Monday, August 31, 2015

Éléonore pull-on jeans from Jalie

As you may be able to tell, The Sewing Lawyer is on a Jalie kick these days. This is the third of three patterns I chose from the new collection the company recently released - the Éléonore pull on jeans. We're 3 for 3, but if (when) I make these again I'll make some modifications.

Because I'm really not completely comfortable in jeans that hit me a good 3" below my actual waist, especially when they are tight enough that the back pulls down further when I'm doing anything other than standing up straight. Which is 90% of the time I figure.

Maybe if I was 20 years younger.

On the other hand, with the top of them and my belly button and all decently covered, they look not bad, if I do say so myself. In particular, this camera angle makes me look like I'm all legs, which is assuredly not the case. So let's just go with it.

And it was a really fast pattern to make up, even though I was fitting on the fly.

Here's the always-popular rear end view.

And because this extremely busy print simply swallows up the details, here is a closer view of the front.

Front - extreme close up
What? Not close enough?

In my continuing quest to make friends with my coverstitch machine, I used it to do the topstitching. It worked! Soon we will be best friends. I find that it does best when the fabric is a constant thickness - it didn't always catch the looper thread when I was stitching over seams. I fixed this with a needle and thread but does anyone have tips to avoid this?

Really, the only way to see the details is to look at these inside out.

That square of interfacing? Fixing
an "oopsie" from my serger
I'm super proud of my stitching on the back pockets. I went around the corners with my coverstitching in about 3 steps, turning the wheel to advance the stitches by hand, and rotating the pocket to turn the stitching with the left hand needle still in the fabric but raised enough so that the right hand one was free to move.

Topstitch expert - me?
The fabric I chose is a woven cotton/lycra with plenty of widthwise stretch - I could stretch 4" of fabric to more than 5", so more than the 20% minimum that Jalie calls for.

I traced size T based on my hip measurement, but I added 1cm of insurance at the side seams on front and back (total of 4cm) because I wasn't sure of the tight fit. A try on while sewing indicated that I didn't need all of that. The final seams are 1.5cm so I have an extra 1cm on each side. They are plenty snug enough for my taste.

The only serious problem was at the waistline. My waist is size R (a 2cm difference between the sizes). I figured that because the pants are low rise, the waist measurement wouldn't matter that much. As with the Jalie stretch jeans pattern, however, the waistband was going to gap on me - badly - if I made it up according to the instructions. In part this is because of the size differential, but it's also the draft which is really straight at the back. I don't have a gigantic behind or a really pronounced sway back either.

The instructions say to attach the waist band elastic 1:1, that is do not stretch to ease in the fabric at the waist line. Dawn found that for her, pulling the back waist elastic out a tiny bit on either side was enough (total of 1/2" or 1.25cm). I used wider elastic (Jalie says 2.5cm or 1" elastic, mine is 3.75cm or 1.5") and I had to pull it in both in front (total of about 2.5cm) and in back (total of about 4cm). Between the stretch of the fabric and the elastic there is no problem at all getting them on and the waistband looks smooth enough when I'm wearing them.

Next time I make these I think I will add more to the rise - not a lot, maybe 1cm all round, plus cut a small wedge in back to give myself more sitting room and enough back height so I'm not at risk of exposing my unfashionable undies when I sit or bend over.


  1. Now it's time to use the Jalie pattern to make fashionable panties! These jeans came out cute. Sounds like the waist would be perfect for my thicker middle. I'm getting the pattern today.

  2. Have you ever seen Ottobre Design Woman magazine? They had almost identically drafted jeggings in their early spring (2) 2015 issue. I love mine and have made three pairs in varying fabrics and lengths. All of the Ottobre patterns are perfectly drafted and generally for a more, ahem, mature shape. Hence, no low rise issues.

  3. Thank you for sharing your experiences! I have recently made several attempts to make pants(jeans) too, and your posts (this one and some earlier entries as well) have been really useful, informative and inspiring for me.