I finally did it! I made jeans! Making jeans is something I’ve wanted to do for a while, but I was quite nervous about doing it. After making myself some trousers over summer, my confidence level increased enough for me to treat myself to the ever-popular Ginger Jeans Sewing Pattern designed by Closet Case Files. My reasons for being nervous about sewing jeans were as follows:

  • the denim would be bulky in some areas where lots of layers are sewn together so it might be difficult to sew

  • they might need complicated adjustments in order to fit

I decided that if I chose to make them as a Minerva project, then I would be motivated to make them by a deadline - otherwise I might just keep holding off and sewing other things!

From Minerva I chose ‘Plain Stretch Denim Dress Fabric’ in blue, an 8” Denim Zipper, a box of Rivets and a Twin Jeans Needle. I hadn’t yet decided what colour Topstitching Thread I wanted. Although the twin needle I ordered was meant for jeans, it wasn’t specifically for topstitching thread, and I thought that two reels of topstitching thread might get a bit tangled, so my plan was to use regular thread in the twin needle, but triple stitch so that it showed up clearly. This was a bad decision. I struggled to feed the fabric through, which resulted in assorted stitch lengths - most of them tiny. I’m not sure if the machine was to blame or the needle - for twin needle stitching I have to use my old machine rather than my regular one. Sure, I had two parallel lines of stitching, but they looked awful!! I had to unpick them, which took hours. When I was ready to do them again, I abandoned the twin needle and the old machine. I still used triple stitch because I didn’t have any topstitching thread, but this time there was no problem, thank goodness!

The denim I chose is nice, but not very stretchy! Although it contains spandex, it doesn’t stretch enough for my liking. I hadn’t actually noticed when I chose it that that it’s a denim made of 70% polyester, 27% cotton and 3% spandex - perhaps the high polyester content means it’s less stretchy and doesn’t ‘give’ like cotton denim would. If I were to make another pair of gingers with this fabric, I would size up for extra ease (more likely I would stick with this size though and opt for Stretchier Denim Fabric). I made view B of the jeans, which is the high-waisted version with a non-stretch waist stay, and I interfaced the waistband, so I know I haven’t exactly helped to increase the amount of stretch around the waist!

The pattern is great. I did have to follow it in conjunction with the Closet Case Files online ginger jeans sewalong though, for extra clarification, and I still got a bit confused by the pocket lining. The bits I was dreading sewing were actually fine - like attaching the belt loops. I gave the fabric a good wallop with the hammer first and it was easy peasy. 

The worst part of sewing was when I had finished and tried to attach the rivets. I was like ‘oh so easy just make a hole, poke the rivet through, pop the top on and hammer yay lalalala’, whereas poking the rivet through the hole gave me a tension headache, made me use all the most offensive swear words and made me want to END THE WORLD. Once I had managed the rivets at the front (the one on the corner of the coin pocket was the absolute worst), I gave up. Next time I need pokier rivets!

Overall I am pleased with the jeans, but they aren’t going to replace my favourite pair because of the comfort factor. I do love the back pocket though ?

Thank you Minerva Crafts for providing the fabric, zip, needle and rivets. I’m already keen to make another pair with a different fabric - watch this space!