November 18, 2014


Oh boy - they're finished... my first ever me-made jeans, and I cannot believe how amazing they are! Behold - the Ginger Jeans by Closet Case Patterns...

Pattern: Closet Case Patterns Ginger Jeans, View B
Size: 8
Alterations: Took in the legs from thigh to hip by 1/2" after sewing (1" total overall per leg)
Fabric: 11.5 oz Stretch Denim in Indigo from
Worn with: My mom's t-shirt from college in 1979 - also my alma mater - Ball State University

First off, I have to say that I was completely nervous about making these - I make collared shirts all the time, but pants... PANTS?! Luckily, Heather Lou holds your hand the whole time.

Let me first tell you about the fabric! At first I thought about just popping over to Joann's and picking up some cheapy denim, but Heather dissuaded me in her post about sourcing high quality denim - and this was of course, the right call.

So I headed to my next source of affordable fabrics - They have a pretty large selection of stretch denim in different weights and colors. I chose this 11.5oz denim in the darkest wash that still appeared to be blue, not black (I love to wear my jeans until they fall off, so starting as dark as possible helps their color longevity). I also chose 11.5 oz because that is what one of the denims in Heather's Ginger Jeans kit is, and I wanted to practice accordingly (I cannot wait until this arrives).

When it arrived, I promptly threw the yardage in the washing machine with a cup of vinegar (as recommended by Heather in the pattern instructions). I had to sort of iron out the selvedges, which got a bit creased - but then I was off to the races.

I made View B (the higher waisted version) because they're skinny skinny and I like my jeans to have a close fit. I considered, briefly, attempting to trace off the skinny legs onto View A (stovepipe with a low rise), but then I figured - why the hell not. All my jeans are low rise, so I thought these might be nice to have in my wardrobe.

As for sizing, I fall squarely between a size 12 and 14 on the size chart (32 waist, 41 hip). The pattern instructions say that you can size down (or more) if your denim is very stretchy, so I cut a 12. I then proceeded to baste them together and try them on, and I discovered they were way too big. So a decent amount of time unpicking later, and I cut out an 8. After basting again, these fit much better.

Things went along swimmingly with my newer machine until the first topstitching step, which I had decided to use the old beast below for. I quickly remembered why I stopped using this machine (aside from being gifted a nicer one) - it has some problems. Aside from those, some of my feet (quarter inch with a guide and edge stitching) won't work due to a needle with only three positions. So I improvised and tried to use other feet as guides, with mixed success. I went into this project thinking my topstitching would be ace (I get to practice a lot on collared shirts), but jeans are a whole new animal.

Pockets were interesting... I messed up the front pockets and facings three different times, and three different ways (below), but through no fault of the instructions (this is where I started to think I should've waited for the sewalong). The back pockets are good, but I think they might need to be moved up a little next time... I like the idea of them actually being on the booty, rather than slightly below. There's also a slight pulling on the back pockets... maybe next time I can sew them on in a way that allows for them to be filled out...

Because I like my jeans superskinny, I took in the thighs through the knees by about 1/2" after sewing the side seams - which was an inch total on each leg. I probably could've taken in the hips a bit too, as there seems to be some excess there after I've worn them for awhile.

The pattern suggests basting and therefore refitting each new pair because denims can vary - so there's no telling if these types of changes would carry over into my next pair.

These jeans are sort of a mishmash of different colors and materials - I have a clay colored topstitching thread, gold serger thread, silver buttons and copper rivets. I'm excited for all the matching hardware in the denim kit, but outside of that - I would make more of an effort in the future to match everything.

I finished these jeans off by removing about 1.25" from the bottom and hemming as instructed (I'm 5'6" and they were a bit long, which is unusual for me).

Overall, I feel like this was a very successful project for me. Collared shirts used to be this difficult for me, and they aren't anymore - so I'm pretty jacked for a new challenging project that I can make over and over again. I could probably talk a lot more about how great these make me feel, and how good I feel now that they're done... but I have a lot more pairs to make, so more on that later! :D

 Feeling pretty good... hahahahaha


  1. Katie, these look great!! I am just in the process of cutting my first pair out and seeing yours makes me even more excited!! The fit looks really great! Are you going to make another pair?

    1. Thank you so much! I am definitely going to make more!! I ordered the Denim Kit, which I guess comes in December - so maybe I can squeeze out another before Christmas. Can't wait to see your pair!!

    2. I ordered the denim kit too - I couldn't resist!

  2. These look so great on you! Well done! PS- I was raised in Indiana before spending 5 years in LA... funny to meet someone else who did that! I really miss LA and wish I could move back!

    1. Thank you!! What a small world!! I grew up near South Bend... and the only way to work in the entertainment industry was to move to LA or New York - and that's where you live now!

  3. Your jeans look awesome! And bonus points for the winking pic and belt loop pic!