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Sunday, October 6, 2019

Pattern Comparison: Liana Stretch Jeans vs. Ginger Jeans

Sewing your own jeans for the first time is intimidating, and trying to decide which pattern to start with can be one of the stumbling blocks.  I've written this pattern comparison of the Liana Stretch Jeans vs. the Ginger Jeans sewing patterns to help remove one obstacle from your jeans-sewing journey. I've sewn both multiple times and am sharing my detailed thoughts on all aspects of the patterns.  
Sewing pattern comparison of the Liana Stretch Jeans vs. the Ginger Jeans.


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The Ginger Jeans are arguably the most popular skinny jean pattern in the sewing blogosphere.  I have sewn myself five pairs, and I wore them happily for two years, until I lost weight and they no longer fit. I've also sewn the Liana Jeans (affiliate link) twice now, and other than a pair of RTW jeans, they are the only jeans I am currently wearing. Note to self: sew more jeans.

In the photos that follow, Gingers are on the left and Lianas are on the right. The Gingers are two sizes larger than the Lianas, since I was about 25 pounds heavier when I made all my Gingers.

Options:



In comparing the Lianas vs. the Gingers,, it's important to take a look at the pattern options.

The original Ginger Jeans pattern comes with two rise options: high and low, and two leg options: skinny and stovepipe. The high-rise option includes a pocket stay, while the low-rise options has regular front pockets.  There is also a separate mid-rise pattern and a flare-leg expansion pack.

The Liana jeans are a mid-rise jean with three leg options: skinny, straight and bootcut. The front pockets are drafted with a pocket stay. The pattern includes optional pocket flaps as well.

Winner: For me, the Lianas are a clear winner because of all the included options.

Sewing pattern comparison of the Liana Stretch Jeans vs. the Ginger Jeans.
I hacked the Ginger Jean pattern to have a stretchy, pull-on waist, which is what you see on the left side of the photo.
Pattern Format, Sizing and Instructions:

The original Ginger Jeans pattern is available in print ($18) or PDF ($16). You can also buy the mid-rise pattern as a PDF download for $14, and the flare-leg expansion as a download for $8. The printed pattern comes with a glossy instruction booklet that is convenient to refer to while sewing. Compare that to the Liana Stretch Jeans pattern, which is PDF-only and costs $12. All options are included in the pattern.




I own the paper version of the Gingers, and I sent my Liana PDF to a large-format printer, so I can't comment on PDF assembly for either pattern.

The size ranges on the patterns are essentially the same: The Ginger Jeans are sized from 0-20 (24"-33" to 39"-48" waist hip), and the Lianas come in sizes 00-20 (23 7/8"-34"  to 39"-48 3/4" waist hip).

I found the instructions on both patterns to be very good, and I don't hesitate to recommend either one to a newbie jeans sewist.

Winner: Lianas, for a better price point.

Fit:

It's hard to compare the fit of the Ginger and the Liana jeans patterns because each pattern has its own peccadilloes.  For me, the inseam of the Gingers skews to the front, rather than hanging straight down the middle of the inside leg.  The side seam skews to the back. You can see the issue in the photos below (Gingers on the left and Lianas on the right).  I made five pairs of these jeans, trying out different strategies, but I was never able to fix this issue.  The seam skew might be due to an adjustment I've made on every pair of Gingers to deal with excessive back knee wrinkles - I sew the inseam at 1/4" and the side seam at 1". I don't know why this fixes the wrinkles, but it does.  I've tried other modifications, only to always return to this one, because it works the best.

I only made the low-rise version of Ginger Jeans, which finishes at 9".  I had to raise the height of the back yoke by 1" to ensure coverage over my backside. Four of my five pairs were actually pull-on versions of the pattern, which I modified to have a higher rise; but the one pair I made with the waist as written had a 9" rise.
Sewing pattern comparison of the Liana Stretch Jeans vs. the Ginger Jeans.
Gingers on the left, Lianas on the right. You can see how the side seam on the Gingers is skewed towards the back leg rather than falling straight down the middle of my leg.
Comparatively, the Liana jeans fit me better than the Ginger jeans out of the envelope. There is significant excess fabric in the back leg of the Lianas, though, which is something I've noticed on almost every pair I've seen on the Internet.  I fixed the problem on my second pair by shortening the back inseam and easing the front into it. This helped a lot, but I think what I actually need is to cut a smaller size for the back leg to reduce the thigh width.  This is my only fit issue with this pattern, though.

I found the mid-rise of the Lianas to be quite high, finishing at 9.75". I commonly have to remove up to an inch of length in the rise of pants, so perhaps they are a true mid-rise on people who don't have to make this adjustment. I like this rise height though. I didn't have to make any adjustments to the back.

The pockets on the Lianas run small, in my opinion. I sewed the size 10 jeans but used the size 20 pocket (the largest size in the pattern).

Winner: I think this one is a draw. Both patterns have some fit issues, but I wouldn't call those issues a reason to stay away from either pattern.  So much depends on body shape.  The Lianas required less fitting work for me, but you might find the opposite is true for you.

Sewing pattern comparison of the Liana Stretch Jeans vs. the Ginger Jeans.

Construction and Finishes:

The jeans construction and finishes are virtually identical on both patterns. Both patterns produce a nicely-finished pair of jeans.

Winner: Draw.

Conclusion:

Liana Stretch Jeans (affiliate link) are the winner for me because of the included options and the fact that I just prefer the fit. But I think these are both good patterns, and plenty of people have made the Ginger Jeans without incident.  But if, like me, you've had some unresolved fit issues with that pattern, I recommend checking out the Lianas.

And if you're interested in reading more about jeans-sewing, I've blogged in detail about each pair of jeans I've sewn, including fitting notes and fabric used.  There are also many more pictures on those posts.  If you're interested, you can check out my five pairs of Ginger Jeans here, and my Liana Jeans here.









7 comments:

  1. I love the side by side comparison! The Lianas are definitely more YOU, just in terms of natural fit. I haven't tried either but was pleasantly surprised at the fit of the MN Ash jeans, so I'll probably stick with those for a while!

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  2. I think, like knowing your brand when you shop, you find a pattern that suits your shape. I love my Vado jeans, Zara loves a Calvin Klein pattern I found for her.
    Jeans sewing is so satisfying, yours look great!

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    1. Yes, definitely! Your jeans are always so professional-looking.

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  3. Thank you for another helpful post!

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Hi! I am so happy you came by. Thanks for your comment!