Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Jalie Eleonore Pants...hem, haw, commit, wad

I must be feeling very brave this morning, because I know a lot of sewists are going to disagree with me on some of this post. But that's OK, because others will thank me :-) I don't often write about a wadder, but I spent a lot of time on this pattern, and I followed through to the end. The Jalie Eleonore Pant is everywhere right now. Here's my experience...

I chose to purchase the PDF download version, mostly because I'm too impatient to wait for a delivery! And shipping costs would make this a pricey purchase. The download was 11.99 USD.

It's a dream to tape together. The pieces can be separated, as I've done, which makes measuring and drafting very easy.

Sizing is more challenging. The pattern has 27 sizes...girls and women's. Which is a great concept, bang for the buck and so on. But I had to put on my readers and spend some time with the chart and my measuring tape. I did find my size, the women's 10/40, on which the measurements are almost exactly mine.

A tip for wading through the spaghetti of 27 sizes...

The PDF comes with two files, one in color and one in black/white. I used the latter and highlighted my size on each paper pattern to help me with drafting my tissue. A bit of work.

Next, the fabric choice and cut-out. Jalie is very clear about the stretch and fabric weight for these pants. I had a 3 yard piece of stretch cotton twill that was perfect. Particularly as I'm not attached to the fabric, and I was embarking on a muslin of fitted pants. I've sewn lots of pants, but have studiously avoided anything approaching jeans. Gives me the jitters...I love my RTW jeans, most of which are bootcut, and all of which are great to wear. Lee and Levi women's jeans are my favorites.

And the cutting layout. Lucky me, my fabric is 59" wide, and the pattern really did fit on the promised 1.5 yards. And with all the pieces placed in the same direction, top to bottom. I would need another yard for more narrow fabric, unless I turned one of the pants pieces in the other direction. I don't like to do that because nap and weave can have subtle differences.

These pants are fun to sew - the back yoke and pockets, and the front faux pocket  and fly, are all beautifully drafted and fit together so nicely.

Construction tips: You can get out the hammer to flatten the yoke seam when joining the backs. I use a breadboard and meat tenderizer, both of which I view as sewing tools and keep in the loft. They work great for hammering snaps as well! Be sure to put a cloth over the seam before wielding the hammer...

I also find topstitching, as here or for any faux felled seam, to be very consistent if I use two pressure feet - 3/8" for the outside edge, and 1/4" for the second/inside row.

Almost done. I knew going in that the crotch length and rise might be a problem for me. I generally sew a 27" - 29" crotch length, depending on the design of the pants. These are supposed to come about 3" below the natural waist, and mine did measure out at 24.5". But they simply looked and felt awful on me.

Because I was committed to sewing this muslin all the way to the end, I removed the original waistband and attached one with 1" wide elastic. Looks funky but it gave me enough rise to at least pull up the pants. By the way, the waistband fits perfectly to the pants. Nice.

Final fitting...the legs were like sausage casings. In fact, they made me feel like a sausage. Apparently I have large calves and thighs. Sigh.

And the wad part. Yes, the pattern is in there as well, but I'll probably pull it out later. I really like the drafting on the yoke and pocket design elements. And I still have the paper version - I can always draft another of the 27 sizes.

Notice how big my bin is...lots of room for wadders.

So what do I think of the pattern? Well, it probably won't make pear-shapes happy, and I would say it's iffy in the larger sizes. There are just so many choices now for more flattering designs.

Parting shot: it's not a good idea to serge a curved edge with the cutter engaged. I had to cut out a new pants leg after this little boo boo.

So - I'm going to put on my Lee Riders and my Hard Rock Cafe denim shirt and head out to other projects!

Bye for now, Coco


  1. Into every sewers life a few waddders must come! We all have them. Too bad though after all the top stitching you did. Make something quick and easy next!

  2. I really like Jalie BUT I find they are not always ideal for figures over a about a women's RTW 12 or for pear shapes. Quite a big amount of fitting/re-drafting has to be done to get them to work well (from personal experience.) It seems they work really, really well for smaller figures with less curves and a narrower overall body type. But that said, I am still a fan of Jalie :) Too bad your's pants didn't work!! They were looking so good, too!!

  3. Not every pattern works for every body type. Thanks for posting your results.

  4. I must admit that even though I love Jalie patterns, the leg looks too narrow for me so I don't think I will be giving these a go. Thanks for sharing.

  5. Posting about wadders is just as important and informative as the good 'uns. So good for you and thank you. But really, putting them in the bin! Couldn't you cut them down to shorts or something?

  6. Well, you do have to kiss a few frogs...... I have a skinny jean I like so the Jalie will not be making it to my door and since I never wear things tucked in anymore I don't even bother with zippers and flies. Love the way you added to the waist BTW.

  7. We learn lessons on every project and you conquered this pattern for sure. Fold it up, give it away to a skinny legged friend and wish her well. You did the hard part and realized it was not for you...no shame in that and thank you for sharing all the photos and directions because you have saved some heartache for the rest of us.

  8. Thank you so much for an honest review. It is refreshing and wonderful when an honest review hits the blogosphere. We all appreciate it. I must say, however, your seams are beautifully topstitched . So sad it all went in the wadder pile, but sometimes it happens.


I love it that you came by...and thank you for your comments! Coco