Friday, 5 February 2016

FO: Ginger Jeans

Oh my gosh, I made JEANS!

Having always thought that jeans and underwear would be things that I would never sew.... I have made jeans! I kept seeing amazing versions of the Closet Case Files Ginger Jeans pop up all over the internet and began to think that sewing my own jeans might be feasible.

I was nudged closer to this decision by the realisation that I would need new jeans soon-ish and I didn't particularly fancy several hours in a jeans shop trying to find the right fit. Finally, I was tipped over the edge by Winnie of Scruffybadger. She posted sometime ago about a pair of jeans she had made that were one of her Minerva Makes. Because it was a Minerva Make post, Minerva Crafts have put together a kit including the fabric, top stitching and normal thread, twin needle, jeans button and metal jeans zip, so one can grab all the supplies all in one go.  I quizzed Winnie about the feel of the fabric and then eventually purchased the Minerva kit and the download version of the Ginger Jeans pattern.

The denim is a very dark indigo, which is my preference in jeans, and the top stitching thread is a more muted bronze rather than the usual brighter orangey colour. I washed my denim at least twice, but still had dye coming out on my hands whilst I was working on them.

I read a lot of the construction and fitting advice that is available on the internet, along with Heather's instructions and the very useful sewalong. I referred  to this post quite a lot as I felt her fit and wrinkle issues looked similar to mine. I still managed to cut the wrong size - thankfully a larger size - so it wasn't a disaster. I think I confused the body measurements and the finished garment measurement. I cut the high waisted skinny leg version.

In construction I used both the instructions included with the pattern and the sewalong available on the Closet Case Files website. The instructions go into a fantastic level of detail and make each stage of the process very manageable.
pockets and top stitching
The best piece of advice for these, is to baste the whole jeans together to assess fit - the front  and back pieces are all assembled and top stitched to start, then basted together with a long machine stitch. It is very satisfying whizzing these up - I then had the fun of  working out what changes I need to make.
baste fitting
assessing crotch fit at basting stage
I had to take a big wedge out of the yoke and waistband. I took most of the excess out of the centre back,  took in the side seams quite a lot, adjusted  the front crotch curve a little, and also took in the inside leg seam. This is where I made a mistake - I think I took too much off the the front leg pieces on the inseam.  The seam comes round towards the front. I cut the the denim very carefully on grain, so being off grain is not the cause. Having said that, and having worn these a lot since finishing them, they are the most comfortable jeans I have.  I was unsure about the high waist initially, but I really like wearing it.  I still don't like the way it looks if I were to tuck in my tops, but since I never do that, it is not a problem.
high waist
high waist
It is actually a relief not not be cut in half by my waistband when ever I sit or bend down!
waistband detail
I was concerned about the wrinkles in the back view, but I tried pinning them out to get rid of them and then discovered I need that fabric there in order to sit down! Having looked at these photos, I might straighten out the back pockets a bit if I make them again.

Picture overload there.... I love these jeans and have worn them a lot since I made and I am pretty sure I shall be making more!

Since I made mine, Heather has released a Jeans E-book with all the construction info in one place and a flares add-on. I may well be purchasing these!


  1. These look amazing T. Well done!

  2. Those are great! Your topstitching looks really good too.

  3. I have recently made jeans too, and found it surprisingly good fun. I like your very much

  4. I have recently made jeans too, and found it surprisingly good fun. I like your very much

  5. Wow, those look really great. I'm so impressed with anyone that can get a great fit after having so much trouble myself. At the pace I'm going with fitting I may have a pair of jeans by the end of this year.