Baggy Knee Blues

My second pair of Claryville jeans has run into a problem. Behold:

Baggy Knee front view
Baggy Knee back view

The knees on the first pair sewn with heavy stretch denim were a little baggy but not bad. This is a lot worse, especially from the back. This time I’m using a lighter black stretch twill. Isn’t it amazing how a different fabric can totally change the fit of a pattern?

Normally with a close-fitting pattern I don’t sweat the fit too much as the pants will conform to my shape with wear. But this back knee bagginess is too much.

The solution to fix this normally happens at the flat pattern stage. You can add a Y-shaped slash-and-spread remedy to the back calf easily.

Once the fabric is cut though, there’s not much you can do.

I tried letting out the side seams a bit (this jeans pattern has generous 3/4 inch seam allowances). That didn’t help much.

Then I read that I could gain some real estate by just giving the back pattern pieces more room, so I tried staggering the seam.

I drew a 1 cm line in from the sides of the top pieces then sewed with a 5/8 seam allowance, so that the back pieces got more room. This also didn’t help much.

Luckily I basted all these efforts so it was easy to unpick anyway.

I emailed the pattern maker for advice. She got back to me with a suggestion just to pinch out the excess, and if the jeans were still comfortable, sew a dart to take it up.

So I need to try that. Anyone have other ideas?

Author: shoes15

I live in Connecticut, USA with my husband and my dog, in an old house outfitted with a sewing room, a garden, an orchard, and a big liquor cabinet.

4 thoughts on “Baggy Knee Blues”

  1. Haven’t tried it on my own jeans, but my son’s RTW jeans all have knee darts. And there’s a sewing blogger (Fehr Trade) who puts them in her cycling jeans and reckons they help with mobility.


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