Flared Jeans // Ginger Jeans Pattern expansion // Closet Case Files
Sewing Projects


Happy 2016! I hope it’s started off well for you. I’ve loved seeing all of your ambitious sewing plans for the coming year, and am so grateful for the amazing response to my last post on sewing confidence; I was a little nervous to hit publish, but it seems like quite a few of you appreciated the pep talk. Here’s to facing the “scary” projects and conquering our fears this coming year!

Today I’m excited to share the flared jeans pattern I’ve been working on; truly Ginger is the pattern that keeps on giving. If you’ve been in a retail store lately, you’ve probably noticed that flares are having a real moment right now; the 70s revival is going strong and when I was in New York last fall they were everywhere. I’m loving the look; there is something so fresh about a wider leg after years of making and wearing skinnies. I made these babies back in November during the Ginger jeans class I taught at the workroom in Toronto. I was feeling super inspired by this gorgeous Louis Vuitton ad from last fall, and tried to replicate all that creative topstitching.


I had been planning on releasing a flare jeans pattern this spring with some fun 70’s details, but shifted gears and decided instead to simply offer a flare leg expansion for the Ginger pattern. This should be helpful for those of you who don’t want to draft them on your own (instructions to do this are included in the Sewing Your Own Jeans ebook, fyi).

These ones here are actually more of a mid-rise Ginger. I’m planning on doing a tutorial  this month on lowering the rise if you want something in between the low and the high. I also drafted them with an extra wide hem because they feel a little more trousery, and I like a wide hem on trousers. To get the 4 lines of topstitching along the inseam, rather than serging the seam and pressing it forward like usual, I serged both seam allowances individually, pressed them open, and then stitched two double lines of topstitching along each side of the seam. I also did a slightly wider topstitched seam along the side, and angled it into the seam to finish rather than doing my typical bar tack (sort of like how I finish the shoulder seams on the Clare Coat). It’s these little details that make sewing your own jeans so much fun; there is no end to personalization.


Of course I used my beloved Cone denim; it’s the heavier weight stuff from one of our kits. The 12 oz denim has the perfect body for the flare shape, and of course they don’t need to be washed very often since they don’t really stretch out with wear.

Flare bootcut jeans pattern2  Ginger Flared jeans pattern

And check out these pretty guts! I used a Vlisco wax print, which is far and away my favourite lining choice these days. The waistband is interfaced with knit fusible and it’s very soft and comfy with the cotton facing, although you can see it peeking out slightly from the right side. I also thought I was being very clever with these “X” shaped belt loops, but someone in class said they were reminiscent of Parasuco jeans and I shuddered for approximately 30 minutes after. It was too late to un-X them by that point so I’ve learned to live with it.

Ginger jeans pocket lining and waistband facing

I also finally had a chance to sew up this silk Sutton blouse. I had it cut and ready to go for months but kept putting it off because silk has needs; you really have to be in a romantic, loving mood to sew it. This lovely ikat print was a gift from Sonja the first time she came to visit Montreal; I think there was just over a yard and I managed to squeeze it all out with some creative cutting. The only change I made was to lower the V-neckline a little as it was slightly too high for my taste as drafted.

Sutton Blouse by True Bias1Sutton Blouse by True Bias2

Are you into the 70’s revival happening? Would you like to dip your toe into the flare jeans trend or you firmly rooted in the skinny camp? Think you’ll have ago at the Ginger Flares?


  • Awesome jeans!!! Yer butt looks great, I’m just sayin’ 😉 I spent the whole post thinking “Didn’t Sonja make a top from that fabric, so I felt vindicated when the fabric came from her! But now that I type that, maybe I’m just a creepy fabric stalker who knows too much about everyone’s make? 😛

  • Those are fabulous! I adore the topstitching detail. I’m working through the fitting on my first pair of jeans now, but then I’m going to sew all the jeans!

  • That inseam topstitching looks badass. I love flares but am not in love with the ones I made last year; I’m going to try moving up where the flare starts when I try again. And, I am currently ignoring a silk top until I pull out of my new year’s fog so I can attend to it properly!

  • Janet

    Love the flare!

  • That topstitching is so good!! I love flares but since I pretty much live in rain boots during the winter I am going the opposite direction,and taping the skinny Gingers together…moooorrrrreee jeans! I love sewing jeans!

  • Liz

    You are amazing! I LOVE my Ginger jeans, but really wanted some wider leg ones, I’m very short so a bootcut or flare looks much better than skinnies, and find the low rise need a belt (which is fine) and the high rise are a bit too high, so you’ve just answered all my oh-goodness-how-can-I-draft-these-modifications stresses all in one go, thank you! This pattern was the one that took me from “ok, I can sew a bit”, to “actually I could make my whole wardrobe (minus tights and shoes!) if I wanted”, jeans seemed like such a big jump, but making them successfullly (and wearing almost daily) has given me the confidence boost to get on with the other things that scared me. Thanks for this too!

    (oh, and love the topstitching, definitely going to try that!)

  • You are looking GOOD. The fit is sweet, and I’m really digging the inner topstich. Being able to wear Ginger skinnies one day, the flare the next sounds like a great way to change up the wardrobe. And I’d never heard of Parasuco jeans before, so of course I had to go look it up. 🙂

  • Hélène

    Yes, the 70s are definitely back! I surrender. Vive Austin Powers!

  • rosecy

    You look awesome! I’m working up the nerve to cut into the denim that I bought from you ages ago. Your pictures are the incentive that I need. BTW, I like the photography. (I notice pictures a lot since I am working on improving my blog photos.) The Sutton blouse looks great and, of course those jeans are to die for. I want your outfit!. Flare jeans are me although I am short and, according to “the rules” I am supposed to wear skinnies. Maybe, I’ll do both since I have enough fabric. I ‘ll look for the Ginger Fare expansion tomorrow.

  • I’m working my way into the 70’s trend.. It is definitely growing on me, but some stuff I just can’t get with. I have yet to even go full on Boho/festival.. But flared Gingers? How could I not? Lol looking forward to it. http://sewsincity.com

  • I just made a pair of the stovepipe leg ones, which I love. I’m looking forward to the mid-rise tutorial though, as my that was the one thing I wished was different about the pattern.

  • You look fantastic, my love! So very seventies chic. I’m probably going to be very behind on the flare trend. I was holding onto my bootcuts forever before finally moving to skinnies, and now I’m totally stuck on skinnies.

  • Oh Heather! This entire outift is so gorgeous! Love love love all the details on the jeans!

  • I have the ginger pattern and book! Making a pair of jeans is on my list of projects for this year. I’ve been fantasizing about a pair of jeans that actually FIT and don’t bag out since the ’70’s! 🙂 Love your top too Heather. Beautiful and yes I know well what you mean about “silk has needs” – love it so true 🙂

  • My love of flared jeans is immense, and your’s are GORGEOUS!! Lynne

  • Shannon Phillips

    I love the flares—and I have been wanting to make some Ginger flares, but was really not sure if I wanted to try adjusting the pattern myself. Your expansion is just what I have been hoping for! I really like the top stitching on the inside of the leg and will definitely try something similar with my next pair!

  • sallieforrer

    Gorgeous!! Both the flares and the Sutton blouse! I’m loving the look of flares right now too, but I keep wavering on whether or not I want to make them. I feel like they really require a shoe with a heel to look totally ace and that definitely limits wearability for me because somedays my feet just can’t. Still I’ll probably make a pair just to expand my jeans wardrobe! Thank you for releasing the expansion pack, darling! You are a genius!

  • These look awesome Heather! I think it’s so fun to play with topstitching, but I always seem to chicken out when it comes to doing it. Almost all my jeans look the same. I really need to get my butt in gear and make another pair of high-rise Gingers. I got so obsessed with making a mid-rise, I didn’t really give the high-rise enough of a chance. 😉
    Also, if you ever decided to draft/design a boyfriend jean, I’d be all over that. Just sayin’…..

  • The top-stitching on these is phenomenal!! I bought the ginger pattern last year and STILL have not gotten around to attempting them yet. I’m off to go read your January 2nd post again for a pep talk 😉

  • Loving this outfit! And they don’t look like Parasucos at all!