McCall’s 5142 Jeans

Review | McCall’s 5142 Jeans

Pattern Description: McCall’s 5142 Jeans, Jeans in two lengths have front pockets with optional coin pocket, fly front, back patch pocket, back yoke, carriers, topstitch detail and waistband variation; jeans A, B, C are slim-fitting with slightly low-rise waist (2″ below waist) and boot leg.

Pattern Sizing: 10-16. I made a 12.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing? Well, sure.

Were the instructions easy to follow? They were easy to follow, but not quite so easy to execute. But then again, I always have trouble with fly fronts. Some pieces were down right funky like the fly that is cut out in a rectangle, but then you have to trace the stitching lines. Why doesn’t the pattern company just have you cut out the actual shape? I thought the back yoke was a little too big, and it pushed down the position of the pockets.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I liked the boot leg cut. I did not like the waistband for View B/C. When I put it on, it gaped horribly at the back, just like the jeans in the store. I took apart the section at the center back, opened the waistband and sewed a 1″ wide diamond in the center to create a dart. This took in the necessary gapage (and you can see where the waistband dips in the back), but created some bulk at the seam. However, I am happy that the gape is gone, and I should be able to where close-fitting tops with these pants now, without a belt.

Also, just the construction of these jeans was draining. I used upholstery-weight thread for the seams, serged the raw edges, and of course, used yellow top-stitching thread. I had to switch the thread often,and I alternated between my blind hem foot for the edge-stitching and the zig-zag foot for the top-stitching.

Finding the right tension for the thread was a challenge as well. Starting out, the tension was set too low and my thread kept jamming in the machine. Finally, I figured out that I need to set it way high, like on 8 or 9, and that seemed to do the trick.

Fabric Used: Dark blue “stretch” demin. I put stretch in quotes because I don’t detect a bit of stretch in this fabric. It’s supposed to have 3% lycra, but you could have fooled me.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: The waistband, as noted above.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? IF I make these pants again, I would widen them to a 14 in the hips, increase the crotch depth by an inch, and use the contoured waistband instead. I would also choose a lighter color denim.

Conclusion: I’m glad these jeans are finished! I’m off to easier projects.

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  1. i've made this pattern 3 times now. the first time they were HUGE because i used non stretch fabric and then cut a size larger than i usually wear to account for it. apparently this is not properly sized for stretch fabric.

    the second time i sized down 1 from my usual and used stretch fabric. they came out pretty well, but too low in the back.

    the third time i again used a size smaller than normal and stretch fabric but added an inch to the center back, as Beth suggested. they're just about perfect.

    i know i'm a little late to this party, but i hope you give them another shot. with a little adjusting, they can be a pretty great pair of jeans. i have fabric lined up for 2 more pair.

  2. My daughter is 5′ 10″ and has -lets say an athletic bottom. I cut pattern in the back where your bottom is the fullest, but leave a hinge. Spread it about an 1″ to an 1 1/4″. It gives more room over the bottom and will stop the dip. I still usually have to reduce the waistline.

  3. What a fantastic job!!!!I have that same pattern and I keep telling myself to just go for it and try to make them.Thanks for telling all the details of how you made them that will help me a lot.

  4. Great job, Krystal. This pattern has been on my list for a *long* time. I am at the beginnings of a muslin stage and just haven’t put in the effort.

    I love the top stitching on the pockets. Nice job.

  5. Great save! Jeans always seem to labor intesive, but well worth the effort. I wonder if a full seat or sway back adjustment wouldn’t help with the dippage. That’s the problem I also have with RTW jeans.

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