Thursday, January 12, 2017

Jamie Jeans version 2

If you follow me on Instagram then you already got a sneak peek (or ten) of these jeans! I've been working on them on and off eternity. I had some fit issues and then know how it is. So I'm thrilled that they are finally done and, gasp, wearable!

Side note...Indiana weather is drunk right now. Earlier this week the temps were in the single digits, today it's going to be 64. So I apologize for the sloppy half-frozen backyard! And also my neighbor's unfinished-for-six-months shed roof.

After M was born I realized it had been two years since I'd worn regular jeans. I thrifted some and was more than a little aggravated at how poorly they fit. Because obviously, me-made is a million times better than store bought. I almost chose to make Jalie 2908 but decided not to reinvent the wheel and went with Jamie Jeans, from Named, since I've made that pattern before.

This time, however, my fabric was quite different. My previous pair were made from a super-stretchy denim that almost felt like a knit. This time I went with a more traditional stretch denim (from Mood, almost 4 years old!). Using the handy chart in my Sewist's Swatch Book, I determined that the stretch percentage was only about 10%. The pattern calls for 15-20%.

I went ahead and made the same size as before, 6, believing that I'd probably be able to make it work since I had removed a ton of fabric from the legs with my stretchy fabric. Thankfully it did work, but I had some fit challenges first.

Length: These are drafted with long legs. I'm 5'4" with short legs, an inseam of 28 1/2". Last time I cut off 6" at the bottom hem. This time, I removed 3" from the paper pattern at the knee, assuming I could remove the rest from the hem later. But a friend pointed out that having extra length at the bottom was distorting the leg during fitting, so I cut most of it off.

Calf: A shoutout to my husband for helping me diagnose the main problem I had. There was bunching throughout the leg, and I finally figured out the calf was too tight, pushing the fabric up around my knee. Once I let out the calf (from the 3/8" seam allowance to 1/8"), the wrinkles went away. I also consulted this jeans fit guide at Closet Case Files, so now I know how to correct the paper pattern the right way. Who knew a mother of three who never works out could have thick calves?

A few horizontal lines, perhaps a shallower crotch curve is needed. 

Waistband: I removed a wedge from center back for a better fit. I was still able to ease the waistband to the pants without changing them as well.

Not wrinkle-free, but better than it was. Possible low butt adjustment needed.

I did not use the pattern directions at all. I followed the sewalong at Indie Sew, which I highly recommend! You'll see below that I followed one of their tips, to NOT topstitch the fly, which I think was good advice.

Even though I was scared to do it, I opted for contrast topstitching everywhere else. I used my vintage Singer 15-91, which is a beautiful, efficient machine. I still don't have great control over the speed, it's hard for me to regulate with the pedal for some reason and it can go pretty quickly. There were times I had to rip out my topstitching and do it again. I think I sewed the waistband three times to get it just right. The results were worth it, though.

I also used my Singer buttonhole attachment for the first time! I watched some YouTube videos and it was surprisingly easy. I think I'll write a separate post about it later.

When I finished these up, I had a panic attack realizing that they were too short. Nothing like cutting off 3" and then ending up with short jeans to make you bang your head against the wall. But a quick Google search schooled me to the proper length for skinny jeans, which is apparently at the top of the ankle. A happy accident on my part! Now I just feel old and out of the loop about fashion.

I'm pretty happy with my first "real" pair of jeans. I have enough fabric left for another pair of pants, I'm considering some Thurlow Trousers since the low stretch percentage would probably work better with a wider leg pant.

And just for funsies, I used some leftover poplin from this dress for my pocket bags. Fun pocket bags, a customized fit, I mean really, why doesn't everyone sew for themselves?

Need your own Sewist's Swatch Book? Save 20% with the code RESOLVE20. Valid through Jan. 20th and applicable for all versions of A Sewist's Notebook!


  1. You did an amazing job on those, and the pocket bags are wonderful. Yes, make the Thurlows, I am very curious about that pattern.

    1. I made the Thurlow shorts twice before, but it was prior to H being born. No way they fit now, my hips are not the same! So I will need to trace off a new size and do some fitting. I'm half tempted to do it now while my machines are set up for pants, but I also have new things in mind (of course).

  2. I have this pattern and your version is so inspiring. But the time it takes to fit pants...ugh. Thanks for the inspiration!

  3. Now you know why I've only made the same pants pattern twice! The Indie Sew sewalong does offer fit advice, which is part of why I keep coming back to this pattern.


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