Are you getting excite to sew some jeans this month? Melissa of Melly Sews and I are hosting a jean sew along, and we want you to join us! The actual sew along will happen next week, starting on Monday.
This week is for getting prepped and ready to go. I thought we’d start things off by talking about patterns. I’ve made myself seven pairs of jeans over the past year (#1 isn’t pictured because they were more of a muslin I never wear, and I forgot to grab them) (the blue/green ones are waiting to be hemmed, excuse the fray) I’m going to go over the three different jeans patterns that I’ve sewn personally. There are quite a few out there, pretty much all the big pattern companies have a few to choose from, and many independent designers, too.
Jalie 2908 Women’s Stretch Jeans, Burda Style Floral Skinny Jeans #115, and Named Jamie Jeans. First, a side-by-side with some bullet points I’ll go over in more depth in just a minute. Okay, Jalie 2908 Women’s Stretch Jeans.
This is the first jean pattern I sewed, and I’ve made a total of five pairs from it now (including the muslin, not pictured).
What I like about the Jalie: First, the instructions are fabulous. It pretty much holds your hand through the whole process. Not only is every step gone over in detail, but there is a picture for each and every step, too. It’s so well-illustrated, that I’ve never actually read all the instructions in this pattern, I just go by the pictures. And the zipper installation instructions are the best I’ve ever seen. I only do zippers the Jalie way now, regardless of the pattern I’ve sewing.
The size range is huge. The pattern is for children up through adults, including plus sizes. Not only is the range nice so you can sew for multiple wearers, but it makes it easy to customize the fit.
It is easy to alter. The Jalie is like a blank slate of jean patterns. It’s a straight-forward design, with all the standard jeans features (pockets, fly, belt loops, yoke), but nothing extra. It’s a great jumping off point. I have used the pattern to make both skinny jeans and straight leg jeans now.
What I don’t like about the Jalie: It’s super standard and the fit is a bit generic, unaltered. There are two rise options, but even the “low rise”, isn’t all that low. Not low at all compared to most contemporary RTW styles claiming the same Low status. I’ve lowered the rise for the pair shown. And the unaltered leg is a bootleg, which is pretty flattering for all, but not really the height of fashion at the moment. Of course, all of this means that it’s a pretty classic style, and will flatter most body types.
Burda Style Floral Skinny Jeans #115
Right off the bat, this pattern is different than any jeans I’ve sewn, including the various styles I’ve sewn for my children. Can you spot the difference?
(left to right: Named, Jalie, Burda Style)
No fly! There is a pattern piece for the fly, but it is separate from the main body of the jean-front. Not a huge deal, just an extra step to attach it, but it also allows for some super-secret fabric fun. If you’re into that sort of thing.
What is not so fun, I could not find an actual fly shield/guard at all. Burda instructions are always lacking, and I only ever skim through. So I hate to outright say that there isn’t information on drafting your own, but I didn’t see it. At all. So I drafted my own. Not a big deal, but weird.
I also messed up on this pair. The front pockets there that are top stitched? Yeah, the Burda pattern sheet had me all kinds of confused, and I was watching TV while cutting out (read: not paying the attention to detail I should have been), and I totally cut the front pieces with the pockets cut out. I didn’t realize my mistake, in spite of the HUGE gaping Us on the front of each front piece until I went to sew on the pocket bags and was all, “Hey!”. So, if you think they look stupid up there, don’t let that sway you from buying the pattern. Just pay attention to what you’re doing.
And that brings me to…
What I like about the Burda: I think the fit is pretty good and everything comes together smoothly and easily (assuming you aren’t an idiot that cuts the pockets out of the front pieces…) Instant gratification. Pattern is cheap ($6), instant download, sews fast.
What I don’t like about the Burda: Universal Burda issues: lacking instructions with no illustrations outside the pattern line drawings and cut-out guide. This is how all downloadable Burda patterns are, so I wasn’t expecting anything different. I also hate that Burda doesn’t include seam allowances. It’s lame. And also lame? The pocket pattern piece being one in the same with the front pant leg piece, so if you aren’t paying attention you won’t realize you need to cut out the full pant legs, THEN cut the pocket pieces separate using the smaller, attached pocket piece. No fly guard. No pattern pieces for anything rectangular. There is a list for how big to cut the waistband and coin pocket (which I didn’t include). Not a big deal, but not my favorite thing.
Named Jamie Jeans
I’ve been super excited to sew these since seeing the pair Alida Makes made for Project: Sewn. Named was generous enough to send me this pattern so I could share it with you, but my opinions are totally mine.
What I like about Named: The design!! These jeans are just cool. There is a center seam that goes down each front leg. Not only does this make for fun fashion, but makes fitting the jeans to your body all the easier. The pockets, front and back are cool and different. The front pockets are banded and at a slant, the back pockets are cut from two pattern pieces, with a seam down the center.
The waistband is also different, it curves.
(comparing the Jalie waistband to the Named Jamie waistband. The Burda is also straight, like the Jalie, but much thinner)
The size range you get is pretty good. It doesn’t go into plus sizes or very small (2-12), but it still has a lot of sizes. More than you get in a single pattern, usually. Jamie Jeans have a higher rise than either of the others reviewed. This makes for a better fit in the bum, and covers trouble areas in the belly.
What I don’t like about Named: When you download the pattern, there are multiple size options. When you print, you print your size range, which will include the size you want, and whatever size is closest to it that uses the same PDF file. The pattern pieces overlap, so you do need to trace out the pieces after printing and assembly.
Not a huge deal. In fact, I think most people trace out their patterns anyway. But I don’t usually. It’s an extra step and it is tedious, so I prefer to skip it. You can’t skip it with the Named pattern. There aren’t a ton of pictures to accompany the instructions. A lot more than Burda, but still not many. It’s pricey for a PDF pattern. It has great design, and is fun fashion, but you pay more for it.
So which one is my favorite? I like them all for different reasons, and I’m glad I have all three patterns to sew off of. I have another Jalie cut out ready to go, in a straight-leg style. I am hoping to make another Burda soon, this time without the funky pocket mishap. Just need to find that perfect fabric. And I have already started cutting out another Named, this time with leather accents.
The rest of the week, we’ll be doing more to prep for next week’s big sew along.
Do you have your pattern(s) yet? You can get 10% the Jamie at Named using the code trousersandshorts
Grab your fabric! The red stretch denim in my Named jeans is from Michael Levine HERE. I highly recommend it. Perfect for skinny jeans.
Monday, March 10, 2014
Friday, March 7, 2014
Another day, another pair of jeans. Or in this case, another two pairs of jeans.
Today I get to participate in the Small Fry Skinny Jeans Pattern Tour by showing you the jeans I sewed for my bookend kids, Kael and Ivy. The Small Fry Skinny Jeans pattern is a new release from Titchy Threads, and it is so well done. I was impressed with everything from the downloading process on Titchy Threads site (it saves all your pattern downloads right there so you can access them any time!), to the in depth instructions, to the way the pattern lined up and the pieces all came together. This is a very professionally made pattern. And with a size range of 0-3m to 12 years, it will take you from newborn to pre-teen.
For my pre-teen, I made a pair of grey denim Small Frys. And their pretty epic, as my 11 year old would say.
I debated what size to make Kael. By his measurements, he fits into a lengthened 10. But the kid is growing insanely fast these days. Like put on 8 lbs in one month fast! And I’m pretty sure we’re headed right for a growth spurt. So I went a size too big, and made the largest size the pattern goes to, a 12. As a result, his fit isn’t super “skinny”. However, boy styles being what they are, baggy jeans work for him, and he told me he loves the way these fit.
They are so comfortable, apparently, that they just beg to be rolled around in. He had these on all of an hour, on location at the photoshoot, before I caught him rolling down a wet, grassy hill in them. I guess there’s no better stamp of approval from an 11 year old boy than grass-stained knees and bum, right? sigh.
I don’t know if it’s because the jeans are too big, but I don’t like the length of the rise. Ivy’s pair is fine, so it really might be the too-big-ness of Kael’s, but I feel like the rise below where the zipper ends should be a couple of inches shorter. Next pair I make, I’m going to watch for it and see if it needs to be adjusted, or if is just Kael needing to grow into things. I did increase the length of the belt loops for both pair. I do this for every pair of pants I sew lately, for myself and for my kids. Even RTW jeans are hard to get belts through sometimes, especially in kid sizes, so I just go for longer loops every time now.
Small Fry Skinnys are great jeans. I love the attention to detail, the size range (0-3m up to 12 years!), and that they work so well for boys and girls.
Ivy’s pair is one of my favorite things ever. They are ridiculously adorable. The fabric is some floral twill from Jo-Ann Stores. I made Ivy a size 24m. And like her brother, she seems super comfortable in her Small Fry Skinnies. I could not get her to hold still, she was all over the place. But looking super cute in her tiny jeans as I chased her with the camera.
The pattern is designed so that the smaller sizes, 0-3m-3T, accommodate a diaper. Ivy is wearing a cloth diaper with her jeans, and the fit is fabulous. The other cool thing with the sizes of this pattern, other than the range, is that you can print off exactly, and only, the size you need! Super awesome, thoughtful feature. I wish more patterns offered that option.
The details of the smaller sizes are the same as the larger, five pockets (including the most adorable coin pocket I have ever had the pleasure of sewing!), belt loops, yoke, and a fly. There are a couple of options for the fly. I just did a faux-fly for Ivy to make dressing easier, on account of the always running-away thing she’s got going on.
You can pick up your copy of the Small Fry Skinny Jeans HERE, and get 20% off with the code TOUR20 through March 15th, 2014. And you can marvel at the topstitched adorableness that is the Small Fry Skinny Jeans at all the stops along the tour by clicking the links below.
T-Shirt: Shirt!Woot “Thanks, Science”
Pants: Small Fry Skinny Jeans pattern by Titchy Threads, fabric is grey denim from Jo-Ann Stores
Shoes: New Balance
T-Shirt: Circo by Target
Pants: Small Fry Skinny Jeans pattern by Titchy Threads, fabric is floral twill from Jo-Ann Stores
Thursday, March 6, 2014
As part of I Dream of Jean-ie, I thought it would be fun to share a round up of things to do with your existing jeans. First of all, there are a million and one things to make out of old jeans. Jeans are fabric, after all; really durable fabric in most cases. So they can be made into lots of stuff. Especially the pockets. I started trying to catalogue ideas, but seriously, so.many.things. So I’m not even going to go there. Search “Jeans DIY” and you’ll get approximately 5.6 bazillion ideas. Instead, let’s focus on ways to get more life out of the jeans you already have, as jeans.
Melissa went over fit issues in her awesome post yesterday
|Fix a gaping waist with elastic at |
I am Momma Hear Me Roar
|Bootcut to Skinny Jeans at |
Cigarette Style your Jeans with
Bring in the waist by just a bit with Shannon Makes Stuff
Fix waist gap with darts at Melissa Esplin/I Still Love You
|Insert elastic into the waistband with Patchwork Posse |
How about the jeans loved until the knees have given out?
Fix holey knees by darning method at PujParent
Fix holey knees by with a new patch method at Melly Sews
|Change holes into monster faces with One Artsy Mama |
And finally, get a whole new, fashionable look with these ideas
|How to fashionably distress by Wolf and Lace||Stamp your jeans with My Little Secret || |
Add an animal print with Fashionrolla
|Stencil them with A Beautiful Mess || |
Ombre things up with Zeberka
|This galaxy method by The Sun Was High is amazing (site asks for pictures not to be shared)|
|Bleach them out with Wobisobi ||Embrace the length by adding studs to folded cuffs with Bibouchka ||Dye them any color you want with Melly Sews|
I can’t wait to use some of these ideas on my old jeans!