Completed: Stovepipe Ginger Jeans

20 Feb

Thank you all so much for the warm welcome back to my blog! Feels so good to be back! And now – at long last, the jeans post I have been promising!

I’m not sure how riveting (lol) this post will be, considering I’ve shared many versions of Ginger jeans over the jeans. But this is my newest pair, in a really wonderful denim, which I wanted to highlight since it is very different than what Iโ€™ve used in the past for this pattern.

This is the very newest version of the Ginger Jeans pattern from Closet Core Patterns. I have been making this pattern since it was released in 2014 (!!!), and it’s definitely a wardrobe staple for me. I generally prefer the skinny leg version, made with a very stretchy (25%+) bottomweight, but we are doing it different this year! Iโ€™m trying new things and branching out! What a rush!!

A little backstory first – while the Ginger jeans have been around since 2014, they have only been available up to a size 20 until last year. The pattern was re-released in 2021 to include up to a size 32 (63″ hip). This is the pattern that I use for my Sew Your Own Jeans weekend workshop and I was very excited to make a new set of samples with a new denim and that whole extended size range! I spent so much time laundering large swatches of denim and agonizing over which one to use for my future classes, and then even more time sewing 22 pairs of jeans (not quite full jeans – but with zippers and finished waistbands and a faux pocket stay). It was a lot of work and I absolutely stained the shit out of everything in my house.

I chose this denim, which is Wyatt from Robert Kaufman, because it washed and sewed so beautifully. The denim is 11.4oz and has about 20% stretch, and the cotton/poly/spandex content is remarkably similar to Cone Mills denim – at a much lower price point, and much more easily accessible as most fabric stores already carry Robert Kaufman fabrics. The lower stretch means it is really easy to figure out fabric for your next pair, as it is sort of a middle ground in terms of bottomweight stretch. If you find something more or less stretchy, it’s pretty easy to size up or down (or add/remove space from the seam allowances) depending on how much the percentage changes. And because of the polyester and spandex content, this denim has a really excellent recovery. I get about 7 or 8 wears out of my jeans before they start feeling a little loose. It’s amazing! Honestly, this is my favorite denim I’ve ever used. I was SO excited to have this for my classes! Yay Wyatt!

Unfortunately, Robert Kaufman ended up discontinuing Wyatt. Which was really lovely to find out 2 months after finishing the samples. To answer your questions – no, I’m not making new samples with a new denim, and our replacement class denim will be figured on a case-by-case basis (since Robert Kaufman also discontinued my back-up denim. I tell ya, it’s been a wild year). So I’m sorry if I just sold you on the best denim ever, just to tell you now that you can’t have it! I’m sorry! Email Robert Kaufman and ask them why the hell they discontinued it!

Anyway, enough with the denim drama lets talk about these pants! Since I was using a lower stretch denim than I normally make my Gingers with, I went up a size for this pair and made them in a size 4. My general rule of thumb for this pattern is to go up or down a size for every 5% stretch you gain or lose, starting with 15% and going up to 25% (I would not stray too much beyond those percentages). This has been the case not just for me, but across the board in my classes, fitting hundreds of students into a multitude of different sizes, denims, and ease preferences.

Using myself as an example: My measurements put me at a size 6 hip, which is the size I would sew with 15% stretch. For 20%, I can go down to a size 4. With 25%, I can make a size 2. When changing sizes – you can either cut a whole ass new pattern, or you can add the difference at the side seams (whatever the size grade measurement is – you will want to refer to your pattern. It can vary between 1/4″-1/2″ depending on your size range). Of course, you always want to try the pants on BEFORE the waistband has been attached – it’s really easy to add or remove room from the side seams.

To find your stretch percentage, you have to measure a physical piece of fabric. The amount of lycra in the fabric has absolutely no bearing on the stretch percentage – I’ve seen fabric with 5% lycra that stretches 10%, and 2% lycra that stretches 20%. You have to actually stretch and measure the fabric, and do math to figure out the percentage. There are tons of tutorials online on how to do this – here’s a good one from Cloth Habit. The Wyatt denim stretches 4″ of fabric to 4.5″ (or 5″ to 6″, or 10cm to 11.5cm). My specific math percentage may not be exact (please do not come at me in the comments with “wELL aKtShUaLLy….” I really don’t care lol), but it’s a good starting point to get the ball rolling. If you want to discuss this more in depth, please sign up for a workshop! ๐Ÿ˜‡

I made the stovepipe legs for this pair. The new version of this pattern includes both rises with both legs, so that you don’t have to pattern hack, which is really nice! I used the high-rise, and added an extra 3/4″ to the rise so the waistband would cover my navel. I normally need to add a full calf adjustment to my Ginger jeans, as the calf is suuuper slim, but as the stovepipe just kind of skims down the leg in a straight line this wasn’t necessary.

Other than that, sewing stuff is the same same same. I used 2 sewing machines for construction and topstitching, and a serger to finish the raw edges (I prefer this to flat-felled seams as it is much easier to alter if needed in the future. And I alter *everything*!). I skipped out on the rivets and went with contrast bar tacks, and added a little squiggle to my back pocket, and this fun tag from Kylie and the Machine. I think they turned out really nice! I’m still trying to get used to the slightly wider legs – I’ve worn skinnies for so long, I don’t even remember what shoes look good with a straight leg! LOL! I also need to re-hem these – I left them a little long to account for extra shrinkage, but after multiple washes, they haven’t gone up much. Speaking of washing – this denim also doesn’t bleed much. I am telling you, it’s awesome stuff! I’m so mad it isn’t being manufactured anymore!

As a side note – I also knit my sweater! The pattern is the Ripple Crop Top, I made a size Small and added a few extra inches of length. I don’t remember the yarn – maybe Woolfolk Tov? Who knows? Anyway, the extra inches I added involved some MAJOR yarn chicken – to the point where I had a mere handful of yards remaining once I cast off. What a rush that was!

For those who are interested in their own guided denim journey, check out my 2023 Sew Your Own Jeans weekend workshop dates! My next two are in March at Urban Sewciety (Westfield NJ) and in April at Domesticity (Baltimore MD)! Each one still has 1 seat remaining – maybe it’s waiting for youuuu! โค๏ธ


15 Responses to “Completed: Stovepipe Ginger Jeans”

  1. Tomato Tomato February 27, 2023 at 10:33 am #

    J’adore! And bravo to the work that you put into all those new samples! What will you be doing with the old ones? I can picture them being discovered in an antique chest in the attic someday by posterity. “WOAH JEANS IN EVERY SIZE!”

    Anyway it’s too cold here to wear my ripple crop top but you are making me want to bust it out anyway ๐Ÿ˜

    Just finishing a pair of corduroys using the ginger jeans pattern and having flashbacks to your class. They also have stovepipe legs, so please share styling suggestions as you think of them.

    Long live the blog!

    • LLADYBIRD February 27, 2023 at 1:27 pm #

      Oh I’m keeping the old ones! Especially with all the denim drama – they come in handy when my class can only get the super stretchy stuff! Man that box is gonna be a weird thing someone finds in my attic someday LOL

  2. gwelsh955 February 27, 2023 at 12:59 pm #

    These are so nice. I love the colour of that denim. I am in the middle of making some denim jeans for myself. They are from Petite Plus and have a centre back leg seam. I hope they fit! My hands are blue!!
    I would love to take one of your courses but I am in Toronto. Any chance you will do a course here?

    • LLADYBIRD February 27, 2023 at 1:30 pm #

      I’m probably not going to go back to Canada – its a huge hassle in every aspect and prohibitively expensive. I will be in NY at Pins & Needles (Mt Kisco) in September, which I think is the closest workshop to Toronto. Looks like it’s a pretty easy flight up between the two cities! Maybe you could take the workshop there?

  3. Maureen February 27, 2023 at 1:06 pm #

    Wish there was a Jean workshop in Traverse City, Michigan! You are a multi-talented woman! I think the jeans look perfect!

    • LLADYBIRD February 27, 2023 at 1:31 pm #

      Probably won’t be going to Michigan! I’ve got lots of options on my class page though.

  4. Amy February 27, 2023 at 4:04 pm #

    Those are sew cute (๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚)! I have beautiful rag and bone selvedge denim that I am too chicken to make into jeans. I am afraid that my sewing skills are not at this level yet

    • LLADYBIRD March 5, 2023 at 8:02 am #

      Make a practice pair with a less precious denim and see how they turn out! I bet you’ll be surprised as how much you already know ๐Ÿ™‚

      • Amy March 5, 2023 at 9:03 am #

        Ohh that is a great idea!! I just moved into my first house and I finally have a space that is just for sewing. Once I get everything unpacked I will try this pattern. I bought it a few years ago and just got too nervous about making jeans

  5. jqrd February 27, 2023 at 7:40 pm #

    Really nice jeans and beautiful sweater.
    I took your jeans course in 2019 in Vancouver and I highly recommend it. So awesome!!! ๐ŸŽ‰
    Iโ€™m learning to knit so will check out the sweater pattern ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿผ

  6. Lisa February 28, 2023 at 7:45 am #

    Itโ€™s so fun to read blog posts from you again! The jeans look greatโ€”thanks for all the interesting info on denim stretch. Nice job on your sweater, too!

  7. Brigid February 28, 2023 at 8:25 am #

    Maybe a trip to Colorado would be nice…Denver has some great fabric stores.

    • LLADYBIRD March 5, 2023 at 8:03 am #

      I agree, Denver is great! I won’t be there this year but maybe in the future!

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