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Jeans: Wide Leg and High Waist

Chasing a fashion trend, I decided to make myself a pair of wide leg, high waisted jeans.  One of my pandemic obsessions has been scrolling through the Vogue Daily E-zine.  This summer, every day, there was a feature with a model or actress sporting wide leg – high waist jeans. They were so very appealing.

my finished high waist jean front!

What pattern pieces are needed to create the trend?

For several years, I have enjoyed wearing my Hollywood waist, wide leg Eureka pants made with the Glamour Details.  Surely that could be adjusted to create comfortable wide leg jeans that would look great with my cropped Tabula Rasa knits and Carpe Diems tops.   

In the stash was a recently acquired light weight drapey, dark blue denim remnant from Style Maker Fabrics. The original concept was to make a pair of wide summer Glamour pants, but this jean idea would work too.

Creating the adjusted pattern.

The pattern work began in a straightforward way.  I added some height to my front and back wide leg pattern so the 3” glamour waist band would now be two inches wide but the pants would sit at the same place on my body.  Then the fly front extension and the front curved pocket were added to the pattern using my Sporty Details templates and directions.  The two inch wide contoured waist band was drafted and extended to accommodate the fly front zipper.

Once the pattern was finished, I began positioning it on the prewashed fabric. I arranged and rearranged and with every configuration, it was just a few inches short.  One choice was to shorten the pants, but I did not want these jeans be cropped and there was not enough extra fabric to craft an interesting cuff.   I walked away and gave it all some thought, looking for a solution.

Not enough fabric pattern adjustments.

Yoke adjustment on the top of the pants pattern

When I revisited the fabric and pattern, I realized that if I created a classic jean yoke for the back pattern, the pieces would fit with the desired length.  So, I shortened the top of the pant back pattern in a triangular manner, and created a yoke pattern that would fill in the area that was shortened.  Seam allowances were added where the back and yoke come together so the back would be the same size once the yoke was added to the top.

Pants basted for a fitting

As with any contoured pattern piece, my three darts were folded out to create the curved yoke pattern which then sat neatly on the fabric. (You can see the pattern piece in the top image of this post.) Because this was a new design feature, I basted the pants together first and tried them on to check the fit.  It was a good fit but a bit tight for my taste so I used 3/8″ seams in the construction for a looser fit.

Construct the new pants

Using classic jean construction in the Sporty Details Variation Pattern, the pants back and front were stitched together and topstitched before the pants were constructed. I thought briefly about topstitching the pants in hot pink, but defaulted to a blue denim. It is not wise to be bold on the first pair made with a new pattern.

After the waistband was attached, 2” elastic was added to the back waistband for security and comfort. It looks a bit weird when the pants are on the hanger, but it looks and feels great when I am wearing them. There is a small double turned jeans hem to finish off the look.

Waistband ready to be added, bright and fun.

Wear and enjoy the new pants

I will test drive these pants this week at the Original Sewing and Quilt Expo where we have a Tuesday/Wednesday Eureka! Pants fitting “more the days before” class. Thursday through Saturday the expo will include classes, booth fittings, trunk shows  and lots of sewing fun.

Watch our Social Media pages for photos of our classes, booth, shopping treasures and visitors’ Fit for Art Makes.

Happy Sewing, RAE

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