Wide-Leg Jeans Using Simplicity 8701

Wide-Leg Jeans Using Simplicity 8701

I mentioned a couple of posts back that I was planning to make some jeans and I’m happy to say that I fulfilled my promise with these wide-leg jeans using simplicity 8701. 


A few weeks back, I was asked by Simplicity McCalls on Instagram to review a pattern of my choice from the Sew Direct website and let me tell you I was totally spoilt for choice…sew many patterns sew little time! As soon as I saw Simplicity 8701 though, the stars aligned, I mean, after all, I already had a couple of lengths of fabulous denim that I bought from Fabricate which were eagerly waiting to be sewn up and it would have been rude not to 🙂

The style of these jeans is very much 70s inspired with the front patch pockets and that makes me very happy indeed because I love a bit of a 70s vibe. Also, you may have noticed the word hacking on the pattern envelope because within the instructions are suggestions for variations like pocket changes hem alternatives etc. So I’m sold on that idea too. One hack that I suggest for instance could be a back yoke as there isn’t one on this design (which I think is a refreshing change from the usual jeans style), but it would be easy enough to add one by creating the seam line and closing up the back waist darts. For my jeans, I mostly kept true to the main design on the envelope and I just added back patch pockets and plentiful topstitching.

Simplicity 8701 Pattern Adjustments And Sizing

Okay, let’s talk pattern adjustments and sizing. There is a fair bit of wearing ease added to the pattern as is often the case with the big four pattern companies. Going by my measurements, I would have been a size 12 going out to a 14 waist but after measuring the pattern I cut a size 10 and I added just a little bit at the waist.

I did my usual wide-leg pattern adjustments for the fit…Firstly, I straightened the front crotch curve and added more room at the centre front seam at the same time. Next, I scooped down the back crotch curve whilst at the same time straightening the centre back seam. Oh, and I added half an inch to the overall rise purely because I wanted them to sit in my natural waist and I have a long rise. 

The instructions for this pattern are good with lots of clear diagrams and were easy-to-follow with hacking suggestions scattered liberally throughout. 

There is even an extra sheet of gridded tissue paper included in the envelope that you can use to cut more pattern pieces if you want to. I used it to create front patch pockets with a slanted top and I used the original front pockets as back pockets instead. 

My only minor criticism with this pattern is that there is no zip guard for the fly fastening, however, it was easy enough to make one myself though I would have preferred it as part of the pattern. I think a jeans zip really needs one and they are more comfortable to wear with one as well.

Finishing Touches

Finally, the bells and whistles, or frosting on the cake, if you like…To finish off my jeans I went for traditional rusty orange topstitching. I had fun doing a little design of the back pockets and I did a double row on the inside leg seam, plus plenty around the pocket edges and on the waistband. I also added rivets and a proper jeans button.

Wide-Leg Jeans Using Simplicity 8701
Back pockets
Wide-Leg Jeans Using Simplicity 8701.
Front pockets
Wide-Leg Jeans Using Simplicity 8701
Wide-Leg Jeans Using Simplicity 8701
Wide-Leg Jeans Using Simplicity 8701
Wide-Leg Jeans Using Simplicity 8701

I love the slightly contoured waistband and the 70s shape of the wider leg with the patch pockets on this pattern and I have to say I’m absolutely chuffed with how these turned out. They are super comfy too, in fact, I feel pretty awesome in these and don’t they make my legs look long? Yeah! 🙂

I have a feeling I’ll probably be using this pattern again and I bet it would also be fab in linen for the Spring…hmmm.

Thanks for reading! See you soon. And tell me in the comments if you fancy some wide-leg jeans yourself.

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  1. Linda
    November 13, 2021 / 1:12 pm

    Wow, what a great job you did on these. I have top stitching envy. These are going on my to do list.

    • diane
      November 13, 2021 / 2:01 pm

      Thanks so much, Linda. I’m sure you’ll love them for yourself too.

  2. November 13, 2021 / 1:53 pm

    What beautiful top stitching you did on those! I think the wide leg shape looks very fresh and modern. Unusual that the pattern didn’t have a yoke though, for me that’s one of the defining characteristics of jeans.

    • diane
      November 13, 2021 / 2:05 pm

      Thanks, Catherine! You know, I was browsing RTW wide-leg jeans just the other day for pocket topstitching inspiration and I came across a few without back yokes so maybe it’s a ‘thing’ now? I don’t mind with or without yokes though.

    • Salome
      November 13, 2021 / 4:16 pm

      But these are not necessarily jeans, they say “trousers” in the pattern description, that’s maybe why. But I love these in denim.

      • diane
        November 13, 2021 / 8:54 pm

        Thanks, Salome, yeah you’re right, it does say trousers on the pattern, but I’m glad you like them in denim 🙂

  3. November 13, 2021 / 4:11 pm

    Your jeans are to the moon and back! Surprised am I? Not one bit. Of course you would make a pair of jeans I love! I love me some ’70’s vibe too 🙂 I was born in ’54 so by the ’70’s I was in full on ’20’s swing with jeans; jean skirts, jean shorts, jeans jeans jeans. I had a pair similar to these. I recall donning them in the fitting room and being really surprised how flattering that wide leg was on me. I’m tall and of course most of that length is in my spindly legs so I’ve always suited a silhouette that favours more fullness around the legs to even up my top half which features a 36FF bust 🙂 Now I don’t do jeans. I find that tough denim restrictive and uncomfortable. I’m 100% ponte pants camp which feature an elastic waist . I hardly ever make pants because I can grab a size L in a ponte pant in any shop and they will fit me like a glove from waist to floor so like some people never sew up Ts I don’t gravitate to sewing pants.

    • diane
      November 13, 2021 / 8:57 pm

      Ahhh, thanks so much, Kathleen! I’m so glad you love how my jeans look. I bet you looked awesome in those jeans that you bought in the 70s.

  4. Joan
    November 13, 2021 / 4:50 pm

    Diane, you have outdone yourself with these gorgeous jeans!!! The fit and detailing on pockets + topstitching are absolutely top-notch!

    I think back pockets are fantastic for those of us who are less well-endowed on the backside, and they add the necessary detailing for jeans (or they would be simply, “denim pants”)!

    I keep sticking with straight or narrow straight denim RTW, even though they are not comfortable (waist a little small and structured/ungiving and a bit diggy in the crotch, since I usually wear knit pants), but a trouser-style jean like this would be more comfortable, for sure!

    Your wide-leg jeans look terrific on you!

    • diane
      November 13, 2021 / 9:02 pm

      Thanks, Joan! I’m totally in with you on the back pockets that help to add a bit of real estate for the less well-endowed in the rear…I need all the help I can get…lol! And like you, the jeans I’ve had before have always been straight leg styles. This is my first foray into a denim wide leg and it’s a refreshing change for me.

  5. November 16, 2021 / 11:39 am

    I love the deep hem and your beautiful topstitching. These are truly a masterpiece.

    • diane
      November 16, 2021 / 8:18 pm

      That’s lovely of you to say Sue, thank you.

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