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Ginger Flares

September 13, 2016
Ginger Flares

Ginger FlaresGinger FlaresGinger FlaresGinger FlaresGinger FlaresOh man, these pants. What a difference from my first pair of Ginger Jeans! I decided to be bold and go down from a size 10 to a size 6 for the Ginger Flares from Closet Case Files. I hardly had to make any alterations to this size. I had measured myself for the last pair, but sometimes I have a hard time believing what the tape says and am convinced that I am either smaller or, most likely, bigger than that. My size also fluctuates easily, so I often feel like I don’t really know where to begin with a pattern.

Making jeans is so fun and easy and satisfying. While custom-fitting can take a bit of time, the actual construction process of jeans is very relaxing. I used the remaining yardage from my Cone Mills Kit, which is slightly lighter in weight and darker in colour than my other fabric. I used a notions kit from Thread Theory for the buttons, rivets, and zipper.

I have seen people with sewing blogs comment that making jeans was addictive, but I didn’t really believe them. Now, I understand. It’s all I want to make! This is great news, since when I started this project, I only had one pair of jeans and while they fit, I didn’t love them and only kept them out of desperation. I’m looking forward to getting rid of that pair and building up my collection.

Project: Ginger Flares

Total Cost: $98.00

Pattern: $18 USD + 7.50 for the flare expansion pack.

Fabric: $65.00. It was the other half was my Cone Mills denim kit from Closet Case Files.

Notions: 7.50

Time: 10 leisurely hours. This includes time for assembling and cutting the PDF expansion for the legs.

Fit: GREAT. I took 1 inch from the back waistline and 1.5 inches off the length, but I might increase that next time.

What to work on: Rivets. I have yet to find that magical balance between too long and too short. I’m either smashing through them or they come off.


The Saga of the Ginger Jeans

September 2, 2016
Ginger Jeans 1

Ginger Jeans 4Ginger Jeans 2GINGERS 5Ginger Jeans 3Ginger Jeans 8

Ginger Jeans 6I made a pair of jeans. I made a pair of jeans.

A fly-front, high-waisted pair of Ginger Jeans.  And they are amazing.

It took what felt like weeks to get here, but really, it’s a simple process of following the steps that Heather, the designer, has very clearly laid out for you. I gave myself a lot more work than was necessary through some groan-inducing mistakes. Here’s how it went:

I cut out some cheapie stretch denim I got at my local chain store to make a practice pair before I used the Cone Mills denim that I have been hoarding from one of the Closet Case Files kits. The fabric store didn’t have the amount I needed as continuous yardage, but I knew it wouldn’t be a problem since I am only 5’2 and the pieces were pretty long.  As I was cutting on a single layer (to avoid pant legs that twist), I needed to flip the pattern pieces to ensure I ended up with the right amount of legs. I did not remember to do this. I discovered my mistake only one I had cut out all the pieces. (The problem was that I did not have mirror images, and one side of each leg would have been inside-out). When I pulled out my other fabric piece, I discovered that not only was it not the same denim, it certainly did not have the same amount of stretch.

But, that piece was big enough to squeeze out all new pattern pieces. Luckily for me, Jenny from Cashmerette was making a pair of Gingers over the same weekend, she kindly live-posted each step on Instagram Stories (thank you, Jenny! So helpful). Top-stitching was going great, and the fly was surprisingly easy. Then I basted the legs together to test the fit.

I couldn’t even get them over my knees.  There wasn’t any stretch to the jeans beyond pulling the fabric across the bias. I laughed, and then I may have cried a little bit. And then I felt stupid for getting upset over an item of clothing. But really, I had wanted to practice. And I had been able to discover that making jeans is not a scary, or even complicated thing. If you have ever successfully put together a piece of furniture from Ikea, you are more than qualified to make jeans.

The next day I reprinted, assembled, and cut out the PDF pattern again (I figured that going up from an 8 to the size 10 wouldn’t be a bad idea) and pulled out that Cone Mills denim. It’s so buttery to cut through! I followed the sewalong posts and ended up taking them in quite a bit (both the inseam and the side seams). I took a wedge out of the center-back seam to help with the gap at the back and angled the side seams in even more at the top. The crotch is still a little long, (though not as long as it appears in the pictures) and the rise is a little too high-rise on me. I’ll go back to the size 8 for the next pair. But these are minor adjustments and this pair is awesome.

Hammering in that last rivet I felt simultaneously burnt out, and a sudden urge to immediately start cutting out another pair. I don’t think I’ve ever gotten more satisfaction out of making something. Thank you to Heather for creating such a great pattern and all of the many free resources that go along with it.

I made jeans!

Project: Ginger Jeans

Fabric: Cone Mills Denim

Total Cost:$108

Fabric/Notions: $29 for the cheap denim and $65 USD for all other items inclusively (rivets, buttons, needles, thread, fabric, etc.).

Pattern: $14 USD

Time: 1 week. This in includes all three pairs I started and the PDF printing and cutting. Making the last pair only took a weekend.

Fit: As above.

What to work on: Letting go of being a perfectionist. If I came across this pair in the store, I’d be dancing my way out of the fitting room to show you how great they are.jg

Skills/Techniques: First time I’ve used a cast-iron skillet for sewing!



Summer uniform: Made by Rae Luna Pants

August 17, 2016
Luna Pants 6

Luna Pants 1LunaPants3Luna Pants 7When I was making these pants, my partner said to me “Oh, are you making pyjamas?” To which I tersely replied, “These are not pyjama pants. They are pants in the style of pyjamas.” I mean, obviously, wink-wink!

I have an old pair of pyjama/harem style pants from H & M that I think I bought while traveling in Copenhagen several years ago. They were having a heat wave while we were there and I didn’t pack expecting that. I have worn them endlessly since then and have always wanted to make another pair.

I love my new Made by Rae Luna Pants. I have been wearing them nonstop and always get compliments on them when I am out. Who doesn’t love not-so-secret-pyjamas? When deciding on my size, I opted to cut out a medium, since the model appears to be leaner of leg than I am and I was making them out of rayon. The pattern was a good 4 inches longer than my pants, but after a few washes, they have shrunk right up to match.

They came together quickly, but I had some trouble with my elastic twisting. I think the size of the channel for it is a little small for the width of elastic I used. (I opted to use whatever was in my stash). There are a few changes I would like to make so that my next pair mirrors my original ones even more: a wider waistband (and a slightly higher rise) and a wider ankle band, shirred instead of using elastic.

Total Cost: $37.48

PDF Pattern: $15.50 CAD

Palm print rayon: $18.99

Elastic: 2.99

Time: 3.5 hours (includes time for PDF cutting and assembly).

Fit changes: None! But I’m very glad I thought to go up a size.

What to work on: Twisty elastic and following directions!