One of my reasons for visiting Toronto was to take a Ginger Jeans class with Heather, the pattern designer, at the Workroom. I had actually already made the pattern once before, but I couldn’t pass up meeting and learning from her. As it happens, my first pair turned out better than the class pair, but that’s totally on me and doesn’t mean I didn’t learn.
This was the minute after I finished my first pair and I was very excited.
So, I made the first pair with the high waist and skinny legs, using a kit from IndieSew. I believe I cut a size 12 waist graded to a 14 at the hip, but did so many adjustments, I have no idea what it would be now. Though I usually never take the time, I did make a muslin, with some cheap denim-like fabric I had. I knew it wouldn’t be wearable so I just basted everything together and realized I definitely needed to do a sway back adjustment, take out 5” in length, and take in the side seams.
Then I went in for the real stuff. I followed the instructions in the Sewing Your Own Jeans e-Book (which are a little different than the pattern instructions, and uses photographs instead of drawings, which is helpful for me) and was really happy with the results. I ended up doing the sway back to both the yoke and the waistband, taking out 1/2” and 1 1/2” respectively.
I used a favorite feather print for the pockets and bright pink thread win my serger.
I had a hard time with the last few finishing things. I primarily sew on my Singer Featherweight, which doesn’t have bar tack or buttonhole options (I know there is a buttonhole attachment but I don’t have one yet). I tried using a studio-mate’s machine but it wasn’t quite powerful enough for all that denim. Part of my problem was also that I stupidly didn’t trim the zipper down! So, I ended up having to unpick the topstitching of the waistband and get back in there to trim it. Then I did a buttonhole with straight stitches (which I realize might not last long). And then the rivets… the rivets! Those were such a pain! The ones in the kit were hollow post and none of them turned out. (I’m waiting to get some in the mail from Taylor Tailor and then I’ll replace them.)
Things I would do differently: I sewed the pockets so that the seams wouldn’t show from the inside of the jeans, but I don’t like feeling the seam allowance when I put my hands in the pockets. I wish the legs were even skinnier. I should have taken out more crotch curve length.
Overall, I love these jeans. I have a good sized booty and it’s hard to find jeans that fit. I just washed them this week, for the first time since finishing them (back in May, ahem) and didn’t dry them (as per Heather’s guidance), and they still fit great.
For the class, I went completely unprepared. The trip came at a time when I wasn’t sewing at all, and I didn’t take the time to gather up my pattern or buy supplies. So I had a lot of catching up to do and thanks to Heather, I did!
I bought denim, lining fabric, and hardware from the Workroom. It was the last of the denim they had left, which turned out being almost enough (I had to redo my waistband and use some of a classmate’s denim). Since I didn’t get to prewash it, Heather told me I will never be able to dry them, which is okay.
This time, I went with the low rise version and cropped them (since I typically roll up my jeans to this length anyway). I cut out a size 16 this time, which ended up being too big all around, and I forgot that the low rise version came with stovepipe legs, so I had to take those in a lot (and ended up with too tight calves).
Heather’s fitting help showed me to take out 1/2″ from the front crotch curve length and 3/4″ from the back, which helped a lot.
But, the waist is still too big. I can’t even buckle my belt to the first hole without creating a paper bag waist appearance (which I do not like). Heather’s sway back adjustment took in the waistband, but I think I need to take in the yoke, too (like I did on my first pair). I think I have just enough denim left to redo those things, although for the sake of consistent topstitching, I have to take them almost completely apart. But it’ll be worth it for a pair of well fitting jeans!
Unfortunately, the rivets I got at the Workroom were also the hollow post, but Heather had a stash with her that I was able to use.
Here’s a poorly lit little peek at the insides. You can see how the low and high rise have different pocket constructions. All seams were serged and topstitched.
I have another pair in the works, midrise in black, which I’m really excited about, and will combine everything I learned from the first two pairs.
Sorry for all the words! But thanks for making it this far :) Stay tuned for a post about the tops I wore in these photos!