February 22, 2015

Ginger Jeans, Redux: super-skinny edition!


Ever since I made my first pair of Closet Case Files Ginger jeans I’ve been wearing them like… a person who really likes her jeans. As it happens, I thought I didn’t really like jeans because I never wore them much. Turns out I don’t like wearing ill-fitting jeans, but once I had well-fitting ones, I was sold!
I clearly need a few more pairs, but instead of immediately going back to my Ginger kit denim (I used the winter weight length already, but have the second set left) I ordered some off-black cotton stretch denim from EmmaOneSock. The denim was paired with the bronze set of button and rivets from the kit – I finally mastered putting rivets in so I thankfully managed to get all 6 installed first time.
This denim is a lot lighter and stretchier than my Ginger kit, so I made them with a pretty consistent 5/8 seam allowance rather than the varying seam allowances of my original pair. I also went this route because my original Gingers are starting to bag out a little bit (mostly remedied by being thrown in the dryer), and I thought it would behoove me to make these a little tighter to begin with.
The result? Super-skinny jeans! They fit pretty well through the legs, but I must say the waistband is a bit nippy this time. That’s probably because I also took a different waistband approach – instead of cutting on the cross grain without interfacing, this time I went to the opposite extreme, cutting with the grain and interfacing. I think I may have gone too far, as these have very little give – next time, I think I’ll try on the cross grain plus knit interfacing.
They also look a little wrinklier in these photos than my last pair, but that’s mostly because I’d already worn them all day when these photos were taken! They thinner denim does show up lumps and bumps a bit more though, I’ll admit.
I made a few changes to the back: I transferred some length (about 1/2 inch) from the yoke to the legs, and I also realized that last time I accidentally used the view A pockets. Oops! So this time, I used the slightly longer view B ones instead.

On the inside I made a pocket stay again, and used the same little birdie cotton to face the waistband. Funnily enough this was one of the fabrics I bought when I first started sewing 5 years ago – I don’t think I ever would have imagined it would end up in a pair of jeans!

Here’s how they’ll actually get worn! With a hat (actually, probably two hats if we continue having feet upon feet of snow here), and my big and snuggly zip-up cardigan from Iceland.

Now I just have to decide what to do about the waistband – whether to hope it stretches a little to be more comfortable, or to remove it and add a new one. Hmmm. Question is, how lazy I’m feeling. I’m also going to make up the second pair from the kit, because I need a proper jeans wardrobe in rotation!
How do you cut your jeans waistbands? Do you go the traditional on-grain, interfaced route, the newfangled cross-grain, non-interfaced, or something else entirely?

65 thoughts on “Ginger Jeans, Redux: super-skinny edition!

  1. Oh, Icelandic zippy sweater. Love it.

    Also the lovely jeans that you made. But the zippy sweater is cozy-looking and distracting.

    1. Jenny says:

      It is indeed both cosy and distracting. Win-win.

  2. Leila H says:

    Those jeans look great! It’s amazing how much more comfortable jeans can be when they fit, right?

    Regarding the waistband grain direction, I made one pair of jeans in denim with a slight amount of stretch, and cut my waistband on-grain, without interfacing, since the fabric had less stretch in that direction, and I was happy with the result. I made another pair out of non-stretch denim, cut the waistband on the crossgrain (because I didn’t have enough fabric to cut it on-grain), and interfaced it with lightweight cotton fabric. This waistband was too tight, so I wish I hadn’t interfaced it.

    So I think it all depends on the specific denim I’m using. I like to align the waistband along whichever grain direction stretches the least. For non-stretch denim, that is generally the cross-grain (unlike most types of fabric), and for stretch denim it usually stretches least on-grain. In the future I will only interface my jeans waistband if I’m using lightweight denim, or denim that stretches in both directions. Using knit interfacing sounds like a good idea.

  3. KimP says:

    Jenny, I cut on the cross grain with no interfacing, but I use denim with no stretch. Excellent job – your top stitching is inspiring!

    1. Jenny says:

      Hmm non-stretch denim is a whole other beast! But I’m sure I’m going to experimenting a lot more 🙂

  4. Gillian says:

    I’m all about the elastic waist – I’d be curious to know if elastic waists worked for someone your shape, or if they only stay in play for me because of my giant hips? Come on, sew some jeggings for science!

    1. Jenny says:

      I feel I am morally obliged to sew jeggings now! Watch this space..

    2. Jeggings for science. What a phrase. Sewing blogosphere I love you.

  5. Chloe says:

    These look so great! And thanks for instigating the waistband discussion – I generally find my waistbands too snug, and have a pair of jeans just awaiting the fly before my final waistband decision. I’m using stretch denim, and hoping I have enough fabric left to experiment with grain. And I’ll probably go with stretch interfacing for this pair.

    1. Jenny says:

      Thanks Chloe! The waistband is definitely the trickiest bit in my opinion.

  6. Amanda says:

    Ohh, these look smashing especially with your snuggly cardi!

  7. Sue Parrott says:

    Your jeans look great! I love your entire outfit. I too love making jeans that fit and have worked on the same pattern for five trials. I think two or three more and then i’ll have them perfect!

    1. Jenny says:

      Thank you Sue – and that’s some great perseverance on your jeans! I’m going to keep iterating, too…

  8. CarolT says:

    I love your outfit, it looks great on you. I haven’t made any clothes yet but your blog is making me want to jump in and start sewing.

    1. Jenny says:

      Thanks! You should definitely start sewing – it’s addictive!

  9. Lori says:

    Fabulous jeans and the fit is perfect. I cut my waistband on-grain and depending on the amount of stretch if I interface.

  10. Mrs. Smith says:

    On grain; no interfacing. But I abhor stretch denim.

    CUTE jeans! They are perfect with your cardi!!

    1. Jenny says:

      But isn’t stretch denim much easier to fit? Or am I missing something?!
      And thanks!

    2. Mrs. Smith says:

      Eh. Maybe. I just don’t like it 🙁 In my RTW jeans either.

      I may have had to work a little harder to fit my Style Arc jeans but I love that I can wear them without them bagging out.

  11. They look wonderfull no thoughts on waistbands really – if I had to make a guess I’d say I would cut it against the stretch but without any interfacing……

  12. Marike Smit says:

    I love your ensemble with the cardi and the beannie – That is exactly how I would wear it! Now you have me rethinking my no-jeans policy for this coming winter…although I am not quite at the right confidence level to try making jeans yet.

    1. Jenny says:

      You should definitely re-think your policy! I’m wearing these all the time now…

  13. Katie says:

    Wow! You must be so pleased with the fit, they look fantastic. Personally I’d leave the waistband as is, they always tend to stretch a bit anyway. I have yet to find the ideal grain/interfacing combo, but I like the band on my Gingers – uninterfaced, cross-grain, faced in the same denim. Feels good and snug without being too rigid. Love that cardi too!

    1. Jenny says:

      Thanks Katie! I think you’re right that I need to leave the waistband on for a little while to see if they stretch. I might also try cross-band and faced in denim too, that’s yet another combo!

  14. Kat says:

    Woot woo! They fit like a dream. Amazing work!!!

  15. I love your last look with the hat and sweater! Looks so chic and effortless.

    I just finished my first pair. I cut my waistband with the grain, and did the same for my quilting-cotton facing, no interfacing. I’m wearing them for the first time right now, and right now it feels like the perfect balance of snug-but-not-too-snug. I’ll let you know if I think differently as I continue to wear them!

    1. Jenny says:

      Hurray! Looking forward to seeing them!

  16. Candice says:

    Awesome jeans! The fit on these jeans are exceptional!

    1. Jenny says:

      Thank you candice!

  17. Meigan says:

    Your skinnies look great. I cut my waistbands on grain with no interfacing.

  18. Heather Lou says:

    I actually went “ooohOOOOhh SEXY!” When i saw that pic! Nice one Jenny!

    I just made another pair cut on the cross with no interfacing. I wanted something soft and squishy since they’re high waisted. Not sure how well they hold up over a day or two but I’ll let ya know 😉

    1. Jenny says:

      Ooh, i’m blushing 🙂

  19. Melissa says:

    Looking good! It’s amazing how your outlook changes when the piece of clothing actually fits you! For my Gingers, I cut on the cross grain with interfacing. It seems to have worked out pretty well.

    1. Jenny says:

      Isn’t it just? It makes RTW shopping now almost impossible because I won’t tolerate ill fit!

  20. These look great! Your sweater and hat are so cute, too! I cut out the waistband on the crossgrain and I interface it, but I wear low-rise jeans, so that might not be the most comfortable approach with a higher rise. But sagging low-rise jeans are… problematic. 🙂 So I’m all about maintaining a nice, snug fit! 🙂

  21. tanyamaile says:

    Stunning jeans as usual! I really think you’ve mastered these. They look really awesome in the way you’ve styled them with your comfy Icelandic sweater and cute hat! I guess I should delve into my ginger jeans makin’ before trousers month is over…

    1. Jenny says:

      Thanks Tanya! You should totally give them a go

  22. needleandted says:

    Your whole look is FAB, big, baggy cardi and all. I love making jeans, I’ve only made for my girls so far, but I am really tempted to make some for myself as I’ve never had a pair of jeans that fit in my entire life.

  23. Dale says:

    A great looking pair of slim jeans!
    I love making my jeans too, but afraid skinny jeans might be off the table for a 52 year old, but I do love them, so maybe…😏

    1. Jenny says:

      You’ll never know unless you try! I think these could totally be classy as part of the right outfit. The jeans pattern does also come with a “stovepipe” leg option which you might prefer.

  24. Katie says:

    These look fantastic! And such perfect topstitching – and the pocket detail is great!

    I’ve made three pairs now, all with the waistband cut on the cross grain, with stretch denim as the facing and no interfacing. All three are nice and soft in the waist (I’ve only made the high wasted), and they hold up really well. I’ve even stopped wearing belts because the waist fits so well!

    1. Jenny says:

      Im’ definitely going to try facing with denim next time and see how that goes!

  25. Anne says:

    These look great. I haven’t made jeans yet so can’t comment on waistband I’m afraid. I’m in the process of drafting a jeans pattern for my husband. I thought that would be easier than doing for me; I’m doing a jeans technique class and want to practice.

  26. Anne says:

    These look great. I haven’t made jeans yet so can’t comment on waistband I’m afraid. I’m in the process of drafting a jeans pattern for my husband. I thought that would be easier than doing for me; I’m doing a jeans technique class and want to practice.

  27. Heather says:

    These look fantastic!! Yay for homemade jeans!

  28. VERY well done! I tried jeans a few years ago and have been meaning to give it another go – this is very inspiring. Love your blog header too!

  29. emadethis says:

    The fit is looking good–it was interesting to read your fitting progress post…jeans fitting is a process indeed. I cut contoured waistbands, cutting one on the straight grain and one on the cross grain. I picked this up from my bramaking exploits and I like how you still get the shaping from the waistband, but get the stability without any interfacing.

  30. Gail says:

    They look so good! And the whole outfit – I’m swooning!

  31. These Jeans fit you like a Glove and you look so comfortable and great in these! love it! -Nickeya

  32. Hi Jenny! I’m about to attempt these jeans and my measurements are 59″ hips, 52″ waist. I’m very tall and most of my weight is in my middle. Obviously I’m not going to fit in a size 18. I was wondering if you had a specific adjustment method you would us on these? Would you suggest a muslin first? Probably huh? Lladbird tells me that youre great with crotches so any advice would be welcome 🙂

  33. Vicky Myers says:

    I’ve never made jeans, you make it look super easy:)

  34. Fiona Parker says:

    Such beautiful topstitching! The waistband question is a really interesting one. I’ve been mulling it over as I cut out my first pair of gingers! I think I’m tempted to go softer…

  35. Alessa says:

    Ah, they look great and I love your outfit! I think you’ve finally managed to convice me that I need to make up a pair of Ginger jeans.
    The one stretch denim waistband I made (for a Moss skirt), I faced it with interfaced quilting cotton, which turned out to be a bad idea, because it was too tight.

  36. Alessa says:

    Ah, they look great and I love your outfit! I think you’ve finally managed to convice me that I need to make up a pair of Ginger jeans.
    The one stretch denim waistband I made (for a Moss skirt), I faced it with interfaced quilting cotton, which turned out to be a bad idea, because it was too tight.

Let me know what you think!