bags’ is because of this problematic sizing issue. They carry their weight in different body areas. It is a fact that they tend to be more of a ‘square’ shape than anything else. I will help anyone with their fitting issues. I would hesitate to custom-make a pair of jeans for a plus-sized woman. Firstly, my labor charge would be $250 and higher, so that’s not likely in my area. Secondly, all styles are not appropriate for all of us. Personally, I am tall and slender but busty. I love those open cardigan styles…my customers wear them. Cardigans with ruffles and/or flowing lines. They look terrible on my busty figure. Point=Each person has styles that look good on THEM. Women of a certain size might need to accept the fact that a jean style just doesn’t look good on them. That’s not a problem, there are other slack styles that WILL look good on them. It will be a more ‘select’ item of clothing..I.E. retail cost will be higher….

  23. Laura says:

    Looking forward to the final product! I started getting into sewing so I could sew myself pants. So far I haven’t had a ton of luck. though I have a pair of jeans that are 75% finished that I think will be pretty good. I have a hard time getting the top stitching to look consistent, not to mention getting fit right.

  24. theresa riess says:

    Laura, if you have an edge stitching foot, that helps. Use a longer stitch and heavier thread, or use two normal weight threads on top threaded through the needle just like you would for a single thread. As as a home sewer, I use anything that will give me a better finished product, such as tape, templates, chalk markings, slowing down my speed, hand walking tricky areas and of course, the above mentioned edge stitching foot. To a production sewer they may be work- arounds but without benefit of the industrial’s greater clamping pressure and specialized folders, with a domestic machine you do what works for that machine.

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