Vado jeans finished

I finished my Vado Bootstrap skinny jeans at last – just as there has been another glut of articles saying that skinny jeans are dead and we’ve all got to wear wide legs now. Oh well. I like wide legged trousers but nothing is as practical as skinnies.

I talked a bit about the sewing process in previous posts but I stand by my assertion that if you didn’t know how to make jeans the instructions that come with this pattern aren’t enough.

What the instructions are good for is some little details that give a nicer finish. Things like top stitching down the outer side seam from the waist to the end of the pocket bag. The method for the fly front led to the best top stitching I’ve ever done on a jeans fly. You make the fly closure before sewing the front crotch seam, which is sewn as a lapped seam. It sounds tricky but it works nicely and means you have a much flatter space to do the fly top stitching on. I was determined to do a better job on the top stitching than my usual slapdash effort and these changes helped.

I’m slightly less keen on the way the photos showed to top stitch the ticket pocket, with a leg of top stitching continuing past the top corner of the pocket and into the waistline seam. If everything was sitting perfectly flat this would be hidden under the outer hip pocket but the whole front pocket area tends to move about and reveal it. Also I don’t see a good functional reason for it: one less end of top stitching to tie off I suppose?

And I haven’t sewn the fly button in quite the right place…I’ll have to do that again.

Anyway the important thing is, was the custom fit pattern an improvement over my usual Burda jeans pattern? I made one small adjustment while sewing them, which was to take in the centre back seam along the yoke and reduce the waistband length to correspond, but otherwise they are sewn up as drafted.

Well it’s win some lose some. The fit on the crotch and legs is a bit better than my Burda patterns, although having carefully compared photos of these and the various Burdas the difference isn’t as huge as I thought. It was really nice not to have to lengthen the pattern. Really nice. Yes it’s a simple alteration to do but it still takes time, finding the sellotape, and clearing a big enough space on the dining table. The back pocket placement is also pretty good, which I was worried about based on the pattern photos where they looked much lower than they’ve come out on me.

The bad news is that the waist is too large. In the picture above I’ve pulled them up to where they should sit, but in practice they tend to creep down and look more like this.

Here are some full length shots. I am not really nine feet tall by the way. It’s a combination of a low camera angle and the jeans having a very high waist. Thanks to my other half for taking the pictures!

They’re a bit too long for the boots I’m wearing here but I prefer jeans to be on the long side.

The real question is whether next time I make jeans I reach for this pattern or something else. I think I will use this one, but I’ll definitely adjust it. Not just the waist either; I prefer jeans front pockets to have an extension that reaches centre front. They sit flatter that way. The pockets on these are also too deep for this style; it’s not so easy to extract things from the bottom of them. They’d be fine with a looser leg.

I’m glad I made these and they’ve got me a step closer to my perfect skinny jeans pattern, but more iterations are definitely required.

31 thoughts on “Vado jeans finished

  1. Yes, and the wide trousers need to end above the ankles, so we all look shorter and wider than we really are. What do the fashion writers know except how to make readers feel like they need to go buy buy buy to keep up with arbitrary ideas? 🙂 A well-fitting pair of jeans is a basic necessity, imho.

    I love your fabric choice for these. And thanks for the Vado pattern review. I agree that the front pockets on jeans should extend across the to the fly to keep the front as flat as possible. After sewing a few patterns that don’t have that extension, I always frankenpattern it together (because I am too lazy to draft) from another if I’m sewing a pattern doesn’t.

    1. I’m interested in custom drafted pattern too. Like you I’m too short for wide legs and have hard to fit body. I’ve had bad experience with the poor fit of the two custom Lekala patterns I’ve started to sew up. It would be interesting how this goes. I know what changes I need to make for Burda patterns. Almost the opposite of Catherine – short with wide waist. Burda crotch fits me better than other trouser patterns I’ve tried. Using a different designer has the downside that you’ve got to fit from scratch.

    2. Yeah I do think wide trousers are much more difficult to wear. They need to have a very high waist to counteract the shortening effect. I like them with long boots underneath.

      1. You’re tall enough to carry it off. As a vertically challenged short waisted busty woman I’ll stick to narrow legs like your make.

  2. I’ve been waiting to see the finished jeans, love that you used the wrong, ummm, I meant the perfect side of the denim. And your top-stitiching is also perfect. But it was your review of Vado custom patterns that I was waiting for, thank you. Boot-leg jeans have been on my wish-list for awhile and I do have a short hard to fit body shape. I think I’m going to give them a try. Thank you for tthe review.

  3. Adore the colour of these jeans. They suit you. And really, do we care if legs are skinny or wide as long as we love what we make and it suits us and our purposes?

    1. I increasingly feel like I’m completely out of touch with mainstream fashion. It’s great in a lot of ways because I wear what I want to wear, as you say, but I do sometimes wonder if I look strange to other people. Luckily I live and work in a city where people don’t set a lot of store by these things.

  4. I love the colour and the rear pocket stitching!
    A few Burda patterns have instructions to stitch an inch or two below the fly slit and then complete the fly before any further crotch seam stitching. It sure makes sewing the fly easier. Front pockets should ALWAYS have a stay for a near look. No stay is lazy drafting by the designer.

    1. Thanks! People (me included) complain about Burda’s instructions a lot, but they have some excellent techniques and they are extremely consistent. Once you’ve cracked the code they’re very reliable.

  5. Fantastic jeans and the fit looks good. Love the top-stitching on the pockets. I agree that skinny jeans are a must for everyday practicalities. How can you possibly cycle in wide-legged trousers, elegant though they are?

  6. they look great and the color is so interesting. I know it’s a bit of a cheat but I split the waistband at the center back and then sew up the center back seam last after I’ve applied the waistband. This means it is nice and snug which keeps it from gaping there, which always happens to me. You can’t know in advance how much stretch any denim will have. Also you might try the Ash jeans from Megan Nielsen – I just made a couple of pairs and I am very impressed with the pattern. Same construction method for the fly, by the way, as the one you mention.

  7. I just can’t keep up, skinny jeans? Wide leg jeans? Every time I pick up a pants/jeans pattern and give it a try I wonder if it’s any different than the previous pair I’ve made. I assume one day I will have the fit, pattern pieces, construction methods, style, decided on. One day! Every pair is a learning experience, I figure. Nice handiwork on your pair! They look great on you, I think!

  8. Wear what you like! Make your own style. I love both wide and narrow, depending on my mood. These look great- I have never made jeans, though I would like to one day. Jeans aren’t terribly practical here- except for about 3 months!

  9. They look great Catherine, and I still think The colour is fabulous. The waist problem is an easy fix, and you can make any of the adjustments you’ve highlighted before you start again. Enjoy these – and ignore the fashion mavens who simply want us to spend more on RTW to keep them in a job.

  10. Hello, I like the colour and the stitching details. I have similar problems with fit that your jeans show: I have this in purchased and self-made slim pants or jeans. To try to solve this problem, I take many fitting courses online (Angela Wolfe on Pattern review and craftsy and Stern’s jeans course, and of course Kenneth King) and a Conselle workshop on pant fitting at a sewing show. While they have different approaches, I find them helpful. If you look at the side of your pants you see that creasing going on in the front and back from the side, where front creases are going down and back creases are going up – like the front and back side seams are misaligned. The workshop teacher told me that the crotch is too short (as well I have a drop bottom) so I have to do extending the crotch and some bum scooping. Try just pulling up the back (while you are wearing it) as a test and see if the creases on the side and under the bottom are reduced. Your fabric can’t get around your bottom and so the back fabric is pushed down under your butt while the front is where it should be, hence, fabric bunching under your bottom and the misalignment of front and back at the side. You may also have to do that knee adjustment (for people who hyper extend or have thicker calves) to get rid of the creasing above your knee. I also have to do this – you cut above the knee and move the leg up and then add that length to the bottom – weird but it works.

  11. These look great! I love the color. It shouldn’t be too hard to get the adjustments you want, and end up with an ultimate skinny jeans pattern. I’ve long been a fan of wide-legged pants, but I can totally appreciate the practicality of a skinny jean, especially in places that have actual weather.

    1. Yeah, they are much better in a wet climate! Although there is much to be said for widelegged wool trousers in the winter – you can get leggings and boots underneath and they’re so cosy 🙂

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