So as I mentioned in the last two installments of Monday Sevens (here and here) I have recently been attempting to make some Ginger Jeans from Closet Case patterns. This is one of the patterns on my 2018 make-nine so hopefully something else that can get ticked off.
This will probably have two installments as the jeans are only partially made at the moment. I also apologise for the quality of some of the photos. Selfies at night don’t work quite so well… But read on to find out about my first foray into the world of jeans making!
I’ve never made jeans (or any trousers) before so I selected the popular Ginger Jeans pattern as I’ve seen lots of people successfully make them and I hoped I wouldn’t have too many issues with them!
I chose the skinny jeans pattern, and did view A which is the low rise pattern. But after I cut it out I realised it was the more relaxed fit (stovepipe legs) rather than the skinny fit. So I modified the pattern to take the shaping from view B from the crotch down on the leg pieces.
My fabric was some pretty standard stretch denim from Fabricland in an indigo denim. Pretty standard denim for my first pair. Here it is in its washed and un-ironed state… Quite amazing that hopefully soon that will be a pair of jeans.
For my lining fabric I selected a slightly stretch cotton that I had a few fat-quarters of lying in my stash. It gives a little bit of bright that will be inside my trousers to make me happy =)
First stage was cutting out all of the pattern pieces which was done in front of the TV whilst watching a few episodes on Netflix of course…
The leg pieces looked huge! But they do have very large seam allowances to allow them to be fitted so hopefully they won’t be super large.
I was very good and did the basted fit, where the pockets were basted in, crotch and side seams sewn up and the crotch pinned in. Definitely a good idea as it allowed me to make adjustments to the pattern. The legs fitted pretty well (although they were very long), but the waist needed quite a lot taken in. I pinched out about 2″ on the center back and about 1/2″ on the top of each side seam. You can see the fit in this (bad quality) photo. But yay first stage of jeans making!
After marking the adjustments on the pieces the sad part came where I had to unpick all of the seams… It did feel a little like I was undoing my work…
Then it was onto the actual construction! I was a little bit stuck on how much I could do though as I was waiting for my new sewing machines to arrive (a jeans machine and an overlocker). So I couldn’t really do anything that involved topstitching or finishing seams with the overlocker.
I started assembling the pockets, including the coin pockets, the pocket facings and the nice floral pocket lining. Which I did up until the point of topstitching. I did struggle with the pocket lining, I inserted it 3 times! Naturally it was right the first time but I thought it wrong…
When my new sewing machines turned up (*happy dance*) I set up my jeans making station. This might seem a little excessive but it meant I didn’t have to change threads at all. My John Lewis machine had blue thread for doing seams, the super jeans machine had Nybond jeans thread for doing the top stitching and the overlocker had grey cones (I didn’t have navy) for finishing seams off. I also managed to squeeze my iron onto the desk so I could press things without having to move too far. Ideal really!
Then I could get on with the actual top-stitching! It took a little adjustment to get the tension right as the Nybond thread is very slippy. But I’m very impressed with how easily the machine handled the top stitching. When I had tried top-stitching previously my machines really couldn’t handle the thicker thread.
I’m definitely not the neatest when it comes to getting straight parallel lines, especially on the belt loops as they were so narrow that it was quite fiddly. But I’m trying not to be a total perfectionist! I am definitely super pleased with how it was progressing.
The zipper fly! The instruction guide said this could be a little fiddly, and I did actual repeat the first few steps because my zipper was quite a wide one. But other than that it was actually quite straightforward! How awesome does this look!
Moving onto the back of the trousers, the assembly of the yoke is the first bit. I was slightly worried about getting the topstitching to line up, but I managed it! *more happy dance* and when doing the back seam up I had to remember to take in the adjustment rather than just do the normal seam allowances!
And then it comes to assembling the front and back, starting with the crotch seams and then the outside seams. I finished all of my seams with the overlocker before they were pressed flat and topstitched to reinforce them (at least for the crotch seam)
After the side seams were done it was time to try the jeans on again, as excluding the waistband they are now wearable. Edit: replaced the really bad photo with a slightly less bad one… still not great though 😛
But look at how much better that fit is! I can’t believe this was just a pile of fabric a few weeks ago!
Next I’ll be moving on to installing the waistband, belt loops and pockets and doing the final finishing touches.
Super excited for how these will turn out!!