Creative Counselor: Jedediah Pants

Wait, what? You want to sew for a MAN? — Thread Theory and the Jedediah Pants

In the two years since I started sewing, I have sewn a lot of garments for myself. J and N have also been prime recipients of the sewing love, especially in the beginning. I’ve even sewn the odd item or two for my mother and mother-in-law and taken a commission or two.

But I had never sewn anything for my husband. Not a thing.

There are several reasons for that glaring omission. Albert is a personal trainer and athlete so most of the typical “guy gift” or “dad gift” ideas that I saw he would never use. (What is a guy who spends his day in casual or workout clothes going to do with a pile of handmade ties?)

I wanted to add some quality items to his casual weekend wardrobe, but was having trouble finding a project because (1) Albert is super-picky about his clothes and (2) most men’s patterns out there just flat-out suck. For example, these are a couple of the actual Burda offerings at my local Joann’s:

20130416-102417.jpg

Granted these were the most egregious offenders, but the rest were all kind of bleh.

Colette Patterns has the Negroni Shirt, which I have and is a nice pattern, but the “camp shirt” style wasn’t particularly inspiring to Albert.

Enter Thread Theory.

I stumbled across this start-up indie pattern company a few months ago after a random mention on House of Pinheiro shortly after they released their very first men’s pattern — the Newcastle Cardigan.

I bought that pattern (which I still haven’t made. It’s hard to get motivated to make a fleece or wool cardigan when it’s 90 degrees outside), and quietly started stalking their blog.

A couple weeks ago, they put out a call for pattern testers for their next pattern release — the Jedediah Pants. Well, you all know how bossy lawyer me likes pattern testing 🙂 And the pattern looked awesome so I volunteered.  I was apparently one of the first to respond that I could complete the project within the allotted time because I was selected as a tester!

That kicked off a long consulation process with Albert.  I wasn’t about to sink hours into making a pair of pants that he hated and would never wear.  So I involved him in every step of the process, from selecting the fabric and notions to modifying the fit to his liking to just exactly how wide the hem should be.

And it paid off!  The result is a pair of pants that he loves!

Creative Counselor: Jedediah Pants

His new favorite pants!

We spent a few hours one evening selecting fabric, and he chose this scrumptious recycled hemp and organic cotton blend from Hart’s Fabric.  Most of the notions came out of my stash.  I used gray Gutermann thread that matched the fabric exactly for the bulk of the construction, and a lighter denim topstitching thread for the contrast topstitching.  The buffalo nickel button came from Button Jones.

Creative Counselor: Jedediah Pants

Professional-looking zip fly, awesome back yoke and pockets, nice finished waistband

But, what you’re really interested in, of course, is the pattern.  Well, it’s great.  The pattern is stylish, well-drafted, a great fit, and beautifully finished.  I cut a size 32 for Albert, which is generally the size he wears in RTW pants.

Before cutting into my fabric, I made a muslin, and was quite glad that I did.  The waist, hips and crotch were all a perfect fit, but I had to make some alterations in the legs.  Because Albert is an athlete, he has pretty muscular thighs, and the pants, as drafted, were a little tighter in the thigh than he would prefer.

Also, after putting on the muslin, it was apparent that the “slim” fit of the Jedediah Pants just wasn’t his particular style.  Luckily, that’s all an easy fix.  I added 1/2″ to each of the side seams in the thigh area, which gave him an extra 2″ of ease through the thigh.  Then I measured where his knee would hit in the pants, and redrew the pattern line straight down to the hem from the knee for more of a bootcut fit as opposed to the original slim cut pants.

And that’s it!  I didn’t have to make any alterations to the waist or hip area, and the crotch depth was perfect!

Creative Counselor: Jedediah Pants

Jedediah Pants

I also love, love, LOVE how the fly came out on these pants.  The pattern pieces were shaped a little differently from flies I have put in on kids’ patterns before, and I can say without hesitation that I prefer the fly on the Jedediah Pants. It looks completely professional and RTW.  No one would ever guess these pants are handmade!

Creative Counselor: Jedediah Pants

Jedediah Pants back view

The other thing about this pattern that really merits discussion is the finishing.  These pants are probably the prettiest garment I have ever made.  There is not a single exposed raw edge anywhere in the pants, and every single seam has a really quality finish.

Creative Counselor: Jedediah Pants

Slash pockets and an awesome-looking fully-functional zip fly.

The pattern gives several finishing options, so if you’d rather go quick-and-dirty and just serge or pink seams, you can do that.  But it also walks you through quality, couture finishes for each of the seams.  I have a newfound love for nice seam finishes, and I knew that Albert would appreciate those details, so I included them.

Creative Counselor: Jedediah Pants

The insides are as pretty as the outsides

The pockets have French seams, the inseams and outseams are flat-felled, and the other edges, including the waistband, seat seam, and fly shield, are bound with bias tape.

Creative Counselor: Jedediah Pants

Beautiful finishes

I also concocted my own way to finish the back patch pockets so that there aren’t any raw edges there either, but I have a mini-tutorial in the works for that, so I’ll save those details for later 🙂

Now all that finishing takes time.  A lot of time.  These pants were undoubtedly a labor of love.  I originally had planning to sew two pairs in tandem, but all the finishing and details and topstitching was taking so long that it soon became abundantly clear that if I was going to finish by my deadline, I’d have to focus on one pair.  If I had to guess, I’d say that from fabric cutting to finished hem, these pants took 9-10 hours of solid work to construct.  Not a quick sew by any means, but totally worth the effort!

Be prepared to see more Jedediah Pants in the coming weeks and months.  I have another pair for Albert about 3/4 done in a lovely Robert Kaufman yarn-dyed linen, and Albert has requested a pair of jeans!  Last night we ordered materials for me to start working on a pair of raw denim jeans for him, complete with professional hardware 🙂

Creative Counselor: Jedediah Pants

Jedediah Pants by Thread Theory

Pattern: Jedediah Pants by Thread Theory ($8.50).

Size: 32

Fit: Amazing.  Albert wears a 32 in RTW pants, and the 32 in the Jedediah Pants fit him just like RTW.  I made some alterations in the legs, as details above and below, but he also finds RTW pants to be tight in the thigh.

Fabric: A recycled hemp and organic cotton blend from Hart’s Fabric.  The bias tape I made from quilting cotton in my stash, and the pocketing material is just white voile from www.lowpricefabric.com.

Modifications: All the modifications were in the legs.  I added 1/2″ to each seam in the thigh area to give him an additional 2″ of ease.  Then I widened the lower leg into more of a bootcut by re-drafting the lower leg to come straight down from his knee. The original slim cut of the pattern is great, just not really his style, and I wanted these pants to be something he would love to wear.

Physical pattern: Thread Theory only does PDF patterns right now, and anyone who has read any of my pattern reviews knows that I generally detest PDF patterns.  This is no exception — if I could get this pattern in print, I totally would.  The PDF is a beast!  The pattern sheet is 42 sheets of paper that all have to be trimmed and taped together (though the pattern does come with a single-page file that you could take to a copy shop like Kinko’s and have printed), and the resulting pattern piece is huge.  I completely understand why indie pattern companies do PDF patterns given the startup costs of a printed pattern line, but I really hope that Thread Theory can ultimately do well enough to release their patterns in print.  That being said, the fact that this is a PDF shouldn’t stop you from buying the pattern given the quality of the product, especially compared to what else is out there.

Pros:

  • Great fit that runs extremely close to RTW.
  • The design is well thought-out.  I like that these pants are constructed with a yoke, which gives really nice shaping through the hip and butt area.
  • Beautiful finishes.  These pants are just as pretty on the inside as they are on the outside.
  • Very professional fly and waist area.  I think this is particularly important in a pair of men’s pants since these are some of the most visible areas.
  • I love how the front pockets are constructed.  This was a new way of constructing front pockets for me, and I really liked the result.

Cons:

  • The slim fit style is not for every guy.  Luckily, this is an easy thing to change.
  • The PDF pattern sheet is just a beast.  I struggled to find a hard, flat surface big enough for me to lay it out and trace my pieces.
  • Since I was testing, I had revisions and comments for the designer on the instructions, but I won’t comment on those here because I know the instruction booklet has been changed since I sewed my test garment.

Overall grade: A. It is so hard to find good patterns for men, and this pattern is really a gem.  It’s also a great value at only $8.50.  I’m accustomed to paying at least $16 for a quality adult indie pattern, many far less complicated than this one, so $8.50 just seems like a steal to me!  If you have a man in your life who would appreciate and wear a handmade garment, do not hesitate to buy this pattern. You won’t regret it!

** Disclosure: As a pattern tester, I received the pattern for free, but received no other compensation for this post.  All opinions are 100% my own.

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33 thoughts on “Wait, what? You want to sew for a MAN? — Thread Theory and the Jedediah Pants

    1. Katie Post author

      Yeah, Vogue definitely has the best offerings of the Big 4. I wish their model styling was better, though because Albert has a hard time picturing a finished garment from a pattern illustration and it’s hard to convince him that I can make it look cool when the cover styling is so awful! I think I may have laughed out loud in the store too when I saw those awful Burda things!

      Reply
  1. carolyn

    Excuse me while I pock my jaw off of the floor…these are amazing! Perfect fabric choice, perfect fit, perfect husband 🙂
    Simply amazing!

    Reply
    1. Katie Post author

      Thank you!!! But let’s not declare his absolute perfection TOO soon — it might go to his head 🙂 But he is pretty awesome!

      Reply
  2. Sarah

    Fantastic to read your review – they are beautifully finished! I just got pattern printed today at the copy shop. It was $11 well spent! I couldn’t bear the idea of taping the a4 version. Great to see you have more in the pipeline!

    Reply
    1. Katie Post author

      Thank you! I think printing out the single sheet is the way to go — I hate taping all those sheets together! I’ll look forward to seeing your pants later this month 🙂

      Reply
    1. Katie Post author

      Thanks!! Flat-felling is my new obsession. Such a nice finish and easy to do even though there are a few extra steps 🙂

      Reply
  3. Matt C.

    Laughed at those Burda patterns… those guys look like they just stepped out of the 18th century Swiss village! Somehow I am guessing that those aren’t two of their bestselling patterns.

    I am going to sew the Jeb. jeans pattern – I haven’t ever used a PDF pattern but like you I have not too impressed with what the big pattern companies are offering…

    Reply
    1. Katie Post author

      I certainly hope not! Those Burda patterns were hilarious!

      I sew almost exclusively with indie patterns now, which means I use a lot of PDF patterns by default, particularly kid patterns. I always get print if I can, but often PDF is the only option. If you can manage it, I would recommend having this one printed large scale at a copy shop, though.

      Reply
  4. Heather Feather

    Those pants look fantastic! I can’t believe this is your first menswear item, because they look so professional! I’m so excited to find a new pattern company with quality patterns!

    Reply
    1. Katie Post author

      Thank you! They were fun to make, although definitely more involved and challenging than anything I’ve done in the past. This really is a great new pattern company — having a quality pattern helped so much to give these a professional, RTW look!

      Reply
  5. beachmomof4

    Fabulous Pants! I love how finished the inside is. I was intrigued by the pattern when I first saw it popping up on Pinterest but knew the slim fit wouldn’t appeal to my husband. Hearing how easy it was for you to adjust the fit has me ready to go ahead and purchase the pattern.:)

    Reply
    1. Katie Post author

      Go for it! Adjusting the leg fit was really easy. The fit of the waist and the seat was perfect, so simply widening the leg required very little fiddling. I’m sure your husband will love the pants as much as mine does!

      Reply
  6. Nicole

    Oh my gosh, those turned out perfect! I just purchased the pattern and was happy to see your link to fabric at Hart’s–might have to take a drive to see their offerings in person, but even if I don’t, that weight looks ideal!

    Reply
    1. Katie Post author

      Thanks! I’ll look forward to seeing your version! I’m jealous that you can actually go to Hart’s to look at the fabric — they have such great stuff. This hemp/cotton was perfect for these pants. Great weight for summer, but with just enough heft that he can easily wear them through the fall. And it was really easy to work with!

      Reply
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  11. bearbear

    Hi Katie Thanks so much for the thorough review on this pattern, I appreciate it a lot! I have put this to my sewing list- my dad also likes the bootcut fit better so your post is extremely helpful to me! hopefully I will be able to sew a pair of pants for him in Christmas 2014, (haha that is early to think of I know! But I don’t think my skills are there to sew a pair of pants yet :P)

    Reply
  12. house of pinheiro

    looks amazing. you must be so happy . Thanks for sharing all the modifications. I made hrh the newcastle cardigan but he never worn it because it was too fitted… you see he didn’t let me fit before and i had to make based only on the measurements. not sewing for man for a while

    Reply
    1. Katie Post author

      Thank you! I really loved how they turned out. I made a muslin and made my husband try it on (in crazy patterned old sheets no less) before I sewed them up in my proper fabric. I wasn’t about to put in the time to sew a nicely-finished pair of pants without fitting them! Hope you have better luck sewing for HRH next time!

      Reply
  13. Tyson Pruitt (@Tyson_Pruitt)

    Hi Katie, thanks for sharing this and in fact your review helped convince me to try this pattern. I love how you trimmed the fly and waist with bias tape. I found a black/white/gold paisley I’m going to use similarly for a pair of Jedediah’s in denim.

    What I can’t wrap my head around, however, is how you flat-felled both the inseams and the outseams of the legs. Without hand-stitching the final seam or using an industrial “feed-off-the-arm” machine, that is. Is there something I’m missing? Can you let us in on your secret?

    Reply
    1. Katie Post author

      That sounds like a great fabric combo!

      As for flat-felling the inseams and outseams, I just did it very carefully 🙂 I did the outseams first so they were pretty easy. And then for the inseams, I flat-felled those while the pants were basically assembled. It’s a PITA to be honest, but doable. I started at the top of the inseams — at the crotch — and worked down each leg one at a time. I ended up with a ton of fabric bunched up by the time I reached the leg opening, but it can be done!

      Reply
      1. Tyson Pruitt (@Tyson_Pruitt)

        Thanks Katie. Good to know. I may save trying that for a future lighter-weight project tho. I think I’ll start with the outseams like you did, and then make the call on the inseams when I get to that point. (I *hate* how RTW jeans always leave the outseam seam allowance just loose & serged. It looks sloppy when the denim fades.)

        Reply

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