Making myself a pair of Ginger Jeans has been on my to-do list since the pattern was released (seriously, it’s been on my 2014, ’15 and ’16 Top 5 goals list…), and I’ve finally knuckled down and made them. Just like with my Safran Jeans, they really weren’t any more difficult to make than any other garment with a moderate number of pieces, definitely easier than a winter coat (and 100% easier than the raincoat I’ve recently finished for my sister!)
Check them out! These are view B, the high waisted/skinny leg version of this pattern, I like my jeans to sit at my natural waist and these are pretty much spot on. I didn’t make any major pattern changes to this version, I thought I should make them up as is for my first shot and then tinker with my next pair! To be honest, I was amazed at how well they fit straight out of the packet. I took 2” off the hem (next time I’ll take it out higher on the leg to keep the hem skinnier), and moved the pockets up 5/8”, and took out a bit of extra fabric at the outer side of each knee. For my next pair I’m going to play with a knock-knee adjustment, I think that should help fix the diagonal wrinkles at the knee that I have with this pair and my Safran jeans. I might also take a wedge out of each side of the yoke, there’s a wee bit of gaping at the back waistband. Other than that though, I think they’re really good!
I put in the pocket stay option too, it does help to make the front feel nice and snug! I used more of that Liberty Poplin remnant that I’ve used for every pocket bag/under collar/yoke lining/bag lining since I bought it. There’s still plenty left, so expect to see it again! The denim I used is from The Fabric Store, of course. I bought it years ago, with the intention to make these jeans with it! When I pulled it out of my stash last weekend, I was surprised by how lightweight it was, I had remembered it being much heftier. It meant it was really easy to cut and sew, but these aren’t really winter weight jeans! It also felt quite rigid, and I was worried that I hadn’t bought denim with the right stretch percentage, but it turns out that next to the 30% stretch that my Safran Jeans have, this 2% lycra/cotton blend just feels stiff!
I used a hardware kit from Closet Case Files (the gold colour way), and I really love the result. The zip is especially nice, the pull is really low profile compared to other zips I’ve used, and it helps the whole fly sit so nice and flat. I also love that the button and the rivets match, it looks all so nice and professional! I was really scared of putting the rivets in, I was sure I was going to ruin everything at the final step! I watched the video tutorial on the Closet Case Files Blog, and everything was really simple in the end. I just had to whack everything harder than I expected, and avoid stabbing myself with the awl (and the rivet posts, they were pointy!). For thread, I just used all-purpose Gutermann thread for construction, but I used Sulky thread for the topstitching. I’ve had so many issues with topstitching thread in my machine, and I thought that the slippery, shiny Sulky thread would show up nicely and my machine wouldn’t have a tantrum every time I tried to sew with it.
I’m amazed at the difference moving the pockets made! They looked okay at the marked position on the pattern, but shifting them up 5/8” has made my bum look much better. I think the size and shape of the pockets is excellent, Heather Lou knows what she’s doing!
I was a little bit worried about how firm and tight these felt when I first put them on, but after a few hours they loosened up nicely, especially around the knees (just as well, I thought I might have over-fitted them around there). I’m not sure how well this denim will hold up, to be honest. They’re comfortable now, but I have a feeling that they might keep bagging out and will need lots of washing to keep them in shape! I interfaced the waistband with the same hefty knit interfacing I used in my Safran Jeans, so hopefully they’ll stay up…
Unfortunately, it turns out that Sulky thread really isn’t cut out for top stitching, especially not on a stretch fabric under stress! After a day of wear, I had popped several lines of topstitching on the pockets and around my bum. This morning I went back and re-did all that topstitching on the back crotch seam and pockets with normal thread in the same colour, and hopefully it’ll hold up better. I thought that since I had seen Sulky thread being used for topstitching on bags that it would be okay, but of course bags aren’t usually stretch fabric or being stressed like those seams, so I shouldn’t be surprised really! I have some heavier stretch denim in grey waiting to be made into another pair of Gingers, so for those I’ll use upholstery thread for the topstitching. I know my machine will sew with that, because I use it to sew leather!
I really enjoyed making these, even though there were a few setbacks at the last moment! I like the precision of doing that top stitching, and all of the other components like the bar tacks and rivets and fly make these a really fun project to work on, especially as I sewed them up in short bursts between writing an assignment. Best of all, I’m really happy with the final product! Stupid that it took me so long to make them really…
Finally, I thought I should get a picture of this tee shirt, as it hasn’t made the blog yet! It’s a Molly Tee, from the Sew Over It City Break Capsule Wardrobe e-book. I really like the shape of it, especially the curved hem and the wide scoop neckline. I turned the sleeve hems up and hand stitched the cuffs rather than just hemming them, just for something a bit different. I keep meaning to make the dress version, but it keeps getting bumped down the list. Maybe for summer!
28 thoughts on “Finally, Ginger Jeans!”
Hi, the jeans look really good! For topstitching you could try using normal thread and doubling it. It is a trick I picked up from Kenneth Kings Jeanius Craftsy class and it works really nicely for me. You just use two spools of thread for the upper thread and just put both through the needle at the same time and the same type of thread, but just one in the bobbin.
Hi Anna, thanks for the tip! I hadn’t thought of using doubled thread, that sounds like a good plan 🙂
Honestly these are so fantastic – I’d be beyond delighted if I ever made jeans that fit this well. Maybe next year I’ll get some gingers made…
Thanks Sarah 🙂 your bump-friendly jeans looked so good on Instagram!
Holley Molly Kirsten these are fantastic, the colour of your findings and the topstitching (Sulky issues aside), just pa perfect fit. I have Heather Lou’s video ‘how to’ for these and had forgotten about the pocket stay which I was hoping to use on my next pair of trousers so thanks for the reminder. My Bernina always has a tantrum with topstitching thread but today it took me an hour to unpick some coverstitch using topstitching thread – such a bummer, hope the Babylock doesn’t intend to become a pain in the bottom like her Bernina sister, must seperate them!! Xx
Aw thanks Lesley! I’d love a coverstitch machine, I didn’t realise they could to topstitching too. What is it with bernina machines and topstitching thread??
My Babylock overlocker is a coverstitch and overlocker in 1, but I’d really reccommend getting a dedicated coverstitch if at all possible. You can put a topstitching thread in the looper and it will give a very lovely effect. You can just see the topstitched chain stitch in my last post on the navy top but I’ve just used it on a wide coverstitch and the wriggly back is in topstitch thread. My Bernina is happier topstitching with a cordonnet needle, have you tried that Kirsten? I tell ya, the big B’s days are numbered, such a prima donna!
I love my Bernina, it’s my favourite (ok, only) machine! I haven’t tried a cordonnet needle, I’ll need to look them up 🙂
Wow, that fit is spot on! What a shame about the Sulky thread, though you did save me from making the same mistake as I’ve bought sulky thread in the past with the intention of using it to topstitch jeans. Gutermann topstitch thread did the job for me but was far too thick IMO.
I’ve actually had a pair of black Gingers cut out, sitting on my sewing table for weeks! You’ve reminded me to make a start on them.
Thanks! Yeah, I was a bit bummed about the thread, but never mind! At least it only popped seams that I can easily fix, hope the front pockets don’t go… I’ll look forward to seeing your gingers, I was just thinking that a black pair would be good!
Hello! I’ve been following the blog for a while but this is my first comment. These jeans are fantastic! The fit is great and, unruly popping thread notwithstanding, your topstitching looks so neat and precise 😍
Thank you! I like doing topstitching, though it’s definitely better when it doesn’t start to unravel immediately…
Your jeans look so good, the fit is spot on and your topstitching is immaculate! Probably the fabric is too stretchy for topstitching and you could try with the triple stitch next time which is a little bit elastic and looks bold. Only at curves one has to be careful that the backstitches won’t be excentric. Hope I will sew such a good pair of jeans like yours’!
Thank you! I wish I could use a triple stitch, but my old machine doesn’t have the option for that. It does look really nice for topstitching though!
Your jeans are fabulous!! I used Gutterman top-stitching thread for mine, and it was great. A good tip I got on Instagram was, when sewing on the belt loops, use ordinary thread in the same colour as the top-stitching thread. It worked like a charm!
Thanks Lynne! Yeah, that gutermann topstitching thread is the only thing that sends my machine into a melt down. It does everything else though, so I can’t really complain!
My Janome had a huge hissy fit about bar tacking with the Gutermann topstitching thread so I followed the same tip as Lynne for the belt loops and bar tacks. If your machine does it for any topstitching, then the tip further up about doubling up on regular weight thread will probably fix it. Probably. Great jeans btw, with a great fit, too – very impressed.
Thanks Janet, I’m definitely going to try the double thread trick!
Oh my god they look like they fit you perfectly and you like w h a t made these pants yourself? I’ve just finished my first-ever pants and they are (meant to be too) really big und kind of the shape like in the 40s, but in my opinion pants are like so difficult. Let’s face it, I am a total beginner, but pants really scare me now! I can’t believe you’ve made this pair, it looks like it was manufactured! Congrats!
Much Love xx
Quirky retro fashion, my sewing journey and other loves:
Thanks! I’ve tried making wide legged 40’s style trousers, I found getting the crotch curve right so they hang nicely much more difficult to be honest! The stretch in these makes them reasonably forgiving 🙂
Oh, they don’t look that stretchy, which is so good, because I don’t like, when they look stretchy, but of course like the feel of it haha! I think I’ll borrow some more sewing books at my library, because I find it so hard, the get the part, where the bum is, the right way! So difficult :’)
There’s some really good fitting books out there, good luck!
They look amazing!
Thank you 🙂
You really make it appear really easy along with your presentation however I in finding this topic to be really one thing which I believe I might by no means understand. It seems too complex and very huge for me. I am taking a look ahead on your subsequent put up, I will attempt to get the cling of it!