I have four beautiful kids - two little girls and two littler boys. I began knitting while single, and dreamed of sewing my own clothes, but thought it was too hard. Then, while pregnant with my oldest daughter, I sewed a set of 12 cloth wipes. That was in 2009 and I haven't looked back.
Immediately after I sewed Ginger Jeans 3.0, I got to work on re-adjusting the pattern from scratch in preparation for Ginger Jeans 4.0. To refresh, I had royally screwed up my pattern with some half-arsed pattern adjustments last time, resulting in some seriously twisted inseams.
This time, I went back to the drawing board. I didn't fuss with any knock knee or thick thigh adjustments. I started with the mid-rise, stovepipe leg version in a size 16, and raised the back rise by 1", shortened the front rise by 1", and curved the yoke slightly.
Like my last pair, these are also pull-on jeans. They are SO comfortable. I don't know that I"m ever going to go back to zippers and buttons. And really, I don't think anyone can tell since I always wear my shirts to cover my waistband.
I sewed the inseams at 3/8" from crotch to knee to give myself a little more thigh room. I didn't finish the seams or topstitch until after I'd worn the jeans for a day (with classy, pinned up hems, and yes I did go run errands like that). In the process, the fabric relaxed quite a bit and I ended up taking in the legs from the knees down as well.
My pocket placement isn't ideal - I am not sure how it happened that they are so straight-on, but in all likelihood I won't redo them. I do really like the simple bars across the pockets and will probably do that again on future jeans.
The fabric is a Ralph Lauren stretch twill from Fabric Mart. It was listed as cotton/lycra but it feels like there's some synthetic in there as well. The knees bag out a bit after a day's wear, and I'm not sure how well it will hold up. But I do really like these pants.
I don't have anything more to say about these. Thanks for reading, and see you next time!
I was hoping that this post would be a triumphant show-off of my new Ginger jeans, complete with diagrams showing my clever fitting modifications and their consequent improvements.
Alas, it was not to be. I did end up with a pair of comfortable and, I think, wearable jeans. But they are doomed to be a laundry-day kind of a garment because of the massive leg twist problem, due to the stupid mistake I made while adjusting my pattern.
The method I used to reduce back knee wrinkles in my second pair of Gingers, while effective, also had the unintended side-effect of crazy inseam twisting (for more info on what I did there, click the link). This time I decided to try a knock-knee adjustment. Most methods I've seen call for lengthening the inseam at the thigh, but an internet search led me to this post which suggests lengthening at the knee. This made complete sense to me, because the resulting shape actually looks a fair bit like the shape of the other two Gingers I've made, after I took in excess fabric on the outseam around the knee. The result is an outseam that curves in at the knee, and back out again to accommodate my outer calf. Here are photos of my other two pairs, lying flat, where you can see what I mean:
So when I saw the illustration in that post, I thought, that looks just like my jeans! Maybe I should try that.
I started with View A, the midrise stovepipe leg version, and redrafted the leg pieces of my pattern, lengthening the inseam. But I neglected to notice that the adjustment in the post also shortened the outseam. I didn't do that. I wonder if that's the reason that my inseam is twisting like crazy. I cut the pieces on-grain and I followed these cutting instructions, which are meant to prevent twisting seams. Nevertheless, I got some gnarly twisting, and I ended up topstitching the inseam with navy thread to camouflage it. I actually didn't think they looked too bad until I saw these photos.
These are the other adjustments I made:
Shortened the front rise 1/2".
Scooped out the back crotch 1".
Lengthened the inseam by 5/8".
Sewed the inseam at 1/4".
Lengthened the leg by 1".
Hemmed them by turning up 1/4" and then 3/4".
Enlarged the pockets about 3/8" all the way around.
I also turned them into pull-on jeans, like my first pair, by sewing a faux fly and a stretchy self-fabric waistband. I love this pull-on waistband; it is so comfortable and it holds me in and smooths out the lumps. I neglected to get a photo of it, but you can kind of see it through my t-shirt in the below photo through my shirt - it's quite high.
The fabric is an 8.2 oz super-stretchy cotton/poly/lycra Kaufman denim that I got at Cali Fabrics and that seems to be out of production. I wore the jeans for a whole day before finishing the seams, topstitching and hemming so that I could make adjustments as the fabric relaxed. But it barely relaxed and I didn't have to take it in at all. This is good stuff. Which makes me even more frustrated about the seam twist issue.
I topstitched with thread that looked bright gold in the store, but that seems neon yellow against the dark denim. Not sure how I feel about that, either, though I like it more in the photos than before the photos.
I also used emerald green for all my bartacks (and used bartacks in place of rivets).
I had decided after my last pair of Gingers that I wanted to enlarge the pockets on my next pair, so I did. At first they seemed way too big, but looking at the photos, I kind of like them. I'm not sure how I would feel about them, though, if I had done a design on them. I think Maybe I should have just widened them, and not made them bigger top-to-bottom?
But that's one more item of clothing from my 2018 sewing plan checked off my list. As far as leg fit, I went back to the drawing board for my fourth pair of Gingers (which I've already completed). Stay tuned! As always, thanks for reading and see you next time!
It was a busy month, in which I spent a lot of time testing a pattern, bought a good amount of fabric than I probably should have, and also completed two pairs of jeans and a cardigan that will be very useful in Bogota.
Blank Slate Catalina tester dress. This one has some fit issues and I'm not sure whether it will end up being blogged. I used 1 3/4 yard tencel twill for the final, and 2 1/3 yards of old sheets for more muslins (on top of the muslins I did in April for the same dress). Completed 5/10.
3 yards gauze for two baby blankets for a friend. Completed 5/14.
Another pair of pull-on Ginger Jeans, View A with modified legs, using a super-stretchy Kaufman denim I bought at Cali Fabrics back in January. I actually didn't realize how stretchy the fabric was. My intent had been to make a proper zip-fly pair of jeans, but the fabric is so similar to the fabric I used for my first pair of pull-on Gingers, that I decided to just make another. Major leg twist issues with these. Will be blogged. Used 2.5 yards. Completed 5/15.
A pair of long-sleeved pjs for G and a pair of leggings for N. Surprise, I used the Oliver + S Playtime Leggings pattern for both pairs of pants. Both were a size 7 with 8 length; I hemmed Gs but not Ns. The pants will fit him for a good long time, but hers were ankle-length which is why i did not hem them. G's pj top was made using the Field Trip Raglan pattern, size 5 with the length of a 7. Used 1.5 yards of the red cotton/lycra knit I purchased earlier in the month. Completed 5/22.
A pair of black pull-on Ginger jeans using the stretch twill I bought from Fabric Mart earlier in th month. 2.5 yards used. Completed 5/30
May 3: 3 yards of cotton gauze from Walmart to make baby blankets for a pregnant friend. I used this all up this month. $16ish.
May 5: I visited Stitch Sew Shop for the first time and bought a bunch of things. I went in with goals and didn't deviate from them! I bough: 2.5 yards of Robert Kaufman Laredo stretch denim for another pair of jeans; 1.75 yards of mallard green tencel twill (used for the Catalina dress); 1.75 yards of mustard yellow rayon jersey to make a Blackwood Cardigan (I've had this specific pattern in this specific color on my list for months, but after having bought it I put it up to my face and am not sure that it's actually a good color for me); and 2 yards of red cotton/lycra jersey - it was on sale in the remnants section and I've already used 1.5 yards of it! Total cost: $91. TI have already used up nearly half of what I bought, so I guess it's not so bad.
May 7: Totally ordered more fabric! I ordered 2.5 yards of Ralph Lauren stretch black twill to make another pair of Gingers (all done already!), and 2.25 yards of jacquard dot white cotton shirting to make a button-up shirt. Total cost: $35.
Fabric in: 15.75 yards. Fabric out: 14.83 yards ... so close! Fabric in YTD: 76.23 yards Fabric out YTD: 63.06 yards
Day 18: A Josephine top and Chi-Town Chinos. I love this outfit but it needs work. I need to loosen the elastic in the sleeve hems of the top, and just make a new pair of the chinos, since these are too tight in the thighs and bag out to the point of falling down within a couple hours' wear. Day 19: A Plantain tee with a brand-new cropped Blackwood Cardigan and my first pair of Ginger Jeans.
I wore 49 different items with one accidental outfit repeat. My most-worn items were my linen pants (four wears; I had to stop myself from reaching for them multiple times). I wore jeans 10 times, but that was split over four different pairs. I would have worn my Chi-town Chinos more, but they really don't fit well and I plan to replace them later this year. I also would have worn my Calyer pants more if I had more tops that go with them. I was definitely more into pants than skirts this May, even though it was warmer than it has been previous years.
The last week or so, I got tired of coming up with new combinations. I'm glad I forced myself to stick to my pledge, as I came up with a couple new outfits that I really like.
So that's a wrap on MMM '18. It was a success, but I'm glad it's over, so I can go back to wearing the same things over and over again!
Me Made May is halfway over, and I'm rounding up my outfits the last fifteen days. My goal this year, like last year, was to wear handmade every day and to avoid repeating full outfits. Wearing handmade every day isn't a challenge for me anymore, as most of my clothes are made by me. But I do tend to wear the same dozen pieces over and over again, so forcing myself to come up with new combinations is definitely an exercise.
I decided to just take crummy bathroom mirror selfies this year. That way I'd be sure to get a photo in. While not necessary for the challenge, having all of these photos is helpful to me to see what I like, what works, and what doesn't. I also just enjoy the fun collage. While the picture quality is abysmal, I've linked all the blogged items below so you can click over if you want to see more.
Are you participating in Me-Made May? This will be my third year, and I've been looking forward to it for months. I feel very prepared for it this year. Like last year, I'm pledging to wear at least one me-made item every day. Additionally, I am going to try not to repeat any outfits during the month (repeating garments is ok, and necessary). I'm looking forward to the challenge, and am planning to post on IG, but probably not every day. I will post a few round-ups here. As for sewing, I'm currently redrafting my Ginger Jeans pattern to address my back leg wrinkles, and am hoping to sew up a pair or two during May.
But enough about May (at least, until tomorrow). This post is about April. It was a busy month with Easter, two weekend trips and my older daughter's spring ballet show, but I still managed to knock out a few things, including a shirt for my husband, which has been on my sewing list since we bought the fabric for it in October.
1) Art Museum Trousers for G to replace a pair he had recently outgrown. I sewed a size 4 lengthened by 1" with enclosed welt pockets and no belt loops. I used 33" of pinstriped denim plus scraps of airplane quilting cotton. Sewed everything in 3 hours, including time to interface my welt pieces. Ended up using a hem allowance of 3/4", so I should have lengthened by 1.75" instead of 1". Width is perfect. Completed 4/4
3) Another OOP Lisette Portfolio/Simplicity 2245 for me, using 1.89 yards of 50" wide fabric bought last July. This dress is evidence that sometimes it's good to stash fabric without a purpose. I had actually envisioned this dress in a vivid emerald green linen and kept putting it in my cart, when I remembered this cut of designer fabric that I had bought without purpose. The linen/viscose blend fabric is cool and breezy with a gorgeous drape that was better for this dress than the linen I had originally chosen. Stash win! Completed 4/10. Blog post coming soon.
4) Fairfield Button-Up as a birthday gift for J. I used 2.5 yards cotton shirting purchased in October to make this shirt. Completed 4/22. Will be blogged soon.
5) Three bodice muslins for a pattern test I'm doing. 80" used of an old sheet. Completed 4/23.
I also took in the waist and hips of my houndstooth Alberta Street skirt, which has been bothering me all year because it was just too big in those areas. It took me less than an hour and I feel like I have a whole new item of clothing in my closet.
4/21: I bought 5.33 yards of fabric to make elf costumes for my girls and my niece. I'm not sure whether they will be helping me with the sewing or not. All of it was bought at Joann's - one cut of sale yardage, and the rest from the remnant bin. FABRIC IN/OUT
Fabric in: 5.33 yards Fabric out: 6.23 yards Fabric in YTD: 60.58 yards Fabric out YTD: 46.71 yards
I assume I am like many other mothers out there in that, while I spend a good amount of time planning holiday outfits for my kids, I am often found frantic in front of my own closet with minutes to go before we need to be somewhere looking nice. This year's Pascha looked to be about the same, until I laid eyes on Manju's post about her Simplicity 8166 dress. I fell instantly in love and ordered the pattern that day. Read more »
This tote bag is a long time coming. I bought the fabric about five years ago, I think from this shop. I knew I wanted to make a tote bag, but after the fabric arrived, it just languished in the stash. Read more »
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