Jeans in June & July – my not-so-skinny Named Jamie Jeans

Yes, I’ve finally finished Jamie! My Jeans in June & July was rudely interrupted by a holidays – and life.

My daughter has nicknamed these the ‘Milky Way Jeans’ due to the slightly sparkle to the fabric. Photographs are not brilliant sorry – taken by sprinting out the back before the afternoon light faded and rain set in. Blurgh – hate winter.

Now these are the skinny-jeans-that-ain’t .

These simply do not cling to my legs in a skinny manner which seems odd as the hips are fine – I need to alter the pattern – for my legs and my waist which is much smaller in comparison to my hips/junk trunk. Some people refer to this as ‘swayback’ I much prefer ‘junk trunk’.

Me - trying to figure out whether I've been blessed with skinny thighs or child-bearing hips...

Me – trying to figure out whether I’ve been blessed with skinny thighs or child-bearing hips…


While I’m not crushing on this make on me (at all) – I do like the pattern.

I love the top-stitched seam up the front. I used a grey top-stitching thread (increasing the stitch length to 3) to highlight the slight sparkle in the fabric.

I do like the angled front pockets & contrast trim (I used the reverse of the fabric). I love how the inner front pockets are attached to the seams and hence never ride up. Tricky design feature.

Named Patterns: Jamie Jeans. Front view

Named Patterns: Jamie Jeans. Front view

I sewed as many seams as I could before changing over my thread to top stitch the seams – otherwise I think you could go crackers.

The instructions are OK but I think if you are relatively inexperienced, especially at fly fronts, you might freak out a little. If you are attempting these and never sewn a fly front – check out Grainline’s tutorial – it’s excellent!

You need to know which side (right or left) of the front centre pieces to trim for the fly front – the pattern does not make this clear – it just directs you to cut one of each. I cut them out the same (with the full fly flap thingie – I’m a technical gal) and then adapted the other side as I sewed the fly front – it’s a simple matter of trimming.

When you join the legs at the centre seam, the instructions tell you to offset one of the sides slightly so you can sew a ‘jeans seam’. Brilliant but having sewn on the back pockets you run the risk of them being slightly ‘off centre’ relative to the back seam. My pockets were slightly off everywhere – which I noticed after I sewed the legs together. Doh! I sensed an impending disaster so elected to not totally destroy myself on these.

Named Patterns: Jamie Jeans. Back view

Named Patterns: Jamie Jeans. Back view.
Just way too baggy through the legs.


These are by no means a stellar sewing affair. Overall I’m pleased – with the exception of the obvious fit disaster and the back pockets being slightly skewiff – meaning I’m unlikely to actually ever wear these. I’m a bit of a jeans junkie so I’m rather picky when it comes to my denim threads – never about brand but about always look & fit. The fabric is quite stiff and I suspect never going to succumb to ‘old beloved comfy status’ softness – very important jeans feature in my little world.

I’m pretty chuffed with my top stitching and overall I don’t think they look too homemade.

Named Patterns: Jamie Jeans. Side view

Named Patterns: Jamie Jeans. Side view

Fabric: this is a sparkly black denim from Spotlight – costing me about $22.50 for the jeans. So it wasn’t an expensive experiment. I think the fit will never been quite ‘right’ in this fabric. It’s not soft and pliable, the fabric just doesn’t soften up with washing – hence I doubt you could make a nice snug pair of skinnies. I do have some Bettina Liano denim in the stash for my dream jeans…


When sewing jeans – wear a pair. Or at least have a RTW pair at hand – I found this enormously helpful.

Named Patterns: Jamie Jeans. Checking out my own legs...

Named Patterns: Jamie Jeans.


I’ve been sewing my jeans on my cheap & cheerful Singer Heavy Duty Machine. While it doesn’t have the finesse of my beloved Bernina – it’s a blast to sew on. It’s heavy (funny that) and ploughs through most things. It’s got this delicious little hum and is rather like the mongrel dog you can’t help but like, despite it’s lack of decorum and looks.


hmmmmm, I’m not sure… do I rush a pair of Angela Wolf jeans or take my time over the next month or so? I’ve checked out the Wolf pattern and am really impressed by the presentation and detail. Loads of resources and the pairs I have seen make up look great. Love bootcut jeans – so classic.

I’m also rather obsessed with Jess Jeans by Iconic Patterns, while labelled ‘skinny’ these hug the thighs and then flare out ever so slightly – which I think is much more flattering. I stumble at the button fly front – I will need to convert that which is easy enough.

I’m also massively impressed by the Jalie Jeans made up by Chris… I’ve got this pattern – won on the giveaway from the ever-lovely Vicki-Kate ages ago.

I’m kinda desperate for a high-waisted denim pencil skirt (very purple person just posted exactly that I’ve been planning to make! I love her blog – she’s a great sewist) – which I know doesn’t really fall into the Jeans in June & July category but it’s calling my name hard…


Somewhere along the line in the last few weeks, I’ve parted company with several kilograms. I’m weighing in at a not-so-hefty 48 kilograms. Don’t freak out. I’m short and slight – usually weighing in around 50 kilograms (except for when I was 9 months pregnant and I cracked 58 kilograms – I went on to have a nine pound baby). I lost my appetite and I started running/exercising more (it clears my head which is rather a mess some days). I think I will return to my weights class which I so loved until I put my back/neck/shoulder out so significantly at the beginning of this year. It wasn’t just the back injury that put me off. I became rather perturbed by the biceps that popped out of my arms when I put my hair up – and my runty shoulders getting ever bigger. However those classes made me happy in a weird way so I’m going back.

Life can be complicated and difficult. No doubt compounded by rarely sitting down on my typical weekdays until 9pm. I’ve found it difficult to write, read or think. I’ve felt ‘blue’ (great for denim not so great for life). It’s created a sense of inertia that has been so very difficult to fight. However… I know that when I do write that I do feel better & more ‘me’ whoever that is – so I will blog more. In fact I have many things to blog, they have been sitting there for months.


A giveaway! Yes another one. Watch this space…

Sew Busy Lizzy: Name Jamie Jeans

Me… taken from ELH’s height… I’m 14 inches smaller than him…. yes he’s tall…

Jeans in June & July 2014

58 thoughts on “Jeans in June & July – my not-so-skinny Named Jamie Jeans

  1. Oh man, denim is tough. I have an equally baggy-yet-not-all-that-comfortable pair of jeans I made from perfectly nice stretch denim…. but it wasn’t stretchy enough, and it’s just not good! Think I’ve given them away, actually… I hope your next pair works better for you!
    As for life stuff… Ugh. Sounds like you are doing all the right things to get back to “yourself”, like gong back to weights class, concentrating on how fun your girls are, being self-reflective etc… and thanks for sharing with us, because you are awesome and we love you! Big hugs, hon!

    • Thanks so much Gillian, you are such a sweet soul. Sometimes I guess I just let life run straight over the top of me – and sometimes people as well. Sometimes it’s important to just say it out loud and more on with things.
      I’m not giving up on jeans but I think I need to be kinder to myself and sew something simple and fun at the moment!

  2. You seem to look good in all your clothes but I think I can see why you are hesitating at these. I love those pockets.
    Fab news about more blog post yippee Yippee. In time for the hols.
    PS I made the April Rhodes staple dress thank you for the inspiration. Very pleased. It’s on Guthrie Ghani blog.

    • You are too kind! I agree the pockets are fab and maybe if I shorten the rise of the jeans they might look better. So pleased you have made the Staple Dress – such a great fun little dress… I really want to find the time to make more.

  3. In terms of make the jeans look great, sadly the fit is just not there for you. Hopefully you will find your dream jeans soon.
    Life is hard sometimes, I know what you mean about running and weights helping out so much. If you can get to a kettlebell class it will make you strong but shouldn’t add any bulk. If anything most people find it leans their muscles down. Plus it’s fun so it might be a nice difference to your other weights class?

  4. You’re braver than me playing with denim and jean making! I think you’ve styled them beautifully and although not technically ‘skinny’ jeans on you, I do think they still look really good. But I also hear what you are saying about fit and can totally understand your disappointment. Time for another drapey drape make to pep you up 😉

  5. They look so professionally made, and I’m sorry they don’t work with fit! I’m sending you happy thoughts, and am hoping you feel more like yourself soon!

  6. Rats…they are so very, very close, but it’s how they feel that’s the killer. Have to say that the construction is spot on.
    Do take care of yourself. It’s so very hard when you’re busy, Lizzy 😉 but a little slack cutting won’t hurt. And we’ll be here when you’re ready. x

  7. Your jeans look amazing even if they don’t fit you properly!!! I’m plugging away at my Jalie Jeans and a pair of Jamie Jeans but to be honest, I’m not particularly excited about either right now. I too am VERY picky about the jeans I wear so I’m . I’m going for Angela Wolf’s jeans next. Anyway, congratulations on these jeans – they look amazing even if they don’t fit you very well – and thank you so much for coming up with #jeansjj!!! On “life”: *hugs* I hope things start feeling more ‘normal’ for you soon.

    • Thanks Corinne 🙂 mwah.
      I sometimes find that I’m hating a make until I finish it – or sometimes photograph it and then I feel differently. I had a session of mad hatred while making these and nearly didn’t bother to finish!

  8. Just like lingerie, denim is a class of its own and takes a seamstress with a lot of patience and trial and error. I think you did a fantastic job though, and I can’t wait to see what other jeans you have in store!

    • I love sewing denim – it’s a bit rough and tumble like me I guess. I did top stitch that fly EIGHT times before I accepted that was ‘as good as it gets’. I think I will always make jeans – just for the sheer challenge more than anything else. I love all the details.

  9. Lizzy, I’m sorry to hear of your weight loss, pain and depression. I imagine they go hand in hand and that they hurt. I hope you will make more time for writing since it helps ease what ails you. Writing is incredibly cathartic, freeing, healing and an opportunity to reach out to others.

    There are ways to weight lift that create strength and tone without adding bulk. Perhaps a few sessions with a trainer would set you on the right path.

    I think you look adorable in everything you make, and agree with the others that your skills as a seamstress/stitcher are top notch. Be well.

      • It does help getting it out of our heads an onto the ‘page’ or screen or even into the ear of a sympathetic friend. Do you find that it’s worse when the days are shorter and you get less sunlight? I know a few people that really suffer from SAD (Seasonal Affect Disorder). when the days are short.

  10. Man, you sew so beautifully it’s a shame that those dratted jeans just don’t fit right. I’d be REALLY annoyed by that… Exercise-wise, have you considered yoga? It stretches me out physically, and smooths me out mentally. :).

    • I was annoyed but decided that while the fit was not right (it looked like it was… and then suddenly it wasn’t) the actual making and sewing was pretty good and I should focus on the positives. I do love sewing these types of projects and think I will always sew jeans – even if I never get them right!

  11. I really love these jeans, think of them as boyfriend cut and not skinny! Your details are marvelous. Trying to decide if they would work for me, it is such a great pattern. Good luck with the weights class, I have been doing some Jillian Michaels strength training and notice the pop in my arm. I am hoping I can keep it up!

    Good luck deciding on the next pair of jeans.

    • Thank you so much 🙂 They are a great pattern – I love the little details and they are fantastic fun to sew – the hours just flew by. I can see that jeans making may be addictive! Give them a try – you never know until you try them on!

  12. I really like this pattern. It is on my purchase list. The front seams make them unique. I have made the Jalie Jeans and love them. The directions are very thorough and easy to follow. I have made them in adult and children sizes and they turn out perfect every time (unless you fold your fabric wrong and get the stretch running lengthwise like I did once!).

  13. Epically constructed with some sweet topstitching, lady! Take care of yourself in the wilds up north- sending good vibes your way xx

  14. Kudos and huge respect to you for tackling the hardest garment and I think – the hardest fabric, denim. Seriously, I don’t think I’ll ever crack such a garment… I’ll happily continue to pay for my jeans! It is such an AWESOME pattern though. Love your daughters nickname for them 🙂
    Like you I’m an absolute pump junkie… nothing makes me feel great like lifting weights. You’ll maybe find the weightloss is actually muscle loss? Meh, you always look good. x

    • I’ve just discovered Nudie jeans and I think I must own a pair – I love their ethos and the concept…. I fear my next city visit will involve parting with some cash…

  15. I kinda like those jeans, but I agree, the ones we normally see you wearing look better on you than these ones. Maybe it’s the rise that is too high for you? I guess you could always slim down the legs, but I suppose that would still not quite get you where you want to be, jeans-wise.
    And do look after yourself! You seem to be taking on so many things but please don’t forget that just like a car can’t run without petrol you can’t operate unless to fill up with what makes you happy and allows you to run.
    A big hug from Europe!

  16. jeans are so hard in that you don’t really know if they’re going to work until they’re done! i think these look really professional, but i agree that the fit just doesn’t look quite right, especially for a skinny jean. the denim itself looks a little stiff, and i wonder if you need to petite the rise since these are drafted for a taller frame. hope you start to feel better, sounds like you’ve got a lot on your plate!

    • I hadn’t thought of petiteing the rise – which is an excellent idea. I guess I thought that I might get away with it as I am longer through the torso… perhaps not that long though 🙂

  17. As I have heard said to me “looks like bought ones” – most certainly not hand made at all! Like you, if jeans are not comfy and feel like they fit right, I avoid wearing them. Also comes down to the denim a lot as well. Fantastic work and look forward to seeing what other jeans you make!

    • One of the big issues with these is the fabric – it’s too stiff… such a shame. I do think that I will always struggle to get these ‘right’ fit with this pattern

  18. I like the detail on your jeans, Lizzy, the slanted pockets are my favourite. I can see what you mean regarding the fit, and I hope you try Jess jeans to see the difference :)) Don’t hesitate to email ot tweet me if you have any questions

  19. I agree I’ve seen better fitting jeans on you but they’re still a great pair and I like the details. For the back pockets you can sew the back seam first next time and then position the pockets equal distance from the topstitching. Then they might not end up completely centered on the jeans but they’ll look centered.

  20. OK, so I don’t think it’s your shape, it’s probably the pattern. After I traced the pattern, I measured everything and compared it to my best-fitting RTW skinny jeans and the pattern was really differently shaped than my jeans, much bigger in some places. I’m not sure exactly how different as I’m away at the moment, but I’ll check when I get back home. 🙂

  21. Wooooo jeans!!! Even if you’re not sold on them, making jeans is a great landmark sewing moment. I’m so ashamed my jeans are still waiting for the button hammering on and legs hemming 😦 you’ve inspired me to get them back out

  22. Wow your jeans are really impressive, even though they don’t fit as you planned. I hate it when I spend loads of time making complicated trousers and then they’re too big to be saved by adjustments, even though the pattern told me they would fit. I think it’s my number one sewing frustration. Your an awesome sewer though so I’m sure you’ll make your next pair of jeans work. Looking forward to more writing from you as I love reading your blog. Rosie x x

  23. They look fantastic! Relaxed fit jeans are probably more comfortable anyways, right? I hope things get better and you can take some “me” time for yourself 🙂
    I kept hoping I could complete the challenge of june & july jeans but it might fall into august jeans lol too many sewing commitments this summer >.< I still plan to make a Jamie Jean muslin in a nude stretch twill!

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