Sunday, January 18, 2015

Ginger Jeans

I made some jeans!

And I love them - despite them being a little on the large side!  I really need some casual clothes in my wardrobe - and this was the first attempt.  I used the Ginger Jeans by Closet Case.  There are two designs in the pattern - low rise with stovepipe legs, and high rise with skinny legs.  Of course, I wanted high rise with stovepipe.  And what the lady wants, the lady gets - at least when she is wielding the scissors!

I traced off size 18 as that seemed to fit my measurements the best, and I found that the pattern ran rather on the large side.  My hip and waist measurements are not vastly different so I took a slice off the hips at their widest part, probably about 1/2" at the two seams, and then took 3/4" seams down the sides.  Other than that, I made these up, without any other changes. 

Without any further ado - here are some close ups.  As you can see, there is some bagginess going on around the back, under my butt and the yoke needs altering too:

This is waistband pulled up a bit more - somewhat smoother!

I think if the bagginess is dealt with then the pockets will lie flatter.  Whilst I love the top stitching, the contrast is a bit much, so I will probably play around with other colours.

The front looks pretty much OK - I will use front stays in future (see below under 'cons') and that will help with a smoother tummy area.  And yes, your eyes are not deceiving you, there was a fault in the fabric that I could not avoid (I bought 2m of 45" fabric, so I don't think that I had a scrap bigger than 2" square!) and there is a line across the crotch.  I am hoping that once these get worn in and creased, the line won't show as much!

Incidentally, I used 8.5oz denim, although the fabric is not a twill.  The top stitching thread is Coats Jeans thread.  It worked OK with my machine, but when I added the belt loops it was pulled through to the wrong side of the fabric.  To overcome this, I added more tension to the thread by running it through my fingers (as it came off the reel before it is threaded through the various loops and tension) as it was being sewn - a bit odd, but it worked well.  Due to lack of fabric I lined the waistband with some stretch cotton poplin.  The waistband could probably use more structure, and I may try denim on the inside next time.

I used my Singer Featherweight with the Singer buttonholer, and went round three times.  That buttonhole ain't going nowhere!  The button itself was a two-piece button that is hammered on.  I think it makes the jeans look more professional.

I know that these look a bit 'Mom Jeans' but I would not wear these without a top covering the waist area, and they are just so comfortable, that I am not going to change.  But I am going to work on getting a better fit!  For a first pair, I used these for testing techniques and I am happy I did.


  • I really like the look of these - they look like RTW. Can't wait to try out a patterned denim and corduroy. I love corduroy!
  • The advice on top stitching is spot on.  I am now working on what will be my 'signature' pocket top-stitching design!

  • Front pockets are too small. I also prefer front pocket stays and will use them in future. I wanted to try out this pocket though as it was so quick and easy. I like it - I just prefer larger pockets and stays! And on the subject of pockets, I like the right side of my pretty fabric to be inside the pockets so that I know that is where the right side is. I don't like the right side showing on the inside of the jeans - it just seems wrong.


  • When I fit the zipper, I align the zipper tape on the left with the centre seam. This moves my zipper further under the fly, ensuring that there is no 'zipper flashing'!
  • Took off about 1/2" on the side seams (both front and back leg pieces) in the hip area.
  • Sewed 3/4" side seams
  • Cut off about 6" on the waistband - and it was still a bit on the long side
So what is next?  Clearly I will be making more of these, and using my Christmas gift card from Mr. SDSC I bought fabric to make up another four pairs.  Different colours and weights of denim.  Woohoo!  I plan on using some leftover stretch red corduroy to make some test jeans that I can slice and dice for a better fit - especially in the lower butt area.  I have also traced off size 16 for the next pair and I think that will help with some of the fitting issues.  I think that I will need to wear this version with a belt, so a smaller size makes sense. 

I have posted a review on Pattern Review if you are interested!

Have you made jeans?  Would you consider it in the future?  How did they turn out?  I'd love to know!


  1. Fantastic jeans twotoast. They fit better than my Jalie jeans which were a bit too low rise for my taste and had some bagginess under the bottom. They need a bit more work. You know what is needed to improve yours and are on the way to perfect jeans. Well done. (And if "Mom jeans" fit and are comfortable well that is all that matters).

  2. I view jeans as the 'ultimate challenge', more so than even a fitted jacket! These have got a lot of potential and are definitely wearable, the topstitching is lovely too. I think you could loose some width if you found a stretchy fabric.

  3. Fabulous jeans. You have done a great job there.

  4. Great job making your first pair of jeans, your top stitching is fantastic. Making jeans is on my list but I'll have to start with regular slacks first.


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