Every now and then in sewing blogland you notice a trend where several people post about the same garment. It might be because it’s a new pattern release that’s really popular or maybe there’s a sewalong that people are following. Recently I have noticed lots of sewists making jeans – particularly Ginger jeans. A jeans project has been on my wishlist for a while. I really enjoyed making my Stacie Jean Jacket. The pattern was from Style Arc and if you send them a photo of your make they feature it on their site. I was super chuffed that they also used my picture on the Etsy site. StyleArc is based in Australia. I have ordered paper patterns from them and they take about a week to arrive but if you’re in UK and can’t wait that long they offer a lot of their (really modern and lovely) patterns as .pdf downloads on Etsy.
Anyhoooo – back to the jeans. So yes I was keen to get my rivet tool and twin-needle out again. I had planned on using the Birkin flares pattern but when Heather from Closet Case Files brought out the extension to the super popular Ginger Jeans to make them flares I was sold. I love it that flares are having a little bit of a revival. I don’t think they ever totally went away apart from in the 80s where we all went tapered and stonewashed (that style has weirdly re-appeared and been called ‘Mom jeans’)
I was prepared for a bit of faff because I remembered it from the Stacie jacket – I wanted to use a twin-needle for the top-stitching and that means a lot of un-threading and re-threading. The Ginger jeans have instructions to top stitch with a regular needle but I think the twin-needle looks much more professional if, like me, you haven’t yet mastered the art of totally straight stitch lines. This time, now I have my lovely serger, it was a lot easier because I could do a lot of the seaming with the serger and leave my machine threaded with top-stitch thread.
I use this traditional gold thread. The fabric I used I have had for ages. It’s a stretch denim I bought from MyFabrics I don’t think they have it anymore but it was called ‘Stretch Jeans Marita’ – it’s 5% Cotton, 32% Polyester and 3% Spandex and has a crazy embossed pattern all over it.
The pattern is brilliant. I haven’t used any Closet Case Files patterns before but I really loved using this one. It’s not a quick and easy sew but it is soooo satisfying. Firstly, there are lots of little bits and pieces to make (pockets, belt-loops etc) before you start the main garment construction. (I really enjoy this kind of thing, I think that’s why I like making bags.) Because the fabric is so …… carnival …… I decided to use a bright pink satin lining for the pocket bags. I know that this clashes horribly with orange/gold thread but as I like to say to my husband (when he gives me that ‘you’re really wearing that!?’ face) ‘clash is the new match’
The thing I am most pleased with is the back pockets. I love a bit of embellishment and the pattern encourages you to try some embroidery here. I would have done that on a plain fabric but I thought it might be a stitch too far with this flamboyant denim. Instead I used the selvedge to create a little fringe across the top. I love how it turned out. Whenever I have a fabric with a nice selvedge I wonder if I could make use of it but this is the first time I’ve tried it.
Because I cut the pocket on the selvedge and then folded it over it meant that the pattern on the pocket was horizontal rather than vertical but I quite like this as a design feature too.
Because this was my first pair of jeans, and actually only about my third pair of trousers, I didn’t have much of a clue as to what fitting I would need to do. I decided I would focus on the construction this time around, with no alterations (other than shortening them) and see how they turned out. A lot of reviewers have said that they fit right out of the packet so I was hopeful they’d at least be wearable.
When I first tried them on they felt too tight around the hips but now that I’ve been taking them on and off again the denim has loosened and stretched and they feel very comfortable. So I’m not sure if when I make them again I should widen the hips or just hope that the denim is similarly forgiving.
There are lots of things I could improve upon next time:
- I think I may have made a mistake measuring the fly cover – it looks too long.
- I hammered in the first rivet the wrong way around and could not get it out again – so I pretended I meant it and hammered them all in that way.
- The pocket facings tend to pop out, I’m thinking this may be proof that they are a little bit tight?
- There are areas where I could have been neater with the finishing, especially tidying up the back of the belt-loops.
- The waist band is a bit wavy and gapey .. I don’t know why, need to do a bit of research on this.
Overall though I am very, very happy with these .. I mean, I made my own jeans!!! It was such a rewarding thing to do. There are bits that are really mind-bending, especially constructing the zip part – but when it all comes together it looks so professional.