Eleanor

Jalie Eleanor: Some second thoughts.

I know I left yesterday’s post on a down note but today I’d like to move past my personal fitting issues and talk about the style and construction features of Jalie’s Eleanor.

 

First THUMBS UP for the speed with which this can be sewn together. I traced, cut and serged the first pair in under 3 hours.  I think more like 2.

It is  a pull-on jean. Although I think it is more of a Yoga pant with jean styling or maybe a jean with yoga pant styling. But in my mind it is not clearly one or the other but borrows elements from both. I happen to like the styling and would give it a THUMBS UP.

It has a faux-fly which I didn’t stitch until I made Pant #6 (the near-perfect).  I was surprised at how  a nice detail that became.  The fly pieces are cut on  the pant (not separate pieces to be attached adding time to the sewing) and then fold to one side which gives a nice heft and a guide line for stitching.  I stitched from the inside.  The fly looks real, even though there isn’t a zipper. The fly stitching lines are slimming — something I always appreciate having but especially over my tummy. I give Jalie a THUMBS UP for the faux fly

I also didn’t stitch the faux front pockets.  I hate the ‘real’ pockets on my DG2 jeans. They are so shallow they are unusable.  In fact they are an ugly distraction. When I get a new pair of DG2’s,  I try them on, take pictures and then stitch the pockets closed before cutting off the bag. Much better; much, much better that Jalie recognized these should just be for show. However, it’s a bit fiddly to sew and I did not make them during the tissue alteration and fitting process. Nor will I make these pockets when “it’s for reals”.  I plan to face the ‘pocket opening’ with bias tape and applique to a pocket back. I know this will be easier than trying to line up the two sharply curved pieces for stitching and then top-stitching.  I give Jalie a THUMBS UP for the faux pocket but prefer my own application method.

I do love the slim leg.  I’ve been trying for years to find a pattern with a slim leg that is not figure revealing — as in “counting hairs” revealing.  Yes I would not be praising this pattern had I not also used Jennifer Stern’s fitting procedure. Bottom line, this is the leg I’m looking for but you may not like what I’ve created.  I created my leg by going up two sizes and adding ease along the inseam. The drafted leg is much slimmer than what I’ve created. Keep that in mind if you decide to make this pattern yourself.  I give Jalie  a PUSH on this because I’m not using the leg as they drafted but  I like the leg I’m using.

I did not use the back pocket either. I wanted to; the fabrics I used did not. I don’t care for the scant 1″ hem.  In my experience with beefy fabrics,  the turn-of-cloth will create either a smaller pocket or smaller hem.  With the fabrics I was using, the hem kept becoming 1/2″ which was objectionable to me.  The real reason I didn’t use pockets this time was that the fabric would not form nice crisp edges and corners. Regrettably my mind was focused on other details and not until I hung the final pair on hanger did I realize I could have fused interfacing to the entire pocket and solved all my issues.  Definitely MY BAD. I’m experienced enough that I should have solved this issue early on. I’ll give Jalie a THUMBS UP for the pockets because they are important for jeans styling.

I can’t give Jalie an unqulified rating on the drafting. Mostly the pieces seemed to fit together well but I had some discrepancies most notably the length of the back and front inseam. I have not been exhaustive in discovering the source of the discrepancy and freely admit that I could be it. At the same time, I can’t remember a time that I made a half inch tracing error without noticing it.  I routinely notice and correct 1/16″ discrepancies. How could I have missed something so much larger? I just don’t know.  I’m noting the discrepancy here and admitting it’s presently unsolved but likely to be me.

I saved the waistband evaluation till now because the WB is truly noteworthy.

  • The waistband  is drafted in two pieces  to add additional shaping.  The curved shapes remove ease at the waist while retaining the same ease as the upper hip.  Very ingenious. I like this draft better than Pamela’s instructions for creating a Yoga pant using PP113 as the basis
  •  Jalie really nails that elastic in place. It is not going to roll or shift and if Jalie’s instructions are followed, no one is even going to know  it is even there. That’s because the elastic  is stitched to the inside and  private side of the waistband.
  • THUMBS DOWN for lumpy waistband side seams. The waistband is two pieces and folded in half (total 4 layers). The elastic is two pieces (and match the length of the waistband at its narrowest). Creating 6  layers in the WB side seam.   Very thick and lumpy.
  • THUMBS DOWN  There is no adjusting the elastic once it’s sewn.  I’m  not replacing it either if it permanently stretches out of shape before the garment dies.  Too many stitches to remove and replace. Not doing it. No. Nuh. Nah nah.  <head shake>
  • I also prefer to fold the WB in half WST and baste the cut edges together.  That keeps them from flapping around and not being caught in the permanent stitching.  Very important if -like me- you tend to use narrow seam allowances. (I like 1/4 and 3/8″ SAs.)  I didn’t see an instruction to baste the cut edges together.  Maybe I just missed it. So I’m not rating this merely stating my preference.
  • For the fitting process, I stitched the WB side seams; folded the WB in half and pressed. Then I  joined the elastic in a circle. Marked both WB and elastic in quarters before snuggling the elastic inside the WB.  I stitched through both layers of WB twice; once just below the elastic and a second time 1/4″ above the cut edges. Totally looks like a normal Yoga Waistband.
    • In this configuration, the elastic will have a tendency to move (rotate, roll etc).  Because of that I top stitched CB, CF and both side seams.
    • Worked well during the fitting process.
      • Allowed me to adjust the elastic during fitting.
        • I both increased and decreased the length
        • Will need to be able to adapt for other elastics as well.
      • I admit that for actual garments I prefer to emulate the invisible elastic application and don’t have a solution yet
  • Overall, I like the look of Jalie’s Elastic Application when finished and will be seeking an application that produces the same effect.

So despite yesterday’s sour note, I like this pattern. I like the style and with Jen’s help, I like the fit.  I’m not quite ready to award it TNT status but I am ready to make it a permanent addition to my pants wardrobe.

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