So I’ve been wanting to make jeans (and more items for my lower half, in general) for a while now, and I thought Jalie’s pull-on Éléonore jeans would be a good starting point. I’ve had great results with Jalie patterns when it comes to dancewear, but this marks the first time I’ve tried any of their patterns that don’t require spandex.

I came across the denim, to my surprise, in the local fabric shop – it stocks 90% quilting cotton, 8% upholstery fabric, and 2% solid-coloured cotton-lycra. I did not expect to find stretch denim, but there was one small bolt on top of a bunch of long rolls of thick curtain fabric. I took it as a sign that it was time to get the jeans train moving along.

I made a couple of adjustments right off the printer. The jeans are straight below the knee and shaped above it, so I took two inches off the thigh-to-knee length to account for my height. I also shortened the rise by two inches – it works great while I’m standing, but the squat test sees the back slide down just a little lower than I’d prefer. Next time the center back rise will only have an inch removed, not two.

The fit is pretty good for a first pair. I’m not aiming for perfection (anyone who sees my topstitching on these jeans won’t doubt that at all) – cute and wearable is enough for me. There’s some wrinkling around my knees because the straight cut doesn’t leave quite enough room for my curvy calves, but I can fix that if I want to. Either way the fit is much better than I get in RTW.

I didn’t think I had any stretch wovens in my stash, but a quick toss of the bins unearthed a few yards of light blue stretch corduroy. So that’ll be the second pair, I think.

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