You know in movies how the protagonist has that one moment where something happens and it is a catalyst for them to become extra awesome and take on a superhero mantle and fight crime? Well, I totally had that in July last year. Except there was no rousing soundtrack. And sadly my life remains secret identity free. Instead, my absolute favourite old pair of Levis were so well worn that when I bobbed down to pick something off the kitchen floor they tore right up the back seam. Ugh. But like all good super heroes in training this got the ball rolling for my exciting new life as a lady who makes jeans. BOOM!
You may have heard of the Ginger Skinny Jeans from Closet Case Patterns before? Bwah ha ha! It seems that every lady and her cat have sewn this up in the last couple of years. If you somehow have missed this phenomenon Ginger comes with two different options. View A is low rise with stove pipe legs and View B is high-waisted with skinny legs. Being Amanda I of course went for View C – which is an option I just made up. I used the mid-rise hack to get the waist to where I wanted it and used the skinny legs from View B. Huzzah for doing your own thing!
The denim is from The Fabric Store and I picked it up early last year. It has the perfect indigo colour (which of course rubs off on everything including poor Bimble’s fur) but the amount of stretch was unclear. In hindsight I don’t think it had quite the right amount of give for this pattern but you live and learn. I did end up with enough leftovers to make a pair of rad Deer and Doe shorts which I’ll share soon. It is the denim that kept on giving!
I’m going to be frank here and say whilst I loved the construction aspect of the jeans (so many awesome new skills to learn!) the fitting component was the absolute blurst. Whilst the full seat adjustment was easy to diagnose and implement, the Mysterious Case of the Twisted Leg of Doom was much harder to get sorted. Ohhh, that sounds like a Nancy Drew book! My ten year old self is totally geeking out with that name right now.
These are my third attempt at the pattern and with each version I have had one or both of the legs twisting significantly outwards from various points. (Also, as an FYI I totally cut all these suckers on grain and followed the layout suggestions so that isn’t the issue). My first pair had both legs twisted from the knees down, the second pair twisted on my right leg from the front of my hip bone down and my third pair are twisting from the right side of my butt down. I joined forces 1ith some of my CBR Sewing Crew buddies we tried to diagnose the fit but nothing was quite right. After a call for help on Instagram the epic seamstress of wonder Brooke was able to provide me with a full side thigh adjustment that was a total help. I knew my derby years had left one side of me stronger than the other but it was quite interesting to see how this has affected the fit. This is how this fitting problem makes me feel:
BWAH HA HA!
After defeating my side thigh adjustment I made the call that perfection is the enemy of fun and it was time to finish these up. Sure, I can see other fit tweaks that I need but I made a pair of jeans, peeps! How freaking cool is that?! Sewing is a total super power!
What I loved about this pattern:
- The ability to customize your fit. It is like the Three Bears version of sewing: this rise is too high, this rise is too low but this rise is just right. Except instead of “nomnomnom” you get “hot dang my butt looks ace!”
- The pocket stay. I need this in all the pants I make. It is like a magical fabric hug for your stomach.
- The instructions. I found these super clear and the zip insertion method was so well laid out that I will be using it for all fly fronts in the future.
What I would change for next time:
- Get the correct denim. I want to be clear on the level of stretch I get rather than being sucked into majestic indigo with no concept of lycra/spandex percentage.
- Tweak the fit further. I can see drag lines on the front and wrinkling around the back of the thigh so it’s back to the fit books!
- Stick that full side thigh adjustment in straight away. Because my thighs are mighty and they deserve to be adjusted for!
Pattern: Ginger Skinny Jeans by Closet Case Patterns
Fabric: 2m mystery stretch denim from The Fabric Store, lining and interfacing from my stash.
Notions: Thread, topstitching thread, button and zip from Addicted to Fabric
Alterations: Full side thigh adjustment, 1 cm full seat adjustment, pinned side seams as required.
Overall, I am happy with the rad new skills and techniques I’ve learned! The jeans are comfy enough to wear around the house but I won’t be rocking them out in public any time soon (mostly because I was doing some thread tidy ups and accidentally snipped a hole into back and the repair job is bad). Will I give this pattern another go? For sure. Though I have the Safran jeans traced out and ready to go first so the Gingers will be on the back burner for a bit. Also, it’s nine billion degrees here at the moment and the idea of wearing jeans makes me want to cry. But then I would dehydrate further so no crying. I’ll just make that Dawson crying face.
So I’m going to focus on the fact it is the start of a rad new year, my health is finally much better and this lady made herself a pair of jeans. WINNING AT LIFE!