Ginger Jeans 3 – More Experiments in Stretch

Believe it or not, these are Closet Case Ginger Jeans. They started out life as the high-waisted, skinny leg pattern and became these cropped, straight leg beauties that just need a black and white striped t-shirt to complete my fantasy of dressing like a mime. Seriously though, I will make that shirt and, eventually a classic khaki trench coat to tie it all together. But back to the jeans. These photos are majorly brightened to show the detail of the black but, in person, they are a rich, dark black.

I made all the mods to the rise and sizing that I made in my last version. I also combined my version 1 and 2 waistbands from last time to make a stable but stretchy, oh-so-comfy waistband. More on that below. The fabric for these is a luscious, 9 oz., 2% stretch, made in the USA, true black denim from Blackbird Fabrics. This fabric has a lot of structure but also a lot of stretch. It feels like a much heavier denim but has almost as much give as my last pair. It’s really lovely.

Based on the stretch, I cut the same size 4 as my last pair with a wedge out of the centre back and an inch out of the upper edge of the yoke – done by slashing and overlapping by a 1/4 inch in two places on the yoke pattern piece. This reduction in the back meant my back waist ended up at roughly a size 2 while the front waist remained a size 4/6.

Now about the waistband construction:

  • Interfaced both sides of the waistband with stretch tricot interfacing
  • Again used the Closet Case Patterns alternative waistband construction method, including stay stitching the upper edge of the waistband pieces as instructed
  • Attached the waistband to the pants with a regular straight stitch
  • Use a chainstitch to top stitch the top and bottom of the waistband, starting and ending behind where the front belt loops would go
    • I tightened the looper thread almost as far is it could go – I don’t know if it helped but my intention was to tighten my chain stitch so it had a little less give
  • Used a regular stitch to top stitch the remaining sections of the waistband from where the chain stitching ended (behind the front belt loop) around the centre front and back to behind the front belt loop. I did this because I didn’t want to chain stitch around the corners and over the zipper.
Regular stitch from behind front belt loops, around the front and back behind the belt loops. Chain stitch for all the rest of the waistband.

The result is a stable waistband with enough give to be comfortable when sitting. I don’t know how it will hold up with wear but it feels great right now! If it doesn’t hold up, it will be fairly easy to remove the chain stitching and just top stitch the waistband normally.

Yoke, pocket and waistband top stitching all done with chain stitch
Chain stitching from the inside

Obviously the legs of these are quite different from the original. I photographed my pattern pieces so you can see how much I added to the width. I wanted a wide-leg feel but with a narrower leg than my Lander Pants. They are a bit narrower than I imagined but it feels like a happy accident and I really like them at this width.

Original leg over new leg (excuse my masking tape… I like to make the most out of the available paper and had run out of clear tape)

There is a bit of extra fabric gathering behind my knees, but I’m pretty sure it’s just because of how I’m shaped. When I stand, my legs look like they are angled forward (prominent thighs combined with prominent calves combined with a natural forward leaning stance) so I think this is just something I have to live with when I wear wide leg pants. It doesn’t look great in photos but it feels fine to wear so I’m fine with it.

I really need to make a black and white striped t-shirt to wear with these now and I picked up the fabric for a classic trench coat at Gala Fabrics and lining from Matchpoint Fabric the day after I finished these, though I’ll probably have to wait until 2021 to make it given the rest of my Make Nine plans this year. Speaking of Make Nine, this make wraps up my fourth project this year ahead of schedule. Maybe I’ll have time for that trench coat this year after all….

Thanks for stopping by!

~ Lindsay

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