I’m FINALLY posting about my first ever handmade jeans!!! Y’all – its true what they say, making jeans is NOT HARD. The trickiest thing is getting the fit perfect for your body. I highly recommend making a muslin (although typical me – I didn’t) so you can really make all the necessary changes before cutting into your good stuff. It took several tweaks but now these babies are fitting great and definitely my new favorites.
The pattern of course is the notorious Ginger Jeans by Closet Case Patterns. I was really torn between these, the Safrans by Deer & Doe, and the Jamie jeans by Named. However I went with the Gingers because they seemed to be the most classic cut. I also liked that they offer a high & low waisted view with two different leg styles. I’m all about patterns that give you a lot of bang for your buck.
I did a mash up of the low waist with the skinny leg by simply blending the two together after the crotch area. I cut also did some size blending as well, cutting a 4 in the waist and blending to a 6 in the hip. However after making all the fit adjustments (more on that later) I definitely could have cut a straight 4, and will probably do so for my next pair. Heather also had a different recommendation for doing the low waist with the skinny leg option (I dont remember what it was – do you?) so perhaps going that route would have helped me more.
Now let’s talk adjustments. I ended up taking out a good 1 1/2” from the center back because of my sway back. I dont think this was a size choice issue this was more of a small waist + big butt issue. On my first fitting (mad at myself for not taking fitting pics now) I had a lot of extra fabric through the crotch, thighs, and hips. I remedied this by deepening the crotch curve by almost 1/2”, taking about 1” out of the back rise, and taking in the hips about 1/2”. My denim was super stretchy so I honestly feel like I could have sized down to a 2 (and might next time). Lastly of course was the length. I dont remember exactly how much I took out, but I did shorten them on paper before cutting, taking length out at the knees and blending in the new leg line. I measured the inseam of a favorite pair of RTW skinnies I had and took out the difference. After all of these adjustments were made I finally have a fit I am happy with and I think is really flattering.
This denim is absolute magic. If/when I make another pair of skinny jeans I will forever use this fabric. It is Cone Mills S-gene stretch denim from Thread Bare fabrics. Its a perfect weight, I love the color, and the STRETCH is amazing. The s-gene denim has a magic stretch technology that gives the fabric great recovery. No saggy knees at the end of the day. I literally only have to wash these when I get something on them and I love that. I will say that if you get the deep blue do a lot of pre-washing, maybe even throw in some vinegar to pull out some excess blue. You can see it in my pocket bags that used to be white! A month after these were finished I was still getting blue on my hands when I wore them.
I got my hardware from Thread Bare as well. This was the trickiest part of the whole process for me. It took me a while to get the rivets to stay without falling apart. Then I looked at heather’s tutorial where she cuts the tips off and that helped a little, but my rivet posts were still poking through the face. My button and zipper installation went totally fine. I made some jeans for my husband after these, and a lot of his rivets have fallen out. So needless to say theres still a learning curve there that I have yet to perfect.
How about my cute little details!? I’ve probably mentioned it in another post, but I’ve been trying to focus on adding unique little details to my me-mades lately. Whats the point of making your own clothes if you can’t have a little fun with it no? When I was thinking about what to do for my pocket design, I knew I wanted to do something fun. At first I was thinking something sewing related.. but I then I was brainstorming about other things I like and it struck me… HARRY POTTER!!! Duh!! So I threw in a little nod to the boy who lived by doing a Deathly Hollows symbol on one pocket and a lightning bold on the other. I tried to make these as precise as possible but I basically just free-handed them onto my pockets with tailors chalk. I wanted to do something a little different with the topstitching so I chose this dusty rose colored topstitch thread. My husband was surprised because I’m not usually into pink but I love the different, vintage-y look of it. I also did some fun vintage floral cotton for the pocket bags. It has since been tinted blue from washing but I just love fun insides!
The only other thing I’m not crazy about is the ankles. Its probably not obvious in any of these photos (a little sewing nit-picking) but when I dont have the cuff folded up they kind of “pop out” at the ankles rather than hug them. The hubs said it wasn’t noticeable but it drives me crazy. Especially since thats something I always admire on other peoples skinny jeans is how sleek they look when the hug & end right at the ankle (weird maybe?). I usually wear them cuffed anyway so its not a big deal but I might eventually go in and fix it. Also this is probably just a skinny ankle problem.
See my Ginger jeans in action:
SKIP TO THE END?
Pattern: Ginger Jeans – Closet Case Patterns
Fabric: S-gene Denim from Thread Bare Fabrics
Notions: Denim Hardware Kit from Thread Bare Fabrics
Adjustments: Sharpened crotch curve, 1″ out of back rise, 1/2″ out of thighs, 1 1/2″ wedge from center back
Finishes: Serged seams
Size Cut: 4 waist, 6 hip
Sew it again? Yes! I want a light colored hight waist pair.