Hello…I feel like I’ve been mentally writing this post for sooo long, having sewn up four pairs of these Eleanore Jeans by Jalie since the earlier part of this year; a pair for my young daughter and three pairs for myself. If you’re looking for an intro to sewing trousers, or jeans specifically, I think this faux fly pattern is a really good place to start. The pattern has a lot of standard jean details, like the yokes and the finish of the inside leg seam. If you’re simply looking for a quick sew that results in a pair of pants you’ll wear constantly – if you’re anything like me – then you’ll also find this pattern a winner!
The pattern size range is extensive – starting at a child’s size 2 up to a women’s size W 44″ H 53″ – and calls for a denim or twill with 20% cross stretch. I’m quite sure I will make many more of these just as long as I can get my hands on …
… you guessed it, suitable fabric! I wanted solids for all of mine so as to look more like ‘real’ jeans; the three I’ve made for myself so far are in a black, deep chocolate brown and a grey.
However, apart from the black, my stretch denim has faded and acquired white lines from the second wash! Perhaps I should wash my jeans on their own to try and prevent that occurring but who has time for that?! Anyway, that’s the only gripe I have so lets get on with the positives…(but if you know of any suitable stretch twill, please let me know!)
I knew I wanted all three pairs to be close fitting and ‘boot cut’ as I most often wear skinnies either tucked into long boots or over ankle boots. My first decision then was deciding what size to cut. I am relatively slim hipped and don’t have a big booty by any stretch of the imagination, so when tracing out the pattern I cut the waistband, yokes and pockets all according to my waist measurement. To get them to fit through the hip/booty I graded down at the hip and crotch line by two sizes to match my own. Not only did I hope this ensured the trousers fit snug over my bum, but that it would also sufficiently narrow the straight leg width into ‘skinny’ proportions. I did double-check by measuring my pattern pieces to ensure they’d still get around my somewhat athletic calves, which is worth doing. However, I wasn’t sure until I’d basted them together that I was going to be able to get my first (black) pair on!
I was as surprised as anyone when they fit! These are my plainest pair; I didn’t do any fancy topstitching on the back pockets nor did I add functional front pockets – the standard pattern has faux ones. However, you can get an add-on for functional front pockets which I duly downloaded, goaded by my relative success into a sewing further pairs.
The black denim is the thickest of three I used and has a soft, almost moleskin, finish to it. It’s also fared better in the wash. However, I wasn’t completely satisfied with the fit; feeling that the rise was a tad low. So, for my second (brown) pair, I sewed all the seams – apart from the crotch seam – at 2/8″. This resulted in a better fit all round, no doubt also helped by the fact that the brown denim was fractionally thinner.
The third pair I went all out on and decided to add more interest to the back pockets with a topstitched design, as well as adding the ‘real’ front pockets. I downloaded the template booklet of 33 designs from Closet Case Files eons ago and settled on this ‘clean’ design; I used a tracing wheel to transfer the pattern straight to my fabric, chalking over the indented lines. You could also use waxed paper.
And, yes, I serged all the edges of the pockets – not just the top as instructed, to prevent them fraying. I also find this helps when turning and pressing the edges under.
As for the topstitching itself, I had neither topstitching needles or matching/contrasting topstitching thread to hand. So, for this pair, I simply did the topstitching using a straight stretch stitch – which I used to sew all the seams. Not only does this save the hassle of switching out thread and needle every time you’re called to topstitch, it also saves a fair amount of time!
I also added rivets to all three pairs as I think they really help elevate these pull-ons to legit jean status! (If you’re wondering how I do them, I use an awl and my Prym Vario Pliers – you can read my quick tutorial on them here). The rivet packs I bought – blackened bronze and silver – come with the correct heads for the pliers but also with a handy little tool in case you’d prefer to go down the ‘smacking them with a hammer’ route! I always attach the back pocket rivets before adding the waistband. For the front ones, the bottom ones go on after the side seams are sewn up, whilst the top rivet goes on after the waistband is on. This just helps get my pliers through the excess fabric to the rivet point as well as ensuring that the rivets are in the right place (i.e. not in the seam allowance!)
As I say, the pattern itself is relatively simply to sew – plus there’s a YouTube video you can watch that takes you through them step-by-step. The waistband, for example, is the easiest thing in the world – if you can get your hands on wider elastic than the pattern suggests, say 2″, this may help them flatten the tummy.
Adding the functional front pockets takes a little bit more time and I found the photo in the instruction booklet a little unclear at the point you attach them, so this is mine here…
You place the wrong side of the lining to the right side of your trouser front, matching notches. Hopefully you can see the curved stitching line where the right side of the actual pocket is already attached to the underside/wrong side of the lining – just make sure this is facing downwards as in this picture. Hopefully the stitching line at the top – where you attach them to the pants – is also clear. Maybe I was just tired, but I really had to think this through so as to make sure they turned right side in! Next time though I will add maybe an inch or so to the centre of the lining piece; as it is, it makes for a tad too shallow a pocket.
And this is what they look like once finished; a cheeky little peek of cute lining!
Yup, all in all, I really like this pattern and I live, almost in constant rotation, in my three pairs. However, when it comes to photographic evidence of this, all I seem to have is pictures of my backside, haha, so here’s a few full length ones! (As for the length of these, I shortened the leg by 1.5″ – I’m 5.3″).
Yes, there are a few lines but these really depend on how I stand and I’m not convinced they can be eradicated completely if I want to be able to move in them! In any event they bother me not a jot! Oh, and look, my third pair also got treated to one of my new custom woven labels!
I’ve just read this post over, and help, can I waffle!!!!
I’ve got a couple of posts I’m really excited about coming up…my newly finished, fully lined, Minoru Jacket and my Sallie jumpsuit, the latter of which has proved a rather contentious and divisive garment in my household!
More on that later, until then,
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