Working on it – Ginger Jeans

Working on it – Ginger Jeans

Helpful links for jeans making and fitting, and a personal jeans fitting story by Sewingridd

Hii there! Are there any sewists out here that never had a fear of sewing jeans? Is it just me or are we all a little scared of making pants? I was wondering where that fear may come from. For me it might be caused by my first pants making experience. When I just started sewing I made myself some shorts using a free Pinterest pattern. Back then I did not know how to adjust the fitting or where to find the right resources for help (found out that you can just google ‘pants fitting‘, duh…) so that was not really much of a success… So ever since that day I had the feeling that sewing right fitting pants was too hard for me.

Sewingridd working on her Ginger Jeans

But now three more years have past and I’ve gained some more sewing experience. Meanwhile I also stumbled upon some good resources for jeansmaking and fitting (see the bottom of this post for a list of links). So when Closet Case Patterns introduced #nofearnewjeans month back in February, I decided to finally buy the Ginger Jeans pattern along with a Jeans Hardware Kit. I had had my eyes on this pattern for ages so the discount convinced me, haha #Dutchie. Not much later I stacked up on two fabrics (so I could ruin one) and got started. Well, that ruining indeed did happen… I cut my beautiful army green fabric in the wrong direction! The lady in the store had warned me that it stretched in the other direction, but in my enthusiasm I forgot about that. That’s where my incertitude kicked back in.

Sewingridd and her Ginger Jeans pattern and hardware kit by Closet Case Patterns

It took me more than 3 months before I started again with my second fabric. But at this very moment I am actually working on my Ginger Jeans, and I think they are turning out great! I always think perfectness is a bridge too far when you try something for the first time, so I’ll go with the ”better than retail” status.

Sewingridd working on her Ginger Jeans

Before real construction, I first started testing the fit by basting the pockets to the front legs, back legs to the yokes and then the front and back together. Here you see the three stages before and after fitting adjustments:

Sewingridd working on her Ginger Jeans
Size 12 with no adjustments. It is all way too roomy, except for the waist. The jeans also slide down and there’s some issues at the front crotch curve.
Sewingridd working on her Ginger Jeans
I took in the side seams 6 cm, except for the upper 10 cm at the waist. Also did a gaping adjustment on the center yoke seam by taking it in 3 cm (top) to 0,5 cm (bottom). On top of that I did the shortened crotch and flat pubis adjustment.
Sewingridd working on her Ginger Jeans
I was quite content with the fit already. The pants were not sliding down anymore, while all my RTW jeans do. But I still had some doubts about the front crotch curve so I adjusted it a little more. For now I think this fit is good enough, because it’s better than RTW. And hopefully nobody stares at my crotch for too long, haha.

I marked the new location of the seams with a ballpoint on the inside and ripped it all apart. It felt super weird to go from almost pants to scratch again, but the real constructing could finally start. As a guideline I use the combination of the Ginger Jeans Sewalong and pattern instructions (which come in a really nice booklet btw). All steps are broken down into smaller, manageable steps and clearly explained with supporting images.

Sewingridd working on her Ginger Jeans marking the new locations of the seams after baste fitting
Marked the new location of the seams

While I like making these jeans, I still feel it is a loooot of work. It takes a huge amount of time, mainly because the topstitching with contrasting thread is a lot of precision work. (I am actually feeling bad for all the kids that are making our RTW jeans!) During larger projects I normally quickly drop out, just because other (read: quicker) projects are more tempting. But this time I know the result will at least fit, so slowly but steadily I keep proceeding. So the end of my jeans journey is finally in sight, but now there’s still one thing I am afraid of: installing the hardware… Only future will tell how I’ll handle that!

Sewingridd working on her Ginger Jeans
Think I’ll keep the back pocket design this minimalistic. They’re basted in place now.

Here’s a list of the resources I use during my jeans sewing adventure. I’ve mainly used these by Closet Case Patterns:

But these were also handy:

Sewingridd working on her Ginger Jeans

Have you ever tried your hands on making pants or jeans? How did it work out for you? If you are still intimidated by it: do you know what causes your hesitation? What would make your handmade pants successful?

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Sewingridd working on her Ginger Jeans

5 thoughts on “Working on it – Ginger Jeans

  1. I’ve just started making my first pair of jeans – my first attempt at sewing with denim too. I put off making jeans for ages, simply because I didn’t think my machine could cope with denim, and I didn’t want to try to get the fit ‘just right’ without any stretch to give me some leeway if I got the sizing wrong!

    1. Nice to hear Paddy, that you also finally had the guts to do it! I think we all should more often just try and see what happens. We can do more than we think 💪
      Let me know how it turns out!

  2. Fear of sewing jeans is something new to me, the fitting part amyway. I learned to sew many years ago from my sewing obsessed mom. She sewed Everything, for everyone. Gave lingerie classes back in the 70’s.
    Back then I was fearless, grabbed my denim, sat down at her industrial Singer and sewed up some killer jeans. With her help when I needed it. She was my fit guru, we took all the right measurements, and it was a breeze.
    Well, she passed in 88, and my lifearound that time was such that I was not motivated to sew much. Now, it’s almost all I think of, I LOVE making my own clothes! The only thing holding me back – fitting. I’m about 2 sizes larger than I was then, and I have 6 killer pieces of denim waiting for me to get over my fitting block.
    I am so inspired by all you lovely ladies who are aftaid of jeans making — but are doing it anyway. Yes, you can do it, and I am subscribing here to cheer you on. Can’t wait to see your fabulous fitting jeans.
    Now I believe it is time for me to jump back in, grab my tape measure, take a deep breath, and have some sewing fun. Good luck to us noth, and have fun with it.

    1. Thanks for your supportive reaction Alice! So sad when the loved and helpful people around us are gone… Hope you can find someone/thing else that can help you with the fitting. Cause fabrics are beautiful in our stash but even better on our bodies! For me it really helped to experience that I could improve the fit myself by using the linked information and the fit did get better and better! Hope you will one day make your own georgeous jeans again!

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