Completed: Ginger Jeans, With A Heart On

25 Nov

Heart on Ginger Jeans

Fun fact: I am wearing this same outfit as I type this blog post. Don’t be fooled, though, I took these photos months ago! I don’t know what my deal is, but for whatever reason I’ve become the sort of “blogger” (I am putting this in quotes because I think I’ve maybe written 6 posts this entire year lol) who takes photos and then… hoards them? Whatever.

Anyway, here’s a new pair of jeans to share! I think I’ve made enough pairs of Ginger Jeans to probably warrant never needing to post them again – students always ask me how many I think I’ve made, and the answer is I actually don’t know! I’ve lost count! – but I feel weirdly guilty about all the blog neglect this year, so I’m posting for the sake of posting something and keeping the ol’ stomping ground alive.

Heart on Ginger Jeans

Also my hair looks really good in these photos, so there’s that. Gotta take those small victories wherever you find them!

Heart on Ginger Jeans

Even though I’ve made tons of jeans, I recently reached a point in my wardrobe where I realized I was in pretty dire need of some wearable bottoms. My wardrobe goes through a lot of shifts and purges – things don’t turn out the way I envisioned, the fabric or fit is weird (let me tell you right now that no matter how much you sew or even use TNT patterns, you will never be immune to making these mistakes from time to time!), it’s a strange color or style I don’t actually wear, my weight has fluctuated and it doesn’t fit anymore, or I’ve worn them so much they are wearing out and need to be replaced. The last 2 reasons have really hit hard this year, when it came down to me owning 1 pair of (very poorly fitted) shorts and maybe 2 pairs of jeans. So I’ve been on a pants and shorts making binge which has been quite fruitful!

I used 3 different jeans patterns to really round out my pants wardrobe, so stay tuned for the other 2! Today, I want to talk about the Gingers!

Heart on Ginger Jeans

Heart on Ginger Jeans

Heart on Ginger Jeans

If you’ve followed me for any amount of time, you probably know I have a mad love affair with this pattern. It’s one of my TNTs (tried’n’true), and like I said, I’ve sewn it so many times that I’ve literally lost count of how many pairs have passed through my sewing machine. I don’t know if it’s my favorite because it’s actually the best, or if it is just familiar. I do like the style and the fit works quite well for my body, though! It also helps that this is the pattern that I use for my Sew Your Own Jeans weekend workshops, so I feel like I truly know this pattern like I know the back of my hand.

I haven’t made this pattern since the end of 2017, and while I love that pair and still wear them regularly, I can see that they definitely have an end date – they are starting to wear very thin in some places, and the lycra is losing its elasticity. I think they still have quite a bit of life left to live, however, I think it’s always good to secure your back-up plan before it’s needed!

Heart on Ginger Jeans

Heart on Ginger Jeans

My fabric is a wonderful stretch denim that I purchased from Crafty Gemini back in August when I was in Florida for a sewing retreat. Usually whatever shop hosting my class will carry the specific denim that I recommend (this one from Robert Kaufman!), however, some shops like to source their own and that is also fine! In this case, Vanessa was able to get her hands on some very nice, dark indigo US-made stretch denim, which everyone in the retreat used. I was kind of jealous of how nice their pants were turning out so I decided to get a couple of yards for myself, too! This denim is just as stretchy as the RK, but a little heavier – maybe a 9 or 10oz. The color is nice and dark but I haven’t noticed as much dye rub-off as I tend to see with the RK denim.

I decided to go up a size in these jeans, which turned out to be a mistake. As I mentioned, my weight has gone up a bit this past year – mainly in my hips – so I’m sizing my new makes appropriately, and while I could squeeze into those 2’s if I really put my mind to it, I wanted some jeans that were a little less… painted on. Unfortunately, these ended up way too big so I should have just stuck with the 2’s! They look great now, but I did have to size down the side seams, and after taking these photos I also took in the waistband and center back a bit more. I think the issue is that 1. I’m exactly in between sizes with Closet Case Patterns (a little bigger than the 2, and a little smaller than the 4); and 2. My denim is very stretchy (about 25% stretch, the same as the Robert Kaufman that I usually use) which typically warrants sizing down, not up. Anyway, it was a fun experient and it all worked out in the end so I’m not mad about it, just making a mental note for next time!

Other than the sizing stuff, I did not make any other changes to this pattern. I added 1″ to the calf (ages and ages ago), but otherwise I get a pretty good fit out of the envelope, so that is nice and easy!

I did change the front pockets to be actual pockets, and not a pocket stay. I am fully aware that I am the minority in this thought process, but I HATE HATE HATE those pocket stays! I find them rigid, uncomfortable (which is all kinds of wrong when you’re wearing stretch denim, I mean wtf) and they make the fly area incredibly bulky. I know people loooove their pocket stays so please don’t @ me with your defense, just stating my personal choice here! Free-hanging pockets FTW! I have no issue tucking my pockets back in if it means I can eat a plate of nachos and not feel like I need to unbutton my pants! Fight me!

Heart on Ginger Jeans

Heart on Ginger JeansHeart on Ginger Jeans


Heart on Ginger Jeans

Heart on Ginger Jeans

For some fun customization, I used contrasting thread to do my bar tacks, and stitched this cute little emoji patch on the butt pocket. Mostly because it makes me laugh, but also because I love any excuse to tell people I have “a heart on” lulz omg.

I also do not use the back pocket markings as suggested in the pattern, because in my experience they are too low and kind of unflattering! I think a high-waisted jean needs a high pocket, so I always place mine a little higher. In my Sew Your Own Jeans workshops, I custom place these on each booty (oh yeah I bet you didn’t know that fee included a nice hand down your pants!). For me when I’m sewing alone, though, it requires a lot of basting, trying on in the mirror, removing pants and unpicking stitches, rebasting, putting pants back on again, repeat ad nauseum. Fortunately I’m at a point where I have a general idea of where the pockets should be placed with just a good confident eyeballing, but my point is that you too can have good pocket placement, even if you don’t have the luxury of a second person to help you! Just be prepared to take your pants off a LOT and also maybe consider taking photos of your butt (why is this starting to sound like a Tinder conversation… ?).

Heart on Ginger Jeans

I left the jeans unhemmed, because I’ve learned over the years that no matter how much you pre wash your denim (this one was 3x!), the length will continue to shrink in length over several more washes. I used to just hem my jeans on the long side, but these days I don’t bother hemming at all and just wear them rolled for a few months until I feel like they’ve gotten their shrink out. These are hemmed as of this posting, but were not as of the photographs.

Oh, I also made my top! It’s a True Bias Nikko Top, made with some really fun chartreuse knit that I bought at Fancy Tiger Crafts when I was there in June! I was very drawn to the color, but wasn’t sure how it would look on me – it took a lot of convincing from Bob, and then another few months of me staring at it on my shelf wondering if I had made a mistake. Honestly, though, I LOVE how it looks on me! I think it really works well with my skin tone and hair color, and it’s also a color that just makes me happy! So, Bob was right and I stand corrected!

Heart on Ginger Jeans

Ok, I’m wrapping up this long-ass post with a photo of me + Amelia. Don’t be fooled by the bitchface, she loves me and was purring very loud during this photo haha.

Want to learn how to make your own jeans? Join me in 2020 and let me teach you how!


21 Responses to “Completed: Ginger Jeans, With A Heart On”

  1. Inclement November 25, 2019 at 12:27 pm #

    We love you, too, Amelia. Tortoiseshells are the most bestest, right? (We won’t tell my non-tortie.)

    P.S. I hope whatever you needed a cat-o-gram (my vet’s term haha) for a while ago, is okay.

    • LLADYBIRD November 25, 2019 at 12:39 pm #

      She is fine! Was peeing outside of her box so I took her in to see what was up, and turns out the old lady has arthritis! So she’s taking supplements, we changed her litterbox (the old one required her to jump on top of it, not good for her hips!) and she’s doped up on LOTS of painkillers. She’s a happy cat now 🙂 Thank you for checking in! ❤

  2. Deborah November 25, 2019 at 12:37 pm #

    Glad to see you post again. Good advice about different fit at different times and with different fabrics for a Tried and True pattern. Keeps us on our toes. Do find myself between sizes most of my life: as a kid, young woman, and now of mature years. Can pattern makers just make a size 2, 3, 4, 5 and so on rather than by even or odd numbers. Years ago they had the even (ladies) the odd number (junior) and even half sizes for the shorter woman with a larger bustline. And there were no fussy lines to follow to cut multiple size. That is fine for patterns for kids since they grow so fast but the single sizes seemed easier to cut. Off my soapbox for now. Have never made jeans (even though I have made just about everything else). Happy to follow your guide. Perhaps one of my granddaughters will be brave enough to try one day.

    • LLADYBIRD November 25, 2019 at 12:40 pm #

      LOL well I will say as someone who spans multiple sizes, I am thankful for the multi-size patterns because then I only have to buy one! And you gotta try making jeans, they are the most fun!

  3. Juliana bendandi November 25, 2019 at 12:45 pm #

    Gosh, should I just come out and say it? Love you, love your posts, love your Gingers and best of all Amelia! Purring! Ahh! Keep em coming!

  4. smonakey November 25, 2019 at 1:21 pm #

    I just re-realized that you’re teaching a jeans class in Gainesville next year. I’ve had the Ginger pattern in ages, but am not remotely confident enough to tackle it! I just emailed Crafy Gemini to sign up for the class. I’m very excited!

    • smonakey November 25, 2019 at 1:22 pm #

      Re-realized, because I’d looked before & then promptly forgot!

    • LLADYBIRD November 25, 2019 at 5:05 pm #

      Yay! I hope you can come take the workshop – it’s gonna be so fun!!

  5. Phoebe November 25, 2019 at 1:25 pm #

    Your jeans look great, but I just wanted to say thanks for the sizing + stretchiness of your denim info. I am exactly half-way between sizes on the Closet Case chart and was waffling whether to size up or down or try to grade a new in-between size. I will figure out the stretch percentage of my denim and if it’s similar to your 25% perhaps I will size down as you did. Thanks!

    • LLADYBIRD November 25, 2019 at 5:06 pm #

      If you are doing 25% stretch definitely go down 1 size, possibly 2! (or at least try them on before attaching the waistband so you can take them in if they are still big). Trust me lol. 25% stretch is a lot of stretch!

  6. kssews November 25, 2019 at 1:29 pm #

    They look really good and that denim color looks perfect. I feel like that is most of the battle for me with jeans making…trying to source denim. Good to know re: Crafty Gemini. I love her 🙂

    • LLADYBIRD November 25, 2019 at 5:08 pm #

      I hear this complaint a lot but honestly, I’ve never had a problem sourcing denim! Most shops carry nice stuff – even Robert Kaufman has a great line of denim. I usually stock up when I find stuff I like so that I have enough for multiple pairs 🙂

      • kssews November 26, 2019 at 8:36 am #

        You’re lucky then!

        The best denim I found was a cut of Rock and Republic from SR Harris here in Mpls. Once, they had a nice batch of selvedge denim too.

        I happen to not be a huge fan of much of the RK fabrics I’ve tried :/

  7. Becky November 25, 2019 at 4:28 pm #

    You are right! The jeans look fabulous, your hair color and style look fabulous, and I love your top! I wear that color a lot, and I like the way it looks on me as well. It’s one of those love/hate colors, and it goes out of style, so stock up when you see it. I am very partial to that dark denim as well. You are wearing a great outfit for me, up a few sizes – LOL.

    • LLADYBIRD November 25, 2019 at 5:08 pm #

      Ooh, good to know about the timeline of this green color! I’ll need to keep an eye out for more of it while it’s still in fashion 🙂

  8. Hailey November 26, 2019 at 12:06 am #

    These look awesome! Totally feel you on the sizing. I gained like 10lbs and several inches (thanks babies) so I sized up my gingers and redid my sway back adjustment just to find them way too big. I’ve noticed they are drafted with a pretty drastic hip curve. I love the fit of the Birkin Flares which are drafted pretty straight through the hips with 4 inches of negative ease 😮 But it totally works. I always baste fit, but in general I think I take out quite a bit off the side seams. Love your top! Feeling inspired 🙂

  9. DatPixieGirl November 26, 2019 at 4:23 am #

    Always good to “hear” from you! And I’m glad I’m not the only one who is desperately in need of new pants due to weight and wear/tear. I’ve been planning to use the two Megan Nielsen jeans patterns, since I have a mix of stable and stretch bottomweight fabrics that I plan to use. Honestly, I have been putting it off because I keep hoping that I’ll just magically lose 10-15lbs, but I have finally convinced myself to just get ‘er done. Besides, the worst-case scenario if I lose weight and cannot alter the pants to fit me is buying more fabric to sew more pants. So, yeah, I don’t see any downsides. 😉

    Also, my tortie girl, Nemesis (named for the goddess of vengeance), sends her sassy resting-bitch-face love to Amelia. Nemi’s tortitude is hilarious – she will meow at me and let me pick her up for cuddles, melt onto my shoulder while I scratch her chin, and then promptly hop away from me as soon as I put her down. I can practically hear her saying, “you know, I didn’t really enjoy that. I just let you pet me because you looked like you wanted to. I’m too dignified for affection.” Little madam!

  10. Heather Myers November 27, 2019 at 10:15 pm #

    Thanks for the post, jeans are not on my list right now– but always like to see your posts pop up! although maybe I should consider warmer pants with the 20″ of snow we got here North of Denver this week. I too love that chartreuse – have a soft cotton linen look stash I’m working through. Looking good!

  11. Barbara Lewis Showell December 1, 2019 at 5:06 am #

    Absolutely front pockets! Jeans without 5 pockets are like pick up trucks without a bed. Pseudo. The top is great.


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