Morgan variations

Thank you for all your thoughtful and interesting comments on my last posts here and here about deciding not to sew everything. Marilla made a comment on my Instagram post that I loved too much not to share:

“I actually think that sewing is a journey to more conscious thinking! There is no need in the end to sew all the things, but learning the process helps you have a better understanding of the work involved and in turn makes you a more conscious consumer. I’m all for trying to make all the things, but not because I never ever want to buy things that have been made by someone else, I just hope it gives me greater respect for the resources and skills required!”

Isn’t that wonderful? It summarized what I was trying to convey in my post but didn’t quite know how to say. I have gained so much in my efforts to sew everything, including the knowledge of just how much it takes. It’s humbling.

As I mentioned in my last post, I’ve been really enjoying sewing jeans and trousers. The ones I can make far exceed what I could buy, in fit and quality. I’ve made a couple of variations based on the Closet Case Patterns Morgan jeans, since sewing them as designed. The first is a slimmer stretch jean, made in Cone Mills S-Gene from Threadbare Fabrics.

crabandbee.com | Closet Case Patterns Morgan jeans in stretch denim

I decided to alter the Morgan pattern instead of use a proper stretch jean pattern was because of how much I loved the back yoke fit and the pocket placement.

crabandbee.com | Closet Case Patterns Morgan jeans in stretch denim

I’m also not really a true skinny jeans person – I’m not looking for a really skintight smooth look, just some extra give when I sit down or bend my knees. I also like to interface my jeans waistbands and use front pocket stays, so a non-stretch pattern was a very decent starting point.

I fitted these jeans as I went, removing some depth from the crotch curve and pinning out the outseams to make them more leg-shaped.

crabandbee.com | Closet Case Patterns Morgan jeans in stretch denim

I loved dressy the dark-on-dark top-stitching made Sophie’s jeans, so I gave it a try on these.

For the second version, I decided to alter the pattern into a trouser pattern. I converted the back yoke into a dart and some width taken from the side seams, converted the jeans pockets to slanted pockets, and added back welt pockets.

crabandbee.com | Closet Case Patterns Morgan jeans converted to trousers

I used a cotton sateen with a little stretch from Emma One Sock. Sewing black basics can be terribly boring, but all the pattern changes made it fun. And they’re my dream trousers! I’m wearing them with a True Bias Ogden cami and some workday wrinkles.

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I loved them so much that I immediately cut out a second pair in stretch denim I had on hand. I’ve also begun the hunt for loud jacquard fabric with which to make a pair for holidays and other festive occasions. I’ve had a real hankering for crazy pants lately.

I’ve also still got a few extra yards of denim, both stretch and non-stretch – any suggestions for denim projects that aren’t jeans or pants?

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46 thoughts on “Morgan variations

  1. Oh I love these! I’ve been on the hunt for a perfect pair of dressy trousers for a while now but haven’t found the right pattern yet. The black pair looks amazing! I might have to copy you 😜

    1. I had a surprisingly difficult time finding a good, basic slim trouser pattern when I looked a few years ago. I’m not sure why! It’s nice to learn enough about pattern drafting to put the features I want onto a decent block. I’d love to see what you come up with if you try this!

  2. You really nailed the fit on these! Both pairs look fantastic. I didn’t get around to commenting on your last post, but what you quoted above is perfect. Making 100% of my garments was never my goal, but sewing has made me far more mindful of my purchasing.

  3. Ok Morgan, this variations on the Morgan have fast tracked it on my sewing list. I still need to finish my Gingers, but I too am not a super skinny jeans person. I like slim straight legs with some stretch. Maybe our future sewing date could be pants or at least denim related. I could use some pants fitting help.

  4. Marilla put it so well! Yesterday I was idly looking at a colleague’s shirt from H&M and thinking about the precision and skill required to sew tower plackets and flat felled seams. Most people wouldn’t stop to consider how their shirt was made but sewing has given me such an appreciation for the work involved. I’m basically just repeating exactly what Marilla said so I’ll stop here πŸ™‚

    I am in awe of the fit on those pants, I’d love to get to that point one day. Can I hire you to be my pants fitting guru?!

    1. Oh man, I wish I could convey how many years and hours I’ve spent chipping away at pants fit… and there’s still so much I don’t know! I think I got exceptionally lucky with this pattern – it fit well right away, and I was able to see small details that would make it even better. A lot of times with pants, the shape isn’t even close.

      I remember reading (on So, Zo’s blog, I believe) that we tend to think of factory-sewn clothing as made by machines when it’s really made by humans with access to specialized machines. That really blew my mind!

  5. You’re killin’ it with the Morgan mods! Both pairs look amazing! (As does your Ogden- love that color!)

  6. These jeans are great and you are right about the pockets…perfection!

    I have apron dresses on my mind lately, and I think denim would work great for these…though you already have your denim jumper, so maybe an apron dress would be too similar. I also think that a denim bustier top, only with straps, would be great for summer (though it’s not coming up to summer for you). On my forever list is an 80’s style denim dress…with denim bra cups and princess seaming and maybe denim button closures…can you tell that I had an 80’s youth? Denim stashes well though, and jeans never go out of style, so you could always hang on to the denim.

    1. Ooh, yes, I like apron dresses AND a bustier dress/tops. A denim dress like that has actually been on my list of things to sew for a couple of years now – I tried awhile ago but wasn’t quite up to the task of fitting the cups. Hmmm…!

  7. Agh, so good! I am hoping to work similar variation miracles once I’ve made a pattern from my worn out favourite old cords (currently following the Jean-ius class on Craftsy). If you’ve got all the jeans you need for now, that denim will keep for when they’re all worn out…

    1. Ah nice! I think you’ve mentioned those awesome cords before. I just copied a pair of my husband’s favorite (but destroyed) jeans, so I was able to cut them apart. It was pretty amazing to sew up a fresh pair!

  8. The fit on both of these is amaze! The black pants look super sharp, I definitely need a pair! And I agree, learning to sew has given me such an appreciation for what goes into making clothes!

    1. Thanks, Sheryll! Something Tasia of Sewaholic wrote about topstitching always sticks in my head – nobody will know how fast you topstitched but they will definitely see how accurately you did it! I try to keep that in mind.

  9. I’d love to see the pattern changes for your trousers…I want to do this :). As for using denim, I just saw a gorgeous denim trench coat on Net a Porter!

    1. Hi Genevieve! I’ll try and get a picture that illustrates what I did. I’m always wishing I’d taken some quick phone photos during these kinds of alterations. In the meantime, here’s what I wrote in answer to another comment:

      “I think it’s more common to convert a darted pants back into a yoke (here’s a decent tutorial: http://www.burdastyle.com/techniques/add-a-yoke-to-the-classic-pants-pattern). I basically did this in reverse. I marked the seamlines on the yoke and back pants piece, then made a vertical cut in the yoke. Then, I lined up the yoke/back pants seamline as best I could, which made a dart appear. My dart was larger than recommended by my pattern drafting manual, so I drew the standard dart but took a little more out of the side seams and CB. I also added a little height to the back waist where the yoke dipped below the seamline. I hope that makes sense! It’s not hard but it’s such a visual process that it’s difficult to explain in words.”

  10. Love them both, especially the trousers! Perfect! They have just the right amount of ease and shape. I’m no help with suggestions… I’m sitting on a few yards of denim as we speak. I really need to just make jeans! I’m a little intimidated.

  11. Wow, I just need to say I love the alterations you made to the original pattern! Can you tell me more about how you converted the yoke in the back? Did you lay the pieces together and cut as one? Your makes are super inspiring.

    1. Hi Paula! I’ll definitely try to share what I did. I think it’s more common to convert a darted pants back into a yoke (here’s a decent tutorial: http://www.burdastyle.com/techniques/add-a-yoke-to-the-classic-pants-pattern). I basically did this in reverse. I marked the seamlines on the yoke and back pants piece, then made a vertical cut in the yoke. Then, I lined up the yoke/back pants seamline as best I could, which made a dart appear. My dart was larger than recommended by my pattern drafting manual, so I drew the standard dart but took a little more out of the side seams and CB. I also added a little height to the back waist where the yoke dipped below the seamline. I hope that makes sense! It’s not hard but it’s such a visual process that it’s difficult to explain in words.

  12. You are so generous to share and yes, I understood what you described. Thank you so much! Now I will have to try.

  13. These both look awesome Morgan! I’ve been wondering about how a skinny version would work out because I love the rise and they seem to fit me really well.
    I love that quote from Marilla too. I think sewing has brought so much awareness to me too – not just in how things are made, but also about my shape and how I feel about it too. Thanks for writing such thought provoking posts!

    1. I did take some length out of the rise – mostly in the back. But it wasn’t so much that I couldn’t adjust it after constructing the backs and fronts – maybe an 3/4 – 1″?

  14. Both of those are fitted to perfection and the development of the pattern into slacks: jaw-dropping … so slick!
    and on your previous post and on Marilla’s comment all I can say is yup and yes again and nod in acceptance like a bobblehead πŸ™‚

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