In my zest for cleaning out my pattern drawer, I managed to lose my TNT jeans pattern. (Insert sound of whimpering here). It was based on a Knipmode (Jan 2011) pattern for boyfriend jeans that had been laboriously tweaked into close-fitting jeans than I’ve made over and over (easily 20 times). And it’s gone!!! Waaaa!!!
I decided to give Cashmerette’s Ames Jeans a try. I’ve heard a lot of good things about Cashmerette’s drafting for a curvier shape, so I was curious about this pattern when it came out. Having drafts for both pear and apple silhouettes, it sounded like a great shortcut to getting a reasonable fit without too much work. Plus the option for straight or skinny legs.
The name kind of gets me though, as it reminds me of the ‘Ames Test’ for detecting carcinogens. I’m trying not to think of what cocktail of chemicals was used to dye and bleach the denim I’ve used.
The PDF comes with both A0 and tiled A4/letter formats. The tiled pages have a 1″ grid which makes it easy to line the pages up. I was able to get away with overlapping the edges, rather than trimming them down, by using the grid. The sizes are not layered. Nor are they set out the best for tiled printing, with many pieces extending over 6 pages when they could have been using half that. With 70 tiles, the less taping the better.
The pattern is sized for stretch denim and comes in sizes 12-28 with hip measurements given for both pear and apple shapes. One of the things I liked about the size chart was that it gave finished measurements for the waist, hip, thigh, knee and calf for both shapes and leg styles. It certainly makes it easy to check which size to use and I wish more pattern companies would do this.
I’m between sizes, but decided to go for the larger size because I was going to use a non-stretch denim. For once, the crotch depth and length matched what I needed, without having to do an adjustment. Happy dance!
Deciding on pear vs apple fit was actually a bit of a dilemma. Although I would describe myself as a pear, I was actually closer to the apple measurements. In the end I cut a pear with straight legs.
I did a quick mock-up using a stretch sateen and looked pretty good. However I didn’t put the waistband on the pattern and this came back to bite me.
The instructions were very well thought out and would be great for beginners. I can make jeans in my sleep, so I’ve only given them a quick glance out of curiosity. There are some things that I do differently
One think I will change is the seam allowance on the back pocket. It is a scant 1/2″ which needs to be double folded.
For a pair of pants that are almost straight of the pattern these jeans turned out quite well. I’ve used a heavy non-stretch denim, so they are more likely to show up any fitting problems than a stretch denim. Crotch curve and pocket placement were spot on.
Although the mock-up was a fairly good fit, the final jeans were a lot more roomy around the hips and waist. I did a test fit before the waistband was added and adjusted the side seam a little from high-hip through to mid-thigh. Adding on the waistband, it was clear it was too big. It gapes at the back. I suspected this may happen as the waistband is the same for both pear and apple shapes. My Knip jeans pattern had a lot more curve in the back waistband and it sat very well.
These jeans are very wearable, and I’ve been wearing them around the house a lot. The next version will need a few tweaks. To start off, I’ll go down a size. I also need to add more room to the inner thigh above the knee ( sprint cyclist thighs) and adjust the waistband. Much of the lines showing up in the rear view photo are coming from the pull at the knee and the dropping of the waistband.
|Pattern: Cashmerette’s Ames Jeans – pear fit with straight leg
Fabric: Heavyweight non-stretch denim
Rating: 4/5 Minor tweaks still required
Difficulty: 3/5. Instructions to suit beginner
Cost: (AUD) $20 for the pattern, $25 materials
|30 wears: Easily
Fad factor: Low
Expected life: 3-4 years
When I was putting the pattern away, I can across another jeans pattern that I’d morphed from my original Knip pattern, with all its fit adjustments. So excited and relieved that I could do backflips! Just to be sure, I made them up using a stretch denim.
Struck a bit of a snag when the zipper failed even before I put them on. Nervously I unpicked part of the waistband and removed the zipper.
I can notice the repair, but it’s not too bad. The top of the waistband no longer aligns, but it was a bit tricky to do with the seams already trimmed down.
And the fit… well, I’m a really surprised how much thinner I look in these vs the Ames jeans. The darker colour certainly helps.
Side by side