We are excited to share all about the seven pairs of Jalie Eleonores I've sewn in the last few months! Ansley has had a few growth spurts and was in desperate need of pants and I'm missing my old gym and have been struggling on and off with dizziness and allergies, which makes exercising pretty impossible plus the stress from the pandemic.... Anyway, we are thrilled to have super comfortable and super cute pants that fit!
The Jalie Eleonore pants come in 27 sizes and are drafted for denim or twill with at least 20% stretch across grain. The Eleonore is a pull on pants pattern with a faux fly and back pockets. There is an add on available with pattern pieces and instructions to add french seamed front pockets too. The leg is more of a straight shape but there are instructions to turn the leg pieces into a skinny jean silhouette also. There is a capri cut line and a full length leg pattern piece. The sewing was pretty straightforward, since I have sewn true jeans and other pants before. The faux fly is definitely faster than a zipper and I really don't miss the zipper at all. I like to print the instruction pages because I don't sew near a computer and I almost always print multiple instruction pages per one sheet of paper. I missed some of the topstitching that is in the diagram on my first pair (the pink ones) and chose to omit some of the topstitching in other pairs to change how they look.
I sewed Ansley's one size up from her hip measurements since she's growing and hopefully these will still fit after the hot summer is over. (The pattern recommends choosing your size based on hip measurements). I thought I might need to shorten the legs but had her try on the first pair and they are the perfect length! I used a stretch denim (I believe it was called "hi stretch" denim) from Joann a few years ago. The denim has approximately 30% cross grain stretch and zero vertical stretch. Although I did buy all of the available fabric, I wish I had bolts and bolts of it. This pair fits her the best and we had fun designing the back pocket. She picked the subject and then googled images (I think she used the search term "simple BB-8" which was a great idea!). We rescaled the image to fit as we wanted on the pocket piece and I traced the outline in soap and stitched. Tbh I did a practice one and it did not turn out well. Fortunately I had enough fabric scraps to recut one pocket piece.
Her second pair (technically third sewn but second in the pics) is sewn in this ponte from Raspberry Creek Fabrics. It has about 60% stretch cross grain and a little bit of vertical stretch. The ponte is a bit heavier (14-15 oz) than the denim, which I think is why it ended up a bit longer in length than the denim ones. Since it's a knit I only turned the raw edge under once so it looks like a wide cuff. I used an upcycled woven bedsheet for the pocket bags. I serged all the raw edges where the pockets are attached and serged the back yoke pieces before topstitching. My serger has four different colors in it still because I think the stitches look so pretty. If you get super close the back yoke you can see some of the serger threads so that's why I skipped the serging for the seams that are only the ponte since it's a sturdy knit that doesn't fray. I eliminated the faux fly to see how it looked and it looks okay but I decided I wanted the faux fly detail on mine after seeing how it looked on hers. :) Ansley loves this pair and says they are so comfortable!!
The final pair is sewn in Carbon Black Ponte Tricot Knit from Fabric Fairy. I used this fabric before for a pair of Sabrina Slims and love the thickness, ease of sewing, and how it feels when I wear it. This fabric has a sturdier weight (14 oz), excellent recovery, and is wicking, which is amazing. It has approximately 25% horizontal stretch and 45% vertical stretch. I was really excited the fabric is still available because it makes a perfect pair of pants! We wanted a more dressy feel so we opted to eliminate the back pockets and faux fly. I used scraps from Ansley's mask to make fun pocket bags, not that anyone will ever see both at the same time haha. I remembered to switch to my walking foot when sewing the pocket bag facings (a knit) to the (woven) pocket bags and it was much easier to keep all the pieces lined up. I also used my walking foot for all the seams involving the pocket bags. Again, I opted to only turn the hem under once since the fabric is a non fraying knit. I left the hem a bit longer since she's growing.
Side by side pics:
I happened to catch a preorder for Faux Denim Knit from Zenith and Quasar and was excited to try the Eleonores in this fabric! This is the second pair I sewed but in the collages I decided it would be easier to separate the dark fabrics. My hips are between sizes so I sewed the size up, as recommended by the pattern instructions. I baste fitted my first pair even though the 3/8 inch seam allowance didn't leave too much room for letting anything out. I tapered out to a 3/16th seam allowance for my calves in my first pair (the pink ones) but eyeballed that amount in the calves for subsequent pairs when cutting. I also decided to add about 3/4 inch in height to the waistband because it felt a touch too low cut for me. (I added about 1.5 inches to the waistband pattern pieces which are folded in half before being sewn to the pants). My waist is usually 2 sizes larger than my hips so I wasn't sure how the waistbands would fit on my body. I cut my straight hip size (didn't grade) and used a soft elastic (it's literally called "soft elastic" lol and they fit really comfortably!!!!!! This pair was also the first pair I sewed in a knit. I did interface the back of the pocket before carefully stitching the Black Swan symbol from our favorite book series, Keeper of the Lost Cities by Shannon Messenger, on the pocket. The purple thread I used is closer to the fabric color than I expected but I still love it. I debated whether or not I needed interfacing anywhere else in the pants but the knit fabric was sturdy enough that I didn't need it in the faux fly. It hasn't been a problem at the corners of the back pockets but that is something to consider for future pairs. This fabric is the thinnest of the fabrics I've used. It has four way stretch and medium to good recovery. It's totally the ulimate in comfort and my favorite pair!!
This pretty pink stretch twill is from Simply by Ti a few years ago. It is probably the fabric that closest meets the suggested fabric requirements. It was easy to sew and it's easy to wear though it's definitely the snuggest on my stomach, even with the soft elastic waistband. I love the happy color and it goes with quite a few pieces in my wardrobe! I sewed these first and sewed them as is (except for slightly grading out for my calves as described above). When I was baste fitting I also discovered I needed to shorten a little above the knee and below the knee. Luckily the legs are pretty straight so I adjusted my paper pattern piece and traced onto the fabric pieces. I think I ended up trimming very little off the fabric pieces themselves but I was really glad I took the time to baste fit before stitching and serging the side seams.
One of the coolest things about the Eleonores is how little fabric they require when the fabric is a wider width (like 52 inches). I was able to cut a pair of Eleonores for both of us with just under 3 yards of fabric! I have sewn button up long sleeved shirts that needed about 3 yards of fabric (albeit narrower width fabrics). It's kind of baffling and awesome for pants sewing. After sewing Ansley's ponte pants with fabric from Raspberry Creek Fabrics I made sure to make a pair for myself. I decided to use the faux fly for mine since it added a bit more detail and I did some single topstitching on mine that I didn't on hers. I polled my instagram followers to find out if there were any contraindications to using a knit fabric for the pocket bags (in addition to the knit pocket bag facings) and got some helpful comments like make sure the stretch is greater horizontally than vertically, which I did. I found a scrap of thin jersey knit and it worked wonderfully! It also meant that I totally skipped all the serging in the entire pair so it went together super quickly! I ran out of soft elastic so I used 3/4 inch non roll elastic and it feels just as comfy as the soft elastic. Once I tried my pair on, I understood why Ansley was so excited about her pair- another super comfy secret pajamas pair of pants!
The final pair I'm sharing today is also sewn with the Carbon Black Ponte Tricot Knit from Fabric Fairy. Thanks to Karen Gregoire in the Jalie Sewing Group on Facebook I kept the back yokes, omitted the back pockets, and omitted the faux fly to make this pair a bit dressier and less jean like. (side note- before I knew anything about sewing I had a convo with a former coworker about a pair of pants that I was wearing in the eye clinic. She argued they were jeans and now I can see where she was coming from since they were kind of jeans styled with back pockets and a zippered fly. However they definitely weren't denim (which is what jeans were in my 20 something year old brain) and she conceded they weren't officially jeans because they didn't have rivets. lol) I also decided to add a blind hem to make them even fancier! I always use this excellent tutorial from Melly Sews and get perfect blind hems every time!
Side by sides:
Thanks for checking out our very lengthy post! The Eleonore is a wonderful pattern and we love being able to create different looks with different fabrics. I can see myself sewing more pairs as my daughter grows and maybe for her little sister too, who was feeling left out. I also prewashed a Cone Mills stretch denim from LA Finch Fabrics but then we had a random 80F weekend and I decided to wait until fall to sew those. It was surprisingly difficult to take pics in the exact same spot at exactly the same angles. I had marked the spot on the floor with a piece of masking tape but didn't like that it showed depending on how we were standing haha. I also kept my back against the opposite wall (these are taken in our front entry hallway) but it was still a challenge to get the exact same pic. And I didn't adjust the exposure perfectly for each set of pics but it was still a really fun experiment!