Boyfriend Jeans

Hello! It’s been ages since I posted. So long, in fact, that I forgot my wordpress password – oops! Anyway, things are good. No reason for my long absence other than just not feeling like blogging. However, I thought this project was worth dusting off the old blog, because I tried a new-to-me pattern company, and there’s not many reviews of this pattern out there. So, here’s my version of the Vado Boyfriend Jeans from Bootstrap Fashion.

Boyfriend Jeans

Recently I’ve seen a few mentions of Bootstrap Fashion. The company appears to offer a variety of services, including “custom” home sewing patterns. The concept is you select (or create) a style, input your measurements, and the software generates a pattern that is supposedly custom fit for you. If I understand correctly, the software program Bootstrap uses is licensed from Lekala Patterns which has been around for a while, and if you look at both sites, they offer a lot of the same patterns.

I thought the idea was kind of intriguing, so I thought I’d give it a shot. The site offers some free patterns, and I’d planned to start with the free straight skirt pattern. However, I’d been out shopping for jeans, and was feeling really frustrated, and decided it was time to make my own. So I set the skirt aside and decided to dive in and try the Boyfriend Jeans first. Since making these jeans, I did go back and make the free skirt, and it turned out well.

Bootstrap offers three jeans patterns: skinny, bootcut, and boyfriend. I noticed that the boyfriend pattern only required a hip and waist measurement, plus your height and butt shape. The other styles have you input a lot more information. So I purchased the boyfriend style. I thought fewer measurements sounded easier, and I hoped the looser fit of the boyfriend style would be more forgiving fit wise.
Boyfriend Jeans

I put in my measurements, paid, and waited for the email with my pattern. The pattern PDF was delivered quickly, as well as some instructions.  (I do note that the Bootstrap instructions aren’t stellar. They’re adequate and do the job, but they’re definitely not like the illustrated, indie-pattern-company-type instruction booklets, or even Big 4 instructions for that matter.)  The PDF went together without any difficulty. I paid .50 cents extra to have the seam allowances added.

I made a muslin, and the fit wasn’t so bad it was a deal breaker, so I continued on and did some alterations. The biggest problem was the rise was really long. These felt like mens jeans, meaning there seemed to be excess crotch room. So I shortened the rise about 1.5 inches. I think I could/should have taken out more because something still feels off about the crotch.

Boyfriend Jeans
I also scooped the back crotch curve out deeper (which I guess lengthened it – honestly I still have a hard time wrapping my brain around pants alterations, even though I’ve read Pants for Real People over and over).

As you can see from the side and back, I still have wrinkles (or are those folds?) in the back. I pinched things and let out seams and re-sewed seams a few times, and it never really looked much different, so I decided this was as good as these were going to get. Looking at the pattern picture, I think the these fit me similar to the way the are represented in the picture.

Boyfriend Jeans
My overall impression is that I’m somewhat happy (maybe a 4 on a 1-5 scale). I ended up with a wearable pair of jeans! They fit better than several RTW ones I tried on (at least these actually fit my waist without being too tight in the hip). And I didn’t have a terrible fitting experience.  But it wasn’t a magic bullet either.  I think these are more boyfriend-y than I really wanted. I wish the crotch wasn’t so long.  I also feel like they get too narrow at the ankle, these are almost too tight when I roll them.
Boyfriend Jeans

I will definitely try another Bootstrap pattern, probably a dress. I am still curious about the other jeans styles too. I think the other styles might have given a better fit because they require more measurements. I may eventually try the bootcut ones, but I don’t have immediate plans because right after making the muslin for these I tried Jalie 2908, and those fit really well straight out of the envelope. (I still need to sew them in denim though.)

Boyfriend Jeans Boyfriend Jeans

Speaking of denim, the fabric for these is from Threadbare Fabrics. It’s the 10 oz 100% cotton Cone Mills Denim. It doesn’t have any stretch, so I thought it would be a good match for the pattern and boyfriend style. It sewed really nicely, and I would recommend it if you are looking for denim without any lycra in it. I’m still on the fence about distressing these. I’d like the look, but have a hard time bringing myself to actually do it after putting the time into sewing them. Maybe I’ll play with my scraps and see how it goes.

Boyfriend JeansBoyfriend Jeans

Whew, that was a longer post than I intended! Has anyone else tried the Bootstrap jeans patterns? What do you think?


Note: This post doesn’t contain any affiliate links. All links are just for convenience of saving you a google search if you want to see what I’m yammering on about. 🙂

34 thoughts on “Boyfriend Jeans

  1. If you google the two companies there are some info about them, basically they use the same cad software Leko and resellers of those patterns. From what I read, bootstrap patterns tend to fit better for a lot of people but are more expensive. I have used Lekala but want to give bootstrap a go.

  2. Those look great construction-wise! You’ve got rivets and everything! Too bad they don’t fit as perfectly as you’d like. I feel that jeans are just destined to not be quite perfect. It’s a sad thought. Hopefully you’ll get some use out of these, though!


  3. I’m so glad you posted about these! I”m always curious to read about people’s experiences with made-to-measure patterns. I think your jeans turned out great!

  4. I think these look fantastic on you! I have a few pairs of RTW boyfriend jeans and I think the rise is supposed to be deeper on them – it is on all of mine. But yours look far better on you than any of mine do on me! I was so curious about this pattern after you first posted about making these. Thanks so much for all the information!

  5. These sound like just the bf jeans I’ve been looking for. The ones I’ve seen sit super low on the hip and I don’t want that. I want fitted around the waist and loose basically everywhere else lool

    Thanks for your review!

  6. I was excited to see your review of these because the indie jeans patterns on the market are just not my personal taste. They are all lovely, don’t get me wrong, but I am a boyfriends jeans girl all the way, and look pretty terrible in skinny jeans or bootcut jeans. I’m totally going to try these! I think they look pretty great on you and the image on the website is intriguing enough for me to give it a go! Thanks for the review 🙂

  7. I’ve used Lekala patterns, but not Bootstrap. I’ve been curious about these jeans, but I will admit that I don’t have major issues with RTW (except the hips are often saggy if the waistband fits), and the Jalie 2908 is pretty much perfect for me if I get bit by the “let’s make jeans!” bug again. 😉 Still, it’s interesting to read other people’s experiences, and while these may not be “perfect”, they look pretty great! 🙂

  8. These are so good. I found this from googling for Vado jeans reviews because I just can’t decide between the closet case pattern or the Vado pattern. This review really helps. Thank you!

  9. I’m a bit late in adding to this conversation but I have only just found your blog! I have tried the midrise bootstrap Vado jeans and even though I did the measurements and the muslin was in a rigid denim, I used a denim with a slight stretch for the proper pair. The thing with this one and the high rise is that you take the knee and leg opening (ankle) measurement and you can make it as wide or skinny as you want. You can also choose what length you would like the inseam which would be easier if you wanted the 7/8 length. They recommend measuring a current pair of jeans to do this. I made the knee and ankle too wide on my first go but they are serviceable enough to be more of a trouser jean because of it. Thankyou for adding the denim and where you purchased it from. A designer I know was talking recently about the kind of denim she likes and mentioned Cone and I found Threadbare when I went searching for it. I want to try the s-gene range of the cone denim for the stretch jeans. Oh and I forgot to mention the other vado jeans can be made in stretch denim with a pattern to suit. You just indicate what percentage of stretch you want to pattern to accommodate.

    Your boyfriend jeans look terrific btw!

  10. I am researching this pattern to see if I really should buy it and your review has been extremely helpful. I am sick of skinny/tight fitting everything for women and after searching for ‘relaxed’ fit without much luck found out it is now called ‘boyfriend’ fit. Thanks for the great details and gorgeous photographs. You did a stellar job on these. I hope I can make something comparable!

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