I finished my jeans for the Jeans Contest! I’m really pleased with how everything worked out. They were a lot of hard work, but I rather enjoyed switching among 6 different presser feet and no less than 7 different colors of thread and my serger despite it being a bit of a three ring circus. Because this was for a contest, and because I wanted to challenge myself, I set about to create a unique pair of Jalie 2908 jeans. I mean, if I’m making my own jeans, they should be different than something I could find in the mall in the first place, right?
Jalie 2908 Designer Pastiche Jeans
I started looking around for inspiration in December in planning for the contest and there were a lot of different details that I liked.
- Specifically, I love the little loop at the bottom of the belt loop on these Burberry jeans:
It’s a tiny detail, but I really like it.
- I also really liked the buttoned vent on these Balmain jeans:
Balmain is not my style–way too edgy for me, but the buttoned vents an interesting embellishment for the side seams.
- I also was drawn to the width between the topstitching rows on these jeans from True Religion. I didn’t make my topstitching quite as wide (and I’d need an industrial machine to handle topstitching thread that is this heavy), but I did make the space wider than on previous jeans I’ve made.
As for my additions:
- I saw a girl at Denver Fabrics who was wearing jeans with two-tone topstitching. The threads on her jeans were white and cream, and the contrast was really intriguing. When I decided to add that to this pair, I wanted more contrast and went with pink and cream (unintentional Valentine’s overlap there).
- I added add extra belt loops per Ron Collins’ ideas on Sandra Betzina’s Jeans Couture DVD (such a valuable resource!).
- I had leftover voile leftover from some pajamas. I lined the pockets with it entirely, but added a little strip of denim at the top of the pocket facing so that when I pressed the pockets, the voile would not peek through the top. I used French seams on them because I dislike serging on something as delicate as voile (French seamed pockets are also on the Jeans Couture DVD). I used more voile on the fly shield and the interior of the waistband to cut down on bulk and again, so I could feature this beautiful fabric. If you haven’t faced a waistband with a lighter cotton, I would really advocate it. It’s a lot more comfortable against your skin than a second layer of denim, and it makes buttonholes so much easier.
- The zipper is in the same color scheme as the voile.
- I used the contoured waistband from my pair of Burda Skinny Jeans that I made recently. It fits me well and a lot more comfortable on my body than straight waistbands.
- I looked at a lot of different back pocket embroideries. Besides these MIH jeans (I don’t have an embroidery machine to pull of a little cute bird), none of the designs really appealed to me. Instead, I freehanded a lowercase cursive letter e (for my name) and another one so that I could feature both colors of my thread. I had previously tested making each e with both colors, but it looked like an outline. I liked the single line better. I did have to redo a pocket to get the topstitching thread to not pull out of the pocket when I removed the stabilizer. I eventually used fusible interfacing on the wrong side of the pocket to keep the stretch in the denim to a minimum and Solvy on the top so that my design was consistent between pockets.
As for the pattern, I used Jalie 2908. I’ve been thrilled with the fit of it. I cut the inseam one size smaller, did a 1/2″ flat seat adjustment (per Sandra Betzina in Fast Fit p. 223-227) and scooped out the front crotch about 1/2″ to match the curve on my previous jeans. I had to shorten them slightly, but not nearly as much as I thought I would given my height, (granted, I kept this pair super long).
To add the buttoned vents, I followed this tutorial from A Fashionable Stitch. Because I topstitched my side seams, I had to mark where the side seam would fall (2″ plus the 3/8″ side seam) into the vent. I basted the vent and pressed it open really well so that I could run the topstitching all the way to the bottom of my vent. I decided to make the buttons be on the backs instead of the fronts (like spurs!) as they are in the Balmain jeans. Because the topstitching is entirely to one side of the press line (which IS where the side seam falls), it was possible to remove the basting, press the untopstitched side back under the topstitched side to secure the vent in place with bartacking. From there, I added buttonholes 2″ up from the hem and then every 2 1/4″ up from that 1/2″ from the side seam press line. Whacking 10 tack buttons into place was a project, but I got them done, making for a really cool look.
The rivets are from Cawaiiland on Etsy. I like their rounded appearance.
I finished off the hems with hem tape that matches my voile (I used the same hem tape at the bottom of the voile in the waistband as well). It makes the insides pretty and was a detail in my favorite Banana Republic jeans.
My full review is here on Patternreview.
I leave you with feathers in my hair and flats on my feet.
Elizabeth Farr is the writer behind the Elizabeth Made This blog where she shares helpful sewing tips, step by step sewing tutorials and videos to help you explore your creativity through sewing. She has written sewing Eguides and patterns, been a featured teacher at Rebecca Page’s Sewing Summit and Jennifer Maker’s Holiday Maker Fest and her work has appeared in Seamwork and Altered Couture magazines. She also created a line of refashioned garments for SEWN Denver. When her sewing machine isn’t humming, she’s playing and teaching violin, and hanging around a good strategic board game with her husband and 4 kids.