“What are you doing?” he asked me. It was the pounding that caused him to poke his head into the room — he looked confused and slightly alarmed.
I stood there with the hammer poised a few inches above an overturned cast iron skillet.
“Making jeans,” I replied. And whacked a rivet into place.
I made jeans.
These Gingers Skinny Jeans took me just shy of a year to complete from the initial muslin, mostly because I was stymied by the idea of altering the pattern. But before I go into the various modifications I did indeed need to make, I want to address this image above.
As you can see, I used indigo thread for what is obviously not blue denim. Until I saw this photo, I actually thought the fabric was blue. I was going for a subtle look, deliberately choosing to skip contrasting topstitching. So much for that plan. It had been a while since I’d purchased the fabric, so I’d forgotten that I purchased black denim. I’m going to have to do something about the lighting situation in my house. Or maybe my eyes need to be checked.
At any rate, I’m incredibly proud of my new jeans made out of Osaka denim from here (the link is to the indigo denim, which they were out of when I was at the store. The black denim was slightly cheaper at $15/yd).
I started out with a size 12 for view B, and ultimately ended up cutting a size 6, predominantly because the Osaka denim is nice and stretchy. However, my calves are solidly a size 8 so I graded up for the lower leg portion. Look at those buxom and sturdy babies. Other changes I made:
– Reduced leg length by 3 inches.
– Tapered the leg opening by about 1 1/4 inches
– Moved the pockets up to the size 12 markings (I think this means my rear end sits high? Or maybe having a non-existent butt means the pockets need to be moved higher. Dunno).
Most of the fiddling had to do with trying to figure out which size worked best for me. I’m embarrassed to admit that I printed out and taped together the pattern pieces from scratch 4 times instead of just modifying what I had already printed up. What can I say, sometimes you just need to start fresh. In my case, it takes a lot of fresh starts. I’ve killed a small tree, I know.
I also killed another tree by printing out the über helpful ebook Sewing Your Own Jeans that Heather created. It was well worth using up my ink cartridges for the 90+ pages because I doubt I would have been able to sew the jeans without this handy guide. With clear (and always witty) step-by-step instructions and plentiful photos, this visual learner was thrumming with happiness. I was also blown away by the alteration tips and tricks — that Heather, she knows what she’s doing.
I wasn’t sure how I’d feel about high rise jeans, concerned that I might be spiraling into mom pants territory, but they are so crazy comfortable that I don’t even care if the hipster youth of Seattle are sniggering behind my back.
The best part was that once I figured out the sizing and read this AMAZING post by the genius behind the Ginger Jeans herself, it really wasn’t difficult to sew at all. Sure, I made mistakes and the pockets don’t want to stay entirely flat and there are some extra pooling at the ankles as well as generous whiskering around the knees and at the back of my thighs that might indicate I need to make a few more tweaks, but you know what? They look profesh. Truly. And I love love love love them.
They even look good rolled up like I usually do with all my jeans:
Very Pacific Northwest, right?
The verdict? Jeans are fun to make! In fact, I had such a great time that I immediately cut out a second pair. I’m about half-way done, and I’ll show you next week!
P.S. The winner of the giveaway is Mary Ann. Cograts!
P.P.S. Secret Valentines! Emails have gone out with partner information. We ran into a minor snafu when we found a couple of dupes after we’d sent out some emails, but they should all be sorted out now. Please let us know if you have any questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.
P.P.P.S. Happy MLK Jr. Day to my fellow US residents!