Jamie Jeans Sewalong Pt 2: Prepare to Sew
Allie is the co-founder of Indiesew and creator of all things pretty on the site. Follow Allie and receive other Indiesew updates by subscribing to the blog.
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Alright folks, you’ve gathered your supplies
and now you’re ready to prep the Jamie Jeans
for sewing! Before I cut into my fabric I always read through the sewing pattern instructions. I find I make fewer mistakes if I understand how the pattern pieces are assembled. So take a few minutes to do that.
One thing I should mention is that we’ll be deviating from the Jamie Jeans sewing pattern slightly to feature a few posts on the “baste and fit method”. I’ll be showing the steps to baste together these jeans and evaluate any changes that need to be made without wasting too much fabric. This method might be unorthodox, and is by no means the right way to do it, but it worked well for me on both pairs of Jamie Jeans I’ve sewn.
If you’d rather skip the baste and fit segment of this sewalong, that’s just fine! We’ll pick back up with regular pattern assembly after those we publish those posts.
Choosing Your Size
The Jamie Jeans digital sewing pattern is available in European sizes 34 through 44, which translates to US sizes 2 through 12. My measurements are a 33” bust, 27” waist, 38” hip and I decided to sew up the size EUR 38/US 6. But as you’ll see later in this sewalong, I should have sized down to a EUR 26/US 4. Despite my actual hip measurement being larger than the US 6 guideline, the first draft of these pants were just too big. You’ll get to see those hilarious photos soon.
Many people who have sewn the Jamie Jeans have one common complaint, “I should’ve gone down a size” or, “They run big.” But there are a few reasons I can’t say that you should definitely size down. First, the stretch percentage in your denim can vary from 10% to 20%. I noticed how different the fit was on me between two versions that had just 5% stretch difference between the two fabrics.
Be aware that the higher stretch percentage of your denim, the more luck you’ll have sizing down without any major fit issues. For example, Jaime sized down two sizes
because her denim had 5% spandex (likely about 30 to 40% stretch). My denim has roughly 20% stretch which would have made sizing down more successful than with my first pair that had only 15% stretch.
So my recommendation is to first sew a muslin in some cheap stretch denim in the appropriate size according to the size chart. But if you’re between sizes, size down instead of up.
Printing and Assembling the Pattern
Named Clothing digital sewing patterns have two sizes in each file, instead of one file with every size nested within the next. When you purchase this pattern from Indiesew you’ll receive the pattern pieces for every size.
If you’ve never used a digital sewing pattern, take a look at this post
. I followed those steps to print and tile this pattern together. I then traced each pattern piece onto cheap interfacing. I find the interfacing pattern pieces store better than paper pattern pieces. If you do trace, make sure to transfer all pattern markings to your tracing paper or interfacing.
Since I decided to sew a size 38, I printed the file that contained sizes 38 and 40.
Prep Your Fabric
While you're printing and taping your pattern together, prewash your denim on a warm wash cycle and a medium tumble dry cycle. Because new denim tends to bleed, wash the fabric alone for this first cleaning. You may also notice some of the fabric dye coming off on your hands as you work on sewing your Jamie Jeans. This is normal and it washes away with soap and water. Press your fabric will with a hot steam iron before laying it out to cut.
Cutting the Pattern Pieces
Before you start to cut out your pattern pieces, listen up! If you’re using the baste and fit method, you’ll only need to cut one waistband from your denim with the buttonhole on the left. You can also skip cutting the waistband interfacing for now. If you need to make adjustments to your waistband, you could end up wasting a lot of fabric if you cut all three pieces. We’ll cut the other two waistband pieces after we’ve gotten the fit down.
If you’re skipping the baste and fit method, cut both waistband pieces and interfacing. Your piece of interfacing should have the buttonhole on the right when the right side of the interfacing is facing you.
Lay out your paper or traced pattern pieces on your fabric according to the pattern instructions. Make sure the grainlines noted on each pattern piece run parallel to the selvage.
Cut around each pattern piece using a rotary blade and ruler on the straight lines, and fabric scissors on the curved. One thing to note here, the digital version of this pattern we sell includes seam allowances in the pattern pieces. If you're using a paper version of the pattern, please read the instructions carefully to find out whether the seam allowances are included or not.
Don’t forget to cut your inner and outer pocket bags from your contrasting fabric.
Transferring Pattern Notations
As you cut out each pattern piece, be sure to transfer the markings from your paper or interfacing onto your fabric.
First, we’ll start with the pattern notches. These are noted by a horizontal line perpendicular to the pattern lines. I mark these by snipping into the edge of the fabric about 1/8”. You can also use tailor’s chalk to mark these lines.
Next, we’ll move onto the pocket placement markings. I poke a hole in my interfacing with my thread snips and then mark those dots through the interfacing. Mark the pocket placement on the right sides of both back pattern pieces.
Mark both the button and buttonhole placement on the waistband.
Now, it’s time to distinguish between the right and left front pieces. Lay your two front pieces out so that the long straight edges are facing out. First, cut your pattern piece template on line two. Then, mark the new line on the pattern piece on the left.
Finally, mark the two front pieces so you can distinguish between the two sides as you're sewing. The right and left side refer to the direction of the front pieces when you’re wearing the pants, so they’ll be backwards when you’re looking at them. Mark them like this with your tailor’s chalk:
When you’re finished cutting and marking, take an inventory of your pattern pieces.
You should have:
- One front right piece
- One front left piece
- Two lower front side pieces (mirror images)
- Two upper front side pieces (mirror images)
- Two back pieces (w/ pocket markings and mirror images)
- Two back yoke pieces (mirror images)
- One waistband piece with button hole on left (if using the baste and fit method) OR three waistband pieces if not using any modifications (two mirror images of denim, and one interfacing with buttonhole on the right)
- Two pocket panels pieces (mirror images, contrast fabric optional)
- Two upper back pocket pieces
- Two lower back pockets
- One fly shield piece
- One belt loop panel piece (optional for belt loops)
- Two outer pocket bag pieces (contrast fabric optional)
- Two inner pocket page pieces (contrast fabric optional)
Count them folks, that’s 23 or 25 total pattern pieces depending on whether you’re using the baste and fit method. Now that you’ve got the pattern ready to sew, go take a break. You’ve done some serious work already!
Tomorrow we’ll get to work sewing the front features that make this pattern so unique, including the front seams and the pockets. If you're following along be sure to tag your Instagram and Twitter posts with #jamiejeanssewalong. We'd love to watch your progress!
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