Wednesday, 12 July 2017

Closet Case Solved! Ginger Jeans. Including my first Vlog!

I know I said this with my Safran Jeans but that was a false alarm, you guys! I made real jeans! Traditional, topstitched, coin pocketed denim jeans!
This has been a holy grail for me for a long while. When I first learnt to sew, jeans were just never on my radar to sew. They were made by magical unicorn sewists in far away lands, I'd never heard of anyone making bras or jeans, end of.
90% of my clothing choices involve a pair of jeans and a top as i'm sure most people do. They are practical, comfortable (hopefully) and go with everything! I always had huge issues with finding the right jeans because of my stumpy carrot shaped bottom half. (Think small waist, huge hips and thighs tapering to quite narrow ankles on a 5ft3 frame.) That being said, I haven't cracked it 100% with this pair, but i'm on the way! I've also given Vlogging a go so my full review is at the end of this post!
I find with new skills I am a very visual learner and so as with my bra making craftsy class, I opted to purchase Heather's Jeans making class on her website platform as soon as it launched. Now as a disclaimer I want to point out the if you are in the EU there are taxes applied to purchases from Heather. I took advantage of the intro offer and discount code but the $50(?) cost ended up more like £60. I emailed Heather and she explained that taxes had been applied and that was why.
 It didn't matter in the long run as the class is so excellent I thought it was well worth what I paid.
As with bra making, jeans making is a series of small processes that make up a larger whole garment. Don't expect to have them sewn up in an afternoon but you certainly could do the pocket attachments and topstitching for the fronts! I estimate that it took me around 10/12 hours of sewing to complete these. A good few podcasts listened to! I used Heather's class for every single step. Her fly front tutorial is the best i've come across. Its clear, concise and makes it accessible to everyone. I struggled with this for Safran, even though I've done them previously on the Moss skirt and others, its never looked as fabulous as these did.

I opted for the midrise option offered in the class. I'm fairly happy with the fit on these now i've tweaked them. Overall they came out way too big. I cut a straight 16 but shortened them by 16cm! The 16 was the right choice for me at the hip but I ended up doing an awful lot of tapering in the legs and the waist is still incredibly roomy. My next attempt will be a shortened 14 and see how we go. I used a delicious crosshatched indigo stretch denim from Ditto in Brighton. The stretch was about 2% elastane 98% denim. I would stick to this for Ginger as the stretch was just about right. I think that i'd get more benefit out of the stretch when i've cut a 14. I also need a significant sway back adjustment and then the waistband would fit a lot better. Even with that in mind, they are a great wearable pair of jeans. Better on my chunkier days or for a big dinner!
I am fortunate enough to have two machines and an overlocker which made this process much easier. Its totally doable to have just a machine and an overlocker, but there would be a lot of swapping between topstitch and normal threads. Luckily you only need to change your top thread as the thickness of the thread would clog the bottom bobbin. I totally recommend that you buy 2 packs of jeans and topstitching needles. I went through an entire pack just for my topstitching. I was using my basic Husquvarna E10 as my topstitch machine and if it hit a thick/tough spot the needle snapped. Next time around i'll make that my seam machine and use my newer Janome for topstitch as when I swapped it appeared to handle it better. I've been thinking about adding Vlogging to my blog escapades for a while. I've really gotten into watching other sewists and its lovely to get a sense of the person behind the blog. Not to mention the way a fabric drapes or the way a garment fits 360. This is my first go and I did it portrait! Doh! The next ones will be better. I'm planning some fabric haul videos and if you click on the link you can subscribe to my channel from there. I'm super nervous about this so if you have any vlogging advice please let me know!
I'd also love to know if you've tackled jeans, i'm all for any tips and tricks! Here goes nothing!