Essential sewing keeping me clothed and sane

Jinxed Jamie Jeans


I think I’m going to have to find a new hobby and knock this sewing thing on the head. Ultimately I did mange to sew a couple of pairs of jeans but the journey was hard and the road difficult and I made many mistakes…..

While still believing I could follow through on my Sewing With A Plan without a plan, 69_poso_h15_311I had purchased this wine/burgundy/mulberry/pink coloured stretch cotton twill (although, I’m calling it denim) from MyFabrics with the intention of making jeans as one of my wildcards in the Heather colour scheme. One side of the fabric is deep burgundy and the reverse is pink (not sweet or sickly, just pink). First decision to be made was which side of the fabric to use and secondly, which pattern. I trolled sewing blogs and Goggle images, pattern companies and RTW. 011-Jamie-tasoHow about skinny legs so that I can wear my boots on the outside? I settled on Jamie jeans.

Except, every pattern reviewer of Named Jamie jeans is at least a few sizes and, in some cases a few decades, well below mine – would this style look OK on me?

One way to find out, huh? Read on and freely express your views and opinions.

PDF purchased and tiled, cut out, marked and sewn. There is a sew-a-long site that is a great help in construction and techniques, although I didn’t follow it faithfully.


Jeans 1

Using the dark side first (ha ha ha), I cut out a 12, one size smaller than usual, as I wanted a tight fit and hoped the Lycra would compensate. These ones are tight, chiefly because I forgot about the 1cm seam allowance and used the usual 1.5cm (5/8″). Very tight around my calves and there’s a bit of bunching at the ankles – design feature, don’t you know?

If you have seen pictures of these jeans or read any reviews or have a pair yourself, you might be able to spot a large difference between any Jamies that have gone before and the ones I present here – the front pockets!

The front legs are made of two pieces with a centre seam (nice little detail). One piece has the pocket and the other has the fly. What did this overly confident and rash sewer do? Only sewed the left side to the right fly and vice versa, so my pockets are slanting the wrong way. Still quite wearable but honestly! I did wonder why the notches didn’t line up when sewing the seams – now I know.


However, the original purpose of making skinny jeans has worked – I can pull on my knee boots and I don’t get the bagginess and bunching around my knees.


The pattern calls for 1.4m. I had a total of 2m but squeezed Jeans 1 onto about 1.1m by facing the curved waistband with cotton, not self fabric. A curved waistband is a thing of beauty but it does take up an awful lot of fabric. This left me with close on another metre, so I flipped it and made a second pair using the pink side of denim.

Jeans 2

This second pair are cropped due to fabric limitations. I managed to get the fronts right way round on this pair and I remembered to sew 1cm seams but I sewed the wrong pocket linings to the wrong pieces and instead of having useable pockets that are hand-sized I have these tiny wee things about the size of a credit card. Well, I suppose that’s all you need isn’t it girls? A credit card and lipstick and you can go anywhere!


I would have ripped them out and done it again properly, but between seams, understitching, overlocking and topstitching – that’s a lot of ripping out and life really is too short for that malarky.

Apart from the pocket linings, the right pieces were sewn in the right order and to the right pieces on this pair. DSCN6072.jpgFly zip went like a dream with a perfectly matching zip. I tried them on to mark a hem. I rarely wash my fabrics before I sew – especially denim – as I know the ‘fit’ will be fitter after I sew then wash – allowing for 10-20% shrinkage. Now, don’t be telling me off and criticising my methods – I like fitted jeans – that tight fit that you have to lie on the bed and use a shoelace through the zip-pull for extra leverage to get it up and then the thrilling but slightly scary moment to test if the seams will hold. Well, my seams held – the zip did not!


Unwashed denim with broken zip

Of course, I had used a double row of stitches on each side of the zip for extra security, so double the ripping out! There comes a time when it is best to walk away. However, I knew that if I didn’t fix it right now then it would never be fixed.

Jilly showed me how to replace a jeans zip. The only zip I had at hand was white – so I used it! Yes, my friends you heard right – a bright white zip in deep pink jeans!


Washed denim with replacement (and rather scrappy) zip but it holds!

This coloured denim was over-dyed; my hands, nails, ironing board, even my sewing machine turned pink! Perhaps another reason to wash the fabric first…..I know I couldn’t wear either pair and sit on a white leather sofa before washing them both. Into the machine they went and quite uneventful it was. Out they came and dried.

Both pairs have faded to well-worn denim and I like it. The seams have that rippled colouring that only comes from years of wear and washing, similarly on the pockets and fly. Achieving this look would have been impossible if I had washed the denim before sewing, so the pink hands were worth it.


Needless to say, the white zip tape is polyester and stubbornly remains white even after the wash but the fly is a pretty good construction and covers it completely. Anyway I’m unlikely to be wearing my cropped bra tops with these jeans – LOL!

I did shorten a dress/tunicdsc01127.jpg I’d made a few years ago into a T-shirt/tunic because the colours match perfectly.


Construction details for those of you who are interested: I focused on the fronts first as this is where all the hard work is – pockets and fly. Made back pockets with a strip of reverse fabric for added detail and top stitched in place. Jeans 1 – sewed inside leg seams and top-stitched, then outside leg seams, crotch, finally waistband and hems. Jeans 2 – sewed outside leg seams and top-stitched, inside seams, crotch, waistband and hems. I attached the waistbands as per Strides method: overlock one edge, sew as usual and stitch in the ditch on the outside to catch the overlocked edge on the inside. I didn’t add belt loops. All internal seams are overlocked which does create a neat and extra strength inside.


The verdict: Love ’em! They’re like leggings with muscle. A little bit of stretch so I can at least sit down and walk up stairs but they hold an awful more in place than a four-way stretch and, of course, I’m wearing ‘proper’ trousers, not thick tights.

Back pocket placement – perfect

Fly zip – perfect (and relatively easy!)

Tightness and fit – perfect (when you sew 1cm seams)

Little details – perfect – two-piece back pockets that you can trim, top-stitch or do anything else your heart and artistic inspiration takes you.

Apart from the wrong-way round pockets and the too small pockets and the white zip….


I don’t usually wear crimson lipstick – blame the auto-correct in iphoto.

I know I’m middle-aged, not a size 10 and have curves and dips and valleys -if you have these things also, then hopefully you can see that you too can wear skinny jeans. Just leave the cropped bra top at home and chose something more becoming or at least, covering……


A final word on advice for dressing and undressing: put your socks on before the jeans as you’ll never roll the sock legs up under these tight legs to straighten them; the only method I’ve discovered to get out of these jeans is to turn them inside out on the way down, stand on the waistband and pull! Then you’re left with this –


Hey – if you feel young enough to make and wear skinny jeans then you’re young enough to leave them in an unkempt, inside-out pile on the floor for your mother to pick up tomorrow!








53 thoughts on “Jinxed Jamie Jeans

  1. rock on, girl! love them both.

  2. You and the jeans look awesome. I love both too. Last picture made me laugh, and simultaneously think of my 15 year old.

  3. Find a new hobby if you must, but don’t knock sewing on the head! Your sewing posts are too fun and informative. And…these jeans are great!

  4. OMG that was so funny. I could totally relate to everything that happened. What a great bit of inspiration to start the day.

  5. Read this dis. I actually left a post.




  6. Oh, it’s winter; a time for laying low. Everything is sluggish and hibernating, including our brains and creativity. Things will look better and brighter soon but in the meantime you have new stuff to wear. I would never have noticed the pockets with the wrong slants: I’ve seen both angles on jackets so why not on jeans.

  7. You are too funny, Ruth! Have you tried using permanent felt markers on zippers? Pockets…slanting one way or another…call it a design feature…who uses them anyway?

  8. Ha ha! I managed to sew a jeans yoke on the wrong way and wondered why the jeans were baggy in the centre but by then I’d finished them so never have altered.

  9. Hilarious post as usual. Can totally relate to getting out of jeans that way.

  10. Very entertaining post and a fabulous pair of jeans. You look stunning!

  11. And the SWAP continues apace–despite the efforts of pockets and zippers to foil you!

  12. Both pairs look fantastic! You make gorgeous things and wear them beautifully.

  13. Great work on the jeans. Like you I I’m relaxed about pre-washing some fabrics. Ponte and knits always prewashed, cottons and linens – why bother?

  14. Fabulous jeans. Please don’t ever give up your sewing or your blogging!

  15. So glad that you weren’t put off by the wrong way slanting pockets and the broken zip. Your perseverance has overcome the obstacles and you have made two successful pairs of jeans. Love your attitude and your creativity is infectious. Please don’t ever give up sewing or blogging.

    • Thanks Jean. It’s just that if I don’t fix things at the time of sewing then I’ll never do it later. Anyway, it saves having to rethread the machine – I’m just lazy really.

  16. Oh Ruth, they don’t make zips like they used to! I love your jeans – they look fabulous with the dress/now tunic. I suspect they are as difficult to get out of as my wetsuits!
    P.S. I remember shopping at Dicky Dirts for jeans many years ago and was zipped in by staff using a coat hanger who then picked me up off the floor and declared the jeans perfect. History doesn’t recall how I coped standing up again at home 😂

  17. What a great pattern! I love both pairs. And re-making that tunic into a top was a brilliant idea – it looks great!

  18. Well they turned out great in the end – mistakes and all. Both pairs look great!

  19. Ruth you really made me laugh! (And remember jeans madness from the past). You rock this style. The fit looks fantastic and don’t you dare give up thus malarkey. X

  20. Ruth, please do not worry that you are too old to wear these. You most certainly can!!
    You look great in them.

  21. In any case, no disaster will rival the mishap when you carried on sewing onto the skirt you were wearing.

  22. I think both pairs look wonderful on you–the colors are so flattering, too! You had me laughing reading this, and I think we’ve all turned straightforward projects into sewing sagas at one time or another. =) Lovely, lovely jeans, Ruth!

  23. Both pair look amazing, especially with the BOOTS! And sharpies (permanent felt tip markers) are great for making white zippers any color……preferably not when you are actually wearing the pants, as I discovered a while ago….the marks on my tummy lasted longer than I expected.


    • I love to hear about other people’s mishaps – makes me feel that I’m not the only one who does stuff like that! Thanks Ceci. Actually the fly is wide enough to cover the zip completely so only you and me know that it’s white.

  24. Brilliant!! Jeans and post! And I feel your pain with the pockets and the zip. These things are sent to try us! I’m considering jeans at the minute, and can’t decide between the Ginger jeans or Birkin jeans.

    • Both patterns get great reviews Lynne – it’s down to what style and features you prefer. I’ve not made either of them so I can’t really advise you. Thanks

  25. Your post made me smile 🙂 I’ve recently made myself a pair of jeans with a too short zipper and tight fit (12″ waist to hips differential needs a longer zip!) – the zip gave up the ghost after a few wears – still can’t summon up the enthusiasm to fix my skinny fit on an over 40 YO jeans! But I need to as the kids approved the look!

    I’ve had 3 instances of fabric staining the machine – two of them orange! I feel your pain 😦

  26. these jeans are so cute, i love the cut and the seaming down the centre

  27. im ao glad you posted this, i needed some inspo ❤

  28. Pingback: Get Ready…. | corecouture

  29. You and your jeans look wonderful. I can’t wear skinny jeans myself (big legs, not sharply at all!) but you look great. I envy you, wish I had the guts to just jump in and sew. Great job!!
    Found the “Named” site from Gorgeous Fabrics when Ann recommend a pattern from there.

Let's talk.....

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s