Sunday, February 28, 2016

Eleonore Pants

When I was visiting The Boy in southern California I mentioned that my next sewing project would be something that would best be described as "jeggings." He allowed as how I was too old to wear jeggings. The young can be cruel. Truthful, but cruel.

These are the Eleonore Pull-On Jeans by Jalie (a.k.a. Jalie 3461). Jalie describes them as "stretch pull-on jeans with a wide waistband with yoke, faux fly in the front and patch pockets in the back. Fitted through the waist and hips, straight from the knee down." In other words, they're pull-on pants with jeans styling, designed for fabric with at least 20% widthwise stretch.

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? Nope, just me trying not to look awkward. 
The most challenging part of this enterprise was finding a woven fabric with at least 20% widthwise stretch. Holy cow, I must have stretch-tested 60 bolts of fabric before settling on this stretch twill suiting. I found it at Hart's for about $11 bucks a yard. Let me just say how very lucky I am to live in the same town as this great fabric store. I can't imagine trying to find something like this on-line. It was so great to be able to yank on the fabrics to test the recovery and feel the hand, not to mention get a real-life read on the color.

Back view with pocket demonstration
The pattern uses faux pockets and fly on the front, but real pockets on the back There's an inconspicuous inch-wide strip of elastic zig-zagged to the top of the waistband and, sure enough, they pull on and off with no zippers, buttons or other closures.

These photos with top tucked in are for science only. In real life, I'll be wearing them with a longer tee or an untucked top. So no reason to tweak myself too much about the wrinkling at the rear.

Real life rear view
I've sewn Jalie's Women's Stretch Jean (Jalie 2908) as well, so I chose my size based on that experience.  I traced an S at the waist, grading to an R for the hips on down. I'd say the sizing is consistent from pattern to pattern and matches the numbers on Jalie's sizing chart very well indeed.

I have a cut of stretch denim upstairs that will end up as either another pair of 2908's or another pair of Eleonors, so let me do a little comparison of the two.

I haven't been a leggings kind of a gal since the 1980's, and The Boy is right; there comes a time when we must all put away childish things. But I must say they are insanely comfortable. I've given these a one-day test drive and they are as great for moving around in as they are for lounging. I almost asked The Man to get a snapshot of me with the legs rolled up as I scrubbed out the shower and washed the bathroom floor.

I noticed while writing this post that Jalie 2908 also calls for fabric with at least 20% widthwise stretch. Whoops - I bet my pair was made with a firmer denim. No wonder they feel somewhat more restrictive than these new Eleonores.

When I make the Eleonores again, I'll be tempted to leave off the faux fly and front yokes, especially since they'll be decently covered by a longer top while being worn. I did not enjoy sewing the tight curves on the fake front pockets, though the false fly was easy peasy to do. Boy, if you left off those fiddly bits you could churn out a pair of Eleonores in two shakes of a lamb's tail.

I do like the real front pockets in the 2908s, and I actually use front pockets on jeans. I like the flare leg of the 2908, but I also like the straight let on the Eleonore. But it would be easy to swap the leg back and forth between the two.

Oh, heck, I think both patterns fill a useful niche in my pattern stash. I'll use the Eleonore as a super-comfortable legging and omit some of the jeans styling. And I'll use the 2908 as a jean and go to town with belt loops and top stitching and pockets galore.

My pattern review is on here.


  1. I am glad I read your post! I have traced the Eleonore pattern off, and have questioned whether I need or want the front fly and fake pockets. Now I know I will eliminate those! At age 65, I wear tops that cover my tummy and bum. Thanks for the validation!

  2. Those are really flattering on you.

  3. You are definitely not too old to wear these. They look fabulous on you.

  4. Hello from sunny Brisbane, Australia - a new reader. I must say I think The Boy underestimates what his Mom can wear! Those "jeggings" are not only very flattering but tres chic - very "Audrey" in fact! You look just lovely, so much so I'm going to check out that pattern for myself! Thank you for the inspiration. :)

  5. I also rely on Hart's whenever I need to know a fabric has the right feel for what I have in mind. Your leggings look great! I'll have to check out that fabric...

  6. That is an awesome outfit, Nancy! I 'd say these pants (or jeggings) were a complete success!-Lisa

  7. What a great make! I have this pattern and will move it up the list. --and they look great on you!

  8. Love your Eleonores. That blouse, though: did you make it? I've been looking for a pattern like that for ages. What is it?

    1. It's blouse #104 from the June, 2011 issue of Burdastyle magazine. I think you can download it from their site. I like the pattern a lot! Easy to put together and shoulder gathers instead of darts, so it's nice for a large scale print. Let me know if you can't find it and I can trace it for you!

  9. This comment has been removed by the author.