jalie 2908 | finale… for now

i finished my first real live regulation jeans and i have to say, i’m pretty proud of myself! not long ago, even after having a great deal of success with pants, i had put jeans in the “not to bother with” category. and really it wasn’t due to any lack of skill set, but more due to the inconvenience of getting it done right. i’m looking at you topstitching thread!!! the constant back and forth, threading and re-threading my machine, then switching pressor feet all the time… ugh. not gonna lie folks—it’s a hassle.


HOWEVER, it’s totally doable. if you’re even thinking about making jeans, just know that you probably won’t crank them out in a day. so let’s get down to the nitty gritty here…

first off, this pattern (jalie 2908) gets pretty high marks from me. it is an excellent starting point that got me to wearable by version two. i’m taking a bit of my own advice and wearing them and washing them to see how they break in before i really know how they’ll fit. at this point, they’re more snug than i was going for, but denim is kinda that way. it seems as though this denim has less stretch than the corduroy of my first version, so that’s a little frustrating. just goes to show that a muslin can only show so much.

over-exposed to show detail…



i detailed my alterations in my last post, but i thought i would re-cap here:

reduced/flattened the front crotch curve to remove the “flap.” it does seem counterintuitive to add fabric in order to reduce what appears to be extra fabric. i’ve seen various theories on this. some people remove or wedge out front crotch depth, but i could tell that the pants weren’t sitting as close to the body as my regular RTW pants. this led me to believe that the “flap” was really pull lines, not excess fabric. there are a few factors contributing to this, including full or prominent thighs, tilted pelvis, etc. really it’s all about figuring out your individual crotch curve. easier said than done, i grant you.

moved hip shaping to the back outer seam. i noticed that my outer seam was skewing to the back, so i removed 3/4″ from the outer seam on the front pieces, and added it to the outer seam on the back pieces (back and yoke).

added to back rise. i wedged open at CB to give me a little extra rise for le bootay.

added fabric to back along the lower crotch curve. this gets rid of uni-butt and lets the fabric uh… hug both cheeks instead of gliding over them as one. sorry… tmi…

shaped the yoke. in my previous version i had to take width out of the CB and side seams (i chose size based on my hip measure—a full two sizes larger than my waist). to spread out the reduction, i made three slash and overlaps to remove the excess. this made for a very curvy yoke, but what can i say. i have-a some junk in mah trunk.

curved waistband. the jalie pattern has a straight bias cut waistband. while i discovered that i didn’t need much curve on the waistband, which i attribute to a nice fitting yoke, i still needed some curve. i determined how much by sewing on a straight piece of fabric and making a few small darts. i removed the muslined waistband and used it to make a new pattern piece.

tapered leg from knee down. while i may have over-tapered, i’m pretty close to ideal. i think if i add just the tiniest bit of width back in i’ll be golden.

and, as much as i should do another version of this pattern, i’m also interested in trying the named jamie jeans. truthfully, i wasn’t all that interested in that pattern when it first came out—i’m something of a purist when it comes to jeans—but they do have a sleek dressy edge to them that i’m really digging. not to mention that you don’t have to topstitch that curved pocket edge. that curve trips me up every. single. time.

and now for the photo dump…





final thoughts… like i said, i’ve been wearing these for several days and am giving them a chance to get broken in a bit before i even think of making another pair. i imagine they’ll soften up soon, it always takes so long for a new pair of jeans to feel comfortable. i think the most telling thing is that my husband hasn’t noticed my new jeans! he’s usually pretty observant and complimentary about the things i have made, so i think it’s funny that he hasn’t noticed. i have to think it’s because he can’t tell that they’re any different from my RTW jeans, right?

—lisa g.

74 thoughts on “jalie 2908 | finale… for now

  1. Kristin says:

    Super impressive! The top stitching looks perfect. I enjoyed reading all your details – helpful for when I finally take the plunge and sew up my Jalie pattern.

    These look great on you and totally RTW!

  2. Katie says:

    Wow, this look totally RTW and they seem to fit great. You did an amazing job on all that top stitching! I hate working with top stitching thread too — such a pain!

    • lisa g says:

      thanks! gosh the topstitching thread is annoying… i still didn’t totally master my tension settings, but it looks fine from the outside so i won’t sweat it!

  3. Vanessa says:

    You did great!! Your jeans look fabulous, and the fit is wonderful! I hope you do break them in. Even with my RTW jeans, I go back to square one on breaking them in when I wash them. Thanks for the pointers. I plan on sewing my first pair of jeans next month.

  4. cathy says:

    What a grand finale! I’ve purchased a craftsy jeans class for extra hand holding, but thats a future project. I’ll definitely be re-reading this post once I start making jeans as right now pants are a bit over my head. And now I want to try Jalie patterns…!

    • lisa g says:

      i’m sure the class would be great! pants have a worse reputation than they deserve. with any new type of garment there’s a learning curve no matter how experienced you are in other areas. no harm in diving in!

  5. crab&bee says:

    Congratulations on finishing your jeans!! I think I learned as much from you making jeans as I did making them myself. I’m really excited to play with the yoke/waistband curve when I need another pair of jeans (or pants).

  6. Andrea says:

    These are fantastic. I have used this pattern before lots of times but had gone off handmade jeans in favour of rtw. I have some denim. You have inspired me!

  7. Kelly says:

    Wow, these look amazing!! You’ve really done a fabulous job! I’m having some trouble with pants right now, the differences in fabrics and amount of stretch is tripping me up and getting frustrating. I know I’ll figure it all out someday…

    • lisa g says:

      thanks! the stretch factor is hard to work around for sure. i think you’d really have to baste and fit each new fabric, unfortunately. but once you have the general shape worked out, a nip and a tuck here and there isn’t so bad!

  8. monica L. says:

    Incredible job! These look just about perfect. I’m sure that if you make another pair it’ll all be spot on! But not too shabby for a first pair of jeans 😉 They look great, and now I’m with everyone else about wanting to make some for myself!

  9. Ngoc says:

    I really enjoyed reading the intro to this post. You’ve echoed my sentiments exactly! I, too, don’t care to bother with sewing jeans (I’m lucky in that I can find RTW well-fitting jeans). That said, your efforts were well worth it. Really nice looking results!

  10. Chris says:

    These are a-maz-ing! The fit is just great and I am extremely impressed by the inside construction too. You have definitely set the bar a notch higher for my next effort 😉 Still haven’t quite figures out the crotch thing on my version, so it’s great to read up on what has worked for you!

  11. poppykettle says:

    That’s exactly what you have to think! Wow Lisa – these really are totally on par with the look you’d get from a store bought pair – it’s no wonder he hasn’t picked it up yet 🙂 I’m absolutely loving your top stitching efforts!
    I’m in love with the Jamie Jeans pattern – I think the seam down the centre front leg is genius (in saying that, it’s not like I’ve actually sewn them up, yet) and Kim from Reves Mecanique is having a giveaway of a Grainline and Named pattern of your choice at the moment – so I would suggest heading over there to enter!

  12. Gail says:

    They look so amazing, Lisa! I’m going to be trying your crotch-raising-and-straightening move for my next pair. I think you really nailed the fit on these, and of course your workmanship is top notch as always. I love it that your husband didn’t even notice them! I think they look better than RTW jeans.

  13. Nurse Bennett says:

    Wow! I’m guessing your husband has no idea you made those jeans and neither will anyone else unless you tell them. EXCELLENT top stitching and the fit is darn newpar perfect. I’ve made two pair, one for my husband (he loves them) and one for me but the fit was off a bit, however they worked perfectly for my mom. I picked up an old vintage Singer for $25 at a thrift store and she sews a great straight stitch. I used it for top stitching and eliminated all that thread changing.

    • lisa g says:

      thanks! i’ve been trolling craigslist for a secondary machine. i’d love to have something a little more powerful to do my topstitching. that would make the process so much easier!

  14. Andrea says:

    They look so good Lisa. Having never made trousers, I can’t say I am inclined to go for jeans but I have heard form many people that this pattern is a good base model. Must keep this information stored somewhere in my brain in case I ever venture down the jean making path.

    • lisa g says:

      for a first pair of pants i would definitely not do jeans, unless you’re super ambitious! or at least choose a non-contrasting top stitching thread! hope you give it a try some day, it’s totally worth the effort 🙂

  15. Shar says:

    I can see why your husband would mistake these for RTW, but they’re so much better! Now that I’m on the jeans bandwagon, I might try this pattern out. I’ll be looking into the uni-butt mod for my next pair and think I also need to add some to the upper leg. What stitch did you use to attach the belt loops and also to tack the fly shield? My machine has a bartack stitch where you use the buttonhole foot, but it absolutely refused to do it with top-stitching thread. I ended up using a modified zigzag with the tension set all the way down, but I’m not really loving the look and yours looks so perfect! I highly recommend the Jamie Jeans pattern.

    • lisa g says:

      my machine hated bar tacking also… such a pain! i just used my zig zag stitch, my machine has no automated feature. best thing is to try it on scraps. my tension wasn’t always the best, but you can put matching thread in the bobbin so it’s not so obvious if it’s a bit whack. i usually have to crank up the tension, but every machine behaves differently!

  16. K-Line says:

    Your work is always so BEAUTIFUL. So professional. I love these jeans and I’m quite intrigued by your fixes, given the pants fitting I’ve been doing lately…

    • lisa g says:

      thank you! for me, if it looks “home sewn” it doesn’t leave the house. 🙂 hope you get your pant-fitting worked out soon, i just don’t have the patience for multiple fittings!

  17. Juffrouw S says:

    I’ll be returning to this post when I tackle jeans again, very informative! I recently worked out some fitting issues with Named Clothing’s Jamie jeans and I must say I’m very pleased with the result.

  18. yosami says:

    Well done, these look great! No wonder your husband hasn’t realised you made them! Your topstitching is spot on! I’m really leaning towards sewing jeans because they’re what I wear most but I think I’ll start with the Named Jamie jeans. I’m sure I’ll be back checking this post for pointers when I’m sewing mine. Thanks for such a thorough review!

  19. Andrea says:

    Hey, send me your altered pattern so I don’t have to do the work myself! Seems like we have similar pear shape pants fitting issues so I’m impressed you found ways to tackle the crotch flap and under butt wrinkles. Hmm I bet you’re now gonna get get blog hits from weird Google search terms….
    Great job!!!!

  20. Carolyn says:

    you did a fantastic job and they turned out just fabulous! I’ve made my own jeans for a few years now; have never looked back. It’s great to finally have jeans that actually fit.

  21. RatRace says:

    Your jeans look great on you. The fabric color, the fit, and topstitching are amazing to me. I started reading your blog a few days ago. Thanks for sharing your sewing and cooking journey.

  22. ClaireM says:

    Your jeans look fantastic on and detail photos show a very professional finish. Awesome work! Also your fitting notes were very insightful, I really appreciate them.

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