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
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.
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.
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.
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.]
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.]
And now I shall commence on my Rainbow of Pants.