Ginger Flared Jeans pattern // Closet Case Files
Closet Case Patterns, Sewing Projects


I worry sometimes that I bemoan Montreal weather a little too  much on this blog, but guys, this city is playing so hard to get with spring right now that I’m pretty sure it’s been reading The Rules. Every day I wake up and take a hopeful look outside, and then resign myself to getting gnawed on while trying to put balloons on Harry’s feet, all so he doesn’t freeze his tootsies off in some gulag-inspired combination of slush, black ice or freezing rain. I feel like I’ve never been more co-dependent with Montreal and her mercurial moods since getting a dog; I’m outside for a few hours a day whether I like it or not, and most of the time she’s giving me the finger while not returning my phone calls.

When we caught a  little glimpse of sunlight on Saturday, we rushed outside to get some photos of my new favourite outfit even if there was still a little snow on the ground. I even threw on my Hasbeens clogs for the first time since September, a silent protest against the Sorels I’ve bene trudging around in for months (we also shot the new pattern that day, hence the high quality of my hair game – my kingdom for a wavy blowout every single day….)

I’ve been trying to pack in some spring wardrobe planning and making,  and this pair of Ginger Flares was high on my list. I’ve had this particular denim earmarked for flares for over a year now and I was so excited to finally cut into it. A mid-weight Japanese stretch denim, it has just the right amount of body for the flared leg, and just enough stretch to get the painted-on, “I’m an extra from Dazed & Confused” look I was going for….

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The colour of this denim is fabulous. I’ve found it really hard to source stuff that isn’t a deep indigo, so I pounced on this denim when I found it, since it naturally looks a little distressed and aged (unfortunately my supplier no longer has any in stock). Lighter denim is hard to find because most jeans manufacturers work with raw blue indigo and then distress it themselves, mostly using chemical processes. Cone sent me samples of their denim in advancing degrees of chemically distressed lightness but unfortunately I can’t find the swatches after tearing my studio apart, or else I’d show you what I mean. Needless to say, it’s always a treat to find light denim, and it seems to be easier to find coming from Turkish, Italian and Japanese mills.

For this pair of Ginger Flares, I wanted to have a little more fun with my topstitching details. I’ve been collecting loads of inspo for my denim Pinterest board, and was quite taken with this sweet little loop detail; such a  simple touch that I decided to include it on the leg as well. Once again I did the double topstitching line along the outer seam (just like I did for my other flares). Unfortunately I forgot to topstitch the inseam, but since I won’t be able to get it done in one continuous line with the outer seams already sewn, I’ll probably leave it for now.

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This is another one of my mid-rise Ginger hacks; I actually intended to do a full high rise with these bad boys, but had already cut out the legs before I remembered my intention. Ah well. I guess I’ll just have to make yet another pair. I’m thinking white stretch denim would be foxtastic, don’t you?

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The top is newish too, at least to you. I made it last year from a  vintage 90s pattern, McCalls 4146.  I like the proportions of the cropped tee, but it’s a little too wide in the shoulder – I’ll probably remove an inch or more from center front and back if I make it again. I used up the last of the black linen left over from my black linen spree last summer, and I think it will be the perfect length to wear with higher waisted jeans this spring.

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I’m especially jazzed with my new clothing labels! I wanted something soft that wouldn’t scratch my skin and found a company that silkscreens logos onto twill cotton ribbon. I’m not sure how the ink holds up in the wash yet – I’ll keep you posted. I’ve sent out quite a few samples lately for trade shows and magazines, so it feels good to know my babies are immediately identifiable.

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This also marks Harry’s first blog modelling appearance, surely not his last. Especially not with outtakes like this:

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** No cats were harmed in the production of these photographs.**

As I type, the sun is out and the day is warming up. It seems our collective prayers for spring are working… In the meantime, I should be launching the new pattern next week if everything goes according to plan… Can’t wait to show you what I’ve been working on!

  • GIRL, you look HOT. The painted-on Dazed & Confused extra look suits you well. Wish I could wear this silhouette, but I suspect it just would NOT look the same on me.

    Love the loop detail on your topstitching!

  • I love these! The denim is to die for. I agree, it is so hard to find light wash denim… These jeans look amazing. And I am sorry, but even with these beautiful jeans, Harry still steals the show 🙂

    • I’m used to it now. People don’t even make make contact with me anymore when he’s around haha.

  • Great outfit, and I’m excited to see your new pattern. 🙂

  • Nicely done. I love this denim wash and the stitching is super cute.

  • Really fabulous outfit. The top stitching detail is gorgeous and the top is great.

  • Lusty

    Love the loops on the top-stitching. I also love the addition of Harry to the photo shoot.

    • I’m not gonna lie. He’ll probably be in most from now on because THAT FACE.

  • Looking good in your Ginger Flare with whimsical loops! Just waiting for pound sterling to recover its value so I can start shopping internationally again. I think this year I might finally be ready to tackle pants. And God know I need a decent pair of jeans that doesn’t hang unintentionally off my narrow hip. Are there instructions in Ginger for flat bum adjustment? Or maybe in the sew-along?

    • There’s instructions in the sewalong… you basically just want to take a wedge out of the back seat curve, it’s an easy adjustment 😉

  • Catherine

    Those flares look great!
    And don’t worry spring is right around the corner! It’s supposed to be super warm and sunny this weekend 🙂


  • K_Line

    Freakin’ hell – those jeans are PERFECT. And spring has been hideous here too. Snowstorm last week. It’s truly horrible. (Fortunately it is looking up – right?)

    • Thanks dawg! Hopefully you guys dog yourself out by now…

  • Awesome flares, they look amazing!

  • Love the way you’ve styled these. Awesome jeans! And that topstitching is just fabulous!

  • Francesca Amodeo

    Wow. you are both gorgeous. I noticed those loops on the side leg in the very first pic – love! And that Harry – he gets cuter by the minute:).

    New pattern tease – so exciting!

    • Guillaume is worried he won’t be as cute when he gets full grown but COME ON. That is not a face that gets less cute.

  • Judith

    Oh wow! They look fabulous! And so do you! 🙂

  • gosh, total sewing envy! I love them

  • ERMAGERD I just LOVE these flares! They make me want to make jeans, and that’s not something I ordinarily want to do.

    • Stephani, jean making is addictive once you get over that hump, I promise….

  • I love this aesthetic and I feel you on the weather. Chicago has been teasing with 60 degrees one day and snow the next. I’ve been delaying flipping my closet over but I just took the plunge and put in a hy-uuuuge Mood order for most of my Spring projects. Loving this denim look- topstitching is FRESH.

    • Hahaha sometimes you just gotta COMMIT. I hope you make a closet full of magic!

  • kristin

    You brave lady, you went outside without socks for these photos! Canadian spring, it’s not really a thing is it? Here in the prairies we went from -8 C on Sunday (with flurries) to 16 C Wednesday. No sandals yet though. Love the jeans, they look terrific.

    • Thanks Kristin! It was only like 4 degrees. Which is basically Fort Lauderdale after 6 months of winter 😉

  • Amazing! Love the cute topstitch details!

    • Thank you! Jeans making never gets boring if you’re always having fun 😉

  • My dream denim! Perfect color, fit, design, puppy… 🙂

    • The puppy came WITH the denim! It was such a weird delivery!

  • Harry is so cute!!!!!

  • Mary

    I’m working on a pair of high rise white foxtastic Ginger flares right now! I have a question, though, from one booty to another – I’m cutting a size 10 in the hip/butt and they fit SO GREAT, but then the yoke is a giant, gaping maw. How should I grade that? Ladies? FWIW, I’m a size 6 in the waist.

    • yay! Sounds fab. You got a little sway back baby. What you need is to add some curve into that yoke. Pinch out darts where its gaping and then do a little cut and pivot on your pattern piece and take out the amount you pinched out in your dart. This will shorten the top edge of the yoke, making it sit closer to your body. If it’s all sewn up you can just try taking it out of center back, but this is like the quickie shortcut version. You may need to add curve to your waistband as well doing teh same dart and transfer to pattern piece trick….

      • Mary

        Of course! Duh! Thank you! I was melting down, trying to snip more and more out of the side seams.

        I just adore your patterns, Heather – thanks for making clothes for REAL PEOPLE 🙂

  • Marie

    For those in the Montreal/south shore area, I saw beautiful Italian denim at Club Tissus near the Promenades St-Bruno. They have really upgraded their apparel fabrics lately.

    • Amazing scoop thanks Marie! I wonder if the one in Laval is getting better too – that’s where i Get my Bernina serviced.

      • Marie

        Oh and the south shore location has a lot of bra fabrics (mesh/lace/duoplex etc.) and notions — from Bra Makers Supply ! (No I do not work there!)

        Have you been able to find good denim in Montreal?

  • Ann T.

    I love the flares, and I love Harry. The shot with the cat reminded me of a famous quote by Adlai Stevenson. When he was governor of New York, the legislature passed a law requiring that cats be walked on leashes, as dogs are. In vetoing the law, Stevenson said “It is in the nature of cats to do a certain amount of unescorted roaming.” I suspect Harry disagrees! When I had a Cavalier, whose name was Mr. Darcy, I knitted sweaters to shield him from cold weather. He also had a yellow raincoat with a hood, that came in very handy. You could have some fun making Harry a few garments to protect him from the elements.

    • I was really impressed with your memory for that quote and then remembered your legal background Ann! I am DEFINITELY going to knit Harry some sweaetrs but I’m just waiting for him to get full grown. This winter i just made him stuff out of sleeves from thrifted sweaters that I felted and cut up.

      And now I am going to be on teh hunt for a good puppy rain coat. I am envisioning a yellow rubber number! I just never know what size to get if I’m buying online….

      • Ann T.

        Mr. Darcy’s was some sort of yellow slicker material with rubber ducky print lining. It had a hood, a hole between the hood and the top of the back for the leash to go through, and fastened with velcro at the chest and underneath. It had a couple of darts at his tail end, to keep his bottom and most of his tail covered. Without the darts, it would have lifted up over the tail, and not have protected him as much. It worked very well to keep him dry, except that his “undercarriage” always got a little wet. I used to keep his head covered, but roll up the front edge of the hood, so his vision wasn’t obscured when he put his head up. I am sorry to say that I don’t have a photo of him wearing it.

        Knitting sweaters reminds me of the first one I made Mr. D, when he was a few months old. I had the big steel needle (not a knitting needle), used for stitching the pieces together, stuck into a label for a skein of yarn. He jumped up and grabbed it, swallowing the needle, which was probably 2 inches long. I rushed him to the Emergency Animal Hospital, where the xray showed it was still in his throat. They sedated him, reached down his throat with an instrument with claws, and pulled it out! I felt like the worst doggie mother in the world, and thankful for a happy ending. One never knows what those little creatures will get into!

  • Allie Mora

    Absolutely love this look! Makes me want to try flares on! I know what you mean about Spring weather. Dallas is a bit crazy. It’ll be cold one and warm the next. I never know what to wear in this weird transitional weather.

    • I thought Texas was just 100% hot ALL THE TIME?

  • Your hair…the topstitching…WOW! It all looks so good. I, too, have a pair of jeans on which I forgot to complete the inseam topstitching. Oh well. 🙂

    • Thanks Lauren! I think its probably fine with the inseam. Most trousers skip it right?

  • swoon! This is the perfect shade of denim for a pair of retro style flares and you have nailed that topstitching (as well as the whole outfit!)

    • Thank you Fiona! The curvey topstitching is hard to sew but meh, no ablogogizing.

  • Susan Buchanan

    I love your new bio photo in the upper left! It looks great!

    • Thank you Susan for noticing! It was time for a change. Hope I don’t look too much like a Bernina rep haha

  • julie d.

    those are beautiful, and that outfit is spot on. i feel like it’s hard to find RTW jeans in that wash — lightly faded but not distressed. good work!

    • Thanks Julie! Wish I had more of this denim… It was a real winner.

  • Ohmygosh your outfit is awesome! Your hair, your shades, your shoes, your top and especially your fabulous jeans! You really rock those jeans like no other. Far better than Dazed and Confused!

    • Awww thanks lady! It felt pretty good to put on a cute outfit after a long winter of stretchy pants 😉

  • sallieforrer

    I seriously need to make some flares, they are just too good! Love your topstitching on these – and the lighter denim is perfect for spring. Also, Harry in ALL the pictures, please!

    • I kinda can’t believe you haven’t made some yet!

  • Heather these look fantastic! That denim mixed with your cool topstitching details…swoooon! I have been jonesing for a while to revisit the Highwaisted Gingers, so I may make those my next project! 😉 Also, Harry is sooooo adorable! Please include him in all your photos from now on. 😛

  • BTWs, I totally snapped up that McCalls top pattern you linked to. I am DELIGHTED with it!