Self Assembly Required

DIY dressmaking + crafts with Emily

More Ginger jeans!

I’ve gone into jeans making mode here at Self Assembly Required HQ.

I made my first pair of Closet Case Ginger jeans about a year or so ago and I loved them. They weren’t perfect but I was happy with them and they fit much better than any RTW ones I’d had before.

I planned to make more and even bought more denim. I really wanted to keep working on this pattern to achieve the best fit and finish I could!

But I never quite got the push to move forward and make another pair!

So when I saw a space open up at the Heather Lou (of Closet Case Patterns) jeans masterclass at The New Craft House I jumped at the chance! I figured this would be the perfect opportunity to make my second pair of Gingers as well as get expert fitting advice from the pattern designer herself. I thought this would be a great step towards jeans making perfection!

I decided to splurge a bit on the denim – if I was going to be getting them fitted by an expert I might as well get make them the nicest pair right? I wanted to have a pair really nice true black denim and more than anything I really wanted some Cone Mills denim. It’s one of those things that I’d always heard so many people rave on and on about that I thought it must be worth the hype!

The only place I found selling it at the time was Threadbare Fabrics in the USA. But they didn’t have it in black. To be fair I’m not even sure Cone Mills do a black version. Threadbare did have another type of US milled true black stretch denim so I figured I’d get that instead!

It was expensive. The fabric itself was pretty reasonable but once you add shipping and customs, it’s just ridiculous. I really wouldn’t do it again. (I might ask someone going to LA to sneak some in their suitcase for me though… 🤣).

I chose to make the high rise skinny Gingers – at the end of the day I wanted something classic! I used a gold topstitch thread as a contrast which gave me an unexpected black and yellow bee vibe. I rolled with it and embroidered some bees onto my back pockets!

The jeans making workshop was so much fun! It’s always lovely to hang out with like minded people and sew all weekend! Miss Tilly Buttons herself was also taking the class so it was great to catch up with her too! Heather has a way of breaking down the component parts of the process to make them seem so simple and doable. She’s got a great eye for fit as well and personally puts on everyone’s back pockets – an important step in getting your butt to look it’s best!

Concentrating hard on what Heather is saying…

Finished product!

Annoyingly after I’d worn those jeans for a day or two I found the denim really bagged out at the knee quite badly. I’m going to wear them in a bit more, wash them again and then see if I need to take it in but it’s rather upsetting considering it’s meant to be such good quality denim!

(Note to self – check the elastane percentage before purchase!)

When I got back from the class I was in such a good mood I started on another pair of Ginger jeans! This time in a mid blue denim from Fabrics Dreams. (I think it was this denim but I can’t remember for sure!).

Let’s put it this way – things did not go as smoothly!!!

I was perhaps a tad overconfident after the class (and was also doing some rather late night sewing) but I ended up making so many silly sewing mistakes with this pair! My seam ripper definitely became my best friend!

I pushed through and finished them but MAN was that a struggle!

Still, I can’t complain too much. I’ve made jeans!!

I’m still not 100% happy with the fit bit I’m starting to feel like that’s more to do with my body than my sewing… 🤣

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  1. Love that little bee detail you put on your black jeans. Excellent fit as well, well done
    Susie x

  2. These look great- despite the struggles!! I’m currently working on my first pair of Ginger jeans using Heather’s online class 🙂
    Side note: My sewing friends and I decided we spent soooo much time with our seam rippers they deserved names….. mine’s called Buffy the Seam Slayer 😉

  3. Must have been so much fun to take a class with such sewing celebrities (yourself included!). Both pairs look great on you! I definitely feel you on the shipping and customs for ordering Cone denim from the US. I wanted to try some Cone Mills S-gene denim land, at the time, threadbare was the only place I could find it. The shipping and customs cost waaaaay more than the actual denim. I decided to make it worth my while by at least ordering 3 different colour denims and now I’ve fallen into the trap that they are so ‘precious’ I’m too scared to sew them until I get my Ginger fit ‘perfect’! I’ll get there soon…

  4. Great looking jeans! Love your bee back pocket detail!

    I did the class last year, and it was such an eye-opener for me! Fitting doesn’t have to be hard, Heather indeed has a way of explaining thing very well!

    Too bad about your black denim bagging out, I have a couple of meters of that same demin waiting to be made into Gingers, but now I’m not so sure. Maybe something a lot less skinny might be better?

  5. Love your blue jeans! They are a great fit (in my opinion 🙂 ) – before ordering denim from across ‘the pond’ again I’d search out Canadian sellers – Blackbird fabrics has some cone denim left over from when the US factory closed down and L’Oiseau fabrics has the BEST jeggings fabric. I don’t think you’d have to pay customs from Canada at least and also our dollar is much less than USD. Just a thought 🙂

  6. The black pair of Gingers looks super sharp but I love the soft blue of your second pair…it feels very current yet classic.

    I cut two right back legs from my Cone Mills denim. I ended buying enough for another pair of jeans, so I could cut two back left legs from that, and end up with two finished pairs. Threadbare Fabrics quite literally covered my butt!!

    1. Oh dear! Easy mistake to make when you cut in a single layer. I’m always paranoid it’s going to happen to me! At least you’ve got two pairs to enjoy now!

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