I’m often a little late to get on bandwagons (if I do at all), but I’m glad I jumped onto this one. Yes, it’s one more pair of Ginger Jeans making its way to the blogosphere. I have sewn jeans before (high-waisted vintage style and mid-rise fuchsia denim and my favorite ever brown floral jeans that weren’t actually out of denim and fell apart after only a couple weeks of wear) but none of them are a wear-every-day sort of pair. Feel free to just look at the pictures, because I don’t have much to say that hasn’t been said about this pattern already (although I will also say that Heather is a total rockstar!), unless you want to hear me talk about fitting and my butt and my crotch. If that’s the case, read on!
I will start by discussing my fabric – the denim and all the jeans accoutrement were given to me by Minerva Fabrics and I have nothing but raves about this great stretch denim. I know that stretch denim can be hard to find and I heartily recommend this source – it’s a nice weight, has great stretch, and good recovery. I also used jeans needles, a twin denim needle for topstitching (although I found myself using it less than I thought I would, through no fault of the needle), jeans zipper, jeans button (called a bachelor button because you don’t have to sew it on!), rivet kit, and topstitching thread. My only regret is that I didn’t get a second spool of topstitching thread because I ran out and one of my belt loops is tacked on the bottom with plain thread. Oops!
I decided to make these jeans a bit unique by adding a giant cuff to the bottom. If I were to do it again, I’d make the cuff even taller since my long-limbed proportions could carry off even more cuff height. I’d like for some of the decorative topstitching to be visible on the cuff area, but, as I said, I ran out of thread. I’ll probably buy another spool and add some more stitching the next time I order sewing supplies.
Alright, so let’s get nitty gritty with fit on these. From far away, the silhouette is great. I think the slightly-relaxed slender leg is flattering on me. I graded between an 8 at the waist and a 10 at the hip which had me fitting the sizing chart pretty well – and then, surprisingly, I took a TON of width off of the waistband and yoke. I stretched the bottom of the yoke ever-so-slightly while sewing it to the pants back so that I could have more fullness across my bum without changing the crotch curve so dramatically. This had the added effect of making the fit through the thigh a bit looser than the pattern called for, so if/when I sew these again, I’ll go down a size.
The top of my butt is pretty flat but the bottom of my butt is full and the widest point of my hips is very low and if we all stare at my butt together here (the things I do for the sake of sewing!), you’ll see a couple of things I’m not in love with about the fit. The seam pulls into the space between my cheeks making the bottom of my tuchus look not its best. I also think that I should have pulled the pockets toward the center a bit more and maybe made them a bit wider. (You’ll also notice that I haven’t installed all my rivets. I was getting grumpy trying to insert them since the stretch denim kept recovering around any hole that I made with my awl, so I decided to leave them off for a wearing or two and then go finish them up.) I got the front crotch curve looking pretty good when I stand completely still, although any movement shows some smile lines that could use another round of fitting.
Overall, I’m pleased as punch with these finished jeans. They fit me as well as most ready-to-wear, which certainly isn’t perfect, but it’s a good place to start. I was finding myself falling down the rabbit hole on a quest for the perfect fitting crotch, and what I needed to do was just finish the darn jeans so that I can wear them and work on another round of changes in my quest for perfection next time!