Early Spring (Ginger Jeans)

This post is brought to you as part of the Indiesew Blogger network. Thank you to Indiesew for providing the fabric!

Last fall I did something super scary to me: I made jeans! Indiesew was stocking some amazing denim, and the Birkin Flares were already in my cart, and then they also had a jeans hardware kit, and ... it just happened. Overall, it really wasn't as scary as I thought it would be (besides the part--luckily fixable--where I made them a size too small and couldn't get them over my hips let alone zipped). So when Indiesew brought in a new collection of denim this spring, I knew I'd have to make another pair of jeans! 

These are the high waisted Closet Case Gingers in Indiesew's 10 oz Stretch Denim Dark Indigo (now sold out but they do have a lovely 9 oz slub denim with similar stretch). I love the high waist on my Birkin Flares and my Gertie stretch pants; there's no fear of your pants creeping down when you bend over. I actually wish they were about 1" taller--they don't quite cover my navel, which is where they are supposed to hit, according to Heather Lou. Next pair I'll lengthen the rise so that I can wear them with my little crop tops. I might also hack together the high rise with the slim, not skinny, legs--I actually didn't even realize there were two leg options! 

Even though I love them the same, I predict these skinny gingers are going to get a lot more wear than my Birkins--firstly because they are much stretchier, and secondly because they don't need heels. We've had a series of gorgeous days here in Durham and I've been making the most of it by spending time in the lovely outdoors soaking up the warmth of the sun, visiting the dog park, and opening up all our windows. I've been living in these come the weekend, paired either with this mariniere or layered up a bit more with a collared shirt and cotton sweater when it gets cooler in the evenings (it is February, after all!). Little boat shoes, an L. L. Bean tote, and a scarf from my small collection of vintage Vera complete the (rather summery) look! 

A few more sewing/fitting notes for y'all:
  • This is the pocket placement suggested by the pattern, I like it. The subtle curve on the pocket pattern is really flattering--Heather Lou knows what she's doing.
  • I love the pocket stay! I now want to add a front stay into all my pants sewing projects.
  • Next time I'll make a swayback adjustment or grade to a six in the waist, I haven't decided. As I said, I am a 4/6 in Closet Case with a 26/27 waist but I think based on previous sewing that I am thinner in the back waist than in the front(? ugh, sewing problems) so an 8 plus a swayback adjustment might be best. What would you do?
  • These jeans are drafted for someone 5'5". I'm 5'7" and took about an inch off the bottom for this slightly-cropped length. Something to keep in mind. 
  • I made a 8 waist graded to a ten in the hips, and then I took in the waist about an additional inch just by easing the back into the waistband (although I'm not sure if my fabric stretched out, or...). A note for my fellow pear shaped ladies: I don't feel like I am as aggressive a pear as the Closet Case measurement chart seems to believe: measuring about 33.5/26.5/38 I'm a 4/6 in the bust and waist and a 10 in the hips, and for my Sophie Bikini I actually made a 0 top. Sewaholic this is not; you are forewarned! 
  • Although I had a leftover button from my Indiesew jeans kit, I went ahead and purchased the hardware kit from Closet Case Patterns since they had this pretty gold I couldn't resist! They also have a copper kit that was out of stock when I purchased my kit but is so so pretty. Overall, though, I do think that I prefer bar tacks to rivets.
It took me a while to get over my fear of jeans sewing, but I'll say it again: you can sew jeans! Like any pattern, you follow the instructions, step by step--jeans just have a lot of steps!

I also just ordered a pair of high-waisted jeans from Grana (my go-to for classic, quality basics--like everlane but less trendy) that are described in the same way as the Gingers: natural waist, skinny leg. I'm hoping to do a post when they arrive comparing my Gingers and my Granas, if that sounds interesting to you... what do you think? 


ps: a few 70 degrees days in February can be nice, but are also symptomatic of climate change as we continue to have the warmest years on record, year after year. consider donating to an organization like the Union of Concerned Scientists that lobbies to keep science a part of policy.

allie J.

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  1. What great jeans! One of my sewing goals for the year is to make a pair of Gingers but they're so intimidating. Thanks for the fitting notes - I'm sure they'll prove helpful when I finally work of the courage to cut into my first pair!

    1. You can make a shirtdress--you can 100% make these jeans. The instructions are great and if you get stick there's even a photo sewalong! https://closetcasepatterns.com/tag/ginger-jeans-sewalong/

  2. I love the cropped leg look yo've given these jeans. I'm deep into fitting and sewing up my first pair of Gingers at the moment, so it's great to see some freshly completed ones as nice as this out in the wild. To cope with my pear-shape and swayback, I've taken a wedge-shaped piece out of the back yoke seam, adding length to the back crotch further down to compensate, and then I added more curve to the yoke and the waistband pieces so they're shaped more like me. Not finished yet, but hopefully they'll be the best-fitting jeans I've ever owned.

  3. Quickest link up add ever! I really want to make a pair of Gingers in black for my March project, especially now I've seen yours. Good to know that the pocket stay is worth it

  4. Love your jeans and the whole styled look! Jeans for me are something that still seem a little intimidating- and so completely different from my area of expertise, but I'm sure I'll be sewing a pair some day! I'm also mildly jealous of your warm climate right now, we've been having some record high temperatures here too (it was 60 degrees one day), now it's back to the normal 15 degrees today- but I'm much more concerned about the record highs and the climate change than I am happy for the extra warmth- thanks so much for mentioning it and ways to contribute at the end of your post!



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