Ginger Jeans: Mind blown

I dislike trying on clothing in stores. Nine times out of ten, I leave the changing room disappointed. Not in the clothing, but in my body, and the fact that it doesn’t fit into industry standard clothes. I know this is silly. I know that industry standards probably fit less than half of the population, but nevertheless, I usually leave the store vowing to not eat again that day and to workout as soon as I get home. When people ask me why I sew, I’ve normally responded with a quick and easy answer like: (a) I will never show up somewhere wearing the same outfit as somebody else, or (b) that I can make an item *exactly* as I want it (more on this below). Those are two very valid reasons. But the reason I will likely never stop sewing is that it gives me the power to never judge my body against industry standards again.  Nobody (and no body)  deserves that.

This is my second pair of Ginger Jeans by Closet Case Files, a brand that in my opinion, sets itself apart by showing home seamstresses that we can, in fact, make anything we set our mind on.  (Heather is pretty much my hero.) Before I cut into my precious denim for this pair, I altered the pattern so that they would fit my body (no easy task given the 12″ difference between my was it and “full hip”): I took a wedge out of the back yoke and contoured the waistband to hug that lower back curve; since I used the high-rise version of the pattern (view B) this time, I lowered the waistline in front just a bit more than in the back to avoid peek-a-booty; and I straightened the skinny leg and then took it a bit further adding a mild flare to accommodate oxford shoes and fall boots.  And once that was done – and that took maybe an hour or two thanks to loads of useful tips from Heather – I cut and sewed my denim and slid these beauties on. And guess what. They fit like a glove. And more importantly, I even like the way they look on my body. Mind blown.



You’ll just need to trust me that there is no gaping in the back waist. I completely forgot to get that shot while standing on a rather busy street corner:


As I mentioned above, a bonus to sewing your own clothes is being able to make them however you’d like. As you may have spotted, for this pair, in addition to the sizing alterations, I skipped the classic gold topstitching and opted for two shades of blue.  I was tentative about this at first but decided if I hated it I could always rip it out and re-do it.  Once I got started – I loved it.  And then I remembered Heather’s flare version here, and this happened…


And, speaking of customizing, how often do your jeans literally match your top?!?


I still have enough Cone Mills denim to make two, maybe even three, more pairs of jeans.  Now I just need to decide what each of those pairs will look like and how I’d like them to fit my body.  Imagine, make, wear – repeat. Sew forever.

Pattern: Closet Case Files Ginger Jeans, View B with mods for mid-rise and mild flare legs
Fabric: Cone Mills indigo S-Gene 12oz denim (88% cotton, 10% polyester, 2% lycra)
Worn withSimplicity 1462 in Anna Maria Horner Field Raindrops & Poppies cotton
Mural: “Overthink” by Onur for the Richmond Mural Project 2015 presented  by Art Whino Gallery

Simplicity 1462: Copy cat

I’ve wanted to make this exact top since a seamstress blogger I follow, Amanda from Amanda’s Adventures in Sewing, posted hers almost a year ago. I’d find myself thinking about it every time I was looking through my closet for a top to wear with jeans.  I bought the pattern earlier this year, but it took me a bit to buy the fabric (I’m in a constant battle with myself over my gargantuan fabric stash).

Well, I finally made it.  I found both the neckline (which Amanda was right – the neck binding piece is drafted at least two sizes too large) and underarm seams a bit fiddly.  This led to my initial thought that this pattern seemed like a bit more trouble than any top is worth. However, the more I think about it, it is the day-to-day wears, that deserve time.  They get worn far more often than the fancy vintage Vogue cocktail dresses, that’s for sure.  I also realized I may be biased after making several versions of the easiest dress ever.


The twinning on the bottom left side of the top is making my brain hurt. I wish I had caught that earlier.


Pattern: Simplicity 1462 View B
Fabric: Anna Maria Horner Raindrops & Poppies 100% cotton with grosgrain ribbon trim

And a rare “in the wild” photo, taken at Nota Bene:


Despite the finicky bits of this pattern and the fact that I have some additional changes I’d like to make (my armholes are too large), I really like this top and have already started to consider another version in a more subdued color palette.

Pattern: Simplicity 1462, size 12
Modifications: Removed 2″ in length and hemmed 2″, shortened the neck binding, extended the slit facing down to the hemline
Fabric: Anna Maria Horner Field Study1 Raindrops & Poppies cotton

Renfrew: Sometimes it’s the simple things

Yep, just a basic short-sleeve, scoop-neck, heather grey t-shirt. Or as I like to think of it, a sewing fear subdued and another giant step toward my goal of never buying ready-to-wear clothing again. It’s not nearly as impressive to look at as some of my other makes, but this will likely get worn far more often.

I’ll need to make many more t-shirts before I’m as comfortable sewing knits as I am wovens, but this is a start.

Pattern: Sewaholic Renfrew t-shirt, view A w/ short sleeves, size 8
Modifications: shortened hem
Fabric: Vintage light-weight wool jersey

One for the pile of broken dreams…

I can’t be the only one to notice the similar styling.

Oh well – nobody said conquering my fear of knit fabrics would be easy. Next time I’ll use a bit more color and will grade the sizing up just a tad (not surprisingly, Brian thinks the sizing is just about right).

Pattern: Jennifer Lauren’s Bronte Top, size 10
Fabric: White stretch cotton knit from Fabric Basement
Buttons: Six simple white 2-hole buttons

I made jeans!

Do you have something that you’ve been daydreaming about making/building/cooking but you haven’t done it yet because of that voice in your head saying “You can’t do that”, “You don’t have the skills”, “You’ll waste time and money”…? Well, my “something” has been jeans.  I bought the pattern and supplies last October, then started doubting myself and passing them over for other less intimidating projects. Well, I finally kicked my self-doubting, risk-averse ass to the curb and got on with it and here they are. They’re far from perfect, but *I MADE THEM*! The added bonus – they weren’t nearly as hard to make as my brain made me think they’d be.

So if you have a thing you’ve been thinking about creating but haven’t gotten started because of a fear of failure, I propose you stop dilly-dallying and go ahead and do it already.


Pattern: Closet Case Files Ginger Jeans, View A (low rise)
Fabric: Cone Mills 10 oz indigo S-gene denim
Alterations: I raised & contoured the waistband to avoid gaping in the back and peek-a-booty and shortened the leg length by 2”.