Saturday, August 27, 2011

Jalie Jeans - My Second, and Last, Pair

Almost exactly one year ago I made my first pair of Jalie Jeans. Initially, I was pleased with the fit and authentic RTW look. When I completed my jeans, there were already 70 reviews for this pattern on Pattern Review, so I didn't bother to add one more. I just checked and there are now 93 reviews of this pattern, which was ranked as one of the "best patterns of 2009".

Popular indeed.

As I wore my jeans, I liked the look of them, but I quickly realized that they were less than satisfactory. When it comes to pants, my shape is akin to...

The phenomenon boils down to this equation:

     Lack of waist + Smaller hips = Pants that fall down

I am not ready for suspenders, and don't ever expect to be (not with my bust!), so I resort to using a belt. But, even with a snug-fitting belt, my pants have a tendency to fall down. This is crazy-making.

And then there was that time that I couldn't find my belt, and I was in a hurry to get to work, so I threaded some elastic through the belt loops and left the house "Jethro style", hoping that the ends of the elastic wouldn't work their way out from where I had tucked them into my jeans, and peek out from under my top. (I couldn't risk a wardrobe malfunction at work!)


There was one other annoying issue I had with my first pair of jeans. I had hemmed them in the traditional way, with a narrow hem top-stitched in contrast gold thread. From the first wash after the jeans were completed (I had prewashed the denim fabric more than 3 times), the hem flipped to the outside. No amount of ironing would make those hems behave. This drives me nuts.

I posed the question on how to eliminate the "hem-flipping-to-the-outside" problem, both to Carolyn, Jeans Queen, and on Stitcher's Guild. The consensus seems to be that the only way to avoid this is to use a wider hem. So that's what I did.

(By the way, I covet Carolyn's jeans and cords, in particular her purple jeans, her rust cords, and her black cords. I thought she also had an olive green pair, but I couldn't find them on her blog.)

I thought I would give the Jalie Jeans pattern one more try. This time I would put elastic in the waistband. The result? It helps, but already I can see that I will be tugging these pants up endlessly, even though I made the elastic fairly tight.


You know, I wish people would stop deriding elastic waist pants. For some of us, they work better than a more fitted pant.


  • Pinwale stretch corduroy, in cream, from FabricMart. This is no longer on their site, but it was a Jones New York fabric and I think it was 97% cotton, 3% spandex. I have seen pinwale corduroy described as lightweight, but this stuff is very beefy. Much heavier than the denim I used for my first pair, though that does not impede the stretch. I ordered 2.5 yards, but FabricMart sent me 5, along with a note stating that there were some spots on the fabric, so they had given me another 2.5, and to let them know if the spots did not come out, or if I had any other issues. Customer service, indeed. (The spots did come out in the wash.) I machine washed/dried the fabric twice to eliminate shrinkage.
  • 1" elastic for the waistband.
  • In addition to regular sewing thread, Guterman white top-stitching thread.
  • A Coats/Clark 9" jeans zipper in white w/ brass teeth from JoAnns. (I cut it to length.)
  • A pewter "heart" button from Fabrix.
  • Scrap of a beige-colored flesh-toned silk charmeuse to finish the cut edge of the front pocket. (These were faux pockets because I didn't want the pocket bag to show through the cream fabric.)
  • Scrap of beige-colored linen to use as fly shield.

Alterations & Modifications

  • Inserted 1" wide elastic in waistband.
  • Used a wide hem.
  • I didn't want the front pockets to "show through" the cream fabric, so I made "faux pockets." I used scraps of silk charmeuse in a beige-flesh-tone to cut shaped facings to finish the pocket opening.
  • I used a scrap of beige-colored linen to cut out the fly shield.

This pic shows the faux front pockets (the back pockets are real), the pewter heart button, and the elastic in the waistband, which I ended a couple inches from the front so I could make the button and buttonhole.

The back of the faux front pockets. You can see the silk charmeuse (on the left) that I used to face the pocket opening.


I can see I will still need to wear a snug belt with these pants. I think in future, if I need jeans, I will adapt the Linda pant from Style Arc. I have made 3 pair of Linda pants, and none of them fall down. :)

Oh, these pants are garment #4 in my Autumn 6-pack. I have 2 tops and a jacket left to make. (Yes, I know that is 7 pieces. :) )

More Pictures

I took these pics at 8:30am today (Saturday). It has been so dark and foggy the last couple of days. After I took these pics, I took this picture of my street.

I then turned and took this picture of the alley, where I take most of my pictures. Can you see the car coming down the alleyway? It's not that far away but, with the fog, you can barely see it even though they have their headlights on.

And speaking of weather, I hope everyone in the path of Hurricane Irene stays safe, and with electricity! I hope to see new projects that happened because folks are staying indoors. Even if said project is a baby or two. ;)


  1. Awww....those jeans look so good on you! But I hate tugging ANYTHING back into place (& I'm learning a lot about that, with some of the odd-shaped items I've sewn - still figuring out how to avoid it)

    At least we had a touch of summer for a couple of days there; albeit it's the classic summer-after-the-fog-burns-off weather. It was really dark on this side of the Bay this morn too.

    I just went back to bed until it got a little lighter :D

  2. ROFL! I HAD to report this - my word verification for the last post was "fogstat"

    *shakes head*

  3. I agree, those pants certainly look good. But tugging is so annoying. Hopefully your Style Arc pants will solve that.

  4. Oooh! Those jeans are sexay! :-) I think you might be on to something there, with the elastic in the back. I always have trouble with pants too, because I have relatively small hips, and a "world's fastest hourglass" figure to quote her Selfishness. Throw in the tummy pudge and it's pretty much a given that you'll be hiking your pants/skirts/shorts up all the time.

  5. Hey you look great in white jeans, really great (says she a leetle bit enviously).

  6. Well they look good on you...sorry to hear about the tugging, tho'!

    "You know, I wish people would stop deriding elastic waist pants. For some of us, they work better than a more fitted pant."

    I couldn't agree more!!!

  7. These look great on you and you really made me laugh. I thought I was the only one who had to hitch up her pants - I am convinced we have the same body except you're the one with a bust and I am the one who's tall.

    Really appreciate your sharing the construction details too, thanks.

  8. Hello Opposite Figure Woman. It's never occurred to me, obviously, that trousers could fall down with any success. Only my maternity jeans ever posed this issue, when I first wore them... However, you perhaps do not know the huge irritation of having things incessantly CLIMB up the body because they are too tight on the hips, so that your elastic waist skirt is suddenly a mini, with a waist right under your boobs? Also not a good look. Thanks for a post that made me laugh anyway, and I think the jeans look super.

    Can one do something like a lingerie guard that attaches to ... what? the bra band? Of course the couture solution is to make your jeans a jumpsuit with an attached camisole, or so I assume.

  9. Your jeans look good on you. I love your description of the problem and body issues. I certainly enjoy elastic waist pants versus fitted waistbands.

  10. Fabulous pants! So flattering but what a pain that they won't stay up. :( It doesn't matter how flattering a garment is, if it isn't comfortable it doesn't get worn at my house.

  11. Your jeans look great, but it's a shame they don't want to stay up. Hey, I've got a lot more butt than boobs - ya wanna trade some? LOL

  12. Just read Elizabeth's post again. Would you also like to know that some people seriously consider putting a second zip in the side seam so that trousers can actually access both waist and no-need-for-a-bustle-behind in the same garment? No? Your trousers look utterly fabulous. Go elastic! (I think I will go make a skirt)

  13. Hang on .... what's wrong with the Jethro look? Ah your jeans look fabulous - what a shame you can't glue them on!!

  14. Shame about your jeans 'cos they look so good on you. I guess some of us are just not destined to wear jeans. I have to agree there is nothing worse than tugging at your clothes all day though.

  15. "... I wish people would stop deriding ..." WOW and fill in the blank with a number of good techniques that help us make clothing fit our individual bodies. I understand if something, say shoulder pads, does nothing for a person; and they don't want anything to do with them. But if they do something for me, why should I be made to feel like crud under fingernails. Why am I so horrible, and others are allowed to make me feel even more horrible, because a certain technique helps my figure to be more balanced, more attractive?

    Sigh, thanks Shams for bringing this up. I'm so glad to find a kindred soul.

  16. Fantastic, very nice on you, look great with the red top, I so want to make some jeans - however I can't get myself to do it even though I ordered this pattern. Seems like a lot of hours and luckily I can buy jeans that fit. But wow - you look great in the white jeans, something I will never attempt. and I get a kick out of your fog photos - I sometimes miss living in SF, but the parking and the fog, not so much :)

  17. I have solved the flip issue by washing the jeans inside out. It really works. Yours look fabulous.

  18. This is a great solution. Great shape around the backside - not so easy to achieve!

  19. I think if I ever got a pair of sewn pants to look that good on I would just keep tugging them up.There has to be a solution to this issue somehow. mssewcrazy

  20. Shams....I love your blog and your humor. I will buy the Jalie jeans patterns just due to your blog about the blue stretch denim and white pair. How could 93 people be wrong. Please keep blogging as in this hectic world I need the lol that your blog gives me. My soul says THANK YOU!!