I’m finally starting my Ginger Jeans. I bought the ebook, which isn’t much different than the sew along but it seems worth the $12. I wanted to start this weekend so simply couldn’t wait for the online workshop to debut at the end of Feb.
Graded the following pattern pieces:
- Front leg: graded from 14 to 12 from the lengthen rise line up
- Back leg: cut out 14
- Back yoke: graded from 14 to 12 from the bottom to top
- Waist: cut a 12
- Shortened 1/4″ at knee
I cut out the pocket facings at the outer line of the 14/12 (whatever that was) and lined that up with the front leg as it will be sewn, then cut around to match the graded part of the front leg.
Topstitching thread in top, regular in bobbin. Tension disc up to 6 or 7 (test, this changed depending on thickness). First line (w/blind hem foot): 3.5/.5 Second line (w/regular foot): 3.5/6
denim: stitch length: 3.0 diff: 1 thread: 3 across
cotton: length: 2.5 diff: 1 thread: 3, 3, 2.1, 4.1
I got the pockets all sewn up, then basted everything together. At first the crotch looked like it might need shortening, but I think it was just too big all over, mostly in the legs (and I’m talking HUGE in the legs). The butt looked great though, maybe just pulling down the center back waistband a bit.
I thought about it for a few days, and decided that instead of cutting out a different size, I’d cut up an old pair of my Loft jeans that fit well, and use that as a guide (idea from this blog). It turns out that the front crotch curve was almost exactly the same as the ginger pattern, but the back was way different. However, the butt of my Loft jeans always felt a little snug, so I just left the entire crotch as-is.
Then I traced the legs onto the tissue, and it was a huge difference in the inner thigh. I ended up taking everything in on one leg to compare, and it immediately looked better. Things were still slightly bunchy on the outer knee, and a bit on the outer hip. I was able to grab a good pinch of fabric there, so I turned them inside out and pin fit around the hip. I basted that, and overall it looked much better. If anything, it all felt just slightly snug which was my goal since they’ll relax with wear.
I wasn’t aiming for perfect fit, since the zipper wasn’t in yet and it was hard to get the front to lay flat. I decided to get the zipper in, re-baste, then tackle the back yoke and waist.
The zipper went in pretty easily, and my machine only skipped a couple of stitches. One of the bartacks looked a little funky so I had to rip that out which was a little nerve-raking, but it all came out OK. The top-stitching came out great, nice and even. I’m kind of regretting getting black thread, it’s hard to see when I need to rip it out after a mistake, and also it’s hard to see how amazing it’s coming out. Mal did make a good point that if I did a contrast color I’d probably make all the mistakes though.
My next steps are to baste it all together again and check fit, again. I’m going to add a bit onto the center back legs and yoke to fix the rise issue (this probably needs a full seat adjustment, but since everything else looks good I think I can take this lazy way out). I’ll also address the yoke/waistband gaping issue.
Once the fit is good, I’ll make sure my pattern pieces are up to date, then get to work.
I think for my next pair, I’d like to do a nice dark blue with contrast top-stitching and more of a straight leg. I’ll be able to use the same pattern, and just widen the leg from just above the knee.
I basted everything together again, and the fit is much better. The added 1/3″ or so onto the center back legs and yoke helped with the rise issue, and when I tried them back on the yoke wasn’t even gaping. I’ll probably need to tweak the waistband since I took in everything at the sides, but that will be the last step.
The fit looked good, aside from some crotch bunching. I did a quick and messy shortening of the crotch by 1/4″ and it helped a bit, but I think it needs more. I’ll probably just do 1/3″. I also didn’t realize what was involved with this edit, so I ripped out some top stitching by mistake…oops.
I’m a little concerned the rise is just slightly too long, but not enough to worry about it, and once the waistband is on it might work itself out.
Next steps are:
- Update the crotch curve and back yoke rise edits onto the pattern pieces
- Trim the pattern pieces down based on the final markings, with new seam allowances
- Rip out the basting
- Iron and cut around the denim with the new pattern pieces
- Resew the crotch top stitching I took out by mistake
- Follow pattern to get these done!
I did all of the above, and ended up needing to take the waist in more. I landed on 5/8″ on each side. I still need to apply that to the pattern pieces.
I ended up not having to change the waistband at all! yay!
The topstitching on the waist was a huge pain with tons of skipped stitches. I think I’ve learned that I have the best results with a fresh needle, freshly de-linted bobbin area, and my edge-stitch foot with the fabric on the left side. I just muddled through since I was working with black on black, but if I ever want to do contrast stitching I might want to consider using a machine in the shop to see if it’s any better.I also made a huge mistake and serged the side seams before doing the inseam topstitching. I also was super uneven in my serging, so I had to draw in the seam line, then had to rip out everything, then redo it. AHHHH so bad. I need to practice getting more even seam allowances on that thing.I also got Mal to help me put on the back pockets, and they look great.
I finished up, top-stitching the back pockets, putting on the belt loops, hemming the legs, and then it was hardware time.
I couldn’t make the button hole with my machine. The buttonhole foot kept getting stuck on the bulk. I might have been able to do a manual one with the machine, but instead I just hand-sewed it using this tutorial. It came out OK, hard to see actually because of the black on black.
Then when I tried to install the button it went on crooked. I tried to fix it, resulting in just breaking it altogether. I ordered more on Amazon, since it was 6 for $6. I also decided not to bother with rivets. Most of my jeans only have one on each pocket, and meh. I can always add them later if I want.