I’ve got a wardrobe staple to share with you today – my very first pair of Ginger Jeans!
I finished these Ginger Jeans way back at the beginning of May – just in time to get me through Me Made May! Although I’ve made ‘jeans’ before using the Lander pants pattern (here), this was my first time using a true jeans pattern. The immensely popular Ginger Jeans pattern is designed to be a classic pair of skinny jeans by the (amazing!) Heather of Closet Case Patterns. This pattern was one of the first indie jeans sewing patterns and I think that Closet Case is responsible for the jeans-making craze that hit the sewing community.
This pattern totally lives up to the hype. I was a bit nervous about fitting and sewing this pattern, so I bought the online class from Closet Case. Heather makes it super easy to make a great-fitting pair of jeans with everything from advice on how to cut out the jeans to avoid leg twist, common fitting issues and how to solve them, to how to actually construct the jeans and install the hardware. I watched the first few lessons before starting a thing and that gave me the confidence boost I needed to get going.
I made the mid-rise version, which comes with the online class and is my preferred rise for jeans, with the ‘stovepipe’ leg (what I would call a straight leg). My measurements (waist 37″, hips 43″) put me at a size 18 for the waist and between the 14 and 16 at the hips. However, in my experience with fitting skirts and pants, anytime I make a size based on my actual waist measurement, the waistband ends up too large. I don’t understand why this is, but I’ve had it happen enough times that I now feel pretty confident ignoring the waist measurements and making a size based on my hip instead. I cut out a size 16 and basted them together – and they still ended up too big pretty much everywhere. I decided that what I really needed to do was to go down a size, and I was able to lay the pattern pieces back on top of the fabric and trim all the pieces down to a size 14. The baste fit with the smaller size fit great – suddenly they looked like a nice pair of jeans!
I love how the fit on these came out – a nice slim fitting pair of jeans, but not super skin-tight. I find that I just don’t like wearing my super skinny fitting jeans very much. It’s so satisfying to be able to make a pair with my own two hands – and my own two machines:) – that fit just how I like.
I used a very soft and stretchy denim – and it is possible that some of the slouchiness in the original size 16 baste-fit resulted from the stretch of the denim. I have a really hard time choosing denim – especially stretch denim. It can feel so stiff on the bolt that I think there’s no way I’d want to wear it, but as soon as you wash it, it’s like a whole other beast. This mystery denim has a bit of a nubby texture, and feels like it’s just cotton and lycra (no poly). I plan on investing a bit more time (and money) on a nice high quality denim for my next pair. The waistband is a bit too soft on this pair for my taste – I interfaced only one side of the waistband with stretch interfacing, and it just doesn’t hold up very well to a day of wearing. I prefer a nice firm waistband and need to wear a belt with this pair of jeans to keep them from sagging. So next time – more interfacing!
I am totally calling this make a win. My Ginger Jeans have made their way into regular wardrobe rotation and made frequent appearances during Me-Made-May. My two favorite pairs of ready-to-wear jeans are nearing the end of their lives (both have been patched up more than once!), so I see more jeans making in my near future.