We are on our way to a perfect pair of pants. Have you started sewing the Ginger Jeans yet? If you have any questions don’t hesitate to leave a question here on the blog. These jeans are easy to sew, but as you’ll see in today’s post there are some cool tips that can make the sewing easier and more professional. Once you finish your jeans you may never buy another pair! Let’s have Rhonda take it away!
When it comes to making a pair of pants, much less a pair of jeans, many of us are quite intimidated by the process. While making a pair of pants is really a rather simple task, fitting them is an entirely different story.
The Ginger Jean pattern from Closet Case Files has been designed to fit a woman with a few curves, which is most of us. but even so, many will still have a few fitting issues that they would like to address. Heather Lou, the designer behind the Ginger Jean pattern has done a very detailed post on possible fitting issues. You can find that post HERE. If you would like even more detailed information, Heather has also published an EBOOK on sewing your own jeans. In the book you will find a detailed chapter on fitting.
When fitting your jeans, keep in mind that the jeans are designed to fit snugly to the body. Some fit will need to be sacrificed in order to obtain the desired fit of the jean. You may have a few horizontal lines at the top of the thigh in the back. These lines appear because we need to have some ease for sitting and moving. The primary areas that you will want to address when fitting a pair of jeans is the curve of the crotch and the fit in the waist.
My only fitting issue was in the waistline. Prior to sewing the jeans together, I basted the back seam, tried on the jeans and took in the desired amount to achieve a snug fit in the waist. One aspect that I especially like about this pattern is that the back rise of the pant has been lengthened to accommodate a rounder bottom.
As for the length, I am 5’6″ tall. I made no adjustments to the length of the pant leg. In the picture below you can see that I do roll the bottom of the leg up about 3″.
If you do decide to make a muslin, just remember that your muslin fabric will need the same stretch as is required for the denim.
A few notes on preparing your fabric:
Please be sure to wash and dry your fabric prior to cutting. If you are using a dark denim and would like to retain the color, pour 1 cup of vinegar into the machine. Once the fabric has dried, iron the fabric to remove any creases or wrinkles. Keep in mind that what gives the jeans their wonderful fit is the elastic that is woven in with the denim fabric. The more elastic is exposed to heat, the less stretch it will have. To maintain the fit for as long as possible, once I have made my jeans, I wash them in cool water (neither cold or hot water), and hang them to dry.
Once the fabric has been pre-washed and prepared, it’s time to cut. The grain of denim can twist. I’m sure you’ve purchased jeans where it is impossible to fold the leg so that it hangs on grain. Keep in mind that when garments are cut for manufacturing, layers of fabric are stacked on top of each other. As the cutting knife goes around the pattern, layers of the fabric can, and usually do, shift. So ultimately, the garment is off grain. If by chance you are concerned about keeping your jeans on grain, you may cut your pieces on a single layer rather than on the fold. I have never had an issue with cutting denim on the fold.
Patterns have been provided for strategic areas that you will need to interface. As an example, I sewed across the top of the coin pocket with no interfacing. You can see that the edge becomes distorted and does not lay flat. So please be sure to interface the top of the coin pocket, the top of the back pockets, and the fly extension.
We’ll begin with the coin pocket. Press the top edge over 3/4″. Fold this seam allowance in half. Stitch along the top 1/8″ from the edge, and then 1/4″ away from the original stitching line.
Press under the side of the pocket and then stitch the edge of the coin pocket to the pocket facing. Once the coin pocket has been stitched to the pocket facing, match the facing to the pocket stay. Zigzag the edge of the pocket facing to the pocket stay.
Sew the pocket lining to the front pant leg, matching the curves.
Once sewn, trim seam allowance. Keep in mind that all seam allowances are 5/8″.
For a little added stability, I like to edge stitch the lining and pant seam.
Fold the lining inside the pant and then double stitch the edge of the pocket.
For a very nice finish, sew the pocket lining to the pocket stay with wrong sides together. Once sewn, trim seam allowance.
Press the seam flat and then edge stitch along the bottom edge.
Match the pockets to the top and side of the pant leg and baste together. The opposite pocket will be sewn in the same manner, but without the coin pocket.
The pockets are finished.
Now that the front pockets are finished, we can move on to the fly front zipper. If you have never inserted a fly front zipper, you are in for a treat. They are by far my favorite zipper application.
Find the notch at the waistline. From there, draw a guideline down to the dot at the bottom of the fly extension. Sew from the waistline to the end of the crotch curve. From the waistline to the dot at the end of the fly extension, use a basting stitch. At the dot, change the stitch length to a regular length, take a few back stitches and continue on to the end of the crotch curve.
Clip the seam at the dot being careful not to clip through the stitching line. From the dot, zigzag the crotch seam allowance and then trim the seam.
Press the fly extension open and press the crotch curve towards the left leg.
With the fly extension laying flat, double stitch the left side of the front from the waistline to the end of the crotch curve.
Take your zipper and lay the edge of the zipper tape along the edge of the seamline. Be sure that the end of the tape matches the end of the fly extension.
Using a zipper foot, stitch the zipper to the right fly extension, stitching close to the teeth. Be sure that the fly extension is laying away from the pant. Turn the zipper and edge stitch along the fly extension.
Now, fold the zipper over so that it lays smoothly against the opposite fly extension. Stitch the zipper to the opposite fly extension being careful not to stitch the extension to the front of the pant.
Turn to the front. Use the fly top-stitching guide to mark a smooth line on the front.
Stitch along the marked line. Then stitch a second line inside of the first line.
Open up the basted stitches to reveal the zipper.
Take the fly shield and fold it half with right sides facing. Sew along the bottom edge. Trim the seam allowance and clip the corner. Turn to the right side and press.
To finish the zipper, add bar tacks as you see below. Please practice the bar tacks on a scrap of fabric prior to sewing them into your jeans. A few practice rounds may save a whole lot of aggravation!!!
At this point, the front of our jeans are complete. We’ve attached the pockets and we’ve inserted the zipper.
In our next post, we will attach the back pockets, attach the back yoke, and learn about making flat-felled seams.
If by chance you have not purchased a pattern, but think you might like to make a fabulous pair of jeans, you can find the pattern HERE at Shop Sew It All.
Until next time…
Find the whole Ginger Jean series here!