If you are looking for help fitting your Isle Jeans, you’ve found the right post! We have put together this post covering the most common fitting adjustments for the Isle Jeans. Find fitting posts for each of our patterns in the fitting and custom adjustments library here.

Please check out our Isle Tester Inspiration post here if you’re interested in seeing it on a variety of body types. During testing, we work through the fit for each tester, which helps inform what fitting and custom adjustments we talk about in our fitting posts. Most of these adjustments are included in the pattern tutorials, and if more fit questions come up, we will continue to add them to the blog post.

The Isle is a high-waisted stretch denim jean pattern. The waist is fitted with six darts and finished with a waistband facing. View A is fitted to just past the knee with a flare leg. View B is fitted through the upper hips and is relaxed through the thigh with a wide leg, shown below in cropped and full length. Both views include front and back patch pockets. 

Before we get started, I always like to add a note that the goal should be to create a comfortable garment that you will enjoy wearing. I don’t think it’s important to get rid of every single drag line and pull, so be kind to yourself as you are analyzing your fit. If you have specific questions about fitting the Isle Jeans, you can always reach out in our Chalk and Notch Facebook Group or email us here.

HOW TO PICK A SIZE

First, make sure you take new measurements before starting any project because our bodies change, and starting with accurate numbers is the first step to getting a good fit. You will need the following measurements:
Waist – Measure high above the navel. This is the intended finished waist placement. More on waist height adjustment below.
Hips – Measure the widest point.
Front Rise – Measure from the mid-crotch point to the front waist point (above the navel).
Back Rise – Measure from the mid-crotch point to the back waist point (in line with the front waist point).
Thigh – Measure about 2″ down from the crotch point.
Knee – Measure for reference.
Inseam – Measure from the crotch point to the middle of the knee and from the crotch point to the desired hem.

BODY MEASUREMENTS

Use the finished measurements to determine your size. This differs from most of our patterns because choosing a size depends on how much negative ease you prefer for stretch jeans. Referencing a pair of your ready-to-wear stretch jeans is helpful to know your ease preference. 

You may want to size down if you fall between sizes. When sewn in 10% – 15% stretch denim, you will be able to fit into a few sizes.

FINISHED GARMENT MEASUREMENTS

Pick the size for each of the measurements that works best for your body and preferred fit. You may need to blend sizes.

REVIEW THE INTENDED EASE

WAIST
The Isle sits high at your natural waist, above your navel. Once sewn in 10% – 15% stretch fabric, the finished waistband will stretch about 2” (5 cm). See the chart for the approximate finished waist measurement. I have found that people can size down in the waist because the waistband facing is curved and cut on the bias. This allows the waist to adjust to the body when worn. This is another reason we do not recommend fusible on the waistband facing.

HIPS
There is no ease included in the hips. Negative ease is wearable, but I wouldn’t suggest much more than 1” (2.5 cm) negative ease through the hips.

FRONT RISE
You don’t need ease in the rise for stretch denim. You may want to adjust the front rise length because you want your jeans to finish on your waist for your body’s height. As a note, the rise length may not correlate to your overall height. For example, I am 5’1″ and I do not adjust the rise.

BACK RISE
You don’t need ease in the rise for stretch denim. You may want to adjust the back rise length because you want your jeans to finish on your waist or you want to change the rise shape due to the curve of your bum. As a note, the Isle jeans are not drafted with a lot of fullness in the bum.

THIGH
No ease is included for the flare leg thigh, and 1/2” (1.25 cm) of ease is included for the wide leg thigh. Negative ease is wearable, but I wouldn’t suggest much more than 1/2” (1.25 cm) of negative ease through the thigh.

KNEE
A minimum of 1” (2.5 cm) of ease in the knee is suggested for the flare leg. You will want more ease for the wide leg to maintain a wide shape.

HEM
The hem width is the same for both views.

INSEAM
The flare leg inseam length is 32” (81 cm). The knee placement is 12.25” (31 cm) from the inseam. To adjust the leg, check your knee placement and adjust above and below the knee at the pattern cut lines. The wide leg includes a cropped inseam length of 26” (66 cm) and a full-length inseam of 32” (81 cm). Adjust the wide leg length at the hem.

MAKING A MUSLIN

I will always advise you to make a muslin or toile (test garment) before cutting into your final fashion fabric. Fabric stretch percentage and recovery will affect fit, and you won’t get a feel for the true fit unless you sew it in a comparable fabric. We have a recommended fabric post for the Isle Jeans here.

CUSTOM ADJUSTMENTS

Often there are many ways to make the same adjustments, and making a simple adjustment can affect many areas. This is one reason why pants/jeans fitting can be challenging. We have a Pinterest board full of pants/jeans fitting tutorials. The following are the most common adjustments we have seen during testing.

BLENDING SIZES FROM WAIST TO HIPS

If your waist, hips, and thighs fall across more than two sizes, you can blend sizes. Start by printing the sizes you need. If your waist is smaller than your hips and thighs, blend the smaller waist size to the larger hip size. You can see in this example below that the thigh is affected and is the larger size. Smooth out the side seams and rise. Use the smaller size waistband pattern piece. 

If your waist is bigger than your hips and thighs, you can either sew the smaller hip size (and allow the waistband to stretch out naturally) or blend the larger waist size to the smaller hip size. If blending, smooth out the side seams and rise. You can see in this example below that the rise is affected and is higher. Use the larger waistband pattern piece. 

ADJUSTING THE UPPER RISE/ WAISTLINE HEIGHT 

The length of the rise may need to be adjusted based on your personal preference of where you prefer the waistline to finish. This adjustment is best made after testing the drafted rise and once you know how the drafted rise fits you. This adjustment can be made on the front and back pieces or on just one or the other. To adjust the rise length on both pattern pieces: 

  • Cut the front and back pattern pieces horizontally at the indicated line. 
  • If adding length, add paper and add the amount desired. 
  • If shortening, overlap at the cut line the amount desired. 
  • Re-draw the side seams and crotch curve. 
  • Re-draw the dart legs, drawing straight lines from the dart point to the waistline. 
  • Make the same length adjustment on the fly guard and fly shield pattern pieces. 
  • Adjust the front extension to match the fly guard and fly extension. 

To shorten the front rise: 

  • Cut the front horizontally at the indicated line. 
  • Overlap the center front at the cut line the amount desired. 
  • Re-draw the side seams and crotch curve. 
  • Make the same length adjustment on the fly guard and fly shield pattern pieces. 
  • Adjust the front extension to match the fly guard and fly extension. 

To lengthen the back rise: 

  • Cut the back horizontally at the indicated line. 
  • Add paper and add the amount desired. 
  • Re-draw the side seams and crotch curve. 
  • Re-draw the dart legs, drawing straight lines from the dart point to the waistline.

ADJUSTING THE LOWER RISE AND THIGHS AT THE INSEAM 

Adjusting the rise can be done in a few ways. This adjustment will affect the lower rise length and the thigh width. If you need to adjust the rise and thigh between 1/4″ (0.6 cm) to 3/4″ (2 cm), the following adjustment is helpful. You may only need this adjustment in the front or the back. In fact, it’s common to need to shorten the front rise and lengthen the back rise. 

To adjust the rise length and thigh width, you can cut a vertical line in the front and back rise.  

Spreading will add both thigh ease and rise length. Overlapping will reduce crotch length and the thigh measurement.

ADJUSTING THE BACK RISE IN TWO PLACES

If you have a lot of pulling in the back rise and your measurements indicate that you need more than 1″ (2.5 cm) in length, you can add length to the upper rise and the lower rise. Blend or add to the thigh as needed.

ADJUSTING AFTER SEWN

The rise adjustments mentioned above work best as pattern changes. If you have already sewn your jeans and you want to adjust the lower rise, you can scoop out or flatten the lower curve. This will only allow you to make a subtle adjustment, but it is worth trying. The same adjustment can be done for the back rise.

If your jeans are already sewn and you want to adjust the hips, you can sew a larger seam allowance to take them in as much as needed. You can let out the hips by sewing the side seams at 1/4″ (0.6 cm) and gaining about 1″ (2.5 cm) of width in the hips.

ADJUSTING THE LENGTH 

The flare leg inseam length is 32” (81 cm). To adjust the length, check your knee placement and adjust above and below the knee at the pattern cut lines, blending the new side seams.

The wide leg includes a cropped inseam length of 26” (66 cm) and a 32” (81 cm) inseam length. You can adjust the wide leg inseam length at the hem. Trim or add length. 

I hope this post helps explain how and when to do custom adjustments while fitting the Isle Jeans pattern. It’s totally worth the time to make a muslin, make any adjustments, and update your printed pattern. Remember to write down some notes for yourself so that when you come back to the pattern, you know what adjustments you have made. If you have any other fit questions, please let me know, and I can update the post as needed.

Happy Sewing!

XO, Gabriela


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