Two blog posts in one day? Why not…
So I made my first ever pair of jeans and right now I feel like a sewing superhero.
Seriously, I made jeans!
Not only did I MAKE JEANS, I made a pair of skinny jeans that fit me better than any shop bought pair of jeans I have ever owned in my life.
I realise that I am gushing a bit in this post, and I am sorry, but I am just so proud of this make.
Like a lot of sewists, I put off making jeans for ages. I am such a perfectionist and was worried that I wouldn’t get them exactly right. Do I regret putting them off for so long? No, I don’t think so. Sewing jeans is not particularly difficult but getting the fit right can be a pain in the backside. I’ve become obsessed with fitting during the past year though, and I think the perfectionist in me needed that extra bit of fitting experience before tackling jeans.
Anyway, on with the sewing.
The pattern I used to make my jeans is Closet Case Patterns Ginger Jeans and… It. Is.Fabulous.
The instructions are really clear and if you have any problems at all, pattern designer and jeans guru Heather Lou has put together a bunch of resources to guide you through it – there are blog posts, an ebook, even an online jeans making course.
Fabric and hardware
There are quite a few bits you need to buy when making jeans and also the quality of denim varies massively so you need to shop around to get the good stuff.
I bought my dark indigo stretch denim from Croft Mill and I’m really impressed with the quality. It has washed really well since I made them too.
I also bought jeans buttons, a jeans zip, rivets, regular polyester thread and top stitching thread. I used some quilting cotton from my stash for the pocket stay.
Let me tell you about the pocket stay! The Ginger Jeans pocket stay is basically a hidden panel in the front of your jeans that acts as a tummy tuck. Perfect if, like me, you have a bit of a belly going on under there. It flattens it all out nicely.
Heather Lou recommends doing a basting fit when making jeans rather than making a toile in a fabric that might behave differently. Which means sewing up the main pattern pieces with a long stitch and making the necessary adjustments before ripping apart and making them up properly.
Here’s my first basted version. Not a terrible fit but you can see that I have drag lines around the crotch and pools of fabric in the bum and upper thigh area. The waist was also gaping a little at the back.
You can’t see from these photos but the calves were a bit tight for me too.
It took a few attempts to get right…. and lots of pestering of the BF to take photos of my bum (it lost its appeal by the fourth time I asked)… but the adjustments I needed to make were to lengthen the crotch; scoop out the bum curve; shorten the rise; and a 2cm sway back adjustment. I also sewed the legs from the knee down with a 1cm seam allowance rather than 1.5cm, and I took 5cm off the length of each leg.
Sewing is my super power
And here, in some terrible quality photos, are my finished Gingers.
I honestly could not be more happy with them. I have never owned a pair of jeans before that fit me as well as these do and they were so fun to make. I’m never buying jeans again.
Pattern: Ginger Jeans by Closet Case Patterns
My measurements: waist 30″, hip 39″
Size cut: 12
2m of dark indigo stretch denim from Croft Mill
30cm quilting cotton from my stash
Adjustments made: shortened legs by 5cm; sway back adjustment; lengthened crotch; full set adjustment; shortened rise; let out calf seam.
Future adjustments: It depends how stretchy the denim is but I expect similar adjustments will need to be made on future pairs
Make again: Definitely. I want some light blue ones next.