ankle zipper
Sewing Projects


Hi everyone! I finally managed to snag some pictures of my new pair of Ginger jeans with ankle zips. They make me feel like Sandy in Grease after she gets the Pink Ladies bad-girl makeover.

Ginger skinny Jeans pattern + ankle zipperskinny jeans patternGinger skinny Jeans pattern + ankle zipper

These Gingers were made using some black Italian stretch denim I was testing for our sale. Unfortunately I didn’t get them finished in time, so we didn’t list them since I couldn’t personally vouch for the recovery. While they don’t have quite the same bounce-back factor as the Cone Mills, I’m still really happy with this fabric. It’s borderline impossible to find good quality black bull denim (which just means the fabric was dyed after weaving) and this stuff has a nice hand and a decent amount of stretch. Although frankly, it’s also a cat hair magnet, which means I basically go through a roll of packing tape before I leave the house so I don’t set off allergic reactions from bystanders.

I love these and have worn them tons but I am kicking myself for not interfacing the waistband. I let the waist and hips out a little (too much baguette and cheese this winter, no regrets) and didn’t want anything binding me at the stomach. However, I think an interfacing designed for knits would have been perfect. Since I faced the waistband with the same fabric, there is just too much stretch and they get too loose around the waist after a day or two. I am seriously considering ripping it all out and putting in a new waistband but if I’m honest, I’ll probably just belt them after the second or third day.

skinny jeans pattern skinny jeans patternskinny jeans pattern

For this pair, I played with the rise. I wanted something in between the low and high-rise, so on View B I lowered everything by 1″. In the back, I split the 1″ between the yoke and back leg to maintain a nice bum proportion. I also used slightly wider pockets than I included in the pattern because I think they’re more flattering on my caboose. If you’d like to play with them for your next pair, you can download the piece here.

For topstitching thread I used a dark navy; I like the subtle tone on tone of the stitching. The rivets and button are from our denim kits and I also sewed a black leather patch to the back waistband, just for funsies. The ankle zipper is a fun touch. I love the pop of brass and the exposed teeth, and I’ll be sharing a tutorial on how to do it yourself later this week.

Ginger skinny Jeans pattern + ankle zipper

Anyone else feeling goth these days?  Something about all the overcast days and buckets of snow (yes, still) makes monochrome the only option when I’m getting dressed. Tell me I’m not alone!

Details: Ginger Jeans pattern, silk tank (similar pattern here), shoes: Hasbeens Fredrica,  lipstick: Rimmel Kate Moss Collection 105

  • Miss J

    Perfect back pocket placement! Ankle zippers! Love it!

  • I love the Hasbeens. Hasbeens are definitely the official shoe of the Sewing Blogosphere!

    • I know! We must sound like a heard of elephants at meetups. CLOMP CLOMP CLOMP.

  • Love these! The ankle zips & the perfect fit both.

  • Hilde

    I’ve been wanting ankle zipper jeans for ages! & I am afraid I can’t help you with the overcast days, spring has started over here (here being the Netherlands)… Whie!

    • So jealous Hilde…. though it was crazy beautiful out today, even if all the dog poop is now being uncovered from the melting snow.

  • Jenna Tamminga

    Such a great pair of jeans! I have been on the hunt for something black too! I love a pair of black jeans, and I really want to make my own 🙂

    • They are so integral to a well rounded wardrobe I’ve been kind of kicking myself for waiting this long to make them!

  • TOTAL BABE! Your badonk is lookin’ good, and I really like that navy topstitching!

    • Thanks Nicole! The bandonk likes a big pocket.

  • hallelujah and praise you for an ankle zipper tutorial! I have wanted to include those in my next pair but was trying to cull some research before I destroyed a perfectly beautiful pair of gingers…and wait for my new sewing machine to arrive from the birthday fairy. anyways, thanks so much for always being a step ahead of us! fyi you look divine gothed up like this- you should put two tiny bite marks on your neck next time you don this ensemble.

    • Hahahaha or just make Guillaume watch Twilight (this would never happen). So excited about your new machine! Please write about what the birthday fairy brought you!

  • I’ve been considering zipped ankle jeans for my next make. At under 5’2″, I have nevah, evah, been able to buy RTW pants with this design feature.

    You are rockin’ the all black look…and your cameo pendant is a luscious accessory! Me, goth? Not so much, LOL.

    • HAHAHAHA nope! Can’t see you in black at all Sue! The world would get much less sunny 😉

  • Love me some ankle zips! This is one fantastic-looking pair of jeans and I’m absolutely going to steal your idea of navy topstitching on black denim when I get around to making myself a pair!

    • I didn’t realize till halfway through it was navy (sewing at night) but I’m super into how it turned out!

  • Kathryn

    these are amazing! I’m just finishing off my first pair off Gingers in a blue demin but I really wanted a black pair but couldn’t find the fabric anywhere. Where did you find this lovely stuff?

    • Unfortunately Kathryn I got it from my wholesaler! Girl Charlee had some black stretch denim in stock a while back… I think I’ve also seen it at Emma One Sock.

  • These are way cool. I really like the black leather patch.

    • Thanks Amy! I’ve been planning to do that for a while and almost forgot on this pair.

  • truebias

    i love the ankle zip! i wear black jeans almost every single day so i am a little jealous of these babies.

  • Dating myself: I loved my 80’s Guess ankle zip jeans: they were the first pair of tight jeans I owned after I lost all that chub. Damn I was hot! (only in my mind, kids…..)
    Love the ‘brand’ patch on the back. I used to put a red triangle in the side seam hem of the shirts I made. Sorta like stripping the nameplates off your car; it’s YOUR car now.

    • EXACTLY! I’m loving the mental image of you in 80’s Guess jeans. Please tell me they were acid wash.

      • Acid wash, gold hardware AND light blue! Nothing by halves, that’s me…..

  • didyoumakethat

    Awesomus Maximus! Absolutely love the ankle zipper placement. So inspiring.

    • Thanks Karen! So excited to see yours….

  • I love ankle zips, but I can never find RTW ones that fit my munchkin legs, so I’m loving this option. I love the black leather patch too, sooooo professional! These look fantastic on you – I love the fit! I am always planning more Gingers in my head – it’s time to get sewing!

    • Haha thanks dog! I have another pair to share soon, and I haven’t even STARTED playing with flares yet!

  • Sophie

    Just so rad. And I LOVE the leather patch! I am so desperate to make these. Got my denim. Need my rivets. That ankle zip is perfection, not to mention the fit! Inspired!

    • Thanks Sophie! I’d love to see you in some Gingers.

  • I really like the brass on black with the ankle zippers. How do you find the mid-rise in terms of comfort? Would you rate it as more or less comfortable than the high rise? I’m only asking because I’ve made mid-rise pants before and for whatever reason, they didn’t feel that great on me. I guess that for me the waistband felt like it was hitting in a weird in between zone.

    • I think they’re fine! But these are super soft and forgiving – I purposefully didn’t use a rigid interfacing for just the reason you describe. For anything mid to high, I always think it’s better to avoid anything too restricting, especially if you have a tummy. Hence, using a stretch interfacing or making the facing a non stretch cotton….

  • Yes!!!! I like to think not having made up my gingers yet was a calculated decision related to being able to check out everyone’s version first and still being in summer over here. Love the ankle zip and patch 😉

    • Thanks Natalie! Your crazy southern hemisphere weather switcheroo will never stop being confusing to me.

  • Samantha Lindgren

    aw man, looking at these really makes me want to make a pair…. I miss wearing jeans, but haven’t even bothered thinking about them as an option for years…. Lady, you rock those Gingers! I, too, am curious about the mid-rise.

  • Kate Carvalho

    Stop it! I’ve already got two new Gingers in the pipeline and now I’ve got to add these to the list! My family misses me… Seriously these are awesome!

  • Theses look amazing! Your fit is fantastic! I’m dyeing to make a pair. Love the zips and the patch!

  • Robyn Borley

    I love the ankle zips and, I might sound slightly weird, but I really like the rise too! I have just started sewing up my first pair of Ginger’s and can’t wait to see how they turn out.

  • I like the leather patch! I just work on my first pair of gingers an d I will add a red one!

  • I’m in love! Ankle zips are freaking amazing. I love ankle zips. I’m going to have to remember this when I get my shit together and make some.

  • sallieforrer

    So Sexy!! Bad Girl Sandy has been a style icon to me for eons! Probably has something to do with all those dinner theater versions of Grease I was in… good times, good times… Ankle zips are always a fun, sexy touch! Love the fit of these and I don’t know if it’s the wider pocket or what, but your caboose is looking FINE! A winter of cheese and baguettes looks good on you!

  • Very cool indeed.

  • Kohlrabi

    SUPER HOT! Except for the cami, which makes me and my sore throat and running nose feel cold! Love the details you added, both the zip and that leather patch. I love how much care you took with the Ginger, both as a pattern as well as in your sewn examples, thinking about all the little details that make them look so polished instead of homemade. I have worn mine a ton so far and even though some friends from uni know I sew, nobody identified them as being homemade, which makes me feel really smug!

    • I feel like the real trick of homemade is when nobody asks if you made it because tehy assume you couldn’t possibly…

  • Chie

    These look perfect!! I love everything from the color, leather patch and ankle zippers. I will definitely be trying the leather patch and ankle zippers for my next one. Also I’m thinking of adding side patch pockets and tabs for a military inspired look.

  • Stop it!!!!! These are SO FAB. I’ve sworn off black pants forever due to my pug hair situation, but I’m sorely tempted to give these a try!

    • Just get one of those tape rolls things and keep it by the door!

  • Yesssssss …, my next pair of gingers be black with ankle zipper … I’m a copy cat and not ashamed to admit it!

    • We’ll be even then. I’m still working on my muslin of the Turias!

  • Maxantonia

    These look great! would love to make some mid rise. please, could you explain how you lowered the rise? Is the “back leg” where the line for alternations is or somewhere else?

    • At the raise/lower lines I just folded out 1″ in front and a half inch along the back leg and half inch along the yoke. You then have to add a little to the side seams since they’re now sitting at a wider part of the waist.

  • Isabelle Cote

    These look fabulous and I am just starting to get back into sewing (kids are older and I finally have time!!!) but I need to get the right sewing machines first. Can these be sewn with a “home” sewing machine? Or do I need an industrial plain machine? And for the overlock machine, what could you suggest I get? I would appreciate all suggestions really as I have been looking on the internet and there are so many different options I feel lost.

    • I sew all my jeans on a regular sewing machine. You need something with a strong motor and good parts. I don’t recommend buying a cheap plastic model. If you can’t afford a newer Janome, Juki, Pfaff or Bernina, I love vintage machines. Older Singers are workhorses! And the ne plus ultra is a 70s era vintage Bernina – not cheap but built to last! For a serger for beginners I would suggest a Brother 1034D – cheap and works well!

      • Isabelle Cote

        Thank you!

  • Amy

    I’m going for a leather patch on my next pair of jeans–genius! These are fantastic, girl.