Jalie Jeans x 3

I’ve made three new pairs of jeans using the unbeatable Jalie 2908 pattern.  It’s not the only pattern I’ve used to make jeans in the past, but I think it will be my go-to for now. You see, when I decided I needed new jeans, I had three different styles in my wardrobe: the Jalie’s, a GAP 1969 pair and an unblogged indigo BurdaStyle pair based on this pattern.  I love the fit of the GAP and the BurdaStyle pair more than the Jalie pair, mostly because I made the low-waisted version way back when.  And in order to decide which I wanted to make three times, I took pictures of myself wearing all three pairs.  To see which was the most flattering….

Jalie won, hands down.  Maybe it was pocket placement, but I just liked the fit of them from all angles better than the GAP or the BurdaStyle pair.

I made the “mom” style (waistband sits at my natural waist) with the following adjustments:

  • lengthened them by 4cm so I can wear heels, or mules.  Nothing bugs me more than when the back of my jeans catch underneath my heel while I’m wearing mules.
  • +1.5cm full inner thigh adjustment
  • lowered the front waist by 1.5cm
  • 1.5cm high hip adjustment on both front/back side seams
  • add 3cm to side seams as fitting insurance, particularly on the black and purple pair as the denim has less stretch than the teal pair

Just a note on styling: I won’t be wearing them with tucked-in tops, but I wanted to show you what they fit like through the hips/waist for this post.

First pair was made from a glorious Italian black denim from EmmaOneSock.

Burda 04-2015-103 front

The denim wasn’t pre-washed, but it hasn’t shrunk and it doesn’t bag out.  It’s the most-worn pair so far.

Burda 04-2015-103 top

The next was a purple Italian denim, again from EmmaOneSock. It’s a bit on the stiff side, but it doesn’t bag out after a day’s wearing, either.  And I love the colour.

Jalie 2908 purple front

But I forgot to lower the CF – you can see the front crotch depth is too long – so I have removed the waistband and will re-attach it later. Thank goodness I didn’t use any rivets on this pair.

Jalie 2908 purple back
Here’s a view of the inside, with some batik (EOS, again!) salvaged from an older project. I love putting these on because of this fabric!

Jalie 2908 purple pockets

And lastly, a dark teal blue pair using a cotton blend denim from…. you guessed it! Emmaonesock, of course. These are straight legged.

Jalie 2908 blue front

These are the stretchiest of the three, so I didn’t need to make use of the ‘fitting insurance’ 3cm extra width down each side.  The fabric is amazingly soft and comfortable.

Jalie 2908 blue

I love the length of all these new jeans. I have to turn them up when I’m wearing slippers around the house, but they are the perfect length for my heeled boots. So far, so good! The old GAP and BurdaStyle pair were sent off to the thrift store, but I still wear the original brown jeans. The fabric was from EOS again… a designer denim from somewhere in the States.  I have worn these jeans constantly since I made them, and they are still looking good, as you’ll see in my next post.

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Shorts, Capris & Ankle-length Trousers

Burda 6-2011-110 backDD3 needed some new bottoms this past spring, so after looking through all the stretch denim available in Mom’s stash, she chose three fabrics, and three patterns.  Here’s the collection. Burda 6-2011-110 sideFirst up, another version of the shorts I’d made for her last summer.  It’s a shortened version of Burda 6/2011 #110.  It fit her well last year, and I didn’t want to re-think the fit on another pattern, so I re-measured to ensure it still fit, and started sewing.

Burda 6-2011-110 blue shortsThe next project was capris, and she wanted them to be skinny, but not too skinny.  So I opted for Burda 03/2014 #115. 115_0314_b_largeDD3 has a crotch depth of 11 inches – about one full inch longer than any standard block, and finding RTW trousers/jeans/shorts that fit her properly is a challenge.  She’s inherited the long back crotch measurement, too, but the extra crotch depth means bottoms are always low-riding on her.  As she prefers bottoms that sit at her natural waist, I altered the pattern using the slash-spread method to get the required depth.  Here’s the first pair at a true capri length.  The fabric for all these bottoms is from EmmaOneSock.  You can find it in other colours here.  This was a roll end, and I have enough fabric for shorts next year if she needs more.  This fabric worked extremely well for these capris, and the fit is perfect.  I don’t have any other photos of her wearing them at this point.Burda 03-2014-115 blueThe next pair was ankle length in a striped French stretch cotton blend, again from EmmaOneSock as a roll end. It’s lighter in weight and as a lot of stretch.  I used the same pattern, but they refuse to sit at her natural waist without a belt once they’ve been stretched out through wearing.  They’re her favourite pair, btw. (I’m too lazy to alter the waist yet again).  Burda 03-2014-115 detailsI used a BurdaStyle idea for binding the pocket edges in bias strips.  The denim (?) was lightweight enough to do it easily with a little help from my hammer for flattening the bulk.Burda 03-2014-115 striped frontYou can see in the pic above that the crotch depth appears to be too long, but the trousers are not actually sitting where she would like them to.  I really should take in the waist some more.  Here’s the back view.Burda 03-2014-115 striped backThe fit is pretty good through the back.  The fabric is really fun.  She wasn’t too sure of it to begin with, but every time she puts these on, she tells me she really likes them.

Fitting trousers/jeans/short is always so challenging.  The only trousers I’ve ever been able to fit without any wrinkles whatsoever are classic trousers, although these Burda patterns fit pretty darn well right off the tracing paper.  I’d love to try Jalie 2908 (stretch jeans pattern) for fit on her.  Next time.

The shorts factory is open

I’m avoiding my blue dress while I make up summer weather appropriate bottoms for DD3.  She needed shorts, and she wanted them in denim, which is so appropriate since I’ve had a few runs at making a jean-style bottom recently!  Burda 6-2011-110 shortI used leftover yardage from my first pair of Jalie jeans for the dark pair.  I didn’t distress them – just focused on fun topstitching.Burda 6-2011-110 dark shortI used the trouser pattern Burda 6/2011 #110 and shortened the pattern to a Burda 6-2011-110amid-thigh length (inseam is about 4 inches hemmed).  DD3 is quite conservative in her choice of style, and doesn’t like short shorts.  I chose this pattern because of the 5-pocket jean styling, and because it’s drafted for non-stretch fabrics.  Both my fabrics are stretch denim, but I wanted the extra wearability factor, which (I hope) will mean they will still fit her next year.  She’s only 11 years old, but she’s as tall as I am and wearing the same size as DD1, who turns 16 this month.  She’s going to be a taaaaaall girl.  (I’m jealous in a proud sort of way.)

Burda 6-2011-110 detailI put the coin pocket on the patterned denim, although you can’t see it at all and it’s too small to be functional for anything other than a coin.  DH thought I was out of my mind trying to match the motifs for the back pockets and suggested it would be better if I centred each one over a motif and just applied them whichever way.  Here’s the result:Burda 6-2011-110 patterns pocketI think that pattern is so busy no one would pay attention to these details while they’re being worn.  Lucky for me, because I’m not sure his idea worked to my satisfaction!  And just ‘cuz this is a sewing blog, here’s one of the two fly zips. Burda 6-2011-110 patterned denim shortsNext up on her summer wish list:  blue camo!

Brown Jeans

I made another pair.jalie brown jeansFrom the Jalie pattern again.  And here’s a conundrum perhaps you could help me with:  I cut these in a single layer, very carefully, from the very same pattern as my previous pair, and they were too small.

What’s up with that?!?

So I did my unintentional denim rescue trick again, since I had a good yard of fabric left over, and added a 2-inch wide strip down the outside of each leg.  At least it looks like an intentional design element.   For fun I decided to use hot pink thread in my serger.  You can see it just peeking out at you under the belt loop.copper rivetsApparently this denim-like fabric has less stretch than the cotton-lycra denim I used before.  And I totally love this denim-like fabric from EOS. It’s a cotton-poly-lycra blend with a subtle stripe effect in the weave, and it’s super comfortable.  And I decided to add a few copper rivets for a different look.  Lots of fun pounding fabric and hardware with a hammer!

I cut both the front and the back using the low-rise pattern this time, and it fits very well.  Better than the mix of the two I did for the blue pair.  I’m actually going to see if I can edit that first pair: lower the back rise and place the back pockets differently. jalie brown jeans 2I can totally see myself wearing these to death, not the least because they’re chocolate brown.  Let’s hope the fabric blend withstands hard wear.

My first pair of Jalie jeans

Jalie 2908 side viewThis is my third pair of jeans (the second pair went to live at the thrift shop because I really didn’t like the too-short-for-my-liking length), and I’m really happy with them.  I used the famous Jalie jean pattern, and followed along with Angela Wolf in her Craftsy course on making designer jeans.

Well, I wouldn’t call mine designer, but there were many little tricks that were helpful in that course:

  • using a hammer to flatten many layers of denim
  • distressing tools, particularly sandpaper
  • a beautiful fly zip with a fly shield
  • how to keep your waistband in place against your body
  • topstitching tricks of the jeans trade

I confess these aren’t distressed very professionally, but it was fun to sandpaper the denim!jeans front flatI kinda overdid this pair on the front. Because it’s a stretch denim, when it’s standpapered, little folds of fabric appear out of nowhere.  Hence the slight visual mess. It looks a lot worse in the photo above than when I’m wearing them.

I’ve been wearing these all day, and they are really comfortable.  I used the normal rise pattern in the back, and the low rise pattern in the front because I usually need to shorten the front crotch length by one inch anyways.  I thought I’d see if I could save myself the hassle and just cut it.  I measured first, and it was perfect. It’s supposed to sit below the waist, but it sits at the CF of my short waist.  🙂  You can see the difference in the rises in the picture above.The back yoke was cut using their mid-rise pattern, which is a good inch or so higher than the low-rise pattern.  I usually need to add length through the back crotch area, so this worked perfectly.  On me, the back waist sits 1″ below my real waist.

I love the fit of these jeans.  That crucial POM at 2″ above the bottom of the crotch curve is precisely 6.5″, which is why the back of these jeans fit so well.  I mentioned this in my last trouser post, and finally tracked down the blog that made my “aha” moment.  The diagram is linked to the original blog post at www.madalynne.com.

Rise21 Pattern Making: Pant Rise The back of my jeans looks pretty good.  The topstitching is all precisely marked in chalk everywhere.  I have never used so much chalk in one project before.jeans back flatYou can see the distressing around the edges of the pockets and seam edges.  It’s fun to distress and hammer those multiple layers of denim flat enough to topstitch easily.  Great therapy. 😀

I made minimal changes to the Jalie pattern:

  • using the low-rise in the front and mid-rise in the back
  • substituting a contoured waistband from my BurdaStyle pair for the bias one they suggested
  • tapered the boot-cut silhouette in by 1/4″ at each side seam

Has anyone made these jeans with the bias waistband?  What did you think?  Did it work well?  I’m curious about it, but I don’t know if I care to make another pair of jeans with a bias waist if it’s not going to be a good thing.  I’m happy with the fit of the contour band.  It’s on the straight grain at CF, and I added twill tape along the top edge.  It hugs me perfectly, even when sitting or touching my toes.

If I were to change anything on this pair, I’d move the pockets closer to the CB seam and not add 2 inches to the length.  The hem can always be changed, and the pockets will have to wait for the next pair.Jalie 2908 front viewI’m just so excited about that little 6-7″ POM that I’m happy to make up trousers forever.  Let’s hope it doesn’t let me down because I get so happy about it I get cocky and forget to measure or make toiles.

unintentional denim rescue

Burda 1-2010-136 side backI’ve tried again.  I was so hyped after making my first pair of jeans that I wanted to try again, only this time I was going to try to fix those pesky smile lines in the back.  And I wanted a pair that was heavily topstitched in a dark indigo denim.  The fabric is from my stash – a length of stretch denim blend purchased at a roll end party from Emma One Sock this past year.

I got cocky distracted this time around and didn’t measure properly, so this is a rescue post.  First, I had to add width.  Yup.  I wanted a pair of jeans that fit a little looser than my previous pair, but I didn’t add the extra inch or two of width when I cut.  *headdesk* So, after offering them to DD1 and DD2 (neither of whom were particularly enthused about a new pair of mom-made jeans) I put them aside and went to bed.  For the second day.  During the night, of course, inspiration arrived and I added a strip about 1 3/8 inch wide down the sides.  Piece work was required because I was using scraps.Burda 1-2010-136 cute backI was pretty dayum pleased with myself for this little bit of ingenious rescuing.  Of course it turned the jeans into dress jeans because the legs are wider than I wanted them to be.  My DH thinks they’re too wide.  I will not pick out all that topstitching, so they’re staying wide.  *humph*Burda 1-2010-136 side frontBut let me tell you, I had a saaaagaaaa of fitting frustration that drove me to distraction.  They’re still not the way I want them to fit, but they’re pretty good.  And I think I’ve finally figured out how to fix those lovely little smile lines.  Of course, I learned it too late for this particular pair.  But I now know.Burda 1-2010-136 backAnd they’re too short, damn it.  I wonder how stupid they’d look with a hemline add-on…Burda 1-2010-136 sideY’know… maybe something a bit flared and cut on the bias, because that’s all the scraps I have left!

Bronze Jeans: Burda 1/2010 #136

Warning: there’s a lot of pictures in this post, and, well, no amount of tweaking can make my 40-something mother-multiple-times exercise-free butt look younger, childless or hawter. Don’t say you weren’t warned. 😉

Burda 1-2010-136 frontI did it.  I crossed into the world of the unknown and I did it!  I cracked the jean mystery, peeps, and I am so EXCITED!  I have long scoffed at the idea of making my own jeans.  Whatever for?  What a hassle.  That’s just sewing geekiness.  Not interested.  bronze jeansBut the idea of making jeans has a way of getting under one’s skin and wandering through one’s sewing plans, and more than once I was coerced by Linda at EmmaOneSock to buy stretch denim.  For no reason except that it’s nice to have stretch denim in your stash, right?  No plans for jeans here.  Stretch denim can be used for a LOT of other clothing items besides jeans.  So you see it’s really not my fault that I made a pair of jeans.  The entire sewing universe has been conspiring to convert me.I’m so glad I did!  I feel like I’ve taken one major sewing step forward.  As I sewed this up, Burda 1-2010 #136cracking the big jean mystery one seam at a time, it was amazing to learn how simple jean construction is.  I used this model from Burda 1/2010 #136.I did not make a muslin specifically for this pair.  After sewing up my one and only pair of skinnies from the Burda block, I had a pretty good idea of what needed to be altered, so I measured myself from various angles very carefully, and then measured the pattern very carefully.  And re-measured.

I didn’t make any adjustments to the to the front, except to leave off that weird front patch between the front thighs.  Why it is there?  It looks…. well, uncomfortably embarrassing. Maybe their designers thought it would be interesting, but I didn’t like it.  Besides, can you just picture it in this bronze denim with dark purple topstitching?  *shudder*  Wrong visual.  BTW, the front crotch depth is good, but I’m not sure if the little extra fabric at the front crotch should be left or adjusted.  I need to think about that more.  It’s not uncomfortable and I don’t think it looks bad, but I still need to think about it from a “perfect fit” perspective.  Any opinions on this would be lovely!frontI lengthened the back by one full inch by extending the crotch curve.  This was a mistake because the inseam of this pair is 1 inch forward of where it should be. forward inseamThis is a good lesson to learn!  I should have left the crotch alone and slashed and spread the length of the CB seam instead to get the length I needed.  This would have left the inseam in its proper place. I did need to taper both the CB seam, the yoke and the waistband to fit the curve of my lower back.  backThis was no big surprise, and since I was anticipating this adjustment as a last little fitting tweak, I constructed the back in such a way that the CB seam was the last to be stitched.  I attached the waistband to the jeans and fit the CB seam, taking in about 3/4″ at the waist and tapering it to the hip level.  Burda’s instructions suggested stitched the CB seam and topstitching it prior to attaching the waistband.  Well, I knew that was going to be an un-picking nightmare, so I went down a different construction street quite happily.

left sideright sideMy side seams are almost perfectly perpendicular to the floor, which is a good thing, and I don’t need to tell you fellow sewistas that I’m very happy about that.  After taking these pics, however, it’s obvious the back thighs need to be shortened – probably a good 4cm – so the wrinkling under my butt goes away. I have some thoughts on this and will share them next post.

The pockets have a decorative self-fabric binding, which I wasn’t sure about.  That could mean too many layers of denim to sew through, but after a couple of test runs on scraps I went ahead with it.  It’s a unique detail that I’ve never seen on jeans before.  Not that I’ve seen a lot of jeans in my life.  But anyways… Burda 1-2010-136 pocket binding I used a denim needle for this project, and it stitched through all 5 layers of denim at the turned-under ends of the pocket binding with no complaints.Burda 1-2010-136 pocketsThe topstitching pattern for the back pockets is all Burda’s.  I claim no credit for creativity.  But I like these pockets.Burda 1-2010-136 belt loopsThe belt loops were the other area I discarded Burda’s instructions.  I was supposed to stitch a long tube and turn it.  Uh.  Right.  I hate turning tubes of fabric on the best of slippery fabrics, so why would I want to do that on thick stretch denim?  So I serged both long edges of the belt loop piece and turned the edges in on themselves in thirds, exactly like all the RTW jeans I inspected.  It turned out to be a little wider in width than typical belt loops, so I took the opportunity to use one of the decorative stitches on my machine instead of just straight topstitching.bronze denimI didn’t use studs to reinforce any pocket corners on this pair, although I studied every single pair of DH’s and DD1’s jeans to see where the studs were used.  I wanted to keep this project simple without a lot of extraneous detail or embellishment.  The only new-to-me hardware issues were the stud button and shortening the metal zipper by hand, neither of which was difficult or stress-inducing.And I added 2 inches of length.  I may be vain, but IMHO, the added 2 inches give the illusion of longer legs than I really own.  😉 After finishing this pair and wearing them for a day, I can tell you I have more in the queue.  Thanks to all of you sewing bloggers who have documented the process of making your own jeans.  Without all your posts and pics and details and FO’s I would not have crossed the hurdle of jeans.  You know who you are.  😉 Burda 1-2010-136 back