Frayed Cone Mills Gingers

Ginger jeans

I dug out the Ginger jeans pattern again because I’ve had some lush denim kicking around my stash for ages and really fancied trying a few tweaks out based on some RTW window-shopping inspiration. With the high waist and cropped frayed hems it’s about as close to the ‘mom jean’ trend as I’ll allow myself to go – and another tick off my to-sew list board.

Ginger jeans

These are view B of Ginger, the high waisted skinny leg ones, the only difference being about 4″ chopped off the length and about 3/8″ more ease at each side seam for a non-skintight look. I cut the legs with the pattern pieces butted up to the cut edge of the denim: after being through the prewash it had a good amount of artful natural fray. I cut the top of the back pockets on a raw edge too.

Ginger jeans

Ginger jeans

For a change I did three lines of topstitching along the yoke and inseam using regular thread in pale grey and my machine’s triple stitch function to make it stand out nicely. I like how it looks on the seams but it didn’t work so well for the fly topstitching: the back-and-forth action made it go a bit wobbly around the curve. I ripped out my first go (it’s not a fun stitch to rip) and it’s still not looking super great. Funny how those things get less important once you actually start wearing your new pants though, eh?

Ginger jeans

Ginger jeans

Ginger jeans

The denim is the famous Cone Mills stuff, which Katie of Handmade Threads / Threadbare Fabrics kindly gave to me when I met up with her in LA last October. I’m not sure which weight and colourway it is, but it’s quite lightweight with plenty of stretch in a dark charcoaly-indigo shade. It’s *insanely* comfortable: when I tried the jeans on partway through construction I didn’t even want to take them back off. I really hope they keep their shape as promised!

Ginger jeans

Pretty guts using scraps of ikat-printed rayon for the pockets and to bind the inner waistband and fly shield.

Ginger jeans

I admit I do still have a RTW jean habit, mainly due to not being able to find the right sort of denim to sew my own. But after several demoralising try-ons of styles like this in the shops I was so happy to dig into this lovely denim and make myself a pair that fits just right and is 100% unique. And if anyone knows a great stockist for true solid stretch denims in indigo or black please do let me know…

27 thoughts on “Frayed Cone Mills Gingers

  1. Gill

    I am very impressed and inspired – I know I’ve said it before, but if ever I manage to make a pair of trousers that fit, the next stop is jeans!
    (I’ve had some pink stretch denim in my ebay basket for weeks – shall I, shan’t I?!?)

  2. Liz

    Ooo they look great! Yes I’ve been hunting for good denim in the UK after some failures. However I find this to be fantastic:

    https://www.minervacrafts.com/shop/fabric/dress-fabrics/50c-5292-distressed-heavy-denim-dress-fabric-blue-per-metre

    It’s a very dark blue/indigo, good weight, sews beautifully and has great recovery. My first pair from this I wore almost daily and have only worn where I cycle (and are still being worn patched, and still very comfortable!) and my second pair are doing very well. I think I will stock up on more for a third (and possibly fourth…) pair. Not much colour choice, but I keep looking elsewhere, and this is a good basic!

    1. Katie Post author

      Thank you for the tip! I have some rigid non-stretch jeans using Minerva’s denim and I like it a lot.

  3. Heather

    I love that triple topstitching on the yoke! These look really fantastic Katie – the fit is perfect!! I’m with you on the fact that once you start wearing the jeans you make, the little imperfections really don’t matter as much, and I always find with a couple washes, they always look great anyway.

    I am a pretty die-hard Cone Mills girl, so I pretty much order my denim exclusively from Katie at Threadbare Fabrics. If you are looking for something specific, I’m sure she would help you find it too.

    I think I’ve mentioned this before, but I have ordered some Italian Stretch denim from Ditto fabrics and I really liked it. I made my Angela Wolf jeans out off it and they are so comfy. I don’t think the recovery is quite as good as my Cone Mills though. Hope that helps! Good denim is hard to find.

    1. Katie Post author

      Thanks jeans queen! I’m going to order some from ditto I think, I got some samples a while ago that seemed pretty legit.

  4. Rebecca

    AAAAAH!! I love these! i’ve been hesitating, wanting to make basically this exact pair – thanks for doing it so that I know it looks amazing, you’ve given me the boost I need to get cutting! that cone mills feels so precious I’ve been afraid to make a not perfect jean. No more! love the topstitching and Xed belt loops, too.
    high five. :)

  5. Katie

    Awesome jeans!!!! I love all your customized details – including the triple topstitching lines, I’m going to have to use that on my next pair (post-baby, in the fall!). The frayed pockets and cropped length make these awesome as well!!! <3 <3 <3

    1. Katie Post author

      Thanks Katie! I didn’t really have a plan at all beyond the frayed hems, all the rest just happened as I sewed :)

    1. Katie

      Hi Sarah!! Unfortunately, we’re all out of black and I’ve been searching, but I haven’t found another denim that’s up to snuff yet! :( Hopefully soon though!

      1. Katie Post author

        SOLIDS please, Katie! Keep up the good search!

        I wonder if I could overdye the Cone Mills? Is that sacrilege?

  6. Sarah

    Love these, they look great on you! I have been making cropped trousers (cotton poplin and twill) recently to practice fitting and I think I may be ready to take plunge into the ‘Jean Pool’! I’m pretty sure it will be the Ginger ones I try first.
    The fray is a nice detail too. Sarah x

  7. Kathryn

    I love this twist on the ginger jeans, they look awesome. Another UK option for denim is from Organic Textile Company http://organiccotton.biz/store/index.php?route=product/category&path=255_206 I ordered samples (not when they carried black) and they were really nice.

    Another US option is One Sock Emma, her coloured denim is really nice. I made 2 gingers out of her denim.

    In regards to dyeing, I thought I could get plain black denim by dyeing the Emma One Sock white denim with Dylon. It didn’t work because the poly will not dye so I ended up with an indigo colour instead which was totally fine but just not what I expected. You would have more luck with a lower % of manmade fabric or 100% cotton denim.

    1. Katie Post author

      Thank you – those organic ones look lovely. You might want to try Rit dye, it’s better on synthetic fibres!

  8. Tracy Lucas

    These are fab! I like the colour denim you have used and the contrasting thread for your top stitching. I recently made a pair of these and I am so pleased with them! I now have the Boyfriend jeans pattern on my to do list.

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