Jeans Sew-Along: How to choose: Quadra or Fulford Jeans?
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)
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
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:
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
To wind things up on a more personal note, you might be interested to know which fit my friends and family members prefer:
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.
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!
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!