I made Ginger Jeans! For years I have maintained that I’m not a ‘jeans person’ and often wear dresses or leggings and tunics rather than some form of trousers. This denim avoidance hasn’t been for style reasons but is instead based on comfort. I’ve bought and sewn quite a selection of jeans over the last five years but have found every single pair to be horribly uncomfortable. I get stuck at either end of the denim spectrum – too rigid and restricting or too stretchy and droopy. It would way rather wear a comfortable dress with the waistband sitting at the natural waist than get a stomach ache and claustrophobia due to a low rise denim waistband that digs in. And I much prefer the maintenance free feeling of a tunic and leggings to constantly stopping to pull up saggy jeggings!
Well, I am happy to report that I am now a convert to high-waist jeans thanks to Heather Lou and Variation B of the Ginger Jeans pattern! Sallie- Oh’s version was a definite source of persuasion as well. The waistband sits at my natural waist and doesn’t slip down or dig in – in fact, the waistband actually feels more comfortable than the elastic waistband on my favorite pair of leggings. I was nervous that high-waist jeans might make me look like a mom from the 80s but in the end, I wear most of my tops untucked so it is impossible to tell that the pants underneath extend to the waist.
Even if I were to wear a shorter top, I am pretty satisfied with how the high waist gives my short legs the illusion of length.
Moving on from the waistband of these jeans, I am very happy with how they fit throughout the rest of the seat and legs.
I made a lot of changes to the pattern to get this fit but expected I would be doing this due to the fact that my hips are pretty narrow and there is a big difference in measurement between the widest point of my hips and the narrowest point of my waist (I guess all of this difference is near the center back). This meant I had to adjust the yoke by taking a very large wedge out of center back (Heather explains how to do this very clearly). I ended up removing about 1 1/2″ from CB and am thrilled with how nicely the shape of the yoke matches my body!
I also removed almost all of the curve at the hips, tapering down to the knees. I made these changes directly to my fabric pieces after basting them together as drafted. I knew all my changes would be to make the pants narrower and so I wasn’t worried about the inability to add fabric.
The fabric itself is absolutely gorgeous and it was bought from the discount table at Atex Designer Fabrics in Vancouver. I am not sure what weight this denim is but it is heavier than I have seen locally and it is extremely soft. The spandex content is fairly low compared to denims that I have used for stretch jeans in the past (sorry I don’t have specific information, I didn’t keep the tag!). I am hoping that the weight of this fabric paired with this pretty low spandex content will help the jeans retain their shape over time…I really dislike baggy knees!
I used our gunmetal Jeans & Pants Essential Notions Kit to finish off the pants – the silver button and gunmetal rivets look really nice with the black denim. I’ll be applying Otter Wax to these jeans now that ‘before’ photos are taken because who can resist black waxed skinny jeans! One of our new large sized Otter Wax bars should be more than enough for this pair of pants (I bet I’ll have enough left over for a dopp kit or to touch up Matt’s waxed Jutlands). I’ll show you the ‘after’ photos once they are ready!
Now that I have my first pair of Gingers complete, I’m getting closer to completing my spring wardrobe – I have more denim on order from Fancy Tiger for a pair of blue jeans and will then embark on a couple Archer Button-ups as well as the Chambray skirt that I have planned. I am already happily wearing my Coppélia Cardigans regularly as you can see in all of the above photos – such a cute, quick and easy pattern to sew!
I’ve completed all the Watson bra and underwear sets that I had planned (will blog soon!) as well as a big load of Lazo Trousers that I will blog about when the pattern is released. The last item on my list will be a Nettie or two for layering – though I may get distracted by some By Hand London floral Kim dresses for a while!
Maintaining an impossibly long list of inspiring sewing projects puts me in such a creatively fulfilled state of mind. I find that the emptier my project and ideas list is, the more ‘listless’ I feel! *pun intended*