Thread Theory

Welcome to the new era of menswear sewing. Go ahead and create something exceptional!


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How to choose: Quadra or Fulford Jeans?

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With the launch of two jeans patterns simultaneously, we’ve left you with a tough decision to make…which jeans pattern is best for you, the Quadra Jeans or the Fulford Jeans? (The Fulford Jeans are pictured above and the Quadra Jeans are pictured below)

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Today I’m going to help you analyse these two styles so you can come up with a confident choice.  First we’ll look at the language I use to compare them, next we’ll compare them to a well known store bought jean, and lastly we will inspect the actual pattern pieces to see the differences in proportions.

Description of Fit

Quadra-vs-Fulford-Technical-Illustration

I describe the fit of the Quadra and Fulford jeans patterns using one paragraph on each product listing.  I’ve copied the paragraphs below and have made the key phrases bold:

The Quadra Jeans sewing pattern provides a subtly modern take on the classic straight leg jean.  This pair of jeans features a slight taper to the leg and extra room in the thigh to allow for lots of movement.  They sit below the waist as a moderate low rise.  Sew these jeans in denim with no stretch or up to 2% elastane to add just that little bit of additional flexibility that so perfectly suits an active lifestyle.

The Fulford Jeans sewing pattern is a truly classic straight leg jean.  This pair of jeans features a regular fit in the thigh and straight legs.  They feature a conservatively high rise reminiscent of vintage work jeans that sits just below the waist.  Sew these jeans in a rugged denim and expect to wear this hard wearing pair for years to come.

As you can see, there are differences in the lower leg, the thigh, the rise and the intended style.  Let’s take a closer look at these differences:

Quadra vs Fulford Thigh

Leg: The Quadra jeans (pictured above left) taper from the knee to the hem for an overall look that is slim.  The Fulford jeans (pictured above right) are straight from the knee down for an overall bulkier look.  The size 34 Quadras feature a 15 3/4″ hem width while the Fulfords feature a 16 3/4″ hem width.

Quadra vs Fulford Thigh Back View

Thigh: To make up for the slim fit elsewhere, the Quadra Jeans (pictured left) provide more room in the thigh to allow for comfort when sitting.  This means the difference between the thigh and calves is proportionately larger than the Fulford jeans (pictured right) which emphasises the tapered look of the Quadras.  The Fulford jeans are only slightly curved at the hip and quite straight through the thigh which emphasises the straight silhouette through the legs.  The size 34 Quadras feature a 24 7/8″ thigh while the Fulfords feature a 24 1/4″ thigh.

Quadra vs Fulford Rise

Rise:  The Quadra jeans (pictured left) are what is often referred to as “mid-rise” or “moderate-low rise” meaning they sit well below the natural waist.  The Fulford Jeans (pictured right) are a higher rise and sit just below the natural waist.  This means that the fly is visually longer on the Fulford Jeans.  The size 34 Quadras feature a 9″ rise while the Fulfords feature a 10″ rise.

Quadra vs Fulford Style

Style: While both jeans could be sewn in non-stretch denim or denim with up to 2% elastane, the tapered leg of the Quadras (pictured left) really pairs well with the added flexibility of stretch denim.  Stretch allows the wearer to feel completely unrestricted when bending his legs during physical activity (even though the fit at the knees and calves is fairly slim).  The Fulfords (pictured right) would be lovely and comfortable with a bit of stretch but the wearer would not notice it in the same way because the knees and calves are already allowed so much room.  Thick denim would not feel restricting when used for the Fulfords (though make sure your machine can handle the thickness before choosing anything too rugged!).

Fit Compared to Levis

Levis 502 vs Levis 501

Since Levis are such a well known brand, I examined their various styles when designing our jeans patterns.  I wanted to make styles that were comparable to their popular fits so that men could try on their store bought jeans before deciding which pattern suited them best.  The Quadra Jeans are similar in fit to Levis 502 (pictured left) while the Fulford Jeans are similar to Levis 501 (pictured right).

Pattern Piece Proportions

By placing the size 34 Quadra and Fulford pattern pieces on top of each other you can get a visual understanding of their differences and similarities.  In the following diagrams the Quadra Jeans are orange and the Fulford Jeans are white.

Front

Quadra-vs-Fulford-Front

The diagrams above show the difference in hem and knee width.  You can also see the inch taller rise on the Fulford Jeans.  While the Quadra Jeans appear narrower at the side seam, the inner thigh curve is less exaggerated providing slightly more room in the thighs than the Fulford Jeans (when paired with the back pattern piece).

Back

Quadra-vs-Fulford-Back

Here you can see similar differences to the front pattern pieces: The Quadras are narrower at the hem and knee.  They also feature a more exaggerated curve at the inner thigh.  Their hips curve inwards to create a closer fit where the yoke seam will be when the back and yoke are sewn together.

Yoke

Quadra-vs-Fulford-Yoke

The Quadra Yoke is considerably narrower than the Fulford and tapers dramatically towards the waist.  This allows for more shaping to create a slim fitting waist paired with roomy thighs.  The Fulford Yoke is angled less and is wider.  The overall effect of this yoke is to create a straight fit through the hips.

Front Pockets

Quadra-vs-Fulford-Pockets

The different pocket shapes don’t effect fit but are simply shaped differently to suit the aesthetic of each jean.  The Fulford pockets are angular while the Quadra pockets are curved.  The coin pocket is the same size for both pairs.

Back Pockets

Quadra-vs-Fulford-Back-Pockets.jpg

The back pocket pieces are identical for both the Fulford and Quadra Jeans and for all sizes.  We found that increasing the pocket proportionately with the size did not result in a flattering look.  The pattern includes five topstitching templates or you can leave the pockets free from decorative stitching as is often the case for men’s jeans.

Fly Pieces

Quadra-vs-Fulford-Fly

The Fulford fly pieces are longer than the Quadra fly pieces to suit the higher rise of the jeans.  You will also notice that the Fulford zipper shield is narrower which is a style difference that results in less heft and bulk at centre front when you sew this pair of jeans in a heavy denim as workwear.  Since the Quadra Jeans are not as likely to be sewn in very heavy denim, their wide shield will not feel too bulky and will, of course, more thoroughly protect the wearer from the zipper.

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To wind things up on a more personal note, you might be interested to know which fit my friends and family members prefer:

Matt Mike and Scott

Quadras: Matt, Mike (Matt’s brother), our friend Scott.  All of these men are fairly young and are used to wearing a lower rise and closer fit when it comes to pants.  They also like the Jedediah Pants over our Jutland Pants.

My dad and Matt's dad

Fulfords: My dad (who prefers roomy legs and the fit of our Jutland Pants over our Jedediah Pants) and Matt’s dad (he loves Levi 501s which I believe he is wearing in the photo above).

Now that we’ve analysed things thoroughly, I hope you are able to choose between our two new patterns easily!  Regardless of the pattern you choose, you will be treated to an incredibly thorough set of instructions and will be able to make jeans featuring every detail you would find in a good quality store bought equivalent!

Ready to choose?  Download the Quadra Jeans or download the Fulford Jeans.

And don’t forget, we always feature this offer on our PDF only patterns:  When the patterns are available in tissue format, everyone who purchased the PDF will be given the opportunity to buy the tissue version minus the cost of the PDF.  That way you don’t have to pay for both formats but you also don’t have to wait until the jeans are printed to get sewing!


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Just launched: Two men’s jeans patterns

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I’m so excited to share with you not one, but two new patterns today!  We have been working over the last year to create the perfect men’s jeans pattern and wound up creating two designs with different fits: Meet the Quadra Jeans and Fulford Jeans!

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Both patterns are available in size 28-50 which is a far bigger size range than our Jedediah Pants and Jutland Pants include!

I’ll walk you through the Quadra Jeans first:  They are part of the Parkland Collection which means they are a casual wardrobe staple tending towards a modern, slim fit.

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The Quadra Jeans feature a subtly tapered leg, a little extra room in the thighs, and a moderate low rise.

Quadra mens jeans sewing pattern-8

You can sew these jeans in denim with no stretch or up to 2% elastane for added flexibility.  They include all of the classic jeans details including a zipper fly, strengthening topstitching, flatfell inseams, rivets on high stress areas, and a jeans button.

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I’ve included a unique feature, as far as jeans go to make fitting easier for the home sewist:  The waistband is cleverly sewn with a center back seam (as you would often see in men’s dress trousers).  This center back seam features regular 5/8″ seam allowances so if you are sewing for a man with a fluctuating waistline or are sewing the jeans as a surprise gift, they are easy to adjust larger or smaller even after they are fully constructed!  The seam is completely hidden beneath the center back belt loop so the waistband looks like it would on classic jeans.

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The Quadras look great sewn in denim or other trouser weight materials.  I used Cone Mills denim with 1% elastane for our first sample and a cotton twill for our second sample:

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You can see the taper of the leg well in the photo below.

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Now you are well acquainted with the Quadra Jeans, let’s have a look at the Fulford Jeans!

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This is a classic straight leg design with just a slight curve at the hips (which can easily be removed if you would like to use selvage denim – I will go over this in the sew-along!)

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They include a higher rise than the Quadras (just below the waist) and a roomier fit at the knees and calves in a manner reminiscent of vintage work jeans.

Fulford mens jeans sewing pattern-6

Just like the Quadras, they include all the details you would expect – lots of topstitching, a yoke, a coin pocket and plenty of bartacks.  They also include a zipper fly.

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When sewn in a brushed cotton they make a lovely casual trouser.

Fulford mens jeans sewing pattern-21

The Fulford fit was a bit unfamiliar to our younger model (my sewing friend’s obliging husband, Scott) as he is more used to the lower rise of the Quadras.  The Fulford rise, on the other hand, was exactly the height that Matt’s dad, Rick, is used to (who was photographed in the denim version of the Fulford Jeans).

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Here you can see the roomier fit in the lower legs due to the straight cut:

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Each pattern includes incredibly detailed instructions done using the same construction method as our Jedediah Pants and Jutland Pants (so if you have sewn either of those patterns, you will find these a breeze!).  I’ve more than doubled the amount of diagrams included compared to the Jedediah Pants since I know that many of us are very visual sewists.

If you are more familiar with the construction method included in Closet Case jeans patterns or a different order of construction from a beloved vintage pattern (for instance), you will be relieved to know that our pattern pieces will work perfectly well with other construction methods – just sub in your favourite set of instructions instead of using ours.

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That being said, I am very proud of the results our method produces and can’t wait to share the sew-along I’ve been working on with you!  We’ll be talking about fitting, I’ll share detailed photos of sewing the fly, and I can answer any questions you might have along the way…stay tuned for the start of the sew along in a couple of weeks (date tbd soon!).

In addition to our two new patterns, we’ve also dropped a myriad of high quality jeans-making notions and tools in the shop today!

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First up, we have beautiful blank Kraft-tex labels to stitch onto your jeans waistband:

Quadra mens jeans sewing pattern-11

Kraft-tex washable paper is back in stock by the 1/2 m for your bag and wallet making projects and I’ve cut some of it into perfect jeans labels so you don’t need to purchase more than the tiny quantity needed to add to your jeans.  I love to leave the label blank as a way to catch people’s eye…these jeans don’t have a brand name!  You could also print on the label with waterproof ink.  Each label costs only $2 CAD so it is a very affordable way to add a special touch to your jeans project.

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In addition to the Talon zippers we’ve stocked for many years, we now offer 7″ and 8″ Countess zippers in classic navy and brass.  The 7″ length is suitable for the Quadra Jeans sizes 26-38 while the 8″ is perfect for the Quadra Jeans sizes 40-50 and the Fulford Jeans sizes 26-38.

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Prym rivet kits are now available in the shop.  I’ve tested out many hardware kits while developing these jeans patterns and this is the set with which I am 100% pleased.  The included tools are good quality and make installation very secure with only the addition of a hammer and firm table.  I love that the rivets include two “right sides” – a smooth gunmetal side and a dimpled copper side.

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The copper set looks stunning against dark denim!

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We also carry a silver set which features the gunmetal alternative as well.  Each set includes enough rivets for four pairs of jeans!

To pair with the Prym rivets, you will find two new jeans button kits available, also by Prym.

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In the photo above you can see the silver button we’ve stocked in our shop for some time now.  In the middle is my favourite copper Prym button (measuring a classic 17mm).  On the right is the larger art deco Prym button (measuring 20mm) whose proportions are pleasing on heavy weight work jeans.  Both button sets include the necessary tools for installation and feature enough buttons to make many pairs of jeans.

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Lastly, if you plan to sew multiple pairs of jeans or if hardware application really makes you nervous, you’ll be pleased to find some installation tools in the shop!  The Prym pliers work for everything from rivets to snaps (they’re great for applying those plastic snaps to baby clothes…speaking from experience here!) and the tripod is an excellent choice for those with decreased dexterity (it stabilises the tiny pieces for you leaving your hands well away from the hammer).

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I hope you agree that our jeans patterns are filling a void in the world of menswear sewing and that you are excited to get sewing denim with me!

I’ll be sharing the details about the sew-along and also some of our wonderful test sewer’s versions on the blog shortly.

Choose your new jean pattern in our shop: Quadra Jeans or Fulford Jeans.