In a man's wardrobe, a good fitting pair of jeans is THE most important element. And though I've already covered the subject for the girl dolls and though the process is the same, I decided to revisit the subject of jeans, but this time in a more "authentic" way. That means creating a miniature version of the original garment with all of the details in right down to the belt loops.
Faced with having to make it work, I also resolved some issues I had with my original post concerning the waistband. For women's clothes, the waistband is usually cut in one piece and added to the top of the skirt. But after looking at many pairs of men's jeans, I discovered the waistband is cut in four parts-two for the front, two for the back. This also allows for adjusting the fit should you need to after you've sewn everything together.
Drafting the jeans pattern is really not difficult. With Ken, you don't have the problem of dealing with darts. However, since I am revisiting the jeans pattern, I decided to do a great deal of hand holding which those of you with limited sewing skills should enjoy. Following immediately, I will also post a detailed description of the jeans jacket (using the men's slim sloper) because it is very much in focus for next summer's menswear trends.
I begin with the trouser slopers. You decide how wide or slim you want them to be. Also how long they should be as well. The length of the pant is a "style" choice. In the photo above, the first doll wears a pant that stops just below the ankles. His friend's jeans "breaks over the shoe." For the latter look, you should cut the jeans longer. After making the first pair, I decided to make a longer pair for another doll. I added an additional 1/2 inch. The longer you make them, the more they will "crush" over the doll's shoe. One more thing I should point out..my choice of fabric. Though these jeans look as though they were made of denim, my fabric is really silk! If you recall earlier, I had made my girl dolls jeans from my dad's old jeans. It was extremely difficult to work because the fabric is thick (even when it's soft). You can use a chambray (normally used for men's shirts) which will give the illusion of light blue jeans. Or you can search in your fabric shop of a blue fabric with a twill weave. This silk had the necessary body but was thin enough to work well. This is really important when making itsy bitsy belt loops and pockets.
After you've determine the length of your pants, let's add the "fly front to the pants indicated by the red dotted line in the shape of a small rectangle extended from the CF. I drop this down this down 1-1/4 inch from the waist.. enough so that the doll can get in and out of the garment. Now, I indicate the guidelines for the waistband indicated by blue lines on the front and back. It's about 1/4 inch down. Next, on the back pant sloper, I draw in my back yoke. There is no exact measurement, but this line should slope from the side down to about the middle of the CB seam. Cut the waistband off the top of the initial pattern and add seam allowance to the bottom and on the side. Extend the top of your front waistband by 1-1/2 times. (see next illustration).
Now we need to draw in the inner front pocket. That is represented by the area marked by red curved line and the blue (pocket) line. Trace this off, adding seam allowance to the top and the side of this piece. Now let's finish the back pattern.
I've removed the yoke, adding seam allowance to all sides. As in the front, I extend the top of the waistband by 1-1/2 times the length. Add seam allowance to the sides and bottom.
There are quite a number of little pattern pieces of varying shapes and sizes. It is very easy to mix them up or sew the wrong side to the wrong piece. (Yes, been there, done that..too many times!!!) Mark your patterns well on the fabric, indicated which side is up. And keep the pattern nearby to verify it is the correct piece.
Take the back pant piece. Pin then stitch the bottom of the yoke to the top of the pant leg. Press, seams pointed upward. Then topstitch on the yoke. Pin then stitch the bottom of the back waistband to the top of the pants+yoke piece. Fold the waistband over itself towards the back. Press (seams pointed upwards) and topstitch.
Turn one of the pant legs to the right side. The easiest way to do this is with a safety pin attached to the bottom of the pant leg. Slide the pin up the leg then continue to pull until the pant leg is right side out. Leave the safety pin in for the moment because you want to now, put one pant leg inside of the other, right side to right side of fabric. Pin the front to the back stopping just before you arrive at the fly front. Stitch. Press. Turn the pants to the right side out. I use a hook in eye as a closure. (It's more sturdy than Velcro)
Oh no, we're not finished yet! You cannot imaged how many pockets I made before finally arriving at a formula I could post! But here it is.
This is a square folded as such. For the girl doll, you can use less complicated pockets. But on the boy jeans, those square pockets are hideous! So you really need to do a shaped pocket. I also tried to "embroider" a pattern, without much success. So in my attempts to bring authenticity to the garment, I emulated Levi's with a leather patch on one back pocket!
Now that he's got his designer jeans, Monsieur needs a jacket as well. We'll be right back with a detailed tutorial. Stay tuned!
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