Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Ginger Jeans 3.0

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!


  1. I actually think they look fine--if you hadn't mentioned the twisty side seams, I don't think I would have noticed them! (To me, it is more down to how they feel on your legs--if they feel good, I say wear 'em!) Pants are such a mystery to me. I've made about three pairs and wasn't really happy with any of them. I've got so many fitting issues with that thought--crazy long rise, big hip-waist ratio, post-baby belly. One of these days...

  2. Oh man! How frustrating! FTR I can barely see the leg twisting in the photos, only because you point it out, but I imagine they aren't very comfortable. I suppose worst case you could cut them off into shorts? Can't wait to see the next pair where you FIX ALL THE THINGS, lol!


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