Six months ago, the thought of making jeans terrified me. Now, I can’t make enough! Making my own jeans is seriously one of the most empowering things I’ve ever done. I’ve never been someone looking to have a 100% handmade wardrobe, but jeans are definitely an area I would be happy with only me-mades. Okay, have I waxed poetically about handmade jeans enough? I wanted to share my first pair of Closet Case Ginger Jeans with you guys today. I made these at the same time as my first pairs of Ash Jeans to kind of compare fits and construction. I’m not sure which one I like better just yet, but let’s compare!
My First Pair of Ginger Jeans
Fabric and Sizing
I made this pair of Ginger Jeans out of a cornflower stretch denim that’s been in my stash for a loooong time. I was really inspired by Sara’s cornflower jeans (seriously, look at the date on that post — the denim has been in my stash for almost that long!) and had to pick up a similar fabric at JOANN when I saw it there last spring or summer. Here’s a similar colored denim I found at Threadbare if you’re interested. This one at Harts also looks like the right color, but isn’t stretch.
My Gingers are a size 8. I did not make any crotch adjustments, but I do wonder if I should. Instead of using a zipper, I used a button closure. It’s wrinklier than a zipper, so it’s hard to tell what’s button wrinkles and what’s crotch fitting issues.
I think that on my next pair of Gingers I’ll size down at the waist. Right off the bat they were a little loose right there. The denim has decent recovery, but after a day of wearing they’re definitely looser than is comfortable. Finding the perfect balance between not being way too tight but being fitted enough that the denim isn’t super baggy after a long day is hard, you guys! I don’t want to be washing my handmade jeans all the time to return them to their right size. Anyone have any tips here?
The only #sewingtall adjustment I made to this pattern was to add 2″ to the length. I think I’ll take the leg in a little more next time, and put in another half inch of length. I left the hem raw, so I didn’t have to turn it under. Jeans are one place I really wish I had a serger — I wear most of my jeans cuffed, so I would love to get that super professional finish. Zig zagging or bias tape just doesn’t have the same feel to me.
Sewing the Ginger Jeans
I sewed the Ginger Jeans right after finishing the first round of my Ash Jeans. Overall, I think I preferred the construction method of the Ginger Jeans. It seemed like there was less switching between regular thread and topstitching thread, which is probably the most annoying part of sewing jeans. I also really liked the zipper method better the way that the Gingers have you do it. All personal preference, I suppose.
Absolutely unsurprisingly, the Gingers are impeccably written and illustrated. Did we expect anything else from Heather?! Jeans overall are a surprisingly enjoyable sew for me. Once you’ve made a pair, the whole process feels very familiar, which definitely helps with some of the nervousness around making jeans.
I chose to make the high waisted view of the Ginger Jeans, and used the pocket stay option. It’s supposed to be ~slimming~ but I’m not sure it’s doing a lot for me. Not in a way where I think it’s unflattering — in a way where because of the button fly and wrinkling, I’m not sure there’s enough tension to make it do what it’s meant to do.
Ginger Jeans vs. Ash Jeans
So overall, what do I prefer? The Ginger Jeans or the Ash Jeans? Well, that’s an excellent question. I’m not sure.
I really prefer the construction method of the Ginger Jeans. I feel like I nailed the fit more easily on the Ash Jeans. But I also think I need to make a pair of Gingers with a zipper fly before I can really make a good comparison. Off to buy some more denim, then!