Gingerly Yours

ginger34Can you believe I have spent the last two years without a pair of jeans, or without a pair of trousers for that matter?! The only thing resembling trousers in my wardrobe were these 3/4-length jeans, only wearable in summer. The rest of the time: not a single pair!

I’m more of a skirt/dress wearing kind of woman (duh!), but still, no pair at all had started to get a little tiresome. I’ll choose a skirt/dress over a pair of jeans 99% of the time, but I’ve come to realise I need jeans for the remaining percent. I mean, how stupid did I look hiking in a dress and tights last winter?😀

gingerprofilThe reason I spent so much time without a somewhat essential piece of wardrobe is that well-fitting trousers are close to impossible to find in shops for me: there is a 36 cm difference between my hips and waist, which means that shop-bought trousers that fit my waist will never (and I mean never) go past my hips, and the ones that go past my hips will inevitably gape at the waist. The best I could aim for were ones that didn’t gape so much that they were completely unwearable, but really, I have actually never owned a pair of perfectly fitting trousers. The ones I’ve linked to in the first paragraph were one of my best fitting pairs, yet they gaped enough at the back that I always needed to cover the waist.

gingerfaceBy the way, I’d like to stress the fact that I’m not complaining about my body shape, but about the fact that I couldn’t find trousers that fit that shape. I’m insisting because absolutely every time I have happened to talk about the objective size difference between my hips and waist, there have been people to tell me that I should not be saying that, that I’m not fat and God knows what, as if simply acknowledging (and, let me insist again, not complaining about) a particularity of my body was the same as criticising that body. We all have different bodies, there’s nothing negative in identifying what makes ours different from the accepted norm. Also, people automatically jumping to the conclusion that wide hips = negative kind of puzzles me, but whatever.

Now that’s off my chest, let’s talk about MY FIRST EVER PAIR OF WELL FITTING JEANS!😀

gingerface2When the Closet Case Files Ginger jeans first came out, like a lot of people I was kind of tempted, but also kind of intimidated. What worried me was the fitting part. I remembered from the Clover-craze a few years ago that trousers seemed an absolute nightmare to fit, and I wasn’t feeling up to the task. Still, when the Ginger pattern was on sale and I found the perfect dark stretch denim (for €3! – and it is surprisingly good quality!) at Tissus Passion, I gave in. And finally, a few months later, I mustered up the courage and started cutting. What was the worst that could happen after all? Wasting less than €6 of fabric? Spoiler alert: I didn’t waste a single cent!

gingerdosIn a bout of mad optimism, I opted for the high-rise skinny version. I had never in my life even tried on a pair of skinny jeans, but I thought, there’s always a first, and I was curious… My fabric is pretty stretchy, so I went down to a size 10 in the hips instead of what should have been a 12. Also, I didn’t dare grading up or down too many sizes and the jeans are not supposed to fall at the natural waist but a little bit lower, which is why I chose a size 8 for the waist instead of a 4.

So at first I simply graded from a size 8 waist to a size 10 hips, and I tried on the basted jeans (without waistband) as advised in the sewalong and in the eBook. I was pleasantly surprised to discover that the fit was already quite good! I just needed to take a wedge out at the back yoke. And before finishing the jeans for real, I tried on the waistband and simply cut off the excess after attaching it to the jeans. Right below are my modified pattern pieces for reference (click on the image to enlarge): in red are the changes I made before even cutting the pattern (i.e. simply grading between a size 8 and a size 10) and in green (only on the yoke piece) the wedge I took out after trying on the basted jeans (the broken line is the seam line, the solid one adds a 5/8” seam allowance). I didn’t transfer the changes I made to the waistband piece, but this will be easy to measure on the finished jeans before I remake a pair. Do not pay attention to any orange marks on the pattern pieces; these are just traces left by the tailor’s chalk.

gingermodifsI mentioned above that I used Heather Lou’s Sewing Your Own Jeans eBook. It was nice having all the info in one place, as well as some additional information that wasn’t included in the sewalong, but what I found most useful is all available for free in the sewalong. So if you need even more hand-holding than in the sewalong, I’d recommend it as it’s so well thought out, but if you don’t, well, it’s far from mandatory to get a nice looking pair of jeans.

And the pattern itself is so impressive! I have read here and there that the fly front zipper insertion method alone made it worth a buy (or a peek at the sewalong!😉 ) and it’s true, really; I defy you to fail your zipper insertion following this method. But the rest of the pattern is so worth it, too. Everything is so well explained and carefully thought out, I think even a confident beginner could take it one step at a time and get more than satisfying results in the end.

gingerdetails2As you may have understood by now, I am positively ecstatic about my Ginger jeans. There are a few small details I’d like to improve on for a future version (I’d like my topstitching and bar tacks to be more regular next time – I hope not to sew the next pair on the same low range plastic sewing machine though, so this should be achievable!😀 – and I’d also maybe lengthen the legs a little bit and move the pockets a tiny bit more towards the centre, which are pretty simple changes), but they look so much better than what I had imagined! And they are so comfortable (as proven here)! I love the comfort of the high waist (hitting me around the belly button) and the pocket stay does its job in keeping everything in place: it’s so nice not having to adjust the pockets in place every time you put on the jeans.

gingerdetails1I used some Liberty tana lawn remnants (from this dress and this blouse) to line the pockets and waistband. I chose gold topstitching thread and copper coloured button and rivets for a classic jeans look.

I also made the Breton top I am wearing in the pictures. It’s a Sewaholic Renfrew I modified slightly: I changed the shape of the neckline and I simply turned and stitched it instead of adding a neckband; I also omitted the sleeve and hem bands, lengthened the sleeves and added slits at the sides of the bottom hem. What really makes the top is the fabric, of course. I bought it online from Un chat sur un fil, but it was at least two years ago and I don’t think they have it in stock anymore. It’s 100% cotton, quite thick and it doesn’t have a lot of stretch for a knit. It has pilled a little bit around the spot where the shoulder strap of my bag rubs, but nothing anyone but me is going to notice, I think. I still have enough fabric to make another tee, so when this one bites the dust I can make its clone, phew!

gingerdos2Now can I get back to waxing poetic about the jeans? Just kidding, I’m already embarrassed enough at the sheer length of this post! Please cut me some slack: I MADE JEANS!

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26 thoughts on “Gingerly Yours

  1. Wow, le fit est vraiment superbe ! Et merci pour le rappel en début de post, il y en a bien besoin parfois (surtout quand on parle de chiffres !! Difficile d’être plus objective que ca tout de même…). Le Renfrew est fantastique aussi, je rêve de trouver un tissu comme ça avec une bordure blanche à côté des rayures.

    • Ah, j’avais peur de passer pour une vieille râleuse avec cette histoire de hanches, j’ai failli supprimer ce paragraphe, je suis donc bien contente qu’il y ait ne fût-ce qu’une personne qui s’y retrouve!
      Ahlàlà, le tissu du Renfrew… Déjà qu’une belle rayure n’est pas si facile à trouver, mais si on y rajoute la bordure blanche, c’est mission quasi impossible! C’est bien simple, ce tissu-ci est le seul que j’aie jamais trouvé et je regrette un peu de ne pas avoir raflé tout le stock!

  2. Wow these are great. I’ve had the same dilemma, I want a pair of fitting jeans which I cannot find in the shops but it seems super hard to make jeans. I must summon up the courage to make my own Gingers.

    • Thank you!🙂 Do not let anyone make you believe that sewing jeans is difficult! Denim is one of the easiest fabrics to handle IMO, and I’m not kidding nor exaggerating when I say that the Ginger pattern/sewalong/eBook make jeans making accessible to a beginner!

    • Thank you!🙂 The Safrans are as good as the Gingers drafting wise, and I haven’t tested the instructions of the Safrans yet, but you can use the Ginger sewalong to make your Safrans, so…

  3. waouh, il est top de chez top ce jeans!! au début je n’ai pas trop migé que tu l’avais fait toi même, c’est seulement à la photo avec le patron que ça a fait clic🙂, tellement il a l’air de venir d’un magasin! tu peux en être fière… en plus il te va très très bien avec le haut ça te fait une très belle combi!!

    • Eh ben dis donc, ça me fait drôlement plaisir ce que tu me dis là, merci!🙂 C’est un peu le meilleur compliment qu’on puisse recevoir finalement, le fait qu’un vêtement qu’on a fait ait l’air de sortir d’un magasin!

  4. Oh j’adore cette tenue !! Tu es si jolie et cela te va si bien … J’espère de tout cœur que ce ne sera pas le seul et unique jean de ta penderie et que tu remettras ça dans quelques temps car cela te fait vraiment une jolie silhouette ! Et dire que moi je porte des jeans tout le temps et que je n’arrive pas à me décider d’en coudre un !! En tout cas : Bravo

    • Ouhlàlà, n’en jetez plus, je vais rougir!😀 Prochain pantalon sur la liste: Safran!
      Si coudre un jeans est quelque chose qui te tente, fonce, c’est bien moins compliqué qu’on se l’imagine! Et je ne peux que te conseiller Ginger et Safran (dont j’ai cousu une version test).
      Encore merci pour ton commentaire!🙂

  5. Such lovely work. How satisfying! I am the opposite to you, always in pants, hardly ever in dresses and skirts. I have yet to make jeans though!
    A great fitting reference for pant making – if you decide to make more – is Pants for Real People by Palmer & Pletch.
    I found it interesting about your experience of talking about your figure and people’s responses. I think as sewers we work out the quirks in our figures as we get better at fit. I have had the same experience where when I talk about the idiosyncrasies of my figure, people start to tell me off. I’m the same as you, I have no issues with my shape – I just know what it is!

    • Thank you, it is indeed very satisfying getting to that point where you feel like you can sew any garment you need!🙂
      I’ve heard about Pants for Real People and I might look into it in the future, thanks for the recommendation!
      And you’re so right, sewers know exactly what their bodies are like!😀

  6. Ben ben ya plus à tortiller des fesses, IL FAUT QUE JE ME METTE À LA COUTURE D’UN GINGER!

    J’ai le patron depuis quelques semaines, et comme beaucoup d’autres je suis dans ma phase “je vais coudre mes jeans et mes sous-vêtements” (C’est marrant non, ces modes dans les envies de coutures? J’ai l’impression que IG participe beaucoup à ces tendances). Sauf que, effrayée par l’espect technique, j’ai toujours mieux à coudre avant.

    Mais tes photos et ton texte me motive vraiment à mý mettre rapidement (enfin, c’est au programme de Novembre, parce qu’Octobre est déjà bien trop rempli). ET moi aussi je veux pouvoir faire des cabrioles avec mon jeans (j’adore cette série de photos que tu as postée sur IG!).

    • Oups! J’ai lu ton commentaire hier soir et j’allais oublier d’y répondre!
      Franchement, ne te laisse pas effrayer par l’aspect technique, je pense vraiment qu’un jeans est bien plus facile à coudre qu’une chemise avec pattes de manches, pied de col etc… Finalement niveau difficultés techniques, à part la braguette (qui est tellement bien expliquée par Heather Lou que franchement, est-ce encore bien une difficulté?) et bien sûr le fit, c’est à se demander ce qui nous stresse tellement dans cette histoire!
      Vivement novembre alors!😀

  7. Ton jean est vraiment super. J’ai acheté le patron et le e-book du ginger, mais je n’ai pas encore pris le temps de m’y mettre. Après la lecture de ton post, je n’ai qu’une envie, foncer sur ma mac et faire un ginger !

  8. Wow! How fantastic to have jeans that fit for the first time. I too am a pear shape (though people don’t believe me as I’m slender too) so I know how frustrating shopping for pants can be

  9. Bravo pour ce super jeans ! Il te va très bien, un vrai succès ! ça me donne envie de m’y risquer, d’autant que j’ai moi aussi le problème du différentiel hanches/taille… Le creux dans le dos, les plis que ça fait quand on essaie de rectifier avec une ceinture, la recherche du haut qui camouflera ça, les essayages désespérants et désespérés dans les magasins, une vraie bataille et qui plus est est perdue d’avance😦

    Merci aussi pour la remarque sur la hauteur de taille à laquelle tu te sens bien pour porter ton jeans. Je passe toujours pour une mamie, alors que c’est là que c’est le plus confortable et que ça tient le mieux avec ce genre de silhouette !

    Encore bravo pour ce jeans et merci pour tous tes posts si inspirants🙂

    • Oh, désolée de ne te répondre que maintenant, je n’avais pas vu passer ton commentaire!
      Merci beaucoup en tout cas pour ton si gentil commentaire, et surtout n’hésite pas à te lancer dans la couture d’un jeans, c’est bien moins compliqué que ce qu’on s’imagine! Et libre à nous de choisir la hauteur de taille mémé qu’on aime, héhéhé!😀

  10. Je viens d’arriver sur ton blog et je crois que je vais y passer un bon moment ! Superbes créations dans cet article, j’adore le tissu pour la marinière (et pour ma part je galère pour en trouver un aussi bien !) et ce pantalon… mon dieu ce pantalon !! Il est parfait !! Bravo !

    • Merci beaucoup, c’est trop gentil!🙂 Pour la marinière, j’en ai vu une récemment qui avait l’air d’être assez semblable (mais sans la partie blanche, et pas donnée!😦 ) ici.

  11. These look AWESOME! Amazing fit, adorable pocket lining fabric, neat topstitching – they look so good on you. And wow, just clicked on your instagram link, you are a seriously flexible lady!

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