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My newest pair of Ginger Jeans

7 Oct

If you read my post a few weeks ago about selecting the right denim for ginger jeans, you’ll know that I’ve been agonizing over the right amount of stretch and size for quite a while. In the end, the denim I chose has about 12% stretch  and I made a size 10. Now that they are all done and dusted I can see that with that amount of stretch I really should have made size 8. I find it a little frustrating that my first 3 pairs fit perfectly (by shear luck I realize now). But the lesson is learned – I think it the fabric has 10% or more stretch I should use size 8 and if less, size 10. Still, they are quite comfortable and not too shabby, better a bit big than too small as my last pair was.

This version has the skinny legs combined with the low waist – and with this extra stretchy fabric, they feel and look great (in pictures they look black, but they are actually a dark blue). As these are the fifth pair I’ve made, there’s not much to say about the construction or pattern, except that I love the design, the instructions and the end results (despite being slightly too big).

For the pockets and waistband facing I’ve used the scraps left over from one of my favourite summer dresses (Simplicity 2363 in a lovely cotton lawn I got at Raystitch years ago). Plus I used hot pink thread on all the insides, so should I ever decide to wear them inside out, my seams are ready!


I always struggle to get the tension right with top stitching. But this time I found the optimal stitch was 3.75 stitch length and tension set to 8 (normally its set on 5). Also I worked out that whenever I start a line of topstiching, it is best to hold the thread taunt before it catches, that way I can avoid it getting tangled at the start of any row of stitching.  The results are pretty damn good, even if I do say so myself.

I have two more pieces of denim from Ditto – one in dark charcoal for a high waisted, skinny leg Version B and one in a indigo for a low waist, straight leg Version A.  Slowly but surely I am replacing all RTW clothes (as they wear out of course). As both are very stretch I think I’ll be making size 8.


Choosing the right denim for my ginger jeans

22 Sep

I made myself three pairs of Ginger Jeans which fit perfectly (vs 1, 2&3), but my fourth pair were ridiculously too small; which left me puzzled. Aside from the obvious possibility that I’d gone up a size (which as far as I was aware I hadn’t), it had the same amount of elastine as previous versions (3%). But while other versions were 97% cotton, the last pair had some polyester too…

But here’s something I hadn’t thought about – different denim can have a remarkably different stretch even though the composition is the same. It wasn’t until I was on Ditto’s website pursuing the denim that I noticed this. For example three denims I was looking at were all  a 87%/3% composition – but the stretch they listed varied from 8% – 18%! Though if I’d only paid a bit more attention to Closet Case’s sew-along I would have realized this. But not all websites list the approximate stretch  and in the shop I’m not great at working this out for myself. Luckily, Ditto had more than enough denims which I was desperate for.

I started off by ordering seven samples, which allowed me to narrow it down to three:  a dark navy , a dark charcoal (approx 18% stretch) and a darkest of blue . Unfortunately I forgot to note down the approximate stretch of two of the fabrics which is seriously annoying but I’m pretty sure were around 10%.

My fabric arrived in the post the next day (Ditto’s amazingly quick in posting orders)  but since I got them I’ve procrastinated, not being able to decide which size to choose.  All four previous times, I’ve made size 8. But after the last pair I resolved to go up at least one size. However on the sew along section on sourcing denim it notes that you may want to adjust your size if you’re using something with more or less stretch. In the end I’ve decided to try size 10 cause I really want to feel comfortable and good in them. Fingers crossed and stay tuned to find out if this was the right decision.

Jedediah pants!

25 May

It was with much trepidation that I embarked on the Jedediah pants from Thread Theory.  as part of G.’s Christmas present I had promised him a pair. I found some nice black babycord (from Truro fabric) which G liked – when it arrived it felt a bit lighter than I had expected but I think it will make a nice pair of summer weight trousers. Because I was a bit daunted, after I had the pieces all cut I left it sitting in the middle of the living room for over a week! I actually had them mostly sewn up in April but the man was away and I wanted him to try them on so I could perfect the length.

I’ve only made one Thread Theory pattern before (the Fairfield Button Up Shirt) and really liked her instructions. But for these pants/trousers I found them a little hard to follow at times. Especially for the fly – the corresponding images aren’t always next to the instructions and  maybe I was having a brain-fart day but I found it hard to to figure out what I was suppose to do.  I have to say I didn’t find the YouTube video which accompanied the sew-along much help for the fly – it didn’t have the level of detail I needed.  In the end my fly is actually quite good although my top stitching is appalling. But the man is unlikely to notice and on the black fabric its almost impossible to tell. It would also have been nice if there had been a top stitching guide for the the fly  as well as marks for where it is best to place the button loops.

That being said I did like the way the waist band facing was put in and the added detail of having contrast binding. Again it took me a little while to get my head around what I was suppose to do, but it worked out pretty well. With practice I’m sure I’ll make some really nice pants/trousers in the future. I’m thinking some nice chinos in burgundy or a royal blue. I made the size 40 which is the biggest size the pattern goes up to – they fit a bit smaller than RTW trousers and at the waist they are a bit of a squeeze. Because the waist button will be taking so much pressure I decided to add a hook and bar. Next time I may make the waist a wee bit bigger – I think I’ll be able to get some breathing room by simply reducing the seam allowance on the side seams.

Ginger jeans hack

5 Apr

At the moment the main thing I wear every day is ‘dog walking’ jeans. Ie the torn and dirty jeans I wear to take the dog for a walk every day. Not having any work has meant that I rarely gravitate to my dresses and nice blouses anymore. In fact if I’m going out and want to dress up, at the moment that means putting on my Ginger jeans (the only non dog jeans I have now). I love the Ginger jeans pattern and have made myself three pairs so far, one version with the low waist, straight legs and two with the high waist, skinny legs. I decided however it was time to hack it cause what I really want is a pair with low waist and skinny legs.

At the Knitting and Stitching show I got some really lovely dark very dark blue denim (50% cotton, 42% polyester & 3% elastane). To be honest I have no idea what kind of quality it is but I loved the color and feel of it.  I carefully merged the pattern lines of the two versions, which was much easier than I had expected. As before, I’ve made myself size 8 which works perfectly for me if I am using fabric with 3% stretch. They’re much tighter than comfort would dictate, but I’m hoping they’ll relax a bit? They are really well sewn so fingers crossed they loosen up otherwise I’ll be gutted.

RTW Copycat with Fehr Trade

29 Jun

For the final IPM2016 contest  it’s RTW Copycat which asks us to be ‘inspired by a RTW (ready to wear) image and recreate that look using indie patterns. Your image might be from the catwalk, a magazine or a shop brochure‘.

My inspiration comes from Sweaty Betty’s cycling collection and I’m reacreating the look with two patterns from Fehr Trade:

And it just so happens that making sportswear was on my New Year’s resolution list hurrah!  Making my own cycling gear felt like a huge achievement and I’m supper pleased with the final result. My entry for IMP2016 contest is over on TMS blog and it has a lot more details about fabric, sewing etc.


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One pattern, two ways: Ginger Jeans

14 Jun

It’s already the 2nd week of June and that means the 2nd IPM2016 contest: One pattern, two ways. For this conest we’re challenged to make two garments using the same pattern. You may make the same view twice or two different views/options of the same pattern.

I decided to make Version A & B of Closet Case’s Ginger Jeans. Version A (low rise with narrow legs) is of a light blue medium weight denim (97% cotton, 3% elastine) which I got from Ditto Fabrics. While version B (high-waisted  with skinny legs) is a black cotton twill (97% ctoon, 3% spandex) which I got from myfabrics.

I absolutly love this pattern – I made size 8 for both (the waist measuremnts are exact to mine and the hips are 1/2″ smaller than the real deal but it seems to work perfectly with 3% stretch). My blog for IMP2016 can be read here.

Photos of version A:


Photos of version B:

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January Jeans

7 Feb

One of my  New Year’s Resolutions was to make myself a pair of jeans. So when Handmade by Chris announced Jeans in January, it seemed like the perfect incentive to jump straight in. I’ve been eyeing up the Ginger Jeans from Closet Case for ages now and  decided I’d have a go at making them. I decided I’d follow the Sew Along that happened back in 2014 to learn some tips and tricks. Unfortunately calamity struck and I only got to start sewing these the last weekend of January. I nearly finished but then I was struck down by the dreaded lergy and only got to finish them this week.

Choosing my fabric and bits: I learned alot about denim in the first sew along post and dutifully set out to purchase the right type of fabric. Preferably some cheap denim (I’m learning my lesson – first attempts should not be made on expensive fabric). I initially ordered two pieces of denim from MyFabrics at the beginning of January. I liked how their website laid out the weight and fabric composition so it was easy to find exactly the right type of fabric. But after two weeks of waiting for it to arrive I found out that one wasn’t in stock and wouldn’t be replaced, and one wasn’t available in a continuous piece. With only 7 sewing days left in January (as I’m traveling quite a bit for work) I was more than a little frustrated by this news.

So I ended up buying some lovely dark blue denim from Ditto in Brighton (an old favorite of mine). It is 97% cotton and 3% elastane, but there’s no info on the weight. Although I’d initially planned on making version A, because the fabric feels so lightweight, I’ve gone for version B.

IMG_3235Pockets: The pockets came together well but I have to say they required a lot of concentration. It may have been a particularly dyslexic moment but I really struggled at first to conceptualise how they went together. It’s one of those things I guess that once you’ve got it, it seems so obvious. Anyway I used the scraps from making my McCall’s M4769 dress, so my jeans will look real pretty when inside out, gracing the floor.

Front fly: I’ve only ever done two front fly, one on my Maritime shorts (from Grainline) and another on my Simplicity 1969 trousers. Inserting a fly properly gives me an immense sense of satisfaction. Though I must say I followed Pt8 of the Ginger Sewalong closely (rather than following my instruction booklet) as  I found the numerous images very helpful!

Finishing my seams: I’d initially planned to us flat felled seams for the inner leg. But As I am loving the double overlock stitch setting on my new machine, I just sewed them normally, then with the doubleover lock before trimming away excess fabric and top stitching. I think they look gorgeous now – inside and out. The biggest challenge I’ve had with these jeans is the bloody top stitching. I really struggled to get the tension right for the thicker tread, and it continuously jammed. But I got there in the end.

Waistband and back pockets: I used the denim for both the waistband and facing, without applying interfacing. The pattern suggests that this makes a much softer waistband, which is very nice on high waists, and I must say I concur.IMG_3270 I dutifully had followed the suggestion from the sewalong to baste the back pockets and I’m really glad I did. Because now that my waistband was on I could see they were way too low and a touch wide. I moved them up about 3/4″ and in just a smidge. I’ve never before contemplated what pockets do for your butt but its amazing the effect well placed pockets can have.

Loops, button hole and hems: My belt loops were a cinch. Given the problems I’ve had with my top stitching I expected these to be a nightmare but who knew a hammer would come to my aid in sewing? The button hole however proved impossible with the top stitching thread. After about seven practice runs, I gave up and just did the button hole with normal black thread (as I had no matching normal weight gold thread).I needed to take the hems up about 2 1/2″ (instead of the recommended 1″), so I ended up first trimming them then hemming them.

 Button and rivets: These were I admit the detail I was most scared of, but they turned out to be quite straightforward to do with the help of an awl and hammer! It was a little tricky to get the awl through all the thickness on the back pockets though. But the effect is fantastic! .The only downside is that the interfacing at my button hole shows a touch or at least the fraying does. But at this stage I’m not feeling too picky.

A comment on size: I made size 8 which the pattern says is for a 28″ waist (which is my measurements) and a 37″ hip (my hips are 38″). The size 10 hips are 38 1/2″. I ended up choosing the smaller size as I thought with the stretch denim it would be the best fit over time as denim  always gives. And honestly at this point I think the jury is out. They are VERY tight (not camel toe tight mind you) and I think they look amazing. And really until I’ve spend the whole day in them it’s hard to judge it they are uncomfortably so.

Ta-da! I am so immensely pleased with myself! No more shall I fret at finding jeans that fit and in the style I love.


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