Ginger Jeans (Closet Case Patterns)

GingerJeans

I’m officially a jeans champion! My foray into the world of trousers is only relatively recent and, before the Ginger Jeans, I had only two pairs under my belt (*pun SO intended*). Before this, trousers were super intimidating to me. I’ve always struggled to buy them because they are either too small for my hips or too big on my waist/thighs. I guess I thought that any attempt at making trousers would revolve around the same difficulties. But with the success of the Tyyni Cigarette trousers and Sew Over It’s Ultimate Trousers, I started to think that jeans might actually be a possibility. To me, jeans seem like the pinnacle of trouser-based achievement. And, honestly, I would’ve probably avoided making them forever if holes hadn’t started to appear in my favourite store-bought pair!

Fortunately, I’d heard so many good things about the Ginger Jeans pattern that I knew immediately that it was the one I wanted to try. I’m so glad I did, because these jeans are AMAZING!

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Miss Elizabeth Bennet has the tongue of three dogs. (please read in context)

When I committed to making jeans, I knew that I didn’t want to go with conventional denim. So I traipsed around Joann’s for a while, trying to find something sufficiently different from the norm. Fortunately, I came across this amazing anchor denim and I knew that it was perfect! The pattern suggests using stretch denim with at least 2% lycra – this fabric met the specifications, so I was good to go!

Because I’m a terrible person, I once again refused to make a muslin. I don’t think I’ve ever made one and, unless something is super critical or complex, it’s unlikely I will. That said, don’t let me discourage you from your muslin-making ways! I promise, you are infinitely more patient and practical than I! So, as per my usual method, I simply traced off the appropriate pattern sizes (I think 10 waist, 12 hips) and hoped for the best. Fortunately, the fit is dead right with no alterations and I wouldn’t change anything on my next go round!

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Let’s talk details. One of the most intimidating things about making jeans has to be the endless topstitching. I’ve done a bit of topstitching in the past and always enjoy the finish that it gives to a garment. But there is a LOT of topstitching on jeans and, in most cases, it’s going to be pretty visible. I realised early on, however, that although I couldn’t escape the visibility of my topstitching, I could let go of my compulsive need to have it all look totally perfect. Because while there is a lot of topstitching, this just makes it even less likely that someone’s eye will be drawn to that little wave of stitching where you veered off course. I actually didn’t find the topstitching a problem at all – I took it slowly, practiced things like bar-tacking on spare fabric first, and just generally didn’t worry about it not being perfect. I highly recommend not worrying!

If you are really worried about it, you might want to consider investing in an Edge Stitch Foot. This was one of the recommendations made by some of my lovely readers when I put out a call for help on topstitching in the middle of fabric. In the end, I wasn’t patient enough to wait for a new foot – so I just estimated and went for it. Next time around, I think I’ll get a proper foot, just to make the whole process easier. The main issue is that you can’t really mark on your fabric for topstitching (unless you have a super reliable way that is guaranteed to wash off). But an Edge Stitch Foot will definitely save you a lot of time and anxious energy!

One thing I adore about this pattern is its attention to all of the details that you find on store-bought jeans. The topstitching replicates almost exactly what you would see on any pair – same with the bar-tacking and the pockets! Of course, you could sew the pattern without any of these extra details and it would still make a great pair of trousers.

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The pockets are especially cute! I was really intimidated when I saw the various pocket components (coin pockets, yokes, regular pockets etc.), thinking that it was going to end up being a complicated process. But it ended up being truly simple. In fact, although there were definitely parts of the overall pattern construction that gave me pause and I had to play through in my mind a few times, there really weren’t any stumbling blocks. If you’re going to make the jeans, I highly recommend referring to the Ginger Jeans Sew-Along tutorials. I found these posts incredibly helpful. They elaborate on the instructions included with the pattern and are accompanied by detailed photos of every construction stage. In some instances, the tutorial also offers alternatives to the methods included in the pattern instructions. So if you’re stumped by anything, checking the Sew-Along posts is definitely a good idea!

Now for the scary bit – the fly! Making the Ginger Jeans wasn’t my first time installing a fly. I’d worked through this process on the Tyyni trousers and, although it was definitely complicated, it wasn’t as horrendous as I expected. That said, the Ginger Jeans take the process to a whole new level of simplicity. The fly is probably the most impressive part of the jeans (to me) because it looks so professional, both on the outside and the inside of the jeans. As much as I would love to take credit for this, I literally just followed the instructions.

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Where the fly on my Tyyni Trousers definitely looked a bit ragged on the inside, the construction on the Ginger Jeans is just so clean. I don’t think I’ve had a make that looks so well put-together internally! Having a serger definitely helped with this (especially because denim can fray like nobody’s business). If you don’t have a serger, zigzag stitching will work just as well, and will still help to capitalise on the super clean look that is basically inherent to this pattern.

I genuinely have nothing bad to say about the Ginger Jeans. They’re amazing. The jeans are definitely a time investment – just switching thread back-and-forth for topstitching takes up about 10 hours (I joke but it really does feel this way). All things considered, however, I was honestly so impressed with how quickly the jeans came together. I will definitely be knocking out more of these in the future.

Although the construction is complex enough that I probably wouldn’t recommend the pattern for beginner, you could definitely make these jeans with relatively little sewing experience. Using the Sew-Along for reference, as well as the pattern instructions, you could easily make a great pair of jeans! I’ve learnt so much from sewing this pair but without any struggle or frustration – which, to me, is the mark of a truly well-made pattern.

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Same jeans, different angle.

So if you’re debating whether or not to make your own jeans, debate no longer! Trust me when I say that the Ginger Jeans pattern will get you where you want to go. You will end up with a beautiful pair of jeans and feeling like the trouser ninja that always were inside!

22 thoughts on “Ginger Jeans (Closet Case Patterns)

  1. designedbydanita says:

    These are amazing!!! You really did a bang up job!!! That top stitching is impressive!!! Thanks for making it look SOOOOO easy!!! Maybe next year I’ll have a go at these! Love your photos and dear Jane Austen, of course…who dosen’t??? Thanks for making me smile, again! ❤

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    • sewforvictory says:

      Thank you 🙂 I promise I wasn’t making it look easy! The pattern is amazing and the instructions really do hold your hand through. And Jane Austen’s the best! I’m very Pride and Prejudice obsessed!

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  2. Clémence says:

    They look great! I love the little anchors!
    And wow what an in-depth review!
    Jeans and bras seem like the two things that are like the pinnacle of home sewists…
    I’m very far away from jeans and bras but I just love seeing everyone’s really impressive completed makes!
    Also Im having a really hard time seeing any wobble at all in the topstitching… In fact the storebought jeans I have on right now have more imperfections in the topstitching than yours!

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    • sewforvictory says:

      Thank you! I love the anchors too! And I’m happy that you can’t see any wobbles (although they’re definitely there!). I’m sure you aren’t far away from jeans and bras. I honestly thought the jeans would be so complicated but, if you can sew in a straight line, you basically have all the skills needed. The pattern really holds your hand through the whole process! So definitely don’t write it off because I’m VERY sure that you could make an amazing pair! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Emily Kitsch says:

    Awesome job! You really are kicking ass with your trouser making, girl! 😀 These jeans look fabulous!

    By the way, I would soooo not have the patience to do all that topstitching! I don’t mind making the occasional muslin, but topstitching? Not so much – at least not at this point in time! It’s one of the aspects of jeans making that worries me, actually! And the thought that I might royally eff up. LOL. But you make me feel more and more brave about trying with every pair you knock out of the park! 😀 Well done!!

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    • sewforvictory says:

      Haha! Thank you! I’m really happy with how they came out! 🙂 Honestly, the topstitching wasn’t that bad. It looks like a lot but it didn’t feel too crazy. If you ever decide to dip your toe into the world of trouser making, this is definitely a great place to start! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Anna says:

    Love these so much! You’ve made them so well and the fabric is lovely. I’ll definitely give this pattern a go if I ever get brave enough! Currently I’m too messy for top stiching but will keep practicing.

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    • sewforvictory says:

      You should definitely give it a go! I was so worried about it but the pattern is super easy to follow. Topstitching is a bit iffy for me but I got loads of great advice from readers on here. The most common bit of advice was to get an Edge Stitch Foot (I think I linked an example in the post) because it makes it much easier to keep your stitching straight! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      • sewforvictory says:

        For sure! Let me know if it works for you! I think I’ll probably invest in one before I make my next pair of jeans, since it seems like it will make the topstitching process a whole lot easier!

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    • sewforvictory says:

      Thank you! It definitely looks impressive when they’re done. But that pattern coaches you through the process so well that it actually didn’t feel complicated or difficult at all!

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    • sewforvictory says:

      You definitely should! It’s honestly no way near as difficult or complex as I expected, and has probably ended up being the most rewarding project I’ve made! I say go for it!

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