Are you getting excite to sew some jeans this month? Melissa of Melly Sews and I are hosting a jean sew along, and we want you to join us! The actual sew along will happen next week, starting on Monday.
This week is for getting prepped and ready to go. I thought we’d start things off by talking about patterns. I’ve made myself seven pairs of jeans over the past year (#1 isn’t pictured because they were more of a muslin I never wear, and I forgot to grab them) (the blue/green ones are waiting to be hemmed, excuse the fray) I’m going to go over the three different jeans patterns that I’ve sewn personally. There are quite a few out there, pretty much all the big pattern companies have a few to choose from, and many independent designers, too.
Jalie 2908 Women’s Stretch Jeans, Burda Style Floral Skinny Jeans #115, and Named Jamie Jeans. First, a side-by-side with some bullet points I’ll go over in more depth in just a minute. Okay, Jalie 2908 Women’s Stretch Jeans.
This is the first jean pattern I sewed, and I’ve made a total of five pairs from it now (including the muslin, not pictured).
What I like about the Jalie: First, the instructions are fabulous. It pretty much holds your hand through the whole process. Not only is every step gone over in detail, but there is a picture for each and every step, too. It’s so well-illustrated, that I’ve never actually read all the instructions in this pattern, I just go by the pictures. And the zipper installation instructions are the best I’ve ever seen. I only do zippers the Jalie way now, regardless of the pattern I’ve sewing.
The size range is huge. The pattern is for children up through adults, including plus sizes. Not only is the range nice so you can sew for multiple wearers, but it makes it easy to customize the fit.
It is easy to alter. The Jalie is like a blank slate of jean patterns. It’s a straight-forward design, with all the standard jeans features (pockets, fly, belt loops, yoke), but nothing extra. It’s a great jumping off point. I have used the pattern to make both skinny jeans and straight leg jeans now.
What I don’t like about the Jalie: It’s super standard and the fit is a bit generic, unaltered. There are two rise options, but even the “low rise”, isn’t all that low. Not low at all compared to most contemporary RTW styles claiming the same Low status. I’ve lowered the rise for the pair shown. And the unaltered leg is a bootleg, which is pretty flattering for all, but not really the height of fashion at the moment. Of course, all of this means that it’s a pretty classic style, and will flatter most body types.
(left to right: Named, Jalie, Burda Style)
No fly! There is a pattern piece for the fly, but it is separate from the main body of the jean-front. Not a huge deal, just an extra step to attach it, but it also allows for some super-secret fabric fun. If you’re into that sort of thing.
What is not so fun, I could not find an actual fly shield/guard at all. Burda instructions are always lacking, and I only ever skim through. So I hate to outright say that there isn’t information on drafting your own, but I didn’t see it. At all. So I drafted my own. Not a big deal, but weird.
I also messed up on this pair. The front pockets there that are top stitched? Yeah, the Burda pattern sheet had me all kinds of confused, and I was watching TV while cutting out (read: not paying the attention to detail I should have been), and I totally cut the front pieces with the pockets cut out. I didn’t realize my mistake, in spite of the HUGE gaping Us on the front of each front piece until I went to sew on the pocket bags and was all, “Hey!”. So, if you think they look stupid up there, don’t let that sway you from buying the pattern. Just pay attention to what you’re doing.
And that brings me to…
What I like about the Burda: I think the fit is pretty good and everything comes together smoothly and easily (assuming you aren’t an idiot that cuts the pockets out of the front pieces…) Instant gratification. Pattern is cheap ($6), instant download, sews fast.
What I don’t like about the Burda: Universal Burda issues: lacking instructions with no illustrations outside the pattern line drawings and cut-out guide. This is how all downloadable Burda patterns are, so I wasn’t expecting anything different. I also hate that Burda doesn’t include seam allowances. It’s lame. And also lame? The pocket pattern piece being one in the same with the front pant leg piece, so if you aren’t paying attention you won’t realize you need to cut out the full pant legs, THEN cut the pocket pieces separate using the smaller, attached pocket piece. No fly guard. No pattern pieces for anything rectangular. There is a list for how big to cut the waistband and coin pocket (which I didn’t include). Not a big deal, but not my favorite thing.
Named Jamie Jeans
I’ve been super excited to sew these since seeing the pair Alida Makes made for Project: Sewn. Named was generous enough to send me this pattern so I could share it with you, but my opinions are totally mine.
What I like about Named: The design!! These jeans are just cool. There is a center seam that goes down each front leg. Not only does this make for fun fashion, but makes fitting the jeans to your body all the easier. The pockets, front and back are cool and different. The front pockets are banded and at a slant, the back pockets are cut from two pattern pieces, with a seam down the center.
The waistband is also different, it curves.
(comparing the Jalie waistband to the Named Jamie waistband. The Burda is also straight, like the Jalie, but much thinner)
The size range you get is pretty good. It doesn’t go into plus sizes or very small (2-12), but it still has a lot of sizes. More than you get in a single pattern, usually. Jamie Jeans have a higher rise than either of the others reviewed. This makes for a better fit in the bum, and covers trouble areas in the belly.
What I don’t like about Named: When you download the pattern, there are multiple size options. When you print, you print your size range, which will include the size you want, and whatever size is closest to it that uses the same PDF file. The pattern pieces overlap, so you do need to trace out the pieces after printing and assembly.
Not a huge deal. In fact, I think most people trace out their patterns anyway. But I don’t usually. It’s an extra step and it is tedious, so I prefer to skip it. You can’t skip it with the Named pattern. There aren’t a ton of pictures to accompany the instructions. A lot more than Burda, but still not many. It’s pricey for a PDF pattern. It has great design, and is fun fashion, but you pay more for it.
So which one is my favorite? I like them all for different reasons, and I’m glad I have all three patterns to sew off of. I have another Jalie cut out ready to go, in a straight-leg style. I am hoping to make another Burda soon, this time without the funky pocket mishap. Just need to find that perfect fabric. And I have already started cutting out another Named, this time with leather accents.
The rest of the week, we’ll be doing more to prep for next week’s big sew along.
Do you have your pattern(s) yet? You can get 10% the Jamie at Named using the code trousersandshorts
Grab your fabric! The red stretch denim in my Named jeans is from Michael Levine HERE. I highly recommend it. Perfect for skinny jeans.
And take a class to fully prepare: