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HOW TO FIT MID-RISE GINGER JEANS

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.

How to draft mid-rise Ginger Jeans // Closet Case Files

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).

How to draft mid-rise Ginger Jeans // Closet Case Files

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.

How to draft mid-rise Ginger Jeans // Closet Case Files

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.

How to draft mid-rise Ginger Jeans // Closet Case Files

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:

How to draft mid-rise Ginger Jeans // Closet Case Files

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.

How-to-draft-mid-rise-jeans_Ginger-jeans-pattern-8

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.

How to draft mid-rise Ginger Jeans // Closet Case Files

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.

How to draft mid-rise Ginger Jeans // Closet Case Files

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?

  • Thanks for this! I love my high-rise Gingers (x3) and find them perfectly comfortable in super-stretchy fabric, but this will come in handy too – I think I’ll try it to use my Cone Mills stash.

  • Remember to dry fit the pieces together before you start tossing the bits you cut off. Tracing paper is a blessing.

  • Aunty Maimu

    I tested the medium rise out on my flare Gingers back in the summer. I belive that the medium rise is perfect for me! It’s still high, but not that high. I think I’ve “outgrown” the low rise … currently have two pairs of medium rise Gingers in my closet – one pair with straight legs, one pair of skinnies.

    • I still like the lower rise, but not with this winter tummy 😉

  • I altered mine the other way around…I added to the low rise. On the back, I added to the pants leg and left the yoke alone. And…oh yeah….I totally love them x six pairs, LOL!

  • Katrine LJ

    I have altered my B view, as well, but I had to tilt it slightly, as I had to reduce the back rise 4 cm, and the side 3 cm, while the front needed to be where it was at. -I am still tweaking the pattern for my perfect fit – but the tweaks are fairly easy to do, fortunately 🙂 I left the yoke unchanged though, so perhaps I should adjust according to what you show in the tut, to get the proportions right.

    • It’s kind of a fun pattern to modify,if I do say so myself. But if you’ve lowered the rise I would definitely suggest shortening the yoke….

  • Really useful post thanks very much.

  • It’s interesting how you describe the ideal fit of the rise here, because I’ve recently made my test-gingers in view B and the rise on me is already what you describe as mid-rise. (I had to shorten the legs loads though so clearly I’m just shorter in the hip than you…) I’d like to raise it up so that they’re a true high waist, though I haven’t quite figured out the proportions with the back seat/yoke.

    • I would leave the yoke as is… It’s quite tall already! You’ll just need to cut along the raise/lower line on the front and back and raise the desired amount.

  • Jessica

    This is awesome! I love that your tutorials and add-ons have made one pattern so versatile … perfect for people who are rather lazy about fitting and therefore intimidated about trying to make jeans (having tried before, as well as the True Bias Hudsons, and both attempts required a decent amount of fiddling, never mind trying something more fitted). But … these posts are encouraging me to get over my laziness/intimidatedness … thanks Heather!

  • YES, I’M SO HAPPY ABOUT THIS TUTORIAL!!! I love my high-rise Gingers, but wish they were one inch lower for everyday wear. Figuring that out was on my to-do list, and now I don’t have to worry about it!

  • Lauren

    Thank you so much for this post! I’ve made two low-rise Gingers already that I raised up 5/8″ but it’s not quite perfect yet. I still LOVE them but want my next ones to be a little higher (after 4 kids, the tummy’s a little squishy!). I’ll definitely try this method next time to make them the perfect mid-rise. Thank you thank you thank you!!!

  • How would it work if I wanted a mid-rise pair with the View A leg? Would I adapt as outlined for View B and then trace the View A leg from a certain point?

    I’ve not made either pair yet and was going to go for View A first, but would massively prefer a mid-rise pair if possible.

    Just waiting for my zips and then I can get cracking 🙂

    • If possible I would trace the hip shape from View B just so you get teh waist to hip proportion right…. alternatively you could just raise at the indicated line and take in as needed on the side seams.

      • Thanks Heather Lou – appreciate the speedy response!

  • Bridget Batting

    I just finished my first ever pair of Gingers and after a muslin straight view A, I raised the rise by 1″ and curved the yoke and waistband quite a lot. This helped a lot, but after reading this post I see what you mean about how the pockets on View B might be better. I guess my next pair will have to be a mashup of View B shortened rise with view A slightly skinnied View B legs..

  • Lisa Poblenz

    Does changing from a high rise to a mid rise mean that you need a zipper that is an inch shorter? I’m having a slightly hard time finding an 8 inch zipper and I was wondering if I could use a 7 inch zipper with the mid rise? I’m gathering supplies for my first pair. I hope they come out! I’m really excited/nervous (but mostly excited).

    • Hi Lisa. You’d have to measure the area from the crotch pivot point to the seam allowance at center front to find your zipper measurement…. You can always trim a longer one down!

      • Lisa Poblenz

        Thanks so much!

  • Christine Griffin

    Having worn my high rise all day at work, I think I *need* that extra 1 1/2″ in the middle back compared to my waist. Should I do a full bottom adjustment after lowering both the front and back? Or taper the lowering on the back so the sides meet the front and the mid-back stays the same.
    I’m super short, so I’ve taken 4″ off the legs, but the low rise cuts into my side saddle bags, so apparently I’m long-waisted for my height 🙂

    • I think doing a FBA would be the fastest way to add length. OTherwise I’d just raise horizontal seam on the back leg the desired amount and then taper the front leg into your new, higher seam.

  • Sarah Curtis

    I apologize for the months-later comment on this post. I’m just now making this modification for my second pair of Gingers. On my first pair, I raised the waistline on View A, but this time around I want to try the correct way to achieve a mid-rise. I am shortening the rise on View B by 1.5″. When I take 3/4″ off the top of the yoke piece, the seamline between it and the waistband grows by ~3/4″. Do I therefore need to adjust the waistband as well? If so, how do you recommend I do that?

    Thank you for your help, this modification tutorial, and for this fantastic pattern.

    • Hi Sarah. I think the easiest thing to do is just cut the waistband a little longer on each end – that way you can accommodate any width you add to the waist of the jeans.

      • Sarah Curtis

        Thank you, Heather. I was hoping it would be that simple, but had some issues with my waistband on my first pair (my fault, I’m sure, not yours), so I thought I’d ask the expert just in case. Thank you, again.

  • Mary

    Heather, I know it’s been AGES since you posted this, but I have a question regarding hacking rise for retro jeans. I want a 12″ (!!!) rise like my favorite “vintage” Madewell jeans (I’m freakishly long-waisted) – would I make the alterations in the same places as you have here, except add inches instead of subtract?

    • You got it sister. Super easy. I would check out By Gosh By Golly’s blog – she did an amazing high waisted pair recently.

  • Heather Burt

    Hi, Heather! I’m also late to the Ginger party, but I’ve just finished my first pair (with lots of help from the sew-along), and I’m thrilled. Thank you for the terrific pattern and teaching resources!

    One question …

    I made View A, but I’d like to attempt the mid-rise version for my next pair. My main fitting challenge is the need to adjust for a small waist relative to hip size. In my first pair (size 12), I took a wedge out of the centre back, reducing the waist by about 1″, but it wasn’t quite enough. I figure I need to remove 1.5″ – 2″ in order to eliminate the gaping at the back.

    Following your guidelines for the mid-rise version, I’m wondering if I should leave out the step that re-sizes (enlarges) the waist … or do that AND something else … or do something different altogether. I’m still quite new to sewing, so my fitting strategies are pretty limited!

    Thanks again!
    Heather B in Vancouver (but originally from Montreal :-))

    • I would take in along the side seams to start and then add more curve into the yoke by removing “darts” if you need even less space.

      • Heather Burt

        Roger that — thank you!

  • R. Steiger

    Hi, I’ve sewn a pair of View B Gingers a long time ago. As I’m quite short i already modified the pattern to something a lot like shown here.. However I seem to have missplaced the pattern with adjustments.. I’m not quite certain but do you need to modifiy the pocket stay, fly protector and so on as well? Thanks so much for the help!

    • Likely yes. If you change the hip curve, the pocket stay and pocket will change slightly. The fly shield will also be shorter since you’re changing the overall rise.