Thursday, May 26, 2016

Ginger Jeans: This Is How a Habit Forms

I ask: is there anything quite as soul crushing as sewing something that you think looks surprisingly good on - better than expected even - and then seeing the results of your blog photo shoot and feeling like you really should have burned said garment in a fire? That's sort of my experience with my first pair of  Closet Case Files Ginger Jeans.

I loved them until I saw photos. It probably doesn't help my attitude that my bra is peeking out. What can I say... there are days when I'm not quite so put together. These are the only pics I found palatable out of 2 rounds of shooting. (Note to self: never ever take photos when you are downhill from your photographer. The angle will make you look half as tall and, thus, much wider.) 

Anyway, these are view A, the low rise, straight leg Gingers. I LOVED sewing them. I started these thinking that they'd be at best a wearable muslin, but the fit is pretty fantastic almost right out of the envelope. I've already worn them a number of times.

These are sewn in a black stretch "denim" that was given to me by my sister in a moving purge. Honestly, I'm not strong in my conviction that this is actually denim, which is why I'm calling it "denim," if you get my drift. It's a stretch twill but it is fairy light weight with a less prominent weave than any pair of jeans in my closet. I think this is partly to blame for my "burn it in a fire" sentiment. They are comfy on and I thought they looked pretty darn good in the mirror, but on camera, the fabric seems to cling in a most unflattering way because of it's thinness.

I made a few simple changes to the pattern on this version - I added 2" to the length and transitioned from a size 14 at the hip to a 10 at the waist. But there are a few additional fitting changes to make so the pattern is perfect on my next version. Oh yes, there will be a next!

First, I scooped out the back crotch curve just a little while I was sewing it. I'm waffling about whether this was necessary, but a slight bit more room in front crotch would be an improvement. So I will lengthen the front crotch by 1/4" to 3/8" at most and perhaps not incorporate the back scooping into the final pattern.

Next, I need more length. These jeans are ok with flats, but anything with a heel and they look a bit silly. I also need a bit more calf room, since they are a bit snug on my "athletic" calves, which makes them ride up at the knee.

Lastly, although I know that denim relaxes with wear, I was not prepared for quite how much this fabric would relax, particularly at the waist. So, I will make things a little more snug throughout and really snug up the waist in future versions. Honestly, I think the fabric is the main culprit in my negative feelings about these jeans.

The only other change that I would make is that I would use my TNT method for zip flies for any future jeans. I think that the Ginger pattern and sew along instructions are terrific for a very simple and reliable zipper fly insertion, but I just love the method Kenneth King demonstrates in his Craftsy Jeanius class. I find it slightly more sturdy and I like that there is a little more of an overlap. That said, this is personal preference and you will have very good success if you follow the steps in the Ginger pattern.

One thing that I will second that Heather addresses during her sew along is that pocket placement is SO much more important to how good the back side of these jeans look than you might think. I was very glad that I didn't just sew on the pockets, and instead played around with the placement, sewing them on last. I didn't nail it 100%, but I hope to in the next version.

I really had fun sewing up jeans. Would you believe that I have several other pairs planned in my head - 2 flares and another pair of skinnies. What can I say? This is apparently my year for repeats and for jeans. When I finished these, I almost immediately bought all the other jeans patterns out there. So I can sew jeans in every style!

As always, I had fun picking out the hardware. Aren't my star rivets cute? And they were easy to set in with a hammer.

Anyway, this is a terrific pattern that I'll be using many times over, despite my initial fabric misgivings.  

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