I have been really bad a writing blog posts recently, I just having got back into doing them since coming back from my Summer Holiday. However so much has happened, sewing-wise, since then and so I need to catch up with the massive to do lists of posts that I have! So where better to start than with my Ginger Jeans!
I was in a bit of a sewing funk in September and didn’t end up making anything, so I failed in my challenge for the year, but I made so much in August and October that I have convinced myself they have made up for it. Part of the reason being that I had made everything I wanted to for summer and so had pretty much used up my stash, crazy I know! The fabrics I did have left were still fairly summery and I didn’t want to make something that I wasn’t going to be wearing for a long time, I just wanted to make stuff for autumn/winter but didn’t have the fabric for anything. However, I wasn’t going to order anything because I was going to be going to the Great British Sewing Bee Live at the end of the month and so knew I could do a LOT of shopping then!
Well, the show didn’t disappoint! I went with my Mum, Sister and Mom-in-law and we were very fortunate to have VIP tickets. I went with a rough shopping list of things that I wanted including a Ginger Jeans kit from Guthrie and Ghani. I knew they would have a limited number so as soon as we got in that was the first place we went to. The ladies were very helpful and I got my kit straight away, it was going to be a birthday present from my husband. The stall had so many other gorgeous fabrics and patterns that we ended up going back quite a few times and buying even more.
I had to wait for another couple of weeks before I could start making my jeans as I wasn’t allowed to open the kit until after my birthday and then the fabric needed washing. As soon as it was dry I was impatient to cut them out. I decided to cut the size 10 of the high waisted version as the finished measurements matched mine quite well and the advise from the ladies at Guthrie and Ghani was to make them tight so that when the denim stretched out when wearing them they didn’t go too baggy. I spent ages cutting them out making sure that they were all cut exactly on the grain and I wasn’t using too much fabric. The kit came with enough fabric to make the largest size and because I wasn’t doing that I ended up with at least 1 metre spare! Enough to make a So Over It Erin skirt – Bonus! For the pocket lining and pocket stay I decided to use some of my African Wax Print fabric from Tanzania, the colour matched the dark denim perfectly.
That day I only ended up cutting out, applying the interfacing to the pockets and topstitching the tops of the pockets. I didn’t want to rush and mess them up and so knew I was going to take my time with this one to make sure I got the fit exactly right. The following day I carried on with them, starting with the topstitching on the back pockets, I kept the design simple using one of the templates from the Closet Case Patterns website. The website and sew along were amazing and so useful! Having all the extra pictures definitely helped and there was so many extra hints and tips. I ended up not sewing the back pockets on until I had made up the jeans though as I wanted the check the positioning of them first. By the end of the day I had sewn the back yolks on and topstitched them in place and then basted them all together. I was amazed at the fit already, I was certain I would probably have to do some alterations at the crotch but as far as I could tell this probably would be the case!
The fly zip went in really well even through all the layers. I did try to use the bar tack stitch on my sewing machine for the two bar tacks to attach the fly shield but using a narrow zig-zag worked much better and was easier for me to control. I basted them together again to double check they still fitted after putting in the zip, which they did! I was amazed at how much the pocket stay pulled me in while still being comfy.
When it came to finally sewing the inside leg seams and side seams I reduced the seam allowance slightly over the calves and hips but I am still glad I cut out the 10 as I think the size 12 would have involved a lot more fitting in the legs and crotch. The waistband was then easy to attach and they finally looked like a wearable pair of jeans!
The final finishing touches were super easy to do but as always took a while to do. Sewing on the belt loops, sewing the button hole and attaching the rivets and button. I decided to buy a pair of Prym Vario pliers to help me attach the button and rivets and I was not disappointed. My first practice using the hammer just didn’t work and so it was so much quicker and easier to use the pliers. It makes them look so much more professional and just gives a much better finished look having all the hardware on them.
I have absolutely loved wearing them! They are so comfy and fit me so well, definitely an advantage of Me-Made clothes! The only thing I am a little bit disappointed with is the back seam, for some reason it doesn’t sit centrally even though when they are off they measure perfectly equally either side. I am really not sure why this happens as I was so careful to cut them on the grain so they wouldn’t twist and when I was sewing them I was careful to measure everything. I am not sure whether the top-stitching stops one side from stretching as much as the other so they get pulled over to that side more? Any suggestions would be welcome as I would love to make another pair but I am going to enjoy this pair for a while first.