ginger jeans // sewing triumph

Sewing a pair of jeans has been on my Want to Sew list from just about the beginning. I wear jeans no less than 4 days out of every week, and this is one garment where you’re guaranteed to save money constructing them yourself. Because, did know you could spend nearly $500 on jeans?! I mean, they’re gorgeous, but…. That said, I spent over $100 on my last pair of jeans, and it totally seemed worth it at the time. Meanwhile, fabric + notions for these was less than $20. And they might be the best fitting pair of jeans I’ve ever owned. Triumph!



The pattern behind these beauties is the latest from Heather at Closet Case Files: The Ginger Jeans. I was a pattern tester, and since Heather has made some adjustments to the sizing since then, I’ll spare you the major details on the sizing + fit. My adjustments were minimal and basically came down to grading between sizes at the waist and hip. The only major change I made was to the leg, which I wanted to be more of a straight leg than was drafted for, and the length, which I cropped. I’m 5’7″ and these were perfectly full length on me before I shortened them.




I used a serger to finish all the inside seams, except on my pocket bags. Those are made of a mid-weight quilting cotton and french seamed.



The only places I ran into trouble was on the button hole and the tacks, all of which really stressed out my machine. I suppose with good reason, as there’s at least four layers of denim in there. However, using Heather’s suggestion of putting a wedge under the foot really helped with the tacks. I also added rivets, which was fun. But one of them keeps falling off, so I guess I need to work on my hammering technique!



I’ve been wearing these just about non-stop since I made them. I’ve never been more proud of a garment, which anyone who knows me will confirm. I’ve been bragging about these all over the place!



Heather is turning out an amazing sewalong right now over on her blog. It’s full of details on where to buy the best fabric and notions, plus everything you need to know to craft your own pair of jeans. Now that it’s done, I thing I was more freaked out than I needed to be about making these. Sure, they were a healthy challenge, but no more than that. And it is weirdly liberating to know I have the ability to make a great fitting pair of handcrafted jeans. So… have I convinced you to give it a try?



65 thoughts on “ginger jeans // sewing triumph

  1. They look gorgeous on you! I love a good pair of jeans and yours are perfect! The only thing I made in demin was a pair of Turia Dungarees but I think I need to take a deep breath and go for the “ginger” If mine look half as good as yours I’d be more than happy!

    • Okay, so I just came from oogling you GORGEOUS dungarees & have no doubt you could turn out an incredible pair of Gingers. I’m about to insist that you must. Also, now I need to make some dungarees…

  2. They’re gorgeous! Fit looks perfect. I’ve made quite a few pairs of jeans, but I want to pick up the Ginger too as I love the high-waist option.

    • Haha, yeah! I meant to find you in Britex and get a closer look at your pair but got distracted by all the fabric. Most of my RTW jeans gap at the waist. It’s been such a revelation to be able to grade to a proper fit!

  3. You magnificent creature. These look even better than in the pics you sent me – your butt looks fabulous! And I am in love with your wall and crying inside that it is that warm in SF right now….

    • Good question! These are view B, drafted for a super slim fit. I started by adding about 3″ to the leg opening, but ended up doing away with all but the tiniest sliver of seam allowance when I sewed them up. In the end I’d say I added some where between 5-6″ to the circumference of the leg opening. I started grading out at the knee, basically drawing a straight line down to meet the wider markings.

  4. Brilliant, you have done an amazing job! The fit on you is perfect. I did make a jeans muslin, but I haven’t gotten around to cutting the denim. I think that I might try overalls first!

  5. Your jeans look so good! I am inspired. Where did you go to buy your denim? I was at Fabric Outlet the other day and they have a few affordable options (but having never made jeans I am not even sure what I am looking at).

    • I got this fabric at Stone Mountain & Daughter. It’s a mid-weight stretch denim. Not sure what sort of look you’re going for, but finding mid-weight denim was really important to me. I wanted a straight leg that fit close but didn’t cling. The lighter weight denims end up looking too much like leggings for my taste. Fabric Outlet totally has some good options!

  6. This look phenomenal!! They fit you perfectly and I love the cropped leg. They totally look like designer jeans. So inspiring.
    PS: Where did you find that gorgeous denim?

  7. Looks wicked on you! Super flattering. The colour you chose seem super versatile as well. With all these brilliant Gingers around I’m going to have to try them as well. Despite my irrational fear about making any trousers…

  8. The jeans look amazing on you!! What a perfect fit. I must get this pattern. My issue is shop bought can be too tight in the thigh and/or a large gap at the back/rise is too long! !

    • Yep, that’s exactly the same problem I’ve had with buying ready to wear jeans. The size that fits the thigh is way too big at the waist. So yes, you must get this pattern! Finally grading a pair of jeans to fit my curves was revolutionary!

  9. The look so great!! I just got the pattern, how can you not buy a jeans pattern from someone who is best known for making hundreds of women feel beautiful and confident in swimwear!

  10. Pingback: ginger jeans // sewing triumph |

  11. Wow your jeans are amazing! I’ve been seeing these everywhere and read such great things about them. How long have you been sewing if you don’t mind me asking? Have you made lots of trousers before? I’m a relative/confident beginner and don’t want to take on something that will put me off! Many thanks. Ruth

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