Ever since making my boys’ pants for KCWC this past fall, I’ve had “sew myself jeans” on my To-Sew List. I used Jalie 2908, reputed to be The Women’s Jean Pattern across the sewing blogosphere, before Christmas, and finally got around to working on it last week.
Before leaping in with anything of quality, I wanted to make a trial run pair. Not really a true muslin, since I included all the details and had every intention of wearing them if they turned out at all passable. The fabric I used is $3/yard super-lightweight denim. Maybe too lightweight. Probably more suitable for a dress or top than pants.
So let’s discuss.
I traced the low rise option, and used a pair of RTW skinny jeans to take the pattern’s legs in from bootcut to skinny. I took the ankle in a little too much, and getting socks to fit under these, or take them off without a struggle, is almost impossible. There’s not a ton of stretch to the fabric. I usually buy my jeans with 2-3% lycra, and this fabric is 100% cotton.
I’m also not happy with the bagginess at the knees. Without the lycra, I felt like I needed to allow more room there for actual bending. Probably shouldn’t have gone for a skinny look with these because of that, huh?
The actual construction of the jeans was straight-forward and not hard at all. Jalie’s instructions are fabulous. Well, okay, I didn’t actually read the instructions at all. There are step-by-step pictures for the entire construction process. The pictures are so detailed and easy to follow, that I honestly didn’t even realize there *were* written instructions until I was attaching the waistband and happened to flip the instruction sheet over. It probably helped that I’d made my boys jean-style trousers, so knew the basics already. But really, the pictures are awesome in this pattern.
Okay, the bum. So much fun to share this stuff online. sigh.
I’m actually really happy with the fit through the rear. My main issues are that the yoke falls and the waist and yoke are too big for my low waist. Because the fabric is so lightweight, the yoke doesn’t seem to have the structure to hold the heavier waistband up. So that whole area falls and bunches a lot. I’m hoping a more appropriate bottom-weight fabric will help with that issue. And taking the pattern in at the top should solve the too-big waist. As is, I have to wear a belt or they pretty much just fall to my hips.
I tried to get creative with my pockets. They’re cursive Ss. And they’re not symmetrical, the right S is too far to the edge of the pocket. Definitely have to be more careful with that the next time.
My favorite thing is the fly zipper. I’ve done quite a few zippered flys now, but Jalie 2908 had me do this one differently than I had before. I was skeptical at first, and there were a couple of extra steps involved, but I love the end result! This is, by far, the most professional-looking fly I’ve done. So yay!
Overall, I’m incredibly happy, and ridiculously proud of my first jeans for myself. They are not at all perfect, and I have some things to change on the next pair, for sure. But these are the third pants I’ve made myself, and the first pair I’m not embarrassed to wear in public. In fact, I’ve worn them three times in the last week since making them. And no one has asked “did you make those?”, which is a good sign, I think!
In conclusion, HOLY CRAP! I made myself jeans! And I’m totally going to do it again, soon.