I’ve ranted to a couple of people lately about how much I don’t enjoy repeating projects, but even as those words were coming out of my mouth (or out of my fingers, Hi internet friends!) – I was planning new renditions of my collared shirts, another drop shoulder tee, and of course – these Ginger Jeans.
The Very Wearable Ginger Jean Muslin already happened, and although not the highest quality denim in the world, I have faithfully worn them one to two times per week since I finished them. I’m ignoring the leg twist – chalking it up to Denim of Unknown Origins, and basking in the fact that the pocket placement is spot on, and the fit is also near perfect. (Pants that don’t fall down. My standards were not high.)
As soon as that waistband was basted on, I knew I’d be repeating this pattern. This time, I wanted to add some ‘practical’ denim to my wardrobe. I’d accomplished high waisted, so I figured I’d move on to the low rise, and chose the bootcut leg just to mix things up a bit.
Construction was as beautifully straightforward as last time, with one small change: I made these jeans two at a time! Hah, I didn’t intend to bring two new pairs into my life, but the opportunity presented itself and I wasn’t about to deny it. See- after Christmas came the Boxing Day sales (a thing I, as an American, am still largely unfamiliar with – but hey- any time a fabric store’s having a sale I’m gonna check it out)…and I’d been searching high and low for denim in Auckland that was a good cotton-lycra blend. I kept finding polyester blends and we all know how I feel about polyester.
My holy grail came in the form of a quiet fabric shop on a back street in Newmarket – Jon works just up the road. Draper’s Fabrics is a small storefront with a well curated selection of mostly natural fibers and a super friendly staff. They’ve got an impressive denim selection, and not a thread of polyester in sight. I’d picked out the denim of my dreams when I spotted a very similar one for $5 less – there was as fault running along one edge of the yardage: a skip in the weave. I figured I could get a bit extra and cut around it, so I chose that one instead. It was a great choice! There turned out to be about 3.5m left on the roll, so she gave me the rest of the roll at a great discount because the fault carried on along the whole length, and got worse at one end. I only went in for one pair of jeans, but when I got home and measured, my suspicions were confirmed – I had enough for two!
It’s a Japanese denim with a dark wash featuring a faintly greenish indigo color and a prominent right hand twill weave, which is exactly what I wanted. I love the color now, but I also hope they fade well over time- that’s why the cotton was so important.
I decided that as much as I needed these ‘practical’ mid rise boot cut jeans, I also required a pair of wild high waisted flare jeans. They’re going to have a blog post of their very own, though, because I’m still waiting on the rivets to finish them off, and I need to decide if I want to hem them for heels or flats…
Per my experience with the last Gingers, I lowered the rise of the center yoke piece to accommodate my smaller booty, curved the heck out of the waistband (interfaced because of the bias), and attached the pockets as a final step so I could check placement. I also made pocket stays rather than using the low rise pattern’s pockets, because I liked them so much in my high waisted version. Pocket stays are the bomb diggity. Lastly, I lengthened the inseam by 2 inches.
They fit well and there’s no sign of that dreaded leg twist so far which is excellent! I’m almost entirely happy with this pair (I can’t tell if it’s my slouchy, asymmetrical posture that causes those wrinkles or if I need to adjust the front crotch curve…) – but interestingly the thing I’m most hung up on in Post Project Completion Contemplation is whether I made a good decision in making a mid rise pair.
I’m sure I’ll get a lot of wear out of them, and my nearly finished flares are high waisted so I’m going to be channeling my not-so-inner flower child with those, but maybe I should be sticking to the high waisted side of things more generally? It’s not that I think there’s anything wrong with these, but I think I may have cemented a preference for high waisted styles that I didn’t really know was a thing until I introduced an outlier to my closet. The next time I’m itching for a denim fix, I definitely think I’ll go for high waisted. I think it might be A Thing now.
In all, this pair of jeans cost $11 in denim, plus a zipper- $4.50, rivets – $4.90 (from Miss Maude’s) and half a spool of topstitching thread I had leftover from the first pair of jeans. $20.40 for a spectacular, custom fitting pair of Japanese denim Gingers! I’m not one of those people that’ll try to extol the virtues of a handmade wardrobe based only on cost savings- not when you think about the thread, machines, and time not to mention fabric – but I’ll happily report bargains whenever I can.
Even at full price, the denim for these jeans would have been about $36, and that number’s got nothing on the $148 pair I just found on the Levis website for comparison ( I’m using New Zealand Dollars because that’s where I’m at at the moment, but you get the idea.) No, I sew because I like sewing, but this kind of project with that kind of money always makes me feel like a bit of a mad scientist. Even if I’m not sure about the lower rise…