I have to admit I did not love this pattern when I first saw it in Named’s ‘Breaking the pattern’. I think it was more to do with the sample in the book, I am not really a fan of the denim patchwork look and I was probably heavily influenced by that. But as I was working on my Saraste Shirtdress, following the instructions in the book, the pages kept flipping and the book would open on the Palo jeans pages.

Looking closer at the design, it started to grow on me. I liked the unusual pocket design, all the seam lines which were begging for double topstitching, and the darted partial back yoke.

I think the design lines would show much better in a lighter denim, but I already have 2 pairs of grey jeans. Still, I wanted to try a different colour than the standard indigo denim and I was happy to find the Art Gallery Denim Fabric in this gorgeous brick red. The pattern asks for no or minimal stretch denim. This denim doesn’t have any stretch but it’s quite loosely woven and it has a bit of give, more than ‘standard’ denim. This makes it very comfortable to wear.

I started with a 152 cm long piece and after washing I had 144 cm left. So about a 5% shrinkage and it might shrink more after a second wash, but it will probably much less. I hope!

This is the first Named bottom pattern I ever usd, so I started with a muslin

Muslin #1,#2,#3

There were quite a few changes I had to make to make them fit. I compared the pattern with the Gingers Pattern I’ve made before and had a good fit.

I started with a size 4 based on the size chart in the book and before even cutting the muslin I made the following changes:

  • Shortened the legs by 3cm at the knee. I am 159cm (5’2”) and I didn’t want to end with the horizontal seams across my calves.

  • Shortened the crotch by 3 cm under the hip line

  • Added the 6cm back at the hem

  • Made a flat seat adjustment

After the first muslin I made a few more changes:

  • Made the back pocket 1.5cm shorter and moved it up by the same amount

  • Shortened the front crotch by 0.5cm

  • Took out a 0.5cm vertical wedge from the yoke at centre back to remove the fullness

I wasn’t sure what to do about all those wrinkles along the back thigh but then remembered a trick mentioned in the Ginger jeans sewalong, something Burda does with all their trousers patterns - I dropped the back crotch by 1.2cm, this makes the back inseam shorter than the front one so you have to ease it in. The back crotch still seemed too short so before cutting the denim I added 0.5cm more to the back crotch/inseam.

I’m happy with the fit and the overall look, relaxed but still close fitting. My only (slight) regret is the topstitching not showing more. I used gold Topstitching Thread which looks great against the red when you look closely.

I feel like I want my neat stitching to show more :D even though I actually like the subtle accent. Maybe the seams will show more after several washings.

I loved working with this fabric and it’s very comfortable to wear. I like the slubby texture, different thread sizes are woven together to give a very textured bust soft feel. I am very tempted by the ‘Canyon Sunset’ and the ‘Evergreen Slate’ colourways, I think they would look great as a pair of Morgan Jeans and McCalls 7445.

P.S. If you google the ‘Palo jeans’, a certain sewing magazine offers the pattern for download. The instructions would only be included in the magazine though.