Right now the Jalie Éléonore Pull-On Jeans pattern is my favourite sewing pattern and I made three changes to make it mine!
1. I lengthened the rise by 1 3/4″
2. I shortened the hidden elastic in the waistband by 2″, front and back
3. I changed the front yoke to a functional pocket
Lengthening the Rise
I’m fairly tall, 5’10” and have a round tummy and a droopy backside. I don’t do low-rise well. Age, having children and a love of good food and mediocre wine are all contributing factors.
Before sewing the Jalie Éléonore Pull-On Jeans pattern the first time, I read quite a few reviews, and the common theme was the low rise.
Trace your pattern onto tissue paper. You probably already do, just saying.
Extend the grain-line all the way to the top.
Use a ruler to draw a line perpendicular to the grain-line 1″ above the side notch (triangle) (shown in red)
Cut the pattern piece apart along the line for an upper and lower (this is the front)
Cut a strip of tissue larger than both the width and the amount you want to lengthen your pattern piece.
Slide it underneath the top piece and glue or tape it in place. Draw the grain-line, then draw a guideline across the extension the exact amount that you want to lengthen your piece. In my case it is 1 ¾”.
Using the grain-line as a guide, tape or glue the bottom of your pattern piece to the extension.
Smooth out the side-seam and the front seam-lines.
The back is done using the same method. Then re-draw the side seam and back crotch line from the top as shown in red.
I shortened the waist elastic by 2″ both front and back. I can’t stand the feeling of my pants sliding down my backside. I did this by cutting each piece 2″ smaller than the pattern piece then stretching the elastic slightly as I zigzagged it into place.
Add Functional Pockets
I just love having functional front pockets for a tissue or a bit of loose change, and here’s how I changed the pattern.
You’ll need the pattern pieces for the front and the front yoke. If you lengthened the rise, be sure to use the altered front, not the original.
Make the pattern. Lay a piece of pattern paper over the front so it extends at least to the waist and about 1″ beyond the side seam.
Trace the curve where the yoke would have been sewn to the front. This will become our pocket lining top.
Trace along the front waist for 2″, and down the side seam by 3″. Mark the notch.
Measure down 6″ from the straight part of the pocket top and make a mark. Complete the pocket lining pattern piece as shown and set aside for the next step.
Pin the yoke pattern to the front pattern, overlapping the seam allowance as shown. I like the flat flower pins for this.
Pin the pocket lining pattern piece in position on top, matching the notch.
Lay another piece of pattern paper on top, making sure to cover the pocket lining, AND the front yoke piece that’s pinned to the front.
Trace the pocket lining all the way around, including the notch, but omit the curve and trace the waist edge instead.
Label your new pieces pocket lining and pocket bag. Cut 2 of the lining in a lightweight fabric, and cut 2 of the bag in your main fabric.
Sewing: With right sides together and matching the notches, pin the pocket lining to the jean front, then sew the curved seam. Clip the curve, turn the lining to the inside, press then topstitch.
Pin the pocket bag to the pocket lining, matching the notch, side seam and pocket bottom. Sew around the outer edge of the pocket, leaving the side seam and top unsewn.
Edge finish, then proceed with the rest of the pants, skipping the part for the front yoke. When you sew the side seams be sure to catch the pocket sides.
When you attach the waistband be sure to catch all layers.
Below is a close-up of the finished jeans with my alterations. Thanks to Distinctive Sewing Supplies for providing me with the pattern and fabric for this pair of jeans!