Completed: Ginger Jeans!

8 Jan

Ok, now for the forreal first finished project of 2015 – jeans!!

Ginger Jeans

Damn straight I made jeans! And pretty good-looking jeans, if I do say so myself πŸ™‚

These are the Ginger Jeans, by Closet Case Files. Full disclosure right here – Heather sent me this pattern, gratis, as a friend-gift with no strings/review requests attached. While I did not pattern test for this particular pattern, I was involved with fitting tweak email chains waaay back before this shit went into testing (because you know me, and I love talking about crotches).

Anyway, I was excited to try this pattern because – one, JEANS!; and two, JEANSSSS!!!

Ginger Jeans

Ginger Jeans

Y’all, this is a really really good pattern. I know I sound biased – and maybe I am, because I lurve me some Heather, and ESPECIALLY because I had a really good almost-out-of-the-envelope experience with making these. It can be hard – if not impossible – to design a pants pattern that is going to fit and flatter every single body it comes in contact with, considering how wildly different everyone’s bodies are. I think the fit of these seems pretty good across the board – I’ve been watching everyone’s finished Gingers popping up all over the place, and most are great right out of the envelope (or with very minor changes). Personally, I had to make a few small tweaks, but they’re not any different than what I do to *all* the pants I make.

Ginger Jeans

I started with the size 2, which corresponds closely with my measurements, and made view B with the high waist. Having participated in this rodeo before, I went ahead and adding my personal ~Lauren~ fitting changes directly to the pattern pieces – which means, I scooped out some of the crotch to give it more of a J shape (more info on that in this post) and added a 1/2″ wedge to the back crotch for some extra bum room. I compared the pattern pieces to some well-fitting patterns and RTW jeans to make sure the crotch lengths and depths were good, then I cut straight into my denim. No muslin this time – which was risky, but I feel pretty confident in my fitting at this point, so I was willing to take one for the team if necessary.

Ginger Jeans

SPOILER: It worked out just fine! Yeehaw!

Ginger Jeans

There are a couple more things I’d like to improve on for my next pair – all up in dat crotch (sorry that you have to look at it). I think this photo illustrates that pretty well – see how the front is just a little too long when I stand a certain way? You can also see it in the photo below – what looks like a really really poorly photoshopped thigh gap is actually just excess fabric bending all weird. I need to pull some excess out of the inseam, maybe about 1/2″ (like, maybe what I added to the back crotch haha!). Honestly, that’s something I could do to this existing pair of jeans as it is – but I also flat-felled that damn inseam, and realistically, I know I probably won’t unpick and fix unless it starts annoying me way more than it does right now. I also need to take a small wedge out of the center back of the waistband – it’s a one-piece curved waistband, but I’m starting to notice that two-piece darted waistbands fit my backside much better. This one isn’t bad, it’s just a little loose. Something to fix for the next pair! The calves are also prettttttyyyy tight – like, these are not the pants that I will be wearing knee socks underneath! I guess I have big calves, though, because that’s an issue I have with all pants (sewing patterns and RTW). Overall, though, I’m really happy with the fit of these. I didn’t have to do ANY changes to the legs, and I think they look pretty good!

Ginger Jeans

Ginger Jeans

Construction on these was pretty straightforward and not at all difficult, although it was time-consuming to do all that topstitching. I followed the instructions on the pattern, as well as the sewalong for places where I needed a little extra clarification. I decided to go balls to the wall with this make and treat them like a real pair of jeans – contrast gold topstitching, flat-felled seams (everywhere except the side seams), proper rivets, the works. Doing all these extras definitely added time to how long it look to make them, but I still finished over the weekend πŸ˜› Go me!

For fabric, I used a denim/lycra blend that was purchased a Paron’s Fabrics in NYC last year. Heather actually helped me pick this one out, and I am surprised at how much I like it. The recovery is okkkk – it’s not the very best, like my RTW jeans (which are from Imogene + Willie, and WHEW that denim is – as my dad would say – THE BOMB DOT COM) – but it’s better than some stuff I’ve used in the past! The photos you see here were taken before I’d worn them for a day, so they’re at their tightest. As of this posting, I’ve worn the jeans twice and they haven’t bagged out much at all, which is a pleasant surprise. That being said, I really really really want to get my hands on one of Heather’s denim kits, because the Cone Mill denim included in those is basically the same shit as my $200+ I+W jeans. I missed the last sale due to financial restraints, but I’m saving my dollars and waited with bated breath for the next shipment, because you best believe imma be all over that shit like white on rice. NEEDS MORE JEANS.

At Heather’s advice, I did not interface the waistband of my pants. I think I might actually be a convert to this method – the waistband is still stretchy (so it’s super comfy), but the denim is thick enough to give it some structure. I did interface my button and button hole area, as well as the parts noted in the instructions (the fly, the tops of the pockets… I think that’s it?).

Ginger Jeans

For the topstitching, I used Gutterman jeans thread (the gold color, obviously) in my needle and regular ol’ navy polyester thread in the bobbin. At the suggestion of my sewing machine mechanic, I revved up the needle tension to a 7 and lengthened the stitch length to a little over a 3 to get a nice stitch. I used my #10 edgestitching foot (favorite foot ever, holla) to create even lines, and a 90/14 denim needle to pierce through all the layers. Since the guts of the jeans are assembled with the standard navy thread, this meant that I did a LOT of thread-changing to make this pair of pants. For future pants, I’ve lugged out my old Pfaff so I can keep both machines threaded and just switch back and forth, but the changing was ok for this first go-round.

Also, speaking of topstitching – I loved all the bartacks involved with making jeans. So much fun and SO satisfying! My machine actually doesn’t have a setting for bartacks, but I just reduced the zigzag stitch length and width until it looked good.

Ginger Jeans

If you have super eagle eyes, you may notice that the double topstitching is slightly different at the pockets vs the yoke/crotch seam. I had to widen the lines to properly catch where I folded the pockets under, but I really don’t think the wide-set stitching looks as good as the narrower set on the back. Oh well, just something to change for the next pair πŸ™‚

Ginger Jeans

Ginger Jeans

I looove the star rivets, though! And check out my cool jeans button! All the hardware (including the zipper) was purchased at Pacific Trimming in NYC, same time as when I got my denim. All that stuff was sooo cheap (I want to say the rivets were, like, $0.10 a piece of something crazy like that. I bought a whole bagful HAHAHA), wish I had better access to it on the regular! To set my rivets and my button, I used the good ol’ hammer-and-cast-iron-skillet combination. Worked like a charm!

Ginger Jeans

Ginger Jeans

Fun pocket lining! Also, I think I cut the fly interfacing too wide – bummer that it peeks out. Oh well, again – something to change for the next pair πŸ˜›

Ginger Jeans

Proof of flat-felled seams, and also machine thread snarls. Whoops.

Ginger Jeans

I’m pretty happy to have officially made LEGIT jeans (I have made “denim trousers” in the past, but nothing with topstitching and rivets and all that fun stuff!), and even more happy that they are super wearable! Now I just need to bang them out in all the colors my wardrobe requires and I’ll be set for life, at least as far as my denim is concerned πŸ™‚ I really want to try some different topstitching colors and details – looking at my I+W jeans, I really love the multiple colors of thread they used, and the little plus shaped bartacks. I also want some wacky insides – printed pocket fabric and colorful serger thread, anyone?

Would you ever make jeans for yourself, or does this fall in the camp of things you’d rather buy? Have you made this pattern before (if so, lemme see dem jeans, ladies)? As someone who’s literally worn the same pair of jeans for a solid year, how many pairs is too many?


109 Responses to “Completed: Ginger Jeans!”

  1. Anonymous January 8, 2015 at 12:12 pm #

    Great work! I have sewed many items, but jeans are something I have never attempted.

    • LLADYBIRD January 8, 2015 at 5:58 pm #

      Ooh! Might be time to start πŸ˜‰

  2. Andie L. January 8, 2015 at 12:24 pm #

    Oooh, love this! πŸ˜€ I can’t believe this is your first pair of legit jeans! They look so awesome. πŸ™‚

    • LLADYBIRD January 8, 2015 at 5:59 pm #

      Thank you! I’m pretty thrilled with how they turned out πŸ™‚

  3. applesongetsy January 8, 2015 at 12:45 pm #

    Your productivity is inspiring! I’m glad I found your blog. I would consider jeans way out of my league just yet, but think they’re such a staple its a great idea to make a few different types. They look really professional, well done πŸ™‚

  4. tworandomwords January 8, 2015 at 12:48 pm #

    I made these jeans in November but haven’t blogged them yet for some reason, but I do wear them 3-4 times a week – they are SO comfortable! And yeah, while the denim I had access to wasn’t as nice as my NYDJ ones, the fit… well, lets just say it’s nice to have a pair of jeans fit properly for the first time in my LIFE (hello, plus size booty with a straight sized waist).

    I also have my eye out on those kits though… I hesitated last time because of the international shipping, then realised how difficult it is to get nice denim here in NZ!

    Anyway, yours look rad, congratulations on jeans! (Imagine this but saying “jeans” I’ll have to try and look up the I+W jeans for the different coloured top-stitching, sounds interesting

    • LLADYBIRD January 8, 2015 at 6:06 pm #

      Yeah, I was wary on the price (not that it’s a bad price – because it isn’t at all! – but because I definitely could not justify the cost at the time), but honestly I think they are worth it. Assuming they are the same denim as my beloved I+W jeans, spending $100 to make 2 pairs is totally worth it. And of course they’re sold out now, ugh. Hopefully Heather will be back with more kits this year (wink wink NUDGE NUDGE HEATHER β™₯).

      Do check out the topstitching on the I+W jeans! I posted some photos of my first pair after I bought them (in this post), but the colors are kind of off so you can’t really see to well. The difference in the color of the threads is very subtle, but it’s also very pretty.

  5. Caitlyn M. January 8, 2015 at 12:50 pm #

    Although I don’t feel ready to tackle jeans yet–I’m still learning about how to get good fit on less complex items–I think I would like to make them eventually, but my two biggest concerns are 1) main fabric and 2) muslin fabric. Since the chain fabric stores in my area only seem to carry low-quality denim, I’d have to take a risk on online ordering. Even with swatches, you can never be 100% sure you’re getting something that will feel nice and last, you know? And then you basically have to buy 2x as much to use as a muslin, since there’s not really a cheaper alternative to denim, and you have to know how your exact fabric will stretch anyway. It seems like an awful lot of time and material that could end up wasted if you make mistakes or have many fitting problems, especially if it turns out the pattern (whatever pattern you pick) just isn’t the right starting point for your body.

    • LLADYBIRD January 8, 2015 at 6:16 pm #

      Well, sure, I can definitely see how the muslin situation can be a concern. Honestly, as long as you get a fabric that is a *similar* weight and stretch to your denim, you can use it as a muslin – I use stretch poplin sometimes (I bought a load of it when I was making Clovers, only to realize it was too thin for pants. Works for muslins, though! Ha!), and while it’s thinner than denim, it gives you enough of an idea for the basic blocks of fitting. You can always tweak the fit a little more while you’re making the real deal πŸ™‚ I’d also suggest maybe knocking out a couple pair in a cheaper denim – just so you can get comfortable with the steps involved for construction, and practice with topstitching and all that. Obviously, making pants that you might not even wear does cost money, but you can always consider the learning experience and I bet that alone is cheaper than a class πŸ™‚ I actually went through all this when I was making Clovers – bought the pattern, bought the aforementioned stretch poplin, made about 5 pairs, nearly all of them wadders (and a pattern that did not work for my body). While I didn’t end up with a perfect pair of Clovers, I did leave with lots of new info about fitting pants to my body – which I still use today. Totally worth it, in my opinion.

      As far as buying quality denim – yeah, that’s a tough one! You’ll definitely end up with stuff you don’t like, but it’s really hard to know unless you’ve sewn it up. Been there, done that. One thing I have learned is that I like my denim to have quite a bit of lycra, which gives it good recovery. Or you can just creep on blogs and buy whatever denim they recommend. Which is another thing I do, ha.

  6. Nathalie January 8, 2015 at 12:59 pm #

    wow they look awesome, I wish I could sew my own jeans. It’s really difficult for me to find jeans that fit my bum. But I don’t think my sewing skills and my patience levels are good enough at the moment. πŸ™‚

    • LLADYBIRD January 8, 2015 at 6:17 pm #

      You’ll work up to it! Making jeans is fun, and it’s really rewarding to have some that fit you well πŸ™‚

  7. youngseamstress January 8, 2015 at 1:17 pm #

    These look amazing! I’ve wanted to try the pattern since it came out, but all the topstitching involved kind of scares me – that’s always my least favourite part! I will definitely try them at some point though. I have such a hard time finding jeans that fit, and I love every version of these that I’ve seen!

    • LLADYBIRD January 8, 2015 at 6:18 pm #

      Oooh, but the topstitching is the best part! SO MUCH PRECISION, ME LIKEY πŸ˜€

  8. Evie January 8, 2015 at 1:19 pm #

    I have totally been waiting for you to review this pattern! I’m planning on trying my hand at a pair after my next kiddo is born this summer, and I really enjoy reading your reviews of patterns before I dive in myself. They look really good!

    • LLADYBIRD January 8, 2015 at 6:19 pm #

      Thank you! Can’t wait to see your pair ! πŸ˜€

  9. ekabby111 January 8, 2015 at 1:19 pm #

    Check your thigh gap privilege. GAWD.

  10. Ms. McCall January 8, 2015 at 1:26 pm #

    Love your jeans! I’m super jealous of your cheap and awesome rivets, they are so fun! How many jeans IS too many? I’ve made 4 pairs, but I just bought some more denim (stretch 12oz Cone mills selvedge), I think I’m addicted! I’m going to have to go back and read your thurlow sew-along for my next pair though, your waistband looks lovely, and I can never get that waistband right.

    • LLADYBIRD January 8, 2015 at 6:21 pm #

      Oooh, you got the Cone Mills! TELL ME EVERYTHING!

      • Ms. McCall January 9, 2015 at 4:16 pm #

        I know of two companies that sell cone mills here in LA, but I don’t know if they ship.

        I got my non-stretch selvedge from “Premium Denim Outlet” a good while ago. It was 10.5oz, and seems to be holding up well after over a month of wear. Premium Denim outlet don’t have a great website, but if you’re ever in LA, their show room is fun to check out.

        The new denim I got from ‘Pacific Blue Denim’, their website has a full inventory, so it’s easier to browse, but they do charge a $25 cutting fee for orders less than 100 yards. I got cone stretch selvedge (whoops, it’s 11oz, 99% cotton/1% spandex) and non-selvedge (12 oz 98% cotton / 2% spandex) for myself, and some of the cone s-gene 92/6/2 stuff for a friend. I got the 12.5oz s-gene for her though, which is heavier than the stuff that was in the CCF kit, because the lower weights seemed kind of wimpy to me. Anything that had poly in it seemed a lot less beefy to me than the swatches that had the same weight.

        – Sorry for the long comment, but you did ask for EVERYTHING!

        • LLADYBIRD January 11, 2015 at 4:44 pm #

          Nope, this is perfect! Ahhhh now I need to make an excuse to go to LA. Denim is a good enough excuse… right???

  11. sewbusylizzy January 8, 2015 at 1:27 pm #

    There is no such thing as too many jeans! I made the Jamie jeans last year – and while I loved sewing them – how much fun are jeans to sew!! – I hated the fit… I almost resolved not to make jeans…. but this pattern does really tempted me to try again!
    I think jeans are one of the most versatile garments in my wardrobe, so yeah, never too many.

    • LLADYBIRD January 8, 2015 at 6:21 pm #

      I love my Jamie jeans! They did need some tweaking to get a good fit, but I’m dying to make more pairs πŸ™‚ Wearing pair #2 as I type this, actually! πŸ™‚

      • sewbusylizzy January 8, 2015 at 8:15 pm #

        You are the master of pants tweaking! Do you twerk in them too?

  12. Grace January 8, 2015 at 1:34 pm #

    Can I keep my work hat on for a minute here and tell you what I see? (I hope that’s ok; feel free to take it or leave it). I see “whiskers” emanating from your crotch, which indicates to me that there is too much of an L shape and not enough of a J shape in your crotch. You say you “scooped” it out, which leads me to believe you took out some the J shape and made it more L shaped, hence the whiskers. So I followed your link to reread your previous post about the crotch shape and in that post you SAY you prefer a J shape, but your adjusted pattern piece is actually more L shaped. Am I misunderstanding your usual pattern correction?

    • LLADYBIRD January 8, 2015 at 6:29 pm #

      The whiskers you’re referring to are more like folds of excess fabric (I understand that is essentially whiskers, but I feel like these are bigger… if that makes sense?), and I’m pretty sure they are because I’ve got either too much excess in the thighs or in rise length (or both), since if I pinch out those areas, the folds disappear. I’ve learned that if I wear pants with a more angled crotch shape, I end up with a big excess bulge thing right at my crotch and inner thigh. I need to scoop out a dip/curve to get it to lie more flat.

      That being said, I could very well be absolutely wrong about which shape is an L and which is a J! Since pretty much all my pants knowledge is self-taught via books and blogs, there’s a very very good chance that I’ve mixed the two up πŸ™‚ I feel like I recall someone referring to the shape I use as a J, but, again, I could be wrong. It definitely looks like a J (and the L like an L), which is why I came to that conclusion.

      Now that I’ve good and confused myself, is the shape you’re referring to me needing more like the one I created, or like the one that was the pattern starting point?

      Oh, and I absolutely appreciate constructive criticism πŸ™‚ Always open to it! Thank you for taking the time out to give me your thoughts!

      • Grace January 12, 2015 at 11:23 am #

        Ok, so I think you are using the “L” and “J” shape the same way I am and I totally get your explanation for scooping it out (we ladies don’t need that peen bulge). Of course there is such a thing as too much scooping out… that’s how camel toe happens, but you don’t have that so you are probably right that the length of the front rise may be a little long on you. It all kind of depends on how close you want your jeans to fit. My understanding of the Ginger is that they are meant to have negative ease, made with denim that has a little lycra content. Getting that fit right is a process, obviously. So, to your question… yeah, for next time the patterns original crotch is what I would go back to, and I’d probably work on shortening the length of the front rise.

        BTW… that fashion incubator post (linked from your other crotch post) about mono-butt sent me into a weekend geek-out about the perfect denim rear rise shape. I ended up buying to 2 more vintage Calvin Klein jeans patterns on ebay as a result… your fault. ;P

  13. Nakisha January 8, 2015 at 1:55 pm #

    It’s an epidemic! I just finished my first every pair of jeans, the Style Arc Sandra. Freakin fantastic.

    I am ready to cut another pair because, holy cow, I made JEANS!

    Aaaaaaaaaaand, my 16 year old daughter (16!) has remarked at least 312 times about how awesome they are and she wants me to make her a pair! Now, while I don’t really WANT to make her a pair, really, highest honor. πŸ˜‰

    I am waiting on my rivets still but you’ve inspired me to check my local warehouse fabric store to see if they have ’em.

    I’m sure you’ll be kicking out pair #2 soon πŸ™‚

    • LLADYBIRD January 8, 2015 at 6:31 pm #

      Ohhh, I like that Sandra pattern! Very nice!

      And hey – as a former 16 year old with a mother who sews, you should really take that as the highest honor! Although I totally agree with not wanting to make her a pair πŸ˜› I’d be down for the construction part, because that’s always fun – but fitting someone else? Naw!

  14. Jenny Cashmerette January 8, 2015 at 2:00 pm #

    AWESOME! I just started muslining mine this week and have some (slightly incriminating) photos up for your crotch-staring perusal…..

    • LLADYBIRD January 8, 2015 at 6:32 pm #

      Hell yeah, I’m always down to stare at your crotch a little bit more.

      (too creepy? nope.)

  15. Alice January 8, 2015 at 2:21 pm #

    They look so professional! I’ve yet to attempt sewing jeans, but your pair is certainly inspiring me…

    • LLADYBIRD January 8, 2015 at 6:32 pm #

      You should give them a try! They’re pretty fun to make πŸ™‚

  16. autumn January 8, 2015 at 2:24 pm #

    shut up! those look so great! and i didn’t know they were doing the kit again at closet case! i had seen it weeks and weeks ago (late to the game) and thought i was out for the count. i hope they do it sometime this spring!

    • LLADYBIRD January 8, 2015 at 6:33 pm #

      Well, I don’t want to speak for Heather because I’m not 100%, but I thought she said she was going to try to offer the kits again this year? HEATHER, WE NEED KITS PLS.

  17. Katie Lynn January 8, 2015 at 2:26 pm #

    I have never made jeans, I think that sticking to dresses and skirts for the time being is more along my skill set.

    Unrelated, but I just have to mention that every time I see the antennae for your camera control I think of Harry Potter, and then wonder why you’re holding a wand all the time. Every. Single. Time.

    • LLADYBIRD January 8, 2015 at 6:34 pm #

      Haaa, I wish it was a wand! Unfortunately, that’s just the only remote that works with my old-ass camera πŸ˜› haha

  18. qplourde January 8, 2015 at 2:33 pm #

    Great top stitching! There are some really helpful tips here – I am going to attempt my first pair of corduroys this winter and I always have trouble fitting the crotch on pants. Are rivets hard to do – seems intimidating….

    • LLADYBIRD January 8, 2015 at 6:35 pm #

      Nope, rivets aren’t hard at all! You just punch a hole where you want it to go (you can use a nail; I used my button hole cutter because it comes with a little round cutter haha), stick the rivet in, and hammer it down really hard. Also, I love using hammers in the sewing room hahaha πŸ™‚

  19. navybluethreads January 8, 2015 at 2:57 pm #

    Love what a perfectionist you are with your ‘tweaks’. These look mighty impressive to me. I’ve just cut out my very first pair of (admittedly) very basic trousers. Jeans seem a very long way off at the moment, but thanks for the inspiration πŸ™‚

    • LLADYBIRD January 8, 2015 at 6:36 pm #

      Trousers are totally a gateway drug to jeans. You’ll be here eventually πŸ™‚ heh heh heh!

  20. helen January 8, 2015 at 3:05 pm #

    Great looking jeans! High Five for that flat felled inside leg seam!
    I’m just about to start the Craftsy Jeanius course to copy my Levis. I’m really hoping it’s going to be a success as I’m RTW fasting for the second year but need new jeans in my wardrobe.

    • LLADYBIRD January 8, 2015 at 6:37 pm #

      I’ve heard really good things about that Jeanius course! Bet you’ll have some great non-RTW jeans in your closet in no time πŸ™‚

  21. steelyseamstress January 8, 2015 at 4:05 pm #

    Wow, these are fantastic! They look so professional and I just lurve those star rivets. I have recently made some corduroy trousers that are basically like jeans in terms of the pattern –

    They are a knock-off of an old pair of RTW cords, that I wore to death. I’ve hoping to make a denim copy soon. I so understand why you need to make jeans in every colour in your wardrobe! I did feel I make a big mistake not including interfacing in the waistband. I just forgot, having no instructions to follow. It is a bit floppy for corduroy. But perhaps I might consider leaving it out on purpose for the denim version (except for the buttonhole and button area) as it should be rigid enough. Thanks for that idea!

    • LLADYBIRD January 8, 2015 at 6:38 pm #

      Your cords look great! I love that beautiful color, wow!

  22. BeckyLeeSews January 8, 2015 at 4:08 pm #

    Those look totally factory. AWESOME and super cute! I’m sewing jeans with Angela Wolff’s Craftsy class. Doing the muslin now.

  23. Lori January 8, 2015 at 4:12 pm #

    Fabulous jeans, I just finished my third pair of Ginger jeans but first pair in denim. I love the fit and had to make only minor changes.

  24. Anonymous January 8, 2015 at 4:33 pm #

    Great jeans! yes, I do make jeans and love the challenge of the stitching. Like you, I use one machine and have to change thread all the time, but I love the contrast stitching and it is well worth the trouble.

    • LLADYBIRD January 8, 2015 at 6:39 pm #

      It was totally worth it! Although having two machines is pretty nice πŸ™‚

  25. Anna January 8, 2015 at 4:56 pm #

    I’m working on my second pair now, I agree this is a really great out-of-the-envelope fitting pattern. All of the changes I made were minor, I had the same thigh bubble weirdness thing and like you, I was not taking apart a felled seam to fix it. The beauty of felling most of your seams is that you really only have to change the thread a few times like for the front pockets and zipper almost everything else can use topstitching thread. I do so hope there’s another kit, I would love to get my hands on some conemills denim.

    • LLADYBIRD January 8, 2015 at 6:40 pm #

      We should start a petition to get those kits back! Haha!

  26. AlabasterShelf January 8, 2015 at 5:47 pm #

    Oooooo snap. I literally saw your post, saw the first picture, went and bought the pattern, and came back to finish reading. Jeans have been on my list for AGES but there are literally NO high waisted jeans patterns. I’m jumping up and down for this. Got myself set up with Pants for Real People for Christmas, have a clapper and a ham on my ironing board. LET’S DO THIS SHIT.

    Question about fit though because I run into this a lot, the “whiskers” for lack of a better term on the bottom point on the front crotch. Are those normal? I have fuller thighs and always get those whiskers on home made pants and store bought. I found precisely one pattern that doesn’t give me whisker crotch but those are shorty shorts and I haven’t tried out the pants version. Thoughts?

    • LLADYBIRD January 8, 2015 at 6:44 pm #

      Yessss! You are all set for some fabulous jeans, woohoo!

      The whiskers you see at my crotch are actually more like big ol’ folds – pretty sure they’re caused by excess at the crotch length or inner thigh (or both). A little bit of whiskering is normal – while you can probably alter the shit out of your pattern to get a totally smooth front, I don’t know if it’s even really worth it – but you don’t want to have bit folds when you move your legs around (look again at that picture of just my crotch – ok, I’m really sorry to make you do that, but you see what I mean? Toooooo much fabric there!). It’s hard to tell without seeing a picture, but there’s a chance you don’t get whiskers on the shorts because of the lack of fabric at the inner leg. I’d compare the pattern to other patterns and see if the crotch area differs at all – if it does, you may just have a pattern that is drafted for your shape πŸ™‚ Lucky πŸ™‚

  27. V Reed January 8, 2015 at 5:52 pm #

    Jeans terrify me! Of course, I haven’t managed a pair of pants that I deem acceptable since high school, so that’s part of the problem. The closest I’ve come is a denim skirt. πŸ™‚

    • LLADYBIRD January 8, 2015 at 6:44 pm #

      Hey, denim skirt is close enough! πŸ™‚

  28. B. Morgan Joy January 8, 2015 at 7:40 pm #

    There is PRECIOUS LITTLE I will not do to avoid the nightmare of buying pants.
    My first full-length go at M6610 came out with a lotta leg twist…but I don’t think I’ve worn any of my remaining RTW jeans since I finished them. (Gotta get more non-stretch denim for after all the corduroy pairs that will tweak the small fit issues, my wee li’l butt looks amazing in these jeans. Until then, I think I’ve enough stretch denim for 3 pairs of Gingers, too.)

  29. toddfisk January 8, 2015 at 8:39 pm #

    Hooray for pants!

  30. shesewsswell January 8, 2015 at 11:12 pm #

    Yes Heather needs more kits. Dang, I never thought I’d be making jeans, but I also never thought I’d have the same job for 25 years. Sew….. Maybe, just maybe, someday, I’ll make some jeans. I got the Sistah Booty and I’m 6 feet tall, so I need to learn to do a proper adjustment first. As always, thanks for inspiration.

  31. Birgit January 9, 2015 at 3:40 am #

    Yet another fabulous version of the Ginger jeans, I’m thinking I should really purchase the pattern and make myself one!

  32. tinygoldenpins January 9, 2015 at 6:30 am #

    Really cute and beautifully made. OK: list for this year. coat and jeans. stop being scared.

  33. sallie January 9, 2015 at 8:45 am #

    Oooooh awesome job!! I LURVE sewing jeans! It’s truly my most favorite garment to make! All the details… sigh. These turned out amazing. I also want to try two colors of topstitching thread on my next pair and fun bar tacks. The possibilities are endless!!!

  34. weefrills January 9, 2015 at 9:13 am #

    Very nice. I really like dark denim.

  35. Becky January 9, 2015 at 9:19 am #

    Looks great! I’ve made jeans before, using a self-drafted pattern from a Craftsy class, but there’s still things about the pattern I haven’t managed to perfect yet. I might pick this pattern up this summer, so I can give myself a fresh place to start on another pair post-baby bump.

  36. Lola (lovelola) January 9, 2015 at 9:27 am #

    that sums up all my feels.

  37. Caren Eckert Martin January 9, 2015 at 9:51 am #

    Dude! Those are completely awesome!!

  38. Kelly January 9, 2015 at 10:32 am #

    Whoa, people photoshop in thigh gaps??? I never even considered that. Anyway, your jeans look pretty awesome!

    • LLADYBIRD January 11, 2015 at 4:31 pm #

      Haha yeah, people photoshop some WEIRD stuff into their pictures!

  39. knitmo January 9, 2015 at 10:59 am #

    Jeans are totally on my radar. I’m sizing up my sewing list and the top things on the list include jeans, a winter coat and perfecting the fit of McCalls 6696.

  40. jvenegas85 January 9, 2015 at 11:09 am #

    Oh my gosh! They look really good. I’m now convinced I should purchase this pattern. I haven’t been wearing jeans for so long because RTW just sucks in the fitting. I’ve been wanting to get into jean-making and now I’m even more motivated. Great post!

  41. Jennifer Blackman January 9, 2015 at 11:14 am #

    I love these jeans on you! I have wanted to try making jeans the last few months, but have never been able to get any pants I make to fit me correctly. I still am not sure how to do the whole alteration thing with pants. Hopefully, someday I will be able to afford a class instead of just reading tutorials online. πŸ™‚

  42. Tatiana January 9, 2015 at 1:14 pm #

    Great jeans, Lauren!
    I am trying to make Margot pajama pants from Tilly’s book. In your post about them you mentioned that you blended between sizes 1 and 2. I have to do the same adjustment between sizes 2 in the waist and 3 in the hips. Did you blend at the sides only connecting size 1 waist and size 2 hips? Or did you do the same adjustment at the crotch as well?
    I read somewhere that the crotch curve should remain the same for different sizes.
    Sorry for the silly question, but I am really lost. This is my first sewing experience.

    • LLADYBIRD January 11, 2015 at 4:33 pm #

      Hey Tatiana!

      I only blended sizes at the hip – I don’t touch the crotch curve when grading. Just pick one size and stick with it (I can’t even recall which one I went with, but I do remember them being prettttyy similar + they are loose pj pants so either size you go with should work). Should work out just fine πŸ™‚ And no, that’s not a silly question! Makes sense, if you’re grading between sizes, you’d want to know where to make the grading occur πŸ™‚

  43. Kayse January 9, 2015 at 2:41 pm #

    These turned out beautifully!!!! I can’t wrap my mind around how wonderful of a seamstress you are. These are crazy impressive!

  44. Michelle January 9, 2015 at 4:01 pm #

    These look really incredible, Lauren! The fit looks awesome. Jeans are definitely a staple item in my wardrobe, so I’m going to have to tackle them someday!

  45. Naomi January 9, 2015 at 7:27 pm #

    Your jeans look great!! I like that you were able to make them high waisted but not at all mom-jeanish. I am considering making my own jeans (or pants in general) because nothing fits my thighs and butt. “Curvy” jeans seem to be made for girls with wider hips who carry their weight in their thighs and hips. I have big quads/hammies/glutes from too many squats so “curvy” doesn’t fit 😦 Suggestions?? I also don’t wash my jeans for at least two months so I need something that doesn’t get all saggy bum.

    • LLADYBIRD January 11, 2015 at 4:36 pm #

      Well, I’m not a curvy gal so I don’t have a lot of experience with curvy patterns, unfortunately 😦 Have you tried the Sewaholic patterns? The Thurlow trousers/shorts are specifically designs for girls with curves, with the option to tweak the waist after sewing them up. I *have* sewn those before (although I had to un-curve them first haha) and it’s an EXCELLENT pattern.

      As far as denim – I wish I could help you with that! I’m in the same-ish boat as you with washing (except I go quite a bit longer than 2 months haha), so denim with good recovery is a must! I’m still looking for my dream denim, but I can tell you the stuff from Cone Mills is the JAM if you can get your hands on some of that. It’s what my I+W jeans are made with, and they hold their shape really really well, despite not being washed very frequently.

  46. ASHLEY CHERIE January 10, 2015 at 6:03 pm #

    That’s so cool! I want to make jeans!!!!

  47. leanmeansewingmachine January 10, 2015 at 7:34 pm #

    Nice work! Great fit and amazing topstitiching.

  48. Ines January 11, 2015 at 1:07 pm #

    Really great! I think they are beautiful, I noticed the cute little star rivets, love them! About the whiskers in the crotch, (I feel weird discussing your crotch must admit, I feel like Beavus and Butthead giggling as I type “I said crotch, he,he” and this from a mature woman!) WEll anywaaaay, I think those are natural because jeans are tight pants, just like one would get wrinkles around the knees unless it’s a looser style. I am not quite ready to make jeans, oooh no, but pants yes, so I am sooo grateful for your detailed info on crotches it seems that is the crux/crotch of the matter..ha,ha when making pants.NOW I am becoming crotch obsessed too πŸ™‚ I found on the internet this technique called “fishbowl” from a book called “Fitting & Pattern Alteration by Elizabeth Liechty” demonstrated on this post (have you heard of it? tried it? opinions?) and since I have nothing better to do this Sunday I will attempt making a “fishbowl crotch”, I thought I’d mention it to you in case you were interested since you are becoming the Blggers Eminence on all things Crotch, hi,hi,hi. THanks for your always interesting and entertaining posts πŸ™‚

    • LLADYBIRD January 11, 2015 at 4:41 pm #

      I have never heard of this technique, but it sounds really really interesting! Thanks so much for the linkage, I might have to try this out πŸ™‚

      Also, don’t even feel bad about discussing my crotch – I bring this on myself most of the top, and YES, I want to be the Bloggers Eminence of All Things Crotch! Someone make me a button, stat!! hahahahaah!!

  49. Ines January 11, 2015 at 1:10 pm #

    The fishbowl link I forgot, duh!

  50. Birgit January 11, 2015 at 3:44 pm #

    This is georgeous! Why is all your work so neat? Tell us the secrets of neatness……please….please do. Big fan B

    • LLADYBIRD January 11, 2015 at 4:42 pm #

      Ha! No secrets, just taking my time with the visible bits (like topstitching), and ripping out anything that doesn’t meet my neatness standards πŸ™‚ Having a good foot to help with the edgestitching, and a machine that gives you a beautiful stitch – that helps too πŸ™‚

  51. Kit January 11, 2015 at 6:23 pm #

    Flawless! You make everything so perfectly and the photos of the detailing are great! I am so glad I found this post.

  52. Vernetta January 11, 2015 at 6:32 pm #

    Hi Lauren,
    It hard to diagnose fit from pictures, but have you tried overlapping a wedge in the front to compensate for your admirably flat abs? And/or prominent thighs (extend the crotch point on front piece only)? Both can create wrinkles at the crotch.

    • LLADYBIRD January 12, 2015 at 5:07 pm #

      I have not tried either over those, but I will check them out. Thanks for the input! πŸ™‚

  53. Sandra January 13, 2015 at 5:21 am #

    These jeans are perfect ! I can’t stop wearing mine…
    It’s true, you have a little bit excess of fabric at the front. I had the same issue, and I shortened the crotch by 1cm and it was much better.
    Heather’s fitting tutorials are great, I’ve fixed my “sway back issue” so easily…

  54. symondezyn January 14, 2015 at 4:11 pm #

    JEANS, right!!?? They look very profesh – nice job!! πŸ™‚ Not that I’m any kind of expert or anything but it does look like the front crotch is a little long on you – you could fix that easily (albeit temporarily) by just going out for a big meal of pasta or something haha ^__^ The fit in the back is really good though, and your details look awesome. I’ve been really impressed by everyone’s versions of these so far πŸ™‚

  55. Reana Louise February 11, 2015 at 10:25 pm #

    Aaaahahaha ‘THE BOMB DOT COM.’ Hilarious! Ima steal that. And if I ever get near your wardrobe, Ima steal them jeans.

  56. Melissa February 22, 2015 at 9:32 pm #

    These jeans kick butt! Awesome job! I really want to make some now.

  57. spugh23244 May 6, 2015 at 12:24 pm #

    This pattern is making me feel like a total moron. How is it so easy for everyone? I need a 10 in the hips (I wish we could just call this “butt”) and a 6 in the waist, so just grade it, right? Yeah, but then you have to adjust the pocket facings, the coin pocket, and the yoke. And the “high-waisted” version starts with a 7″ crotch depth. Um, that’s under my belly button. So then you slash and spread, but then you’ve got to true the front and back, and do something to the yoke (I don’t know what, because moron). I’m *this* close to setting the whole thing on fire in the front yard and screaming at it to DIE DIE DIE. Someone, ANYONE tell me what I’m missing. And yes, “lots more experience” is a valid answer.

    • LLADYBIRD May 7, 2015 at 9:20 pm #

      Well, unfortunately, any pattern that requires grading between sizes is going to be more difficult than just making a straight size 😦 You might have better luck starting with something that is drafted for a body more similar to yours (such as the Sewaholic Thurlows) and then adding the elements from the Gingers that make them like jeans. I don’t think that you’d need to adjust the coin pocket or yoke, though – or if you do, it won’t be too much of a grade, because of where they are located. Also, the rise is supposed to hit about at belly button for the high rise, so unless it’s waaaay below yours, it should be at least close to the right spot.


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