Note: The following projects were made in collaboration with IndieSew. Both patterns were provided by IndieSew but all opinions and thoughts are my own.
I was really thrilled to have been chosen to join the IndieSew Blogger team this year. Be sure to click on that link back there to see all of the bloggers participating because I am in some seriously good company. It’s because I am among such fabulous sewists on the team that I felt pressured to really up my game. I knew these women would bring it and I wanted to do the same. I decided to (gulp) make jeans. Jeans! And, not just any pair of jeans but skinny Ginger Jeans from Closet Case Files. I paired the jeans with a Nettie Bodysuit also from Closet Case. I mean once you are making a pair of jeans you might as well also make a bodysuit, right? That’s just logic.
Actually, the Nettie Bodysuit and Ginger Jeans are patterns that have been on my “someday” list for a long time. I knew that the support and motivation of being on the IndieSew team would help me get them from someday to today.
There is a lot to talk with this ensemble so let’s start by discussing the jeans. You guys, THESE JEANS! I did not know that jeans could be so comfortable and perfect. I love how these fit my body and I love how mobile I am in these jeans. I have chronic pain in my lower back and I kind of considered jeans a necessary evil. They are such a wardrobe staple but are rarely comfortable on me. I need to shift positions pretty regularly to avoid straining my back and I have so few jeans that allow me to move like I need to without exposing my rear.
Jeans almost always feel like they are sort of falling down and fit too tight around my hips but too loose at my waist. It doesn’t help that I have a 10″ difference between my waist and hips. I just assumed that jeans were the problem. People, it’s NOT THE JEANS it’s the FIT OF THE JEANS! Once again, the bright shining light of sewing has shone down.
For my Ginger Jeans, I made a size 12 and the fit in my hips was perfect. I did have to take out about a 2″ v-shaped chunk from the waist tapering to the yoke (just as I did with my Sandbridge skirt and Lander Pants). I know it looks like I don’t have much of a waist but somehow I need this adjustment every time. Of course, I had to remove the same amount from the waistband.
This fix wasn’t quite enough, to be honest. Next time I make Ginger Jeans I will take in the waistband even more and taper it up toward my waist a smidge more. There is a small gap at my waist on this pair. It’s not enough that it will prevent me from standing atop a mountain and singing joyous words about these jeans but you know, it’s necessary. You can kind of see it in this photo. Honestly, I wouldn’t strive for such a perfect fit if I didn’t know that it’s really possible to get it just right.
As for the color, I didn’t intend to make green jeans but, in the end, I’m so glad I did. I purchased some denim from Imagine Gnats and accidentally bought a denim without any stretch. I blame late night on-line shopping brain. Thankfully, I had also bought stretch 7 oz. twill in grass at the same time (it looks like she sold out of this fabric but it’s similar to this). You really cannot make skinny jeans out of denim without any stretch so I decided to use the grass green twill for these Ginger Jeans.
You guys, I wouldn’t have it any other way! These jeans are so playful and cute and easy to wear. Since I don’t buy any new clothes, I always try to be very intentional about making clothes that will get lots of wear. I think this mentality, as wonderful as it is, has lead me to working mostly with neutrals and colors that I think of as ‘versatile’. It’s not necessarily a bad thing but I’m realizing I would also get a lot of wear out of unexpected colors. There are lots of opportunities in my everyday life to incorporate color. It’s a longer conversation for another time but needless to say the green jeans are a welcome part of my wardrobe. 🙂
I chose the high-waisted skinny view (the pattern also includes a version for stovepipe with a lower waist, which I may have to try out as well). I have to say I’m a new convert to the high-waisted look but I don’t know what was holding me back. A high waist makes it easier to bend over without worry about over-exposure. Who doesn’t love that? Do you sense a theme. Being a mom involves so much exposure! On all levels, I swear.
Additionally, I have really wide hips and the high waist kind of helps me from having to tug the jeans up every time I stand up. I didn’t realize how much I hated tugging at my jeans all the time!
Let’s also talk about the butt. The butt on on these is just plain luscious. On her blog, Heather walks though how to situate the pockets to achieve the best butt results. I had no idea that where the pockets sit is what determines a good “butt jean”. I LEARNED SO MUCH MAKING THESE JEANS!
But, wait, there’s more! I had such a hard time hammering in the jeans button on my Lander Pants that I was determined to find something easier. On a trip into New York a rude and impatient store clerk in the garment district (gotta love the garment district) introduced me to these dungaree buttons. Once I made a placement hole in the jeans I was able to snap this ‘button’ into place. It was the easiest thing ever. I will let you know how it wears over time. It would be tragic if it snapped OUT of place but it seems incredibly durable so far. Game changer if you ask me.
Lastly, the pattern instructions noted that I had the option of using a lining fabric at the top of the waistband rather than two layers of denim. In fact, Heather recommends it for the high waisted version so the waistband is comfortable when sitting down. I decided it was the perfect place for a little bit of Liberty of London so I used Liberty on my pockets and waistband. It makes me so happy when I put these on. Btw, I took the below photo before I added my rivets that’s why they are missing.
Ok, now let’s discuss the Nettie Bodysuit. I made a size 10 with 7/8th sleeves in the bodysuit and it fits pretty good but perhaps a bit tight. When I make it again I will go up a size. I just want a bit more ease. The bodysuit pattern is easy to understand and very clear. It came together very easily. I love the whole bodysuit thing! More than I expected, to be honest. It’s really nice to have a tucked in thing stay tucked in.
My only complaint is that I can feel the crotch snaps when I’m wearing it. I’m guessing I will get used to this…like the way you ‘feel’ underwear but get accustomed to it? Anybody else have feedback on this?
The fabric is from Blackbird Fabrics. It’s a mini striped bamboo jersey knit and it’s still in stock over there. The feel of this fabric is wonderful and it has fabulous stretch. I really like it. I’ve bought bamboo jersey in the past that was too stretchy and kind of flimsy. This is sturdy and more structured; I’m very happy with it.
I would be lying, however, if I didn’t tell you that I cursed those tiny stripes a few times. I did my best to line them up when I could but it was impossible to be successful at the shoulders. There are times that off-kilter stripes really drive me nuts but with stripes this tiny it honestly doesn’t bother me much. Plus, I love how cute the tiny stripe looks at the neckline.
I have another ‘keeping it simple’ trick for the crotch of this bodysuit that I just have to share. At the same shop in the garment district where I found the dungaree button from heaven (it’s called SIL threads) I found this snap twill tape that was a game changer for creating the snaps on the bodysuit. Basically, it’s a long strip of snaps on twill tape that you just sew in. So much easier than clumsily putting in each snap and then hoping their respective partner matches up! Ok, I just looked it up and apparently it is called snap tape. Here is a link.
These photos illustrate how easily it went in.
As you can see, I added a wee bit of Liberty of London fabric here as well. I love my little hidden bits of fancy. 🙂
All in all, I’m once again impressed with Closet Case Patterns for two fabulous patterns that I will use again and again. I’ve already ordered some STRETCH denim and STRETCH twill in black for more jeans. I’m ready to donate my RTW jeans and never look back. And, I think I’m going to try out making a regular t-shirt out of the Nettie. You know…someday.