Monday, April 13, 2015

Closet Case Files Ginger Jeans

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Ways to Test Your Self Confidence:
1. Take photos of yourself to post on the internet
2. Choose a location near a busy four way stop
3. Frequently stand very close to the camera with the lens pointed directly at your butt
3. Wear a shirt you have to constantly lift out of the way
4. Make sure it's the weekend
5. And also the time of day when everyone walks their dogs

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I finally forced myself to take pictures of the Ginger Jeans I made a few weeks ago. These are the high-waisted View B version.

I have a severe shortage of non-denim pants in my wardrobe and I've been experiencing some Ginger Jeans envy for a while now, so it was only a matter of time. I can't wear blue denim jeans to work, although non-blue jeans seem to be ok, so these pants are the first installment in my future abundance of work pants.

Short version:

I LOVE this pattern. I promptly bought four more fabrics to make four more pairs. I shall have a pants rainbow! I made barely any changes, I'm totally happy with the fit, and they were not intimidating at all to put together. There are a few tweaks to make on the next pair, but overall, I'm pretty psyched.

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Long version:

The first f word - FABRIC. This fabric is a black stretch twill from a local store called Textile Fabrics. I liked it at first, but I like it less and less as I wear them more and more. They stretch out a lot when I wear them, so I can really only wear them once before washing. Also, EVERY SINGLE PIECE OF FUZZ IN EXISTANCE is stuck to them, constantly. You can see it in some of the closeups, which were taken after going through SIX lint roller sheets. It drives me crazy. And it's not even cat hair, it's just the general fuzz of life. So that will probably limit my wearing these too.

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The second f word - FIT. I did not want to make a muslin for these, since it would have been a lot of work and I would have had to use a stretch fabric anyway. So I decided to just go for it, hope they would mostly turn out, and then make any minor fit adjustments after they were together.

Before cutting, I did a few things. My measurements were putting me at a 6 in the waist and a 10 in the hips. Since there are so many pieces involved in this area, I cut out the paper at whichever size line was on the outside (usually 10, but sometimes 6), then laid them all on top of each other like they would be sewn. Then I used a curved ruler to go from the 10 at the widest point to the 6 at the top of the pocket facing, and cut along the line through all layers. I did the same thing with the back and yoke. The waistband I just cut a 6.

[Once I basted them together - I sewed the whole fly first so that part would fit as it would when finished - the hips were too big, so I took them in probably to a size 8.]

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The other thing I did was preemptively straighten the front crotch curve below the fly. Based on all the other pants I've attempted, this seams to be one of the things I need to do. This adjustment had mixed results, and I probably should have just left it as is for the first go.

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You will see in the above photo that I had a major fail moment when I did the buttonhole, as I put it way too far over to the left. This makes the whole front look off center. But if you look at the center front seam [the edge of the fly], it's right in line with my belly button, so just the button placement is off. It was late and I should have gone to bed, but no, I had to make that buttonhole, and totally bombed it.

So let's talk more about crotches, shall we? [welcome, weird google search creepers.] I am going to describe to you to my Crotch Conundrum when it comes to pants fitting. Lucky you! So I mentioned that I straightened the front crotch a little, which I probably didn't need to do, because you can see there is extra fabric bunching up at the top of the front legs. So I will scoop the front crotch seam back out to take care of that. (Lauren of Lladybird has a really good post about this J-crotch adjustment.)

HOWEVER. You will also see that there are horizontal wrinkles below/across the fly. This seems to say there there is too much fabric in the front crotch curve. So I would pinch it out and then remove a wedge from the pattern. This shortens the front crotch curve. BUT, when I also do the previous adjustment (making the curve more J-shaped) this lengthens the same front crotch curve. These adjustments don't seem like they should go together! Don't they just cancel each other out? And when I shorten the front crotch curve, should I take it out of the fly, or the section below the fly? Does anyone have any insight on this?

If you are still reading, bless your heart. Here's the back.

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The Ginger Jeans are very kind to your booty. Not gonna lie, my backside feels pretty great in these pants.

The back pocket placement is SO IMPORTANT (as Heather mentions in both the instructions and the sewalong), so definitely baste them on first. Did I do that? Of course not! Ignoring the warnings, I topstitched both of those suckers down all the way, only to try them on and realize they were way to low, making me look like I was wearing a dirty diaper. Quite attractive! So I seam ripped through my precious topstitching thread and moved them up 3/4". It was a night and day difference.

Also, I prefer bigger back pockets on jeans [negative space on butt = bad] so I used the size 12 pockets.

Can we just talk about the back pocket embellishment potential here? I originally wanted to embroider an anchor like Sarah, black-on-black, but I was running short on time and didn't want to rush so I just did three rows of decorative stitches in black rayon thread. But ever since then, I can't stop checking out people's jeans pockets, aka staring at stranger's butts. You could do so many different things to those pockets!

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On the inside, I did the front pocket stays as detailed in the sewalong, because heck yes built-in spanx. Really though, I love how stable and flat the front is. I used some of Rashida Coleman-Hale's pretty cranes, partially because they were still out from the last project, but mostly because they are pretty! Next time, I think I'll leave them right sides together instead of turning them, because the bottom seam is a little bulky. Also, that way when you look into the pocket from the outside, you'll see the right side of the fabric instead of the wrong side.

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I also opted to use the quilt weight for the waistband lining, which I wasn't sure about but really like. It keeps the waistband from stretching out too much but also prevents it from being too bulky. I didn't use any interfacing.

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Sewing these was actually pretty easy, considering you are making f'ing jeans. It's not fast, and you have to keep switching back and forth between topstitching and regular thread, but it's not too difficult, especially with the sewalong as a reference. One thing I did differently - when you attach the zipper to the first side of the fly, instead of putting the teeth just to the side of the center front, I aligned the edge of the zipper tape with the edge of the extension. This sets the zipper in deeper. (And Heather mentions this as an option in the fly post of the sewalong). I wanted to make sure my zipper wasn't going to peek out.

In doing some topstitching tests, way too much topstitch thread was showing on the back, so I found that turning up the tension pretty high when topstitching - like to 7 - made it look a lot better. Also, I held the thread very taut when threading through the tension discs to make sure it really got in there. Then I ran out of topstitching thread about two thirds of the way through, so I just switched to a triple straight stitch for all the topstitching [like the waistband/belt loops in the photo] and it worked out ok.

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Also I want to give a little shout out to Pony Show, a really cute shop in my neighborhood where I bought this shirt. I'm pretty into anything with moon phases on it, and the owner screen prints them herself, so when I saw it it was a done deal. [She sells them on Etsy too.]

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And now I shall commence on my Rainbow of Pants.

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42 comments:

  1. They look fabulous! Thanks for all the details. I'm just going to have to make some myself now - I have similar measurements and was waiting to see how they looked on someone with a big waist hips difference. The answer is they look amazing!

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  2. So fabulous! (Another f word). I definitely love the black (even with the fuzz).

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  3. These look awesome! Well done! Can't wait to see the colored versions too!

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    1. thanks, i can't wait to make the other pairs!

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  4. They look fabulous! I would love to see the coloured versions even if I don’t ever wear coloured pants. Every time I see those pants on a blog I want to make my own pair. But I don’t think I can sew well enough to try it.

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    1. thanks! the sewalong on the closet case files website is really great, there are tons of pictures that help you a lot. so once you feel up to it, that's there as a resource for you!

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  5. Looking good!!! I love that tshirt, too. So thanks for saving me an Etsty search for something similar ;p

    Also, I am TOTALLY guilty of stalking butts/pocket placement/embellishments since making my jeans, lol

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    1. yesss! butt stalkers unite. it's especially good if you're in a public place where you can sit (like an airport) because then your line of sight is right at pocket/butt level #protip

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  6. Great looking pair of jeans! Thanks for the tip about grading your pattern pieces all in one go; am always a bit afraid of adjusting fit, but that seems like an easy way to do it!

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    1. thanks! yeah that was a little overwhelming to think about adjusting all those pieces individually. laying them over one another seemed to do the trick.

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  7. Amazing!! I take my hat off to anyone making jeans, but these look fabulous. No wonder you're going to make a rainbow of pants.

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  8. These look amazing. You've even made ME think about making a pair.

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  9. You did a great job on these pants. Thanks so much for sharing the details with us.
    Looking forward to seeing the next pair.

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  10. They look wonderful. I have the pattern cut out but there I have stopped waiting to muster up the courage to carry on! If they turned out half as good as these ones will be pleased x look forward to seeing your other versions :)

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    1. thanks! if you just do a little bit at a time it isn't too bad. you can do it!!

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  11. I always believe the fog of exhaustion that convinces me I can put in buttonholes before bed. It never turns out well.

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    1. i'm so glad i'm not the only one. we totally need signs above our sewing machines that say, "NO BUTTONHOLES BEFORE BED"

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  12. Cripes that is crazy fluffy fabric! How frustrating! Maybe you should just go with it, roll in something fluffy on a daily basis and gradually build up some angora pants. Because they look fabulous otherwise!

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    1. omg angora pants. i like the way you think. if only the fuzz of my life was all angora fuzz

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  13. You are a magician! Those jeans are freaking fab, even if they are a little fluffy x

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    1. :] maybe if i call them fluffy instead of fuzzy, it makes it ok.

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  14. They look so great!

    I have a dress I made that does the same thing with the lint. It will come OUT of the washing machine more linty than it went in. HOWWWW? Anyway, it's gotten better over time but I still roll it before wearing. I found making an anti-static spray from vinegar and fabric softener actually did help. That and deciding not to care as much.

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    1. mine too!!! it makes me wonder if i need to get the lint vent cleaned out...but none of my other clothes get like this. thank you for the vinegar trick, i'll have to try that. i'm already trying to employ the not-caring strategy :]

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  15. Wow, wonderful jeans! I'm planning to sew a Ginger soon, I hope it will just like yours :)

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  16. Wow, these look great - and I admire your balls for taking pictures in public, I feel embarrassed taking pictures in my house! The more Ginger Jeans I see, the more I want to make multiple pairs of my own!

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    1. haha i do feel like a total idiot when i do it, but i try to just ignore everyone. and then if someone walks too close i pretend to be intently reviewing something on the camera. this somehow makes me feel better.

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  17. Sassypants!!! Also, props to you for taking photos in such a public place! Braver than I am lady! I always go to the back of the empty lot across the street - looks like I'm deep in a forest!

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    1. thanks lady! at least you're sparing yourself from, say, a car full of college guys driving by, and one of them shouting, "OH YEEAAHH, THAT'S THE ANGLE" (i just waved)

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  18. These are fantastic!! I was working on a pair of high-waisted shorts but then I got sick of having "Eureka!" fitting adjustment ideas only to say "no wait a minute..." four seconds later as I was about to make a change haha! Stupid pants and stupid self doubt. Anyways, kudos for making a really, really fantastic first muslin! I bet you can sew all kinds of crazy awesome pockets with embroidery machine access! Like the whole lunar cycle across the top in a line or something. ...or bunnies.

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  19. These look awesome! And your butt looks rad! Your pocket placement looks great and I loved the detail stitching on your pockets before I saw that it wasn't your first choice- it looks fab! Oh man, there's nowhere quiet to take my photos and my apartment is too dark, so I'm always getting the eyeball from old Greek dudes when I'm taking pics... NOT AWKWARD AT ALL.

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  20. OK. I'm really really really tempted now! You look adorable in these and your first paragraph completely cracks me up.

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  21. Seriously, these are flipping AMAZING. I can only dream about being skilled enough to make my own jeans (currently setting my first sleeves into my first ever dress). You are seriously cool!

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  22. Nice start to a jean making spree! Good call in moving the pockets up--they sit really well on you. With the fit, I'd make a muslin without the fly and pin up the front crotch so it sits right on you--essentially, do the J adjustment but in the fabric, then if you need to take out a horizontal wedge, you can do that too and transfer your changes to your pattern. Your thoughts about taking pictures among people are hilarious--it's so awkward and true what we have to do to take pictures of our makes!

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  23. They look great!! This pattern looks so good on every single person who has made them, and you're no exception! I admire your self-confidence too, that's a feat!

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  24. Love the whole outfit! You've inspired me to finally make some Gingers!

    One question, I love your shoes -- can I ask what brand they are?

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