When I released the Ginger Jeans pattern, the intention was to give you as many options as possible. The low rise sits comfortably below the belly button, while the high sits just above (the rise on the size 10 ranges from 7 3/4″ to 10 1/2″ depending on what view you make). However, some of you may prefer something more in between, especially if you’re a little short-waisted; you may find the high waisted view just too high to work.
Fear not! Today we’re going to talk about how to lower the rise on your Gingers so you get something in the middle. Lately this has been my favourite height for jeans and both my black Gingers and flared Gingers have been made with a mid-rise. It’s enough to give you a little support around the tummy (especially with a pocket stay), but not so high that it cuts into your abdomen when you sit down, a possible hazard of high-waisted jeans.
SUPPLIES FOR THIS PATTERN HACK
- Printed or traced copy of Ginger Jeans View B in your size
- Tissue paper, swedish tracing paper, etc.
- Tape (Scotch Magic Tape is the easiest to stick and unstick)
- Pencil and marker
First off, decide just where you want them to sit. There is almost a 3″ / 75mm difference between the two Ginger sizes, so somewhere in between is probably a good bet. In the following example, I am going to lower the rise about 1 ” / 25mm. I also think it’s better to lower the rise of View B rather than raise the rise of View A for aesthetic reasons; I think the yoke and shape of the front pockets of View B is more flattering for a mid-rise jean.
On your front pattern piece, you will see a dashed line indicating where it’s safe to raise or lower the rise of your pants. For the first step, lay the pocket facing under the leg and tape it in place; we need to see what the leg will look like with the pocket in place. Now simply trace the existing pant shape on your tracing paper with a pencil. We are going to shorten along that dashed line, but we need the existing waist marked before we do.
Lift up the leg you just traced and put it to the side. Now either fold or cut along the marked line on the original pattern piece and lower it the desired amount; again, we’re doing 1″ in this example. You can see that by lowering the rise, we are effecting the width at waist and making it a little narrower than its supposed to be. Chances are your waist is a little bit wider 1″ down, but by simply lowering the rise, you’re not accounting for that difference. If you were just to true those lines up right now, you might find the waist a little too snug (unless you are shortwaisted and your natural waist falls a little lower than I have drafted for).
To correct that slight difference in the waist, lay your traced piece on top of the original pattern piece. The traced line indicates the original front leg.
What you want to do is trace the pocket shape and the top of the waist, but follow the existing traced lines along the fly extension and side seam. This ensures you are not affecting the width of the jeans; you have essentially lowered the waist and pocket without changing the amount of space for your body.
Please note that your pocket facing will stay more or less the same, although you may have to tweak your pocket lining piece to reflect the change you made. Your finished traced front leg should look something like this:
Of course, we need to lower the rise in the back as well so everything lines up. Start with your existing yoke and back leg pieces.
To lower the rise in the back, we need to modify both pieces so that the proportions of the jeans look good; if you left the yoke as is with a lowered rise it will look very odd. In this example, I am going to remove 1/2″ from the top of the yoke and the top of the back leg. Sketch those lines on your pattern piece with a pencil.
Trace over your your existing pieces, shortening the yoke and back leg as described. You will have to relocate the double notches on the top seam of the back leg. If you’re only lowering the back leg seam a little, you don’t have to worry about using the raise/lower line since the overall shape of the leg will barely be affected.
And that’s it! Once you’ve modified those pieces you should be good to go. Please note that the back pocket shapes are slightly different between View A & B; I would suggest going with the slightly smaller View A pocket on mid-rise jeans.
Anyone played with the rise of Ginger? What’s the most comfortable waistband height for you when you’re wearing jeans?