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a big legged woman ain’t got no soul” Whether or not I’ve got a soul is well up for debate, but a pair of big legs I most certainly have, thanks to German heritage and a bicycling addiction.

I’m making myself a new pair of jeans. I had a pattern that seemed to have potential, but the first time I made it up, the resultant jeans wereso incredibly lo-waisted as to be unwearable. I took the waistband back off, mocked up a waistline yoke, and put them back together, but the never were quite right. The yoke created too many seamlines and so they fit lumpily over my butt. The legs, too, were unflattering, being “boot cut” or rather “huge-honkin’-bell-bottom-cut.” So, again, I had to take them apart and taper some of the excess fabric out of the calves, to render an even halfway acceptable pair of jeans, and even at that, they weren’t all that great.

But now, now I know about that pattern and its deceptive ways.

Recently, I was given a good-sized lot of old, ugly fabric for testing out patterns, and from that, I selected a piece of unpleasant grey-blue pinwale corduroy. I laid out the fabric Tuesday night and pinned on the pattern, marking with chalk where I meant to raise the waistline and widen the waistband. I folded the legs in at the sides, slenderizing them from mid-thigh on down–a slight taper–not boot-cut, not peg-top–slightly more slim than a straight-leg design. I’ll be putting them together tonight and hoping that my modifications to the pattern will render the fit that I prefer. I like a slightly lowered waist, with the waistband sitting perhaps 1″ below my bellybutton, and rising a little higher in back, so that my underpants aren’t exposed when I stoop into a low file-cabinet drawer or lean over the handlebars of my bike.

I like the legs of my jeans to be loose enough to allow ease of movement, but narrow enough that I don’t look any stumpier than is stirctly necessary. Because of my bicycling mania, I have stocky, muscular legs and a very round butt. When I’ve tgied on jeans in shops, I’ve found that if I can get them up my legs, the waist will be about two sizes too big, yet somehow they’ll contrive to both tent out over my butt up top and give me a tremendous wedgie. It’s come to a point that my principal choice for jeans and pants of any kind is to make them. GAP expects a woman my size to have round, wide hips and a flat butt, therefore GAP jeans typically fit like jodphurs when seen from the front, then mash my butt into an unpleasant boxy shape in back. Express believes that no woman should have legs this large at all. Lee believes that my waist is about 2″ higher than it is. I, however, know where my waist is, how big my butt is, and where the hem of my pantlegs should hit.

I haven’t bought myself a new pair of jeans or any other style of pants since 1998. Somehow, I don’t see this trend changing.

I’ll post my new jeans when I get them put together. The fabric will be an unfortunate color, but I believe they will be otherwise a pretty presentable pair of jeans, and if they don’t suck, I will make other pairs in better fabric. I have a lovely piece of tangerine-orange wide-wale corduroy, and a piece of chocolate-brown wide-wale, as well as a whole bolt of dark-indigo denim. My current selection of pants is getting extremely shabby and ragged, so I need to get on the job, here. I finally finished out the striped cords, to find that they will actually look better as pedal-pushers, so I’m converting them to have a very deep hem, then I’ll fold them up to have about 2″ cuffs, and they’ll hit about
3″ below my knees. I should post a photo of those, too, when I get done.

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