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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.