I spent a happy morning yesterday at the Creative Festival, I specifically went to see Kathy Ruddy speak about “Tummy Tuck” jeans.  I thought I would do a series of blog posts with her techniques.  You can go to her website and buy a CD which is a powerpoint presentation with audio over with the instructions for $15.  Kathy Ruddy’s Website

If you get a chance to see her, she’s a hoot!  What other person would strip down to a leotard to demonstrate how her pants fit!! Here’s a video from her youtube channel:

Here are some of her non-tummy tuck hints and tips:

  • Cut big, sew small.
  • Her technique for pant fitting starts with a fitting pattern, strip out the details, fit the shell, then make a master pattern without detail, and add back in the detail.
  • For pants AND JEANS she recommends starting with a pants pattern with only 1″ ease – Simplicity 4366 was what she started with.  The theory is stretch jeans need negative ease; so start with a pant pattern with as little ease as possible.
  • Cut pattern with 1″ of seam allowance on straight seams to allow for fit.
  • Buy a LOT of fabric if you find it for stretch jeans – as the fabric affects fit, you can use the master pattern without refitting if you have a stash of the same fabric (believe me I have experienced this with my Jalie jeans!!)
  • To add the details back to your fitting shell use the pattern, or copy from RTW details
  • To copy RTW details use your camera and (this is brilliant) take wax paper into the change room with you and use your fingernail to trace out the pocket or other details.  Make sure you indicate seams so you know where the placement is.  When you get home use this to make your pattern
  • For perfect topstiching use 2 upper threads threaded through one topstitch or jeans needle (they have a big enough eye for two threads)
  • Trim seams to 3/8″ so you’re topstitching over the seam allowance – trim back more if you need it later – this prevents your stitching from wobbling if you ‘fall off the cliff” which might happen if you trim to 1/4″
  • Offset the clips when you trim and clip curves – when you topstich over the fabric the offset clips will prevent you from topstiching in and out of “potholes”
  • Stabilize topstitching: with fusable weft (where the back pockets foldover) or paper (on the back pocket decorative stitching)

Stop your pant leg twisting (this is again brilliant, I’ve had this problem quite a few times) which can be caused during many sewing stages; cutting, altering the pattern, and during construction.  This is hard to explain without a video, but from the KNEE to the HEM instead of matching the seams, pinch out the larger piece in the centre of the fabric (usually the back) to bring the seam together.

My next post will talk about the tummy-tuck jeans technique.

Oh, as a footnote, one of the Real Estate agents at work saw me wearing this top: Coffee Date Dress Inspired Top and said “Cute top, I bought one just like it”…hee hee