I wasn’t sure if I should share this recent make. I mean, at this point I’ve sewn, photographed and blogged so many Ginger Jeans (hacked, flared, zipped, you name it) that it I worry it’s redundant. While this current iteration is pretty classic as far as jeans go, they’re special to me because I made them during a workshop while teaching other ladies how to make their own jeans too. I am always particularly fond of workshop samples for that reason; they’re a tool that keeps giving back (to my booty).
And look at all that long hair! I don’t miss you AT ALL. I highly suggest hacking it all off if you’re bored with your look. It will grow back, promise.
These Ginger babies are made from the same Italian denim I used to make my recent flares. Turns out the recovery isn’t so great (which makes me very glad I didn’t use them in any of our kits) but the finish/wash is exceptional so I don’t mind getting them back into fighting shape by washing them every 2 wears or so. It’s been a while since I made a true high-waisted pair, so I returned to this old favourite. The only change I made was to narrow the yoke by about 1/2″ (transferring the 1/2″ to the top of the back leg). Lately the height of the yoke has been bugging me so this was a simple, proportional fix. I also went up a size since it’s been many moons since I could comfortably wear any of the many size tens I made in the past. The nice thing about sewing is that a little weight gain is only ever an excuse to sew more stuff.
As I mentioned. these were made during a recent Ginger workshop I taught at Fabrications in Ottawa. I love these weekends. It’s so much fun to hole up for a few days with like-minded people and crank out jeans in my version of a friendly sweatshop.
I’ve discovered how much I love teaching; for a control freak, it’s kind of the perfect gig, and it’s always nice to be given the opportunity to deliver a Friday Night Lights-esque pep talk at the beginning to try to release some of the nerves and tension people have about tackling more complicated sewing projects. I’ve been teaching enough lately that I thought I’d share some of the top tips that come up again and again in class…
- Put down your seam ripper. Seriously, PUT IT DOWN. Unless you sewed the crotch of your jeans to the hem of your pants, methodically ripping out slightly less than perfect topstitching is a waste of time. Don’t get mired in chasing the perfection dragon. Just move on to the next step.
- If topstitching scares you, choose a matching thread. No one will ever see your first time wonky stitching.
- Be mindful of your tension settings. If you’re switching back and forth with regular and topstitching thread, you’ll have to adjust your tension accordingly. Get in the habit of adjusting it each time you switch spools.
- I see you with that seam ripper! You can’t hide from me! Let it go!
- If you need to stop stitching halfway through a topstitched line (like at the waistband for example) don’t fret! Just pull the thread through to the back and knot it securely. If you start your next stitch precisely next to the last one and pull that thread through as well, no one will ever know it’s not a continuous stitch line!
- Don’t have a pint of beer on your lunch break. Trust me on this one.
- Use a nice sturdy fabric for your pocket linings. Silk and rayon are not great choices for your first pair.
- There is no amount of donuts that a pocket stay won’t help hide.
- Donuts make a great sewing companion in the afternoon when you start getting sleepy.
- Before topstitching your waistband, stitch a little bit of thread into the corner so you have something to pull on to help feed it through your machine.
- If you can’t get the tension right with your bar tack, thread the bobbin thread through the little hole in the bobbin arm.
- Switch to regular thread for your buttonhole. I’ll probably end up sewing it for you in class since we’ll be in a rush to finish, but read this post and practice at home.
- The finished result will be far more meaningful than any of its minor flaws. Jeans are the sum of their parts so PUT THE SEAM RIPPER DOWN AND FINISH THEM!
Do you have any jeans making tips I can share with my students this weekend?