Stretch Denim Capris

dark denim capris

Only fellow sewists would understand the reason why I sewed these capris – I wanted to work on my crotch. Most of my sewing projects are inspired by certain fabric or a certain pattern that simply must become a garment I can wear. Occasionally I recognize a gap in my wardrobe and seek to fill it. In this case, it wasn’t so much inspiration or even a need for the capris as a desire to put the dreaded crotch curve in its place that drove my sewing.

capri fronts

The couple of times that I’ve sewn stretch denim jeans I wasn’t terribly happy with the crotch curve, especially the front crotch curve (first with my vivacious pink jeans and then my giant cuffed gingers). I think it comes down to being afraid of over-fitting, but if I try on the couple pairs of RTW jeans I have that sorta fit, I have to peel them off myself, which should have been a clue. So, I used the thigh shaping and pockets (changing the pocket opening shape) from the Ginger jeans, drafted a new front and back crotch curve and side-zip waistband. And booyah! Take that crotch!

cuff detail on capris

The fabric was the same fabric as my big cuff gingers and they are capris because that was all the length I could squeeze out of my leftover fabric. In fact, the panels I added at the bottom are there to make the capris not stop at a weird mid-knee point and are cut on the cross-grain (as are the front pocket backs) because that was all the fabric I had! I left a slit on the side to make the panels look like a design element instead of an afterthought or mistake.

capri side

I chose to use a pink quilting thread for my topstitching so it’s heavier and more visible than an all purpose construction thread but just as easy to work with (unlike actual topstitching thread). The side zipper is exposed since it was the easiest way to put it in without requiring any extra fabric (as I said, I had almost no fabric left) and, while I usually don’t particularly care for exposed zippers on garments, this doesn’t bother me as it’s pretty camouflaged in the seam. The waistband overlaps the side and snaps closed with two heavy-duty snaps.

capri rear deep yoke

I used an extra-deep yoke in the back because I didn’t have enough fabric not too. It means that I can’t use back pockets since they hit the yoke in a weird way, but the deep yoke breaks up the vast expanse of my rear enough that I don’t actually mind. The capris look like they still have a bit of ease in them because I’ve worn them a few times now. Fresh out the wash there isn’t any breathing room, I promise! The wrinkles under the butt are inevitable in a skin tight garment since you’ve got to be able to move, even if the fabric stretches.

geometric topstitched back pocket

The only thing I’m not sure about is these awesome pockets. I love the topstitching I did and was disappointed that they didn’t work on the back. I’ve thought about stitching them on the side as cargo pockets and fully recognize that this makes these something I would have killed for in the late 90’s. I didn’t because I picture making a few cute little retro cotton summer blouses that would be adorable with capris and the pockets would then be out of place. Any thoughts?

Comments 8

  1. I adore the pink top stitching and the cuffs at the bottom. Looks like you made a winner!

  2. They look great! Love the idea of wearing them with summer dresses.

    How about saving the pocket for a contrasting shirt/ t-shirt pocket?

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  3. I love them, they look very nice and comfy, I love the topstitching. Are you going to make a pattern for this capris?? I hope so

    Happy sewing
    Lorena x

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      Thanks Lorena! I have the next several patterns decided and they don’t include the capris, but I will take note and consider them for the future.

  4. Hi Erin. These are a deadly pair of jeans. They look great – perfect fit. I muslined the gingers but not happy with front crotch curve. What changes did you make to yours? ?

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      Thanks! I went down a size in the front and up a size in the back and then made some pretty serious adjustments to the back to account for the fact that my hips are wide but low and the top of my butt is flat but the bottom of my butt is full. I think I also took out some additional length in the front curve after I went down a size.

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