Plum Gingers

Ginger Jeans

Oh hi! Do you like my new sewing room?! Obviously it’s not nearly finished yet, but with a dividing wall to some useless hallway knocked down the room has been made about 30% bigger and the light is 200% better. I’m SO excited to get back in there and sew as soon as it’s finished. I snuck in there today to photograph my finished Closet Case Files Ginger jeans – hence apologies for the mucky backdrop (RIP birdy wallpaper) but the rest of the flat is filled with all my stuff. This was a great project to start the year with: it’s a wardrobe essential, tests my skills, and was a good opportunity to practice my vow of ‘slow sewing’. I made them over 3-4 sessions around the new year so as not to get tired and make silly mistakes or cut corners; overall I think they took about 10 hours sew-time excluding PDF assembly.

Ginger Jeans

True silly story: I was intending to make view B, the high-rise skinny leg option. But I accidentally printed view A (low-rise stovepipe leg) instead *facepalm*. I couldn’t be bothered printing off 40 more pages so went ahead with A, tapering in the the legs manually. I AM going to make the real view B sometime as that high rise waist is hot stuff. Anyway I love the low version too and it more closely mirrors what I go for in RTW jeans.

Ginger Jeans

My fabric is plum cotton/lycra stretch denim from Minerva. It’s gorgeous; I love the colour, the stretch is perfect for Ginger (about 20% crosswise) and it’s got a super-soft brushed type finish. Plum (or maroon/wine/claret) is one of my favourite colours to wear and it’s a great partner to my large collection of grey and black tops.

Ginger Jeans
Ginger Jeans

I cut size 8 which matches my waist measurement but is smaller than my hips – a bit silly as there’s negative hip ease built in to the pattern already. I think slight vanity-size-choosing was at play :/ I ended up sewing the hip and thigh area with a scant seam allowance to compensate and just about got away with it. The waist fits perfectly, so I’ll stick with the 8 but do a full thigh-and-bum adjustment next time. In terms of other fit modifications, all very minor stuff: I manually slimmed down the leg below the knee to turn the stovepipe to skinny and took about an inch off the length at the hem.

Ginger Jeans

To accommodate my weird caved-in back I tapered in the centre yoke seam allowance at the top to about 1″, and redrafted the waistband to have more of a curve in it. It’s got no interfacing in but still hugs and stays in place admirably well. Best waistband yet!

Ginger Jeans
Ginger Jeans

The fly front is tidy although a little bit twisted – I think the buttonhole isn’t in quite the right place and also the fact that they’re snug across the hips makes it pull apart a bit. I went for the baby pink topstitching thread mostly to practice accuracy – contrasty topstitching isn’t really my favourite look so I didn’t topstitch the leg seams at all. But what i did do turned out quite nicely, and I only had to swear at the machine once or twice.

Ginger Jeans

I used leftover fabric from my first Holly for the pocket bags, which is nice and lightweight so they don’t show from the outside. Next time I will bias-bind raw edge of the fly shield rather than overlock for a cleaner finish. I’ll also definitely add the front pocket stay/extension because it really helps suck in and smooth out the front line.

Ginger Jeans

The best thing about this pattern  – other than bangin’ drafting – is the construction order and directions. It takes the best bits of all the methods I have picked up from previous jeans and adds some new tricks to make them even more foolproof. Heather also has you switching between normal seams/overlocking/topstitching as little as possible to avoid annoying machine change-overs. There’s also the comprehensive sewalong which I referred to once or twice.

Ginger Jeans

A few other random thoughts, mostly notes to self for next time:

  • Back pockets a bit too close together – the CB seam topstitching makes them look uneven, even though they’re correct from the seam itself. Tiny bit smaller?
  • Bit of tension at front crotch – add length/flatten crotch curve.
  • Wrinkles down the back leg – lengthen back crotch curve.
  • Slash and pull open front hip a little bit.
  • Taper 1/2″ out from back yoke at top.
  • Add the front pocket stay/extension.
  • Finish fly shield with bias binding.
  • Take excess length out from the knee line rather than hem.

Ginger Jeans

I’m really happy with the final jeans – for an un-toiled foray into a new pattern the fit is impressive and they definitely fill a wardrobe, gap, adding a bit of colour to pair with all my monochrome tops. I’m a bit torn now about which jeans pattern to use as my TNT – the Gingers, Burda 115, and Style Arc all fit pretty well but none quite perfectly. The thing is, as Heather has said, you need to baste jeans together every time you make them really because each denim will fit differently, so perhaps I’ll just rotate depending on whim, ha! Props to Heather anyway for this great pattern and for getting so many sewists over their fear of jeans.

58 thoughts on “Plum Gingers

  1. Sasha

    wow … your Gingers look amazing … I can’t believe you did not make a toile. I just bought the pattern and I can only hope mine will be half as good looking as yours!

  2. lisa g.

    Very nice! I keep putting off making more jeans, but I desperately need a couple more pairs! It’s the thread switching that is ugh-so-annoying! Wish I had two machines…

    1. Katie Post author

      These were definitely made out of necessity too, but I really enjoyed the process once I got into it. I would LOVE another machine to set up for top-stitching too.

  3. didyoumakethat

    They look absolutely fantastic. Props to YOU! Heather will love seeing these. I love your trouser making journey. I’ve ordered the pattern and really should get stuck in.

  4. Katie Jacocks

    Great jeans! I love these in the plum color! I just finished my second pair 2 weeks ago, and I definitely need colored denim in my life for the next go around.

    I also LOVE your back pockets! I think I’ll have to add something extra to mine the next time too!

  5. Sally

    THESE ARE FANTASTIC! I had written off sewing my own jeans until I saw these – they are so beautifully done, and I am obsessed with the color! Way to go!

  6. Jane

    Splendid Gingers Katie – in fact they’re one of the most impressive pairs I’ve seen to date. I’ve got the pattern and could really do with a pair of the high waisted ones. You’ve inspired me! x

  7. Sophie-Lee

    These are awesome! I need to try and get hold of some coloured denim for more pairs – although I do have some lighter coloured polka dot stuff for a more casual pair of jeans.

  8. Ginger

    Whoa, dude. These are IMPRESSIVE. The fit is so good and your butt looks fantastic! The color is perfect, the contrast topstitching is perfect, these are perfect! Love ’em!

  9. Emmie

    awesome. I don’t think I would change the crotch curve too much. Maybe there’s more tension in person/in motion, but the front looks the closest to perfect I’ve ever seen! And the back… I think the leg wrinkles are super mild. And you need some wrinkle ease there anyway for the act of sitting! I always laugh at this episode of Cougar Town where they were wearing their jeans to be like Exoskeletons. If they rcollapsed their legs the jeans held them up to about 90% of standing! Well done!

    1. Katie Post author

      Thanks Emmie! I think you’re right actually, I’ll add a little bit more space to the hip/thigh and see if that fixes the minor issues I find when I wear them, rather than mess with the crotch.

  10. Marilla

    I love these, I might to need to rip of your fabric choice and give my Wyome jeans another go! The lack of stretch in my last pair actually drives me nuts! Fab, fab, fab!

  11. Camilla

    Wow, they look awesome. Can’t believe you didn’t toile your gingers as the fit looks pretty good. I like choice colour choice for the denim. Very impressed by the top stitching. It’s the little details like this that make or break a garment like this. You’re on a roll with the trouser making.

  12. sallie

    These are fantastic Katie! I really love this gorgeous plummy color – what a find! It’s so hard to get your hands on good colored denim, I find. Love all the details. Great job!

  13. Heather Lou

    That is one pretty crotch, hahaha. But seriously, these look magnificent. The plum denim and topstitching is such a fun touch. And I think you’ll love the high waist version, so I’m batting for Gingers as your TNT, tee hee.

    My only comment is that for your next pair I would move the back pockets over about 1/4-1/2″, and maybe angle them a little. You could even go down a size or two in the pockets. This will make your bum look a little curvier. Otherwise, BRAVA!

    1. Katie Post author

      In all honesty I am pleased they make my very curvy bum look a bit flatter! Can’t wait to make the high-rise version.

  14. Caroline Joynson

    What a great fit right from the packet. I love your pink top-stitching and the colour is gorgeous – I just made the McCalls 6696 shirt-dress in the exact same colour! It’s such a lovely rich colour for winter.

  15. Carolyn

    Wow, these look fantastic! I love the plum color and all the glorious topstitching. I just attempted sewing pants for the first time a few weeks ago, and although it didn’t work out perfectly, posts like these inspire me to keep going. I think Heather’s absolutely right that you really do have to baste the sides together for every single pair – it’s amazing what a difference the fabric makes. Fabulous job!

  16. Aida

    These look fantastic, you have done a great job and I can’t even imagine the amount of work needed. It seams everyone is sewing trousers these days and although I am still intimidated of sewing trousers myself it is growing on me and I believe this year I will give it a try.

    1. Katie Post author

      Thanks! It’s honestly not all that much work once you get stuck in, and you can do it slowly in steps.

  17. Fiona

    The fit is so great for ‘straight out of the envelope’! They definitely only need some minor tweaking as you say. I’m really interested in the minerva denim for these so will be checking it out. The gingers are next in my queue of things to sew but I have been feeling a little apprehensive. Seeing yours has got me motivated to get started on them today!

  18. Sophie

    Katie these are gorgeous! Cannot get over the fit, not your tiny ass! Hard to believe these are not store bought. Also, I think you’re spot in with your denim color choice, I love burgundy and also a dark teal in the winter time.

  19. poppykettle

    Well these are just a bit fabulously lovely! They look great, front and back! Quite an achievement, when it comes to jeans ;) I’m also quite envious you have access to denim in such a non-mainstream colour!

  20. Kat Skinner

    I can’t believe just how amazing your jeans look! I seem doomed to always ruin my pants when I try to sew them…. something always goes wrong. I am SO envious of how your jeans turned out.

  21. Kathie Turner Jones

    Those came out absolutely FABULOUS… and it makes me want to jump in and make a pair for myself. The fit is fabulous (even with the snug hips). Big props!

  22. Sara

    These look so good! The fit is impressive especially in the front crotch where most people seem to run into problems. I love the color too!

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