Jalie 2908 – I Made JEANS!!!

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I’m not sure how to begin this post. I’m still overwhelmed with the fact that I made myself a pair of jeans. I guess I’ll start by saying I never thought I would be making jeans. I figured there were things you sewed and things you bought. Jeans fell into the things you bought category. The more I sewed clothes the more confidence I gained. I also started noticing more and more sewists making themselves some very flattering jeans. Maybe I should give it a try… Why not?

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I ordered Jalie’s stretch jeans patterns and some denim from Mood Fabrics a couple of years ago. I didn’t make a note of the weight of the denim which is too bad because it s perfect. Even with the pattern and denim sitting in my stash I was still finding excuses not to make my own jeans. When I joined the RTW Fast in December I was going to buy a pair of jeans before the Fast began. I stopped myself from doing this figuring that I should use the Fast to challenge myself. Here’s how I started the process:

  • I read countless reviews and noticed sewists having a lot of success with Closet Case Patterns Ginger Jeans as well as Jalie jeans.
  • I ordered the Ginger Jeans pattern and compared both the Ginger jeans and Jalie jeans patterns to all of my RTW jeans. I was on the floor of the living room with a tape measure, both patterns and all of my jeans.
  • I was going with the Ginger jeans but changed my mind at the last minute because I decided that since I had such success with Jalie Eleonore jeans I would stick with Jalie for my first jeans. The Ginger jeans will be the pattern I make next year.
  • I had my husband take front and back pictures of me wearing all of my jeans so I could compare the fit to the jeans I was making at every step of the way.
  • I used the fitting guide that was part of the Ginger jeans pattern as well as Pants for Real People by Pati Palmer & Marta Alto to help me fit my jeans.
  • I contacted both Julie Starr and Dorcas Ross, fellow sewists, who both made the Jalie jeans, to get their input.

I’ve never fretted over a sewing project as much as these jeans. I finally told myself to get over it and get going.

It took me about a week to come up with a design for the pocket. Pinterest was a big help with that.

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My trick when topstitching is to use my open-toe embroidery foot. I line up the edge or the seam, depending on where I’m topstitching, to the inside of the foot. This method has consistently given me good results. I basted the edges of the pocket to make sure the lining didn’t peek out. I baste A LOT when I’m sewing. I made a note of this on the picture below in case anyone was wondering what the diagonal blue stitches were. I used a size 16 Denim needle to sew my jeans.

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I chose to make the regular rise jeans. All of my current jeans are low rise and I wanted to add jeans with a higher rise to my closet. I was apprehensive about making the regular rise jeans.

I was nervous that I would wind up with Ed Grimley pants. Fortunately I didn’t.

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My jeans are not perfect but they are good enough for a first attempt. I have black denim lined up for another pair. I’m so glad that I finally gave jeans making a try. They were not difficult to sew. Fitting was the challenge but by reading and basting it all came together. I’ll go ahead and say it: I’m proud of myself!

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43 thoughts on “Jalie 2908 – I Made JEANS!!!

  1. These jeans are so gorgeous and they fit you so perfectly! I’ve never had good luck with making pants of any type never mind jeans. You certainly should be very proud of yourself. I wish I could sew these for myself.

  2. Beautiful job! I attempted to make jeans in high school (circa 1976-77) with navy poplin and top stitched in red. They never fit right nor did they fade. 😉 I’m encouraged by your fabric choice as well as the basting because I believe it made all the difference in this fabulous outcome. Makes me want to try again! Kudos!

  3. They look amazing! You did such an awesome job – you definitely should be proud! If I saw you wearing these out and about I would never, ever guess that you had made them yourself! They fit wonderfully and look great! Well done!

  4. Love the jeans! A real inspiration for all of us who are use to buying jeans. I have that pattern and can’t wait to try it. The jacket in the last pic looks great too!

  5. they look great. I have that pattern as well but never seem to get around to doing it. Might have to try this year. I think if you have one jeans pattern that fits it seems easier to just change the details on that rather than try every new pattern that comes along?

  6. You should be proud of yourself, they look great. Thanks for the chuckle about Ed Grimley. Or should I say belly laugh!

  7. An amazing original effort. I’m afraid Jeans fall into the “just one of those things I buy” category for me. But on the up side, you can make them exactly how you like them – in this case, the medium rise is really elegant and easy to wear. Congratulations on another great project.

  8. OH, Lucy, not good enough? These look perfect. The fit is spot on, and you look fabulous in them. You make so many wonderful things, and now jeans can join the list!

  9. You should be proud of yourself! I can’t see why you describe these as ‘good enough’ they look fab, people won’t believe they’re your first pair.

  10. Just went through your posts on the Jalie Eleanore, Lucy. Think that will be my starting point with your tips!
    p.s. I’m a native of Palo Alto, so I love all of your Bay Area fashion shoot backdrops!

  11. Lucy, Your jeans look and fit great! I like your back pocket design choice: interesting and flattering and the pockets are perfectly placed on your bum (one of the advantages of sewing for oneself).

    Any thoughts on the differences between the Jalie and Ginger patterns for those of us who haven’t sewn jeans yet?

    • Thanks Joan. I’m sure there are differences but I can’t say anything jumped out at me. The Ginger pattern is for skinny jeans but they cover making flares with them so that is not an issue. I plan on making the Ginger jeans next year I’ll have a better idea then.

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