12 August 2015

Jalie 3461 Eleonore Review

I have succumbed to the siren's call of jeggings.

I've casually sought a straight leg, super stretchy fabric pant pattern for several years now, and realized that Jalie's 3461 Eleonore might be the answer to my prayers (same as several StyleArc patterns).  Mostly because jeans are the piece to wear down here, but it is far too hot to do so ... and they never fit anyway. (And it is super easy to remove the jean design lines from this pattern if you just want a basic stretch woven pant.)

Unsurprisingly, Eleonore snuck into my cart while placing a recent Jalie order.

What adjustments did you make?  And why?
The usual – sway back

The unusual -
1) Widened the legs by 1" ... except at the lower thigh, where it jumped to 2.5" or so.  I am not the fit model!

2) The side seams near the waist were warped to the back, in a funny U shape.  I straightened that out in the second trial.

Pattern appreciation(s)?
Gush, gush, gush.  These are comfortable, move with me (I can practice handstand with these), and have a great crotch curve for those of us blessed in the glutes department.

Pattern disgruntlement(s)?
Um ... well ... I had to add my own pockets.  Jalie gave us patterns for fake pockets, why not give us the option for real pockets as well?  (grumble, grumble)

What body does this pattern fit (in your estimation)?
Bootylicious gals with average size legs.

Would you buy this pattern again?
Heck yes.  I'm planning an entire stable of these puppies. 

Leg Width and Ease - The muslin of these did fit, but I found them tight.  I assumed the tightness was due to my muscular calves, which measure 16" around (the pant was 15" in circumference from knee down).  I've never found a skinny (nor usually even a straight legged) RTW pant that fits.  They ALWAYS sausage my calves, which feels and looks weird.

I proceeded to measure upper thigh, lower thigh, and calf to compare body to pattern.  And lo and behold, I found out that my lower thigh is much larger than the pattern!  I am proud of my muscles, and this was an interesting experience to find out where their bulk rests (at least compared to the Jalie fit model).  Apparently my vastus medialis are more developed than some.

From crotch to hem, I widened each seam by 1/4" ... except for the lower thigh, which I widened by a bit over 1/2".  This brought the pant from negative ease to 0% ease.  I am not a fan of skintight.

Sway back - I chose to take my sway back adjustment out of the pant back, rather than out of the yoke.  I preferred not to narrow the jean yoke. 

Fabric - A bengaline from Hancock's.  I ordered grey (muslin), orange, and brown.  Perhaps the bright color fashions finally caught up with me too?

Today was their first wear out in public, but certainly not the last.  I appreciate that these go together lightning fast.  And they were almost comfortable in our high 90s temps.

This is a Mary Poppins pattern, practically perfect in every way (at least for me).


Karen R said...

Hi Kira, I wonder if you are still blogging. I have a question regarding your alterations on these pants and would love to ask you a couple of questions.

Kira said...


Yes, I am still around, believe it or not!

I am happy to help in any way ... ask away.


Karen R said...

In reading your description of what alterations you needed to make:
The usual – sway back, Widened the legs by 1" ... except at the lower thigh, where it jumped to 2.5" or so. The side seams near the waist were warped to the back, in a funny U shape.

Can you explain how you made these adjustments. I'm on my 3rd muslin attempt and each one the fit is getting worse. My issues are waist to hip ratio is 10" difference, full butt and thick thighs and swayback. Every time I attempted to adjust for the gap in the back, the side seam took a hefty turn to the rear.

I have been on sewing hiatus for 15 years and I don't recall making alterations to patterns being this challenging. Yes, age and weight have played an evil role in this development but I'm trying to not remind myself of that. sigh.....


Kira said...


My first suggestion is invest and use a good fitting book. I borrowed every single one from my library, and then purchased a handful (probably more than I need). The first one I grab for is Liechty's "Fitting & Pattern Alteration." It just makes sense to my brain. :)

Additionally, I urge you to follow Jalie's stretch recommendation, I tried in a fabric that was almost stretchy enough, but not quite. Fail! Fabric characteristic plays a huge roll in being successful with this pattern.

Onto Alterations!

The way I generally do a sway back in pants to to drop the waist seam by 5/8" at center back, gradually blending back to the pattern waistline near the back's side seam. With these, because of the back yoke, I blended the 5/8" out from the main pant pattern piece which threw off my yoke a touch. This is adjusted by taking the overlap at the center seam and transferring it to the side seam. (If I remember correctly, this was 1/8" on the pattern piece, or thereabouts.)

As for leg measurements, I started with the muslin made as per the pattern. This told me where some of the pulling and discomfort issues would arise. And I could not comfortably sit without some mega drag from the pant leg ... this told me they were tight somewhere ... but not necessarily where! Stretch fabric is great, but it can hide where the problems originate.

I then took a tape measure and literally measured my leg circumference at different points along my leg (those places that appear the widest/largest) - upper thigh, above knee, calf. I wrote those down and then compared them to flat pattern measurements. I wanted these pants to skim my flesh, not squeeze it. So I wanted to the measurements to equate, aka 0% ease.

The comparison between my body and the pattern was about 1" off in most places, my body being bigger than the pattern. So I moved the stitching line out by 1/4" from hips down at each seamline (front and back, side and inner seamlines). However, my above knee measurement was 2" different from the pattern, so I kicked out the stitching line by 1/2" at each seamline as I reached the knee area.

You true up the stitching lines, sew up a second muslin, and figure out if you need any further adjustment.

Pants are, by far, the hardest garment to fit. We just have so many curves. Beautiful 3 dimensional bodies, and 2 dimensional fabric to fit to that gorgeous bod.

It is not you, it is them.

I do believe that, especially in the big 4, patterns are harder to fit now because we do not have the pattern design gurus who knew how to make adjustments for the human body and automatically added many of them into the pattern drawing.

We now have software that draws out our patterns, and many of our gurus have likely retired! So we have lost the personal touch that made older patterns fit so well.

Our job now is to understand our own personal fit delights, and how to add them into patterns. Some adjustments are very intuitive, while others can be hard to track down (I never would have guessed my lower thigh was wider than "typical" but once I measured and compared, I understood why some of my RTW made sitting difficult!)

I hope some of this is useful, please let me know if any of it works for you!

All the best,

Karen R said...

Wow! Thank you so much for the detailed information. I've made my way to the library and picked up 3 different fitting books. I definitely have the right fabric - my fabric actually has a tiny bit more stretch than the recommended 20% - may be around 25% - so I should be good on that front.

So by adding width around the pants fixed the arching side seam issue you had experienced? Essentially you needed more fabric to go around your butt? I think I may have over-adjusted and completely confused myself. I'm going to try one more time, but this time just cut the next size up so the pants aren't as tight through the crotch and legs. I'll then just try to pin out the lower back gap in the yoke area and make the waistband elastic smaller to help bring in the excess.

I appreciate your information.


lorrwill said...

I also thank your for this excellent information from someone with similar junk in the trunk going on. :-)

JustPam said...

Your Eleonore's look fabulous on you. I just make my first muslin. The pattern doesn't give you the leg measurements, so I printed out a size 7 for my hips and a size 20 for my calves. They are still too tight. I am afraid that too much more altering will distort the pattern too much. What size did you use for your 16 inch calves? Mine are 16 1/2. I will be happy if I can figure out how to make myself pants that fit. I would be delighted to find boots that fit too!!

JustPam said...

The sizes I used were a T and a Z. It was another pair of pants that gave the measurements that the 10 should have fit my calves. Big expanse between the size 4 hips to size 10 calves. I wanted to practice with the simpler Eleonore first.