Thursday, January 21, 2016

Jamie Jeans

Remember a hundred years ago when I promised a post about my first pair of jeans? Apparently I didn't remember, since it's taken me until now to write about them! But you know how it is to post about complicated items. It's time-consuming, and I wanted to make sure I was accurate in my review. So here they are, Jamie Jeans!

All my favorite colors, pink, navy, black, and grey.

I completed these back in September, for the Momiform MAKEover tour. The tour was the kick (in the pants, as it were) that I needed to tackle jeans for the first time. I readily admit, however, that these ended up a bit more like jeggings than I intended, and I took plenty of scaredy-cat shortcuts like matching topstitching. But still, I made pants, from denim, with a fly. I think that counts!

I relied heavily on the Jamie Jeans sewalong over at Indie Sew. I found it to be an amazing resource and possibly more helpful than the instructions, especially when it came to fit. The sewalong uses a baste-and-fit method with plenty of hand-holding. The pattern itself, being made for stretch denim, is forgiving anyhow. It's the whole reason I chose this pattern for My First Jeans. Every pair I've seen end up looking great. I particularly like that there isn't any under-the-butt fabric pooling.

The fly/jeans button is pulling a bit, but oh well.
I'll never wear a shirt untucked.

I think mine also look great, but you must forgive the fading that has happened to the fabric in the last few months (I've also lightened these photos so you can see more detail). It's a black organic cotton/spandex denim from Nature's Fabrics. It's thick and super stretchy. Let's just say that you might confuse it with a knit until you turned it over to see the twill weave (the reverse side is the contrast on my front pockets). It's pretty much perfect for Jamie Jeans, though, so no fabric-regret here. The only thing not to love is that the jeans bag out over the course of a day, I can pretty much get one or two good wears in before they go back in the wash (probably why they've faded).

Here follows boring fit stuff...

The sewalong and other reviews mention sizing down. I sewed up a size 6 and I *think* this was either a full size down, or I was between sizes and went down. My hip measurement has changed a lot (thanks babies) and apparently I didn't write down the exact number, just the size I intended to make. In any case, sizing down is a good idea.

Seam allowances are 3/8" but I ended up increasing that to 5/8" below the hip on the outer leg seam, and all the way down the inner leg seam. The hips fit without changes, however I took wedges out of the waistband in various places. Luckily, following the sewalong made it easy to baste and check fit, and I had enough fabric to cut an altered waistband.

The biggest issue I had with fit was the length. These are ridiculously long. The pattern is designed for someone 5'8" and I'm 5'4", but I removed 6". I'm long-waisted so I guess I must also be short-legged? Unfortunately, I had to take it all from the hem, but it ended up looking okay anyway. I made a note to myself to take 3" from the upper thigh and 3" from the hem next time.

Here ends boring fit stuff...

The topstitching was done on my vintage machine, with black topstitching thread. This was my first project with this machine, despite having had it for (gasp!) a year, and I was not confident in steady stitching. Since my denim was very stretchy, it had a tendency to move around under the tiny presser foot, so it was a good thing I went with matching thread. I ended up stitching two rows along the vertical center-front seam because the two legs didn't match after my first pass. But y'know, "design detail" and all that jazz. I definitely want a different kind of foot for any further topstitching with this machine.

This was quite a project for me, I had three machines set up at once (regular machine, serger, and vintage one for topstitching) plus my ironing board in my somewhat packed sewing room. I actually quite enjoyed the luxury of three machines, not having to rethread for topstitching is *amazing*.

The only trouble I had with the pattern assembly was the pockets. I feel like the pieces could have had a few more notches to make it easier to tell how they all went together. I also left off the belt loops since I'm never going to wear a belt with these. They have a slightly higher rise than all of my other jeans and I'd rather keep a smooth line under my shirts.

I've been wearing these a lot because they're so stretchy and comfortable. There's nothing worse than spending a lot of time on something and having them sit in a closet or drawer. I might even be ready to tackle a more traditional jeans pattern (like Jalie 2908 which has been languishing in my stash forever). If you're afraid of jeans I highly suggest nabbing a copy of the Jamie Jeans and giving them a try!


  1. Having multiple machines is the BEST for sewing jeans! they look fantastic!

    FYI: your link to the blog is broken on PR. You're missing the colon after http :)

  2. Great post! Your jeans look great from here. I really like the pocket contrast edges.

  3. Those look super - love the pocket contrast. Your success with this pattern has the wheels turning in my head, perhaps I should try them. Great review.

  4. I like your jeans. Great job with them. I like the center front seaming, nice design touch.

  5. This is a dumb question. Do the pieces on the pdf pattern cross over and I have to trace them off? I usually just stick the A4 sheets together, cut out the pieces and go...

    1. Yes, they do overlap some, but on this specific pattern I think it's only the waistband? I've sewn one other Named pattern and it required a lot more tracing. I was fine with just the waistband piece, which I had to modify anyway.


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