Jalie Eleonore, it’s…complicated

I finally got it together and made up a wearable muslin pair of Eleonores, of which I’m surely the last blogger holdout who hadn’t made them before. Now, there are lots of people who sing the praises of these, and while I don’t hate them, after wearing them for a bit, I’m not sure I love them either.

The pattern itself matched up flawlessly. I’m maybe not the most perfectionist about cutting out fabric–I don’t measure for the grainlines or any of that stuff, but I don’t usually have issues and this was no exception. However, if you have even the slightest hint of a butt, you will need to add to the back side. Sorry. That’s maybe my biggest complaint about the pattern itself.

I wear jeans pretty much every day. I hate belts, but it would seem they are a requirement when you have a booty like mine. I have two kids, I need my clothes to move with me, and I have no patience for having to adjust them all the time. All that to get to this point. These don’t have the staying power needed to make them work for me. The elastic isn’t beefy enough to snap the back waistband back to my skin after wear. I wasn’t convinced by the 1″ elastic, but I went with it because that’s what the pattern said to use and also what I had on hand. I did, however, shorten the elastic in the back by a couple of inches, which is probably the only thing that makes them halfway wearable. The denim itself isn’t bagging out yet, but they are already starting to fall down and it’s only been a couple of hours. I will add some belt loops because I desperately need jeans and these fit as well as anything from RTW, but I really wanted a pair of jeans that didn’t need a belt. That’s why I went with these over the Jalie 2908s, well, that and I thought they would sew up significantly faster. But, because I added pockets, the only thing I saved time on was the fly front.

Has anyone else that has sewn these up actually ended up wearing them on a regular basis? And if you did, did you end up using wider elastic? I want to love these belt free, but right now I’m not sure how to get there. Suggestions welcomed!


That sums up my feelings about the StyleArc Barb pants that I just made up. Based on their size chart (which I’ve heard they have a very RTW fit), I’m smack dab in the middle of two sizes, so I made the larger thinking that these were supposed to be fairly slim fitting. Perhaps my expectations were unrealistic for a pair of pull on pants, but these are just kind of frumpy on me. I’m frumpy enough on my own, thankyouverymuch, so I prefer my pants/bottoms to be more fitted. Here is a list of what needs to be changed/where did I go wrong?

  • I think they are simply too big. Being in the middle of two sizes, I felt like bigger should have been better in order to prevent the look of a sausage casing. I may have been wrong, although I haven’t made the size smaller to see.
  • I had a wad of fabric in the front that I cut off. It’s better, but there are still some wrinkles. Maybe with my cylindrical shape, pot belly, and big butt this is just the nature of the beast, IDK.
  • There is 4″ of ease on each thigh. My thighs are each 26″ around, so they’re not exactly slim!
  • The front crotch curve seems exceptionally tiny to me. I’m unsure how this affects fit, but it’s something I noted.

Ultimately, they look (and feel!) like maternity pants. And not just any maternity pants, but ones that have “room to grow”. I did, however, find them extremely easy to put together, sew up, and I even nailed the length I was aiming for.


As you can probably guess, these won’t be leaving the house. Actually, they won’t be worn at all. And I’m not sure whether I’ll give them another shot or not at this point. I’m a bit bummed, but there are a lot of ladies who have had excellent results with theirs, so I think the pattern is fine, just not for me. Or at least, not without a lot of tweaking.

Thank you!!

I just wanted to give a shout out of thanks to my readers who helped me the other day. Ya’ll had several great ideas, and ultimately I decided to try out Jalie 2107** for two reasons: 1) I’ve made it before for my hubby–erm sort of, and 2) it was already in my stash. I’m not always known for my frugality, (just ask my husband about my ability to fall in love with the most expensive item in the store!) but sometimes, it’s nice to be able to use what you have on hand. 🙂 Which is kind of funny, since I had completely forgotten I had it until someone mentioned using a Jalie pattern…

So now I just need to call Grandma and have her get that one pesky measurement that I need to get started. Waist to floor–I took the inseam–why does Jalie have to do it different!?!? Argh! Thankfully, she’s a seamstress too, so I know that the measurement won’t be just a wild guess. 😉

** It appears that Jalie 2107 is OOP. I could find the PDF file of the instructions, but couldn’t find it in the OOP section or just by searching the number on the site. 😦 But if you can get your hands on it, the reviews for it are here.

Plea for help from my darling readers!

Do any of you know of a simple sewing pattern for making slim boy’s trousers? Something that doesn’t look “homemade”, but that doesn’t have so many details they take ages to make? He’s got a 21″ waist and a 22″ inseam. I’d like them a little longer, but I think I can fix that easy enough–though I’ve had some trouble with distortion on his PJ pants when I try to add more than about 4″. If anyone knows why I get distortion, I’d be tickled to know how to fix it. I’d also like the back to be elastic for more comfort and *fingers crossed* a bit longer wear in case he finally decides to get a bit thicker…ha!

Anyway, I found a pattern from MakeItPerfect called High Flyers that are similar to what I have in mind, but don’t know where to buy them here or if there is a better option out there. So if any of you have pattern suggestions (or even RTW suggestions that won’t break the bank!) I’d be more than thrilled to hear them. I know I’m not the only one with a scrawny (but adorable!) boy!

And in case it helps, for those who are still in the age group to buy jeans in the adjustable waist category, I can say that the ones by Levi (style 549) in the slim fit worked pretty well for us, even if they were just a smidge short most of the time for a kid of average height. (They aren’t cheap though, so definitely hit the the sales.) Sadly, my son has outgrown the elastic waistband size range, so I’m out of luck there.

Things that tick me off Thursday


My rant today is about jeans…..more specifically, the lack of them that properly fit my particular shape. I am one of those “world’s fastest hourglass” shapes that is thoroughly ignored in the clothing market. I haz no waist definition….unless you count that part right under my boobs. Just so that we’re clear? I don’t.

Now I know I’m not the only person who has what they call an “apple/brick/straight” shape, I see lots of women out there with it. Probably more of us than there are “hourglass” shaped women, which seems to be the only shape really accounted for in the clothing industry. And while I’m sure that makes all 5 of those women very happy, the rest of us are just kind of screwed in to making do with the leftovers.

As ya’ll are fully aware, I do own a sewing machine…and a serger….and I have some skill in using them, but sometimes, there are good reasons for opting to buy something rather than make it. In this case, time became of the essence. My current pair is hanging on by its figurative fingernails. I figure they’ve got less than a week left, so I needed some new ones stat. Given that it takes me for-freaking-ever to sew up a pair of jeans, I figured I’d be running around with no pants* (LOL!) if I didn’t buy some quickly.

So off I went to Target, fully prepared to try on every pair in the store, end up crying in the dressing room, and leave in a pissy mood with a $30 (or more) pair of jeans that didn’t actually fit worth a damn. It turns out, I only needed to try on around 9 pairs before I finally found the absolute last pair in the store of this particular size/shape/style, and it fit surprisingly well, if possibly a bit large….hopefully they’ll shrink in the wash. Yea for semi-happy endings! So, in an effort to help raise awareness and possibly promote more production, I’m going to tell you the exact size/shape/style so that my apple-shaped sisters can run out and buy them.

They’re by Mossimo, they’re Juniors (this is important!!!) FIT 6. You might notice that they offer 6 different “fit” styles (of which three are supposedly straight but my stores only carry the 6 model) but only the ones in the Junior section (odd number sizes) have the true straight fit (miniscule waist definition). It appears that they only carry the junior sizes up to a 17, which I would guess roughly translates to about a 14 in “misses”. Typically, I wear a misses 10 which is tight in the waist and perfect elsewhere, and I ended up with the size 15 instead of the 13 I probably needed but they didn’t have.

****IMPORTANT**** If you try the corresponding “misses” sizes with the even numbers (10, 12, etc.) THEY WILL NOT FIT THE SAME!!! Even though they say that they are “Fit 6”, they have a much smaller waist than they do hips. Anyway, mine say that they are “flare”, but they also come in skinny (which doesn’t work for me at all. And if you’re lucky, they might even come in bootcut.

Anyway, I hope that helps someone, because I know how much I dread jeans shopping and the tears of despair when I can’t find any that fit.

* The “no pants” thing is an inside joke at our house. It has to do with only owning one pair of jeans and laundry day. You can do the math. 😉

Lazy Sunday

First off, I wanted to apologize. My rant the other day was not directed specifically at Bernina (though my husband told me that’s how it sounded). I was lamenting the cost of new machines in general, and it was easy to pick on Bernina since they’re easily the most expensive (and a well-known) brand. If it makes you feel better, my Pfaff was overpriced too, and I’ll admit that I paid too much. Well, some days I think them paying me to take it would have been too much. 🙄 😉 I’ve had suggestions of getting a vintage machine, and I have one, maybe I just need to start using it more. After I pony up to get the timing fixed.

I should have my jeans that I started in December(?) finished today and be able to start on my next project. I’m getting to be in dire need of shirt-like garments again. I tried on one of my KS 3593 blouses yesterday and hubby and I both realized that it’s too big. I think my next blouse though will be Vogue 1260 (instead of the Burda JJ for my SWAP):

This was probably one of the first ever patterns where I looked at the line drawing after seeing the uninspiring pattern photo and still said “self, I think you should do this one”. It has two of my favorite features. Princess seams and raglan sleeves. I don’t care for the gathering, but it looks like it should be easy enough to eliminate, so it sounds like a winner to me! Now if I could just figure out what size to make…….

Well, that’s unexpected….

All that pretty topstitching... 😦

I can’t say that it’s a first (though maybe it is?) but my jeans are too big. I even took in the side seams by about 1/2″, and they are still too big. 😕 So now, I’m not sure what to do, since I can pinch out about another inch before activating the stretch (that would be about 2″ total). The fly is already finished, so I don’t want to rip that out. Maybe the center back seam? That’ll ruin two rows of nearly perfect topstitching, plus a row of regular stitching, but if it will make them fit it will be worth it. How much can one reasonably take out of a center back seam though? I’m scared to take much more out of the side seams, because there’s pockets that I plan to use. Maybe I’ll think more clearly after I’ve had lunch and a bit more time to think it over. Wish me luck.

Guess I’ll be working on a new “sloper” for pants soon. I can’t decide whether I’m thrilled because there has been significant inches lost (I am) or whether I’m kinda freaked about making a new one (I’m that too).

SWAP Item #1

I started on my first item for SWAP today (you are allowed to start two projects before the December 26th start date), a pair of Jalie jeans. I had hopes of finishing them today, but realized that I only had tricot interfacing. 😦 Here’s the topstitching on the pockets, try to ignore my bright orange chalk.

In real life the denim is significantly darker, and the topstitching is closer to a hunter green than this picture would indicate. I really need some cool ideas for topstitching pockets. Mine are so terribly boring. 😦 And my hubby doesn’t like the green thread…at all. I kind of love it though. 😉

So anyway, I’m trying to be strategic about this. Since I’ve been steadily losing weight (who knows if that will continue through the holidays though), I am DESPERATELY in need of new pants/jeans now that belts aren’t quite enough to hold up my way-too-big pants. Since I had listed jeans/slacks on my SWAP, I decided they would be the first things to be made. I’ll probably (hopefully) un-grow them soon enough, but a girl still has to get dressed in the meantime, right?

Hope ya’ll have a great weekend! 🙂

That which we cannot have

I always want the things that I can’t have. The more unattainable, the more I want it. Same goes for clothing styles. I want the kind of clothes that I don’t have the figure for–and there are a lot of them! A perfect example?

Marfy 1297

That’s right. I want this blouse, and not only are my boobs too big for something like this (unless I want everyone to talk to my chest), but so is my stomach…and well, it just wouldn’t be pretty.

On a happier note, I found a pair of Jalie jeans that I started to make a long time ago that were too small at the time–since I’ve lost some weight, they look like they’ll fit now with minimal tweaking. Yay! All they need are some tweaks at the upper side seams, attaching the waistband and a hem. Most of the topstitched area is completed, so they shouldn’t take but a couple of hours, and I’ll have another pair of jeans to add to my dwindling supply of jeans that fit. 🙂 Even better? These are some of that sexy stretch denim in a super dark wash that I had the excellent sense to use the off-white topstitching thread on. These babies are gonna be gorgeous. 🙂

Jalie jeans finished!!

I told you the other day that they were really close to done, and being the horrible blogger that I am, I forgot (and have been busy!) to post the finished pictures for around 3 days. 😳

A couple of notes for me and anyone else that might find them useful.

    * This pattern has way too much hip curve for my rectangle shape. I swung the side seams out two sizes, and for the next pair I will straighten them even more–they don’t need swung out, just straightened–I has no curves. 😛

    * I used the Debbie Cook method of zipper fly insertion over the one provided in the Jalie pattern. It worked great, but I missed the edge I was supposed to catch when I stitched the “J” the first time which caused some funky pulling and was extremely difficult to fix by the time I noticed it (which was after I tried them on the first time).

    * I had added length, but think I should take it out for the next pair(s), because there is plenty of length.

    * I used non-stretch denim for these, but my next pairs will have a minimal amount of stretch…I’m trying to decide if I should make them smaller to compensate or not. Nothing worse than having to pull up my pants all the time. 😡 Especially since I’m not really a huge fan of belts.

    * I have a little of the gaping at the center back. I think I’ll just take bigger seam allowances on the CB yoke on the next pair, tapering to nothing at the bottom of the yoke.

    * Straight waistbands are perfect for my rectangle shape. As a bonus, they are much easier to cut and sew with my fabric scrimping ways. 😉

    * The high waisted version is the perfect height! I couldn’t have made this a more perfect height if I’d have drafted them myself. 🙂

So yeah, I love these things, and will probably live in them for the next few months, and then hopefully they’ll be too big. 😉 But, I’m sure that you really just want to see the pictures, and I’m even modeling them! 😀

Hubby says my butt looks really good in these, better than is represented by the odd angle of the picture. LOL! This was WAYYYYYY better than his first attempts though–those made my look like my hips were way bigger than they are….

OK, I’m actually too embarrassed to post those pics after all, so you’ll just have to take my word for it. 😉