~ Mimi's Adventures in Crafting ~

The musings and adventures of a "forty-something" wife and mother whose inner-artisan has been reignited. Enter my realm and enjoy....

Monday, November 16, 2009


PR: M5142

Pattern Description: Misses’ Classic Fit Jeans in two lengths with two waistband treatments

Fabric Used: Non-Stretch Cotton Denim, 12 oz.

Pattern Size: EE Cut a 20 but will need to cut smaller size next time

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes but I did modify the design to fit my taste

Were the instructions easy to follow? Didn’t use them

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? The pattern was easy to sew. Being a Palmer/Pletsch I figured that there would be at least an explanation of the flat back pleats in the instructions but there weren’t any. I didn’t need this information but for an inexperienced sewer who doesn’t understand fit they would require an explanation as to what to do with this fit technique.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: I participated in the Build A Better Jeans class and didn’t have the opportunity to buy the Jalie 2908 jean pattern that I had wanted to use for this project so had to resort to using this one being as it was readily available locally. I made several alterations to this pattern being as I didn’t like the final shape shown on the pattern envelope and technical drawings. I wanted the jeans to be more like my RTWs so I adjusted the side seam going from the hip area and tapering in at the knee by 1 ½ inches and then flaring back out at the hem. I also did the same for the inseam starting at the crotch tapering in 1 ½ inches at the knee and back out to the flared hem. I shortened the crotch front by 3/8 inch and lengthened the jeans 2 ½ inches. I added 3/8 inch to the waistband to bring it in line with the width of my RTWs. Due to the increased width in the waistband I added some length to the belt loop piece. I didn’t want my side front piece to be all denim so I changed the design cutting the piece from my lining fabric and making a denim piece to overlay half of the side front so that the lower part of the pocket was out of the lighter weight fabric and reducing some bulk in that area. I decreased the width of the ticket pocket and moved its position over a little bit towards the side seam. I moved the back pockets as well not liking where they were sitting on my form. They had them too close to the center back. As far as fitting goes, this pattern offers a generous 1 inch seam allowance but I found I needed to take an additional 1/2 inch to 1 inch more from the waist down to the knee. I did make up the pattern according to my hip size but still needed to make these additional adjustments. Being as these were my “mock-ups” I will have to redraw my pattern downsizing and adjusting it for the additional amount needed to be taken in. I also did the “Rocketboy Waistband” treatment on my jeans. An explanation of this can be found on PR under the Jeans Sew Along thread, page 31 as well as on my blog M5142: The Finishing Touches.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? Yes but if you are looking for a tight fitting jean, this pattern isn’t it, you might want to consider the Jalie 2908 instead using stretch denim with lycra.

Conclusion: All in all I am satisfied with how my jeans turned out. I will be making another pair to try and improve the fit. I liked the fact the jeans were sewn from denim without lycra in it.

M5142: The Finishing Touch

I am in the home stretch…starting off with my belt loops I did not make them according to the pattern or with the directions that the instructor of our “Build Better Blue Jeans” course gave us. I wanted to eliminate a few layers of bulk so once again I matched up to what my RTW jeans had. I still utilized the belt loop  pattern but cut it a little longer being as I wanted to use a thicker belt for these jeans and you need to account for that. I folded and pressed wrong sides together then brought the raw edges into the fold and pressed again. I unfolded the fabric and serged the length of the loop piece ½ way between the first fold and the second fold. I then folded the raw edge in first with the serged edge over it thus making a loop of three layers. Being as my jean fabric is so dark I stitched with my conventional machine down the center of the loop to hold the layers together then topstitched the loop on each edge. Set aside.

Moving on I opted to do a “Rocketboy Waistband." You can find information on this on page 31 of the Jeans Sew Along thread on Pattern Review. I modified some of his techniques being as he utilized glue on a good portion of his band and I prefer not to. The M5142 has two band options of which I chose the one piece band in matching up to my RTW’s.

Up first the interfacing:

I used a fusible interfacing but in an unconventional way. Being as the waist seam is 1” I folded the band on the fold and pressed lightly on the fold only to fuse together. I trimmed 1” off one side then pressed remaining side down being sure not to touch the exposed fusible with the iron.

I then trimmed ¾” off the exposed fusible edge.

Fold the denim waistband, wrong sides together and press. Open back out and mark the 1” seam line on the wrong side then trim 7/8” off of the other edge. I left 1/8” for turning ease and too make sure the band gets caught when topstitched.

Turn band over so your cut edge is face up

Mark a ½” line from the fold.

Stick down the basting tape along this line, peel and stick your fashion fabric down right sides together along the basting tape line. Do 6-8” at a time then peel some more and stick down until complete. 


Flip the band over, open flat and darken your fold line with your marking pencil/pen. You will be stitching close to the fold on the side that was previously trimmed. Do not stitch on the 1” seam side of the fold. I matched the fold up with the center of my foot and offset my needle from the center position and stitched.


I removed my basting tape and pressed the fashion fabric towards the cut side of the denim. Because you stitched approximately 1/8” away from the fold you will now have a small amount of jean fabric that will be showing.


Flip your band over having fabrics laying flat. Now press your fashion fabric over your trimmed edge encasing the raw edge being careful not to press out the center fold.

You will notice my fashion fabric is over the center fold line; I trimmed it down to 5/8” and pressed it down with stitch witchery.

Take your interfacing and place inside the fold with the fusible side down against the 1” seam line. Close the band to set the interfacing in place, it will shift a small amount away from the fold. Open out again, press the fusible down. I remarked my 1” stitching line on the interfacing.


I used the rotary cutter to cut my waistband and fashion fabric out in doing so I cut them with some extra length to deal with any fitting issues. Make sure you leave an appropriate amount over-hanging each end by the zipper opening before sewing the waist seam. Stitch your waistband to the top of your jeans.

Trim and grade your seam allowances. Sew the ends of your waistband at the zipper and fly guard, trim, turn, press and then I hand stitched the waistband down.

Topstitch ¼” around the edge. My RTW’s were edge stitched but I knew I’d have issues going through the layers and opted for ¼” topstitching instead. Cut your belt loops to size, fold over edges and stitch to the jeans according to your preference. I bar tacked mine down based upon the RTW’s.

With the extra piece of fabric that was cut off my waistband when I attached it I practiced making buttonholes with my automatic buttonholer. Oh…it came beautifully(my pic is a little blurry)…but when put to test on the jeans themselves…it was a…NO GO…due to the layers of fabric and the foot getting stuck so I had to go with making a buttonhole the old fashioned way. It came out ok…not the best but it will work. Besides it is only going to get covered up by a belt anyway.

Finally…THE HEM…

Whooo Hooo….a completed pair of jeans that actually fit my long legs!!!


Please Note: Measurements were based upon the M5142 pattern seams and you will need to adjust those measurements according to your patterns seam allowance.

Update: 11/18/09

I've mentioned throughout my posts on these jeans that I was taking an online sewing class (Build Better Jeans) offered through Pattern Review by Shannon Gifford of Sensible Sewing.  I know I set up links on the "Mail Call" post but I don't believe I've added any other links.  Please visit these links for more information.  The class was very informative and the instructor was extremely helpful and had wonderful materials that you could print out and keep for future reference.

M5142 Jeans: The Perfect Fit

The jean saga continues and is rapidly approaching its completion. This project has been a fun one and has moved onto the quest of achieving the perfect fit. The leg inseams have been sewn and topstitched and the crotch and side seams are basted and tested for fit.

I pin basted the side seams and marked the inside with a basting line and stitched together. Retried the jeans and adjusted again. The M5142 offers a generous 1” seam allowance but I found I needed to take an additional ½” to 1” more from the waist down to the knee. I did make up the pattern according to my hip size and I previously had adjusted the pattern taking out 1 ½” from both sides of the front and back legs tapering at the knee and flaring out at the hem. This pattern has a classic fit with it being pretty straight from hip to hem and I didn’t like that design so I had adjusted it to match my RTW jeans. Being as these were my “mock-ups” I will have to downsize my pattern and adjust for the additional amount needed to be taken in. All in all they have turned out well.


The next challenge consisted of matching up the yoke and crotch seams and getting over the “hump” created by all those layers of jean fabric!  A hammer and towel help to soften up the "hump" area as well as a size 18 topstitching needle.  I fabricated a homemade "Jean-A-Ma-Jig" which was aided in getting over these seams too.


I matched my topstitching in this area to what was sewn on my RTW jeans.


For the side seams I did the same. My RTW’s had the seams pressed to the back and topstitched from the waist to the end of the pocket and bar tacked.


Next post I’ll move onto total completion of these jeans installing the waistband, belt loops and buttonhole/button.

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