Summer of Basics – Ginger Jeans v3

My first pair of Closet Case Files Ginger Jeans was my high waisted pair followed by my low rise cone mills denim pair. For this pair I used cone mills denim again but this time I used a slightly lighter weight denim. I also decided to use the traditional gold topstitching thread this time around.

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From my last pair I made a large calf adjustment and I added a bit more of a curve to the yoke and waistband to account for my sway back. I also shortened the crotch curve slightly.

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This time around I finally figured out how to make bar tacks that don’t just end up with a huge thread nest underneath or completely jamming up my machine!!! The trick for me was to loosen the bobbin tension significantly. From there I used a .5 length and a 1.5 width. Honestly – this is a jeans making game-changer for me. I would always get so frustrated with bar tacks in the past because they would always jam up my machine and I’d have to seam rip them. removing the dense stitching was making the fabric weaker instead of reinforcing the spot.

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Although I’m pretty happy with this pair there is still a good amount of extra fabric around my outer knee that I’d like to try and get rid for my next pair. After I made this pair I thought I might need a knock knee adjustment. I don’t think I have knock knees but I may have full inner thighs, which also would mean that I need the legs to angle slightly more towards the center. There is a tutorial on the Closet Case Files Blog or I considered using this tutorial, which would shift the lower leg towards the inseam. However, this would also lengthen the inseam and I have extra fabric around the inseam too. I ended up drawing a line in chalk where the knee should be on my jeans and it is actually a half inch to low. I think the issue is that my legs are just shorter, so I’m going to try just shortening my leg above the knee for my next pair and hopefully that does the trick! I also wanted a slightly closer fit around the ankle so I took off 1/4 inch from each side of the seams and tapered up to nothing at the knee.

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I’m super happy with how these turned out – I think I’m really starting to get close to getting them how I want them to fit.

 

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Low Rise Ginger Jeans and Speckled Lark

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This is the low rise version of the Ginger Jeans pattern by Closet Case Files. I made my first pair of Ginger jeans about a year ago now. That time I made the high waisted version so I wanted to make the low rise ones this time. All of the other jeans I own are low or mid rise so I think these will be more my style. I’m also using a much darker denim this time around which matches more with what I typically wear. I think these are really going to be a staple in my wardrobe!

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The fabric is cone mills dark indigo stretch denim that I ordered online from Fancy Tiger crafts a while ago. The fabric is a lot thicker than my last pair of jeans and this pair also has a lot better recovery than my last pair! I used this gray topstitching thread because I wanted a little more of a subtle look than traditional jeans topstitching. I think my next pair is going to be a slightly lighter indigo with traditional gold topstitching thread though.

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I grade the pattern from a size 8 at the waist to a size 10 at the waist. I also shortened the legs by 1.5 inches. I went ahead and made a slight sway back adjustment to both the back yoke piece and the waistband piece. I am making view A for the low rise but I still want the skinny legs so I took 1/2 inch off of each side of the ankle, grading up to the knee.

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These jeans fit pretty well but there are some more adjustments that I’ve made to my pattern for the next time:

  • Increased the amount of curve in the waistband and yoke to account for slight gaping.
  • Shortened the legs by 1 inch.
  • Shortened the crotch curve by 1/4 inch.

There is also some bagging at the knee that I haven’t decided how to remedy for my next pair.

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As an added bonus I’m also wearing a Lark Tee by Grainline Studio. This may be my most worn t-shirt in my wardrobe. I just realized I finished this almost an entire year ago! I used a speckled jersey from Fancy Tiger. This time I made the scoop neck version with cap sleeves. Otherwise I used all of the same pattern modifications as my past versions. I think in the future I might try going up a size or doing some sort of wide shoulder adjustment since there isn’t quite enough room in the shoulders.

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First Ever Jeans!

IMG_3931I finally finished my first ever pair of jeans! These are the Ginger Jeans by Closet Case Files. The fabric is an Italian stretch denim from GirlCharlee. I chose to start with the high waisted version with the skinny leg because I love the skinny jean and I also don’t have any high waisted jeans so I thought it would be a fun addition to my wardrobe.

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I relied heavily on the Jeans Ebook that Heather released. I probably could have gotten by with just the build-along blog posts but I really liked having the PDF on my computer so I didn’t have to worry about which tabs in my browser I needed to keep open or switching between blog posts for different days of the sew along.

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Once I based the pants together I fixed a couple of fit issues. I took some excess fabric off of the side seams and inseams. I took some extra fabric off of the side seams at the knee. I also pinned out some darts in the waistband and yoke to account for my sway back.

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When I sewed the pieces together for real it felt like magic. Some how my topstitching lines pretty much matched up every time!

 

Let me start here by saying that I love my sewing machine. I’ve had it since I went to college and we’ve spent a lot of time together. It can do a lot of amazing things. Two things it really struggles with are bar tacks through more than 2 layers and button holes through any sort of bulk. I had to pick out a bar tack 3 times. If you’ve ever had to do this then you know that it is the absolute worst. Also – I’m pretty sure this ended up weakening my fabric instead of strengthening it…

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When I tried the button hole with the automatic length sensor it felt the resistance from the bulk of the fabric and made the smallest possible button hole. To try to get this to make a button hole I did my best to press the fabric as flat as possible and also arrange the fabric in the sewing machine so the button hole starts with the thickest part and goes back to an area with less bulk. This ended up finally creating a successful button hole.

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Then I made a huge mistake. I tried pulling the zipper teeth out with pliers but my pliers aren’t very good and it was very difficult. I thought that I had read somewhere that you could cut the zipper teeth off the zipper instead of using pliers. However, after I finished topstitching the waistband I tried on my jeans and went to zip them up and I zipped the slider right off of the zipper.

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In order to fix this I slowly and carefully acted as a human slider to carefully line up the zipper teeth and close them together. Once I had done that I slid the zipper slider back on to the zipper and unzipped. I then tacked the zipper down to the zipper fly by sewing in between the top tooth and the second to top tooth. So far this has prevented any further fly mishaps.IMG_0335

I ended up raising my back pockets 1/2 inch though I might go a little higher next time. I’ve since read that other folks making these have pretty regularly taken their back pockets up 1 inch.

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I then went to town on hammering in my button and rivets. This is a super fun step in the process but I’m glad I didn’t attempt this late at night since it is definitely a loud activity!

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To be honest, I’m not really sure high waisted jeans really suit me or my style. Most of the ready to wear jeans that I own are low waisted, skinny jeans with topstitching that matches the denim. I like the more laid back and subtle style so I’m going to try the low waisted jeans with a more subtle top stitching thread for my next project. I’m still trying to figure out where the find hardware that is less shiny though. For now I’ll  be wearing these untucked for a more laid back look and occasionally tuck in when I want to make a statement.

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As always, Toby was a super helper.

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