This winter has been the season of jeans making for me, and for my third consecutive pair this year, I made the Worship jeans by Daughter Judy Patterns. The Worship jeans are different from my previous two jeans projects in terms of drafting, construction, and fit, so that’s why I wanted to make them. They complement the other two patterns and give me a different silhouette in my jeans rotation.
Design and Fit
The Worship jeans are described as a higher mid-rise jean (or low high rise, take your pick), with low ease in the hip and waist for a fit that will break in with wear and mold to the body over time. The leg is either slightly tapered (View A) or flared (View B). The straight waistband is slightly pitched forward, sitting higher in the back and dipping lower in the front to form a V-shape.
The waistband is what intrigued me the most about this pattern. I’ve worn straight waistbands, and I’ve worn contoured waistbands, but here we have a straight waistband that behaves like a contoured one.
The V-shape of the Worship jeans is intentionally drafted to create a more comfortable fit that won’t cut you in stomach when you sit down. I’ve always avoided close-fitting, rigid jeans because of this unpleasant side effect when sitting, but after breaking them in, I can sit for hours comfortably in my Worship jeans.
Comfort is not the only advantage of a V-shaped waistband. The V-shape creates an interesting silhouette, as well. Looking at current RTW fashion, I found numerous examples of “V-front” jeans, as they are called, some with a more pronounced shape and others more subtle.
Comparing a V-front waistband to a classic straight waistband reveals the visual effect on the design. The V-front creates a softer shape to the torso and accentuates the curves of the body (below, left). A straight waistband creates a more boxy shape and slightly different proportions (below, right). It’s subtle, but I like the effect of the slight curve at the top of the jeans.
The V-shape of the Worship jeans is on the more subtle end of the spectrum, but I love the overall effect on both the design and the comfort.
Fit and Fitting
The Worship jeans come in 2 size ranges; the DD size range covers a 35.3-49 inch (90.2-124.5 cm) hip circumference, and the JJ covers a 45.5-66.5 inch (15.6-169 cm) hip circumference.
Both size ranges have low ease in the waist and hip. In the DD size range, the intended ease at the waist is 0.75 inches, and at the hip is 0.5 inches. In the JJ size range, the amount of ease varies according to size but is similarly low.
Some folks may raise an eyebrow at the low amount of ease in the Worship jeans. However, keep in mind that this pattern is intended for denim, which has a twill weave that will relax and grow with wear. Exactly how much a denim will grow depends on the denim, but one should count on these jeans feeling very snug in the beginning.
If you are new to fitting jeans, this pattern requires a little extra care and attention to make sure that you are happy with the final outcome. Rigid denim jeans with low ease have less wiggle room to tweak the fit, so the margin for error between comfortable and uncomfortable can be much smaller compared to a pattern with more ease. Daughter Judy recommends buying 2x the denim and making a test pair of Worship jeans before finalizing your adjustments, and I don’t disagree with that strategy if you are new to jeans fitting. A little extra effort can go a long way toward making a garment that fits you beautifully and that you will love for years.
Tips for making a jeans pattern with low ease:
- Take a new set of accurate body measurements before choosing your size. Be mindful of how firmly or loosely you hold your tape measure. Holding the tape measure more firmly against the body to get a smaller circumference will significantly reduce or even eliminate the amount of wearing ease in the final garment, which could mean uncomfortable jeans.
- Choose a denim that you have sewn with before so you know how much the denim will relax, and you can factor that into your size choice. Some denims with a looser weave or a lighter weight will relax as much as 1.5 inches, whereas heavier-weight, tightly woven denims may relax less.
- When in doubt, size up. The Worship jeans have a 1/2 inch seam allowance, so it is much easier to take them in as you are fine-tuning the fit than to let them out.
- Wear your jeans for a few days before deciding if they are too snug. My Worship jeans took a week or two of constant wear to break in, including a session of vigorous snow shoveling and several walks around the neighborhood.
I took a little bit of a gamble when fitting these jeans and intentionally did not change much. My hip circumference is 42 inches, so I cut a size 12, which gives me 0.5 inches of positive ease at the hip. Using Top Down Center Out, I took in the side seams at the waistline, effectively blending to a size 10 in the waist.
The worship jeans were drafted for someone who is 5’6″ (167 cm), and I am 5’10” (178 cm), so I lengthened the leg by 3 inches (7.6 cm).
The fit felt VERY snug at first, and I had just enough room to zip them up. After breaking in, they fit like a glove and are very comfortable. They even pass the squat test, which is not always possible in tight-fitting, rigid denim.
The fit through the crotch is much snugger than my previous two pairs of jeans (Helene jeans and Adams pants), with the seam sitting very close to the body. So these jeans have a much “cheekier” or “peachier” fit in the back compared to my other jeans, which I like. It’s within the zone of what I consider comfortable, but I may add 1/4 – 3/8 inches of extra length in the back rise for my next pair just to give myself a bit more crotch ease.
The instructions are clear and accurate, and the illustrations are very detailed. Below, I’ve highlighted a few of my notes.
- INTERFACING: Interfacing the waistband is optional for this pattern, and I usually interface my jeans waistbands if there is 1 or more inches of positive ease. However, given the low amount of ease for Worship (0.75 inches at the waist), I decided to cut the interfacing on the crossgrain so it would be slightly stretchy — I like to think of this approach as a happy medium between “full strength” interfacing and no interfacing at all, giving me some insurance that my waistband will be pliable but won’t over stretch.
- ZIPPER FLY: The construction of the Worship jeans fly uses a professional workflow that is a bit different than what many home sewists might be used to. There are a few key differences in the order of fly assembly, and the front crotch seam is secured in one pass of stitching rather than two. There is a nice video tutorial from Last Stitch here that demonstrates the technique, and I hear there will be a sew along video from Daughter Judy in the future.
- FRONT CROTCH: Although the instructions didn’t call for it, I used fusible double sided tape to stick my fronts together (you could also baste this step) to help stabilize everything so I could sew it accurately.
- BUTTONHOLES: To facilitate sewing the buttonhole, I also graded the seam allowance just along the fly facing before closing the waistband. Grading this seam and clipping the ends of my zipper tape creates a smoother surface for my buttonhole foot to do its magic.
I’m a big fan of Daughter Judy, so it’s no surprise that I love this pattern as much as I do. It’s challenging to draft a jeans pattern that is so fitted in the waist and hip yet still comfortable enough for everyday wear, and this pattern delivers. The Worship fit manages to be both modern and classic, a wardrobe staple with some unique details. And it’s a little sexier than the Helene or the Adams. So these jeans work for everyday wear but can be easily dressed up. I already have a second pair of Worship jeans cut out, and this will likely be a TNT pattern for me.