Monday, October 5, 2015

Cutting Out the Pattern - Style Arc Misty Pull-On Jeans Sewalong

Phew, that title is a mouthful in and of itself!  Friends, before going in to the cutting, I have had a TON of questions about the elastic for these pants.  For those of us not on the metric system, finding 3 cm or 1 1/3 inch elastic has been a bit of a hassle.  I opted to go with 1 inch knit elastic, because it was easy to find in a myriad of colors, and I am ok with losing 1/3 of an inch of width.  You could easily use 1 1/4 inch or 1 1/2 inch if you can find them.  I picked my elastic up at Joann in the notions section, not the elastic by the yard section.

Style Arc Misty Pull On Jeans Elastic
I know that a lot of you downloaded the pattern for these jeans.  When you order direct from Style Arc they attach a fabric sample and elastic sample.  As you can see in the illustration, their elastic sample is indeed 1 1/3 inches.  If you want to be most true to the pattern 1 1/4 inch will be your best bet from what is available (at least here in the US.

Now on to cutting out the pattern.  The first thing that you need to do (assuming you have already washed your fabric) is figure out in which direction your fabric has the maximum stretch.  For my fabric, the max stretch actually ran selvage to selvage.  In other words, if I grabbed the upper and lower selvage edges and pulled, that was the way the fabric stretched the most.  Does that make sense?

Knowing the direction of my max stretch dictated my cutting layout.  I folded my fabric so it was just wide enough to accommodate the front pant piece, making sure to keep the grain straight and the fabric as flat as possible without stretching.  Fabric with lycra doesn't take well to ironing, so I caution against it if you can manage.

Front Pattern Piece on Folded Fabric - Style Arc Misty Pull-On Jeans

Front Pattern Piece Layout - Style Arc Misty Pull-On Jeans
As you can see in the pictures above my dining room is a disaster area I folded the fabric just wide enough to fit the front pant piece.  We don't want to waste the fabric above the pant piece so I will now lay out some of the smaller pieces above the Front Pant Piece of the pattern.

Front Pocket, Pocket Facing, and Back Pocket Pattern Pieces - Style Arc Misty Pull-On Jeans
Those of you paying close attention may have noticed that the Left Front Pocket Piece was cut incorrectly.  I lined the max stretch to the grain.  Fortunately, the Left and Right Front Pocket Pieces are the same, so since I cut the Right Pocket Piece on a folded piece of fabric I am able to just use the other Right Pocket as my Left Pocket.  Is that confusing?  There are two separate pocket pieces in the pattern, because the Left Pocket is where the coin pocket will go, and the Left Pocket Piece has the markings for the Coin Pocket.  This just helps to keep you from getting mixed up.

Keeping the Grain Straight - Style Arc Misty Pull-On Jeans
To keep my pieces on grain, I take my yard stick and lay it on the grain line for the Front Pant Piece.  Since I have already made sure the Front Pant Piece is lined up on the grain, I can use that line to keep my other pattern pieces on grain as well.

Using the clear ruler to line up Grain - Style Arc Misty Pull-On Jeans
After I have the Pocket Facing and Right Front Pocket Piece on Grain, I can take my clear ruler and use it to insure that my pieces laying to the left and right are also on grain.

Once these piece are laid out, I put a fresh rotary blade in to my cutter and commenced with cutting these pieces.  When you are cutting the the direction of your max stretch, the fabric is likely to bunch.  If this happens, just back your rotary cutter up until your fabric lays flat again, and re-start cutting.  You can use pressure from your hand that isn't holding the rotary cutter to help keep the fabric from bunching and stretching, just be careful not to cut yourself.  The fly edge can be tricky to cut with the rotary cutter.  If you aren't terribly experienced, I would suggest pinning and scissor cutting this area to insure that you don't cut in to the seam allowance.

For the Rear Pant Pattern Piece, I once again folded my fabric so that it would accommodate the pattern piece.   Since my fabric has print on it, I opted not to lay the pant pieces so as to minimize fabric yardage.  You could do that assuming your fabric is wide enough and you aren't matching print. Your main pattern pieces would look something like this.

Minimize Fabric Layout - Style Arc Misty Pull-On Jeans

Then you could place your smaller pieces around these pieces.  Most important thing here is to make sure that your grain lines on the pattern pieces stay parallel to one another, and also in line with the grain of the fabric.

After placing my Rear Pant Pattern Piece, I moved on to placing my Yoke Pattern Piece and Coin Pocket Pattern Piece.

Yoke and Coin Pocket Pieces on Grain - Style Arc Misty Pull-On Jeans

Again, I made sure that my Pattern Pieces lined up with the grain of the fabric using my yard stick.

Yoke Pattern Piece with Notches Lined to Rear Pattern Piece - Style Arc Misty Pull-On Jeans
Because I am using printed fabric, I also tried to make sure that the notches on my Yoke Pattern Piece lined up with the notches on the Rear Pattern Piece.  This will insure that the print will look to be in line.  Again, this isn't an important step if your denim doesn't have any print or pattern to it.

Once these pieces were lined up, I cut them out using my rotary cutter.

My final step was to notch all my pieces and transfer any markings.  I know, that we all hate notching the pieces and marking the fabric, but it is an evil necessity.

Notching Fabric - Style Arc Misty Pull-On Jeans

Notched Fabric - Style Arc Misty Pull-On Jeans
 It is a good idea to cut your notches with shears instead of a rotary cutter.  Your rotary cutter will quickly get you in trouble here, cutting much deeper in to the seam allowance than desired.  

I like to use chalk to transfer the markings from the pattern pieces to my fabric.  This is how I do it, I am sure that other people have different methods.

Lining up the Ruler for Marking Fabric - Style Arc Misty Pull-On Jeans

First, I line my ruler up with the marking.

Folding Pattern Piece for Marking - Style Arc Misty Pull-On Jeans

Next, I fold the paper back on the marking line and over my ruler.

Chalk Marked Right Pocket Piece - Style Arc Misty Pull-On Jeans

Last, I mark the line with chalk.  I continue this until I have marked all the marking lines on a pattern piece.  

In the case of the Style Arc Misty Jeans, I am not going to mark the pattern placement for the rear pockets.  This is my personal choice, and if you want to mark the pattern placement, I have no qualms with that.  You could also use tailor's tacks to mark your pocket placements, but I am just too lazy for that!

Well Friends, I think that is the end to this first post.  It's been a doozy!  Let me know if you have any questions, and I will try my best to answer them.

Next Step:  Sewing the Yoke


  1. What a thorough post. I love your fabric. I wish I was making these now but my favourite machine is playing silly buggers. Will be following your posts closely. Really looking forward to seeing how these turn out. Pull-on jeans sound brilliant. Xx

    1. Thanks, MoR! My serger is on the fritz again here. It is making the serger part of this sewalong quite difficult! I will get through it though. Either that, or there will be a serger laying in the yard for no reasonable explanation! Hope your machine starts to play nicely!!!

  2. I made a wearable muslin, and I used 1.5 inch elastic I got from Wawak, and I quite like it. I am giving them a test wear today. I am very tall, so maybe shorter people would not like the wider elastic as much as I do. I am quite thrilled with the way the jeans stay up in the back and I am not having to tug at them. I just need to work out how to make the legs narrower for my real sewalong version.

    1. PS now I want to make a bunch of these!

  3. I think I read on a review somewhere that in some of the larger sizes (which probably depends on grading groups), the back pockets looked a little small to folks. Obviously this is a personal preference, but I went ahead and compared them to some jeans I like and decided to make them bigger. The pattern piece with seam allowances included was the same size as the finished pocket on my RTW jeans, so I went ahead and added 1/4" all the way around the pockets. Just wanted to throw that out there before people start cutting!

    1. Megan, that is a great tip! Not just with these jeans, but with any jeans pattern you want to check the pocket size to see if it is to your liking. Thank you!

  4. I looked into elastics a bit. I had seen some 'plush' aka 'soft' elastic at JoAnne's, but needed black and this type of elastic came in all sorts of bright colors, but not black. After some research on the web, I concluded that elastic isn't available in black. With a bit more searching, I found this article on elastics and elastic waistbands: . One elastic recommended comes in a 1.5" width, but can be trimmed (without damage to the elastic) to 1.25" if desired.

    1. Thanks for sharing that link. The elastic I ended up going with is 1 inch Dritz elastic in Navy Blue. It was available at Joanne's. The one thing we all need to remember is that this is exposed elastic, so we have to make sure it will feel good against our skin.

    2. Yes, I agree. I was hoping to find a plush elastic in black or white (my fabric's colors) as I am sensitive to elastic. I'm toying with making a casing for the elastic in a light jersey to avoid contact with my skin to deal with the sensitivity.

    3. I intend to draft a casing for any pair that I make in the future. You could actually make it out of your stretch denim if you have enough of it left, though with your black and white a black knit would probably look great!

    4. That's a good idea! I will have to make sure it isn't too bulky.

  5. So I am so confused, and maybe it's because I'm up late for the fifth day in a row, and I only JUST got my fabric finished it's third wash today... but it looks like you're cutting your jeans out so that the direction of greatest stretch is going down your body instead of around? Or is this four way stretch material? Mine definitely is stretchiest on the cross-grain, and I was planning to lay it out lengthwise/parallel to the selvages, but these are my very first jeans... Help!?

    1. The direction of greatest stretch was from selvedge to selvedge on my fabric. Most fabrics it will be in the cross grain. You absolutely want the stretch to go around your body and not down. Your instincts are good!

  6. Thanks for the tip about using the transparent ruler to make sure pieces are on grain. I'd never thought of that!