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

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”.

More Carolyn pajamas

Well, I’ll probably never be accused of being afraid to use color!


Long sleeves, just in time for the warmer temps…


This isn’t true piping. It’s flat cotton bias tape cut 1/8″ wider than my seam allowance.

Pattern: Closet Case Files’ Carolyn Pajamas, long-sleeve
Fabric: Bright watermelon pink stretch cotton that’s been in the ‘toss’ pile at least once
Buttons: white plastic from my growing button stash

Confession: I’m not done making pajamas yet despite having a brand-new-to-me beautiful vintage cocktail dress up next in my queue.

Carolyn pajamas: Take that, Target

I am not a fan of fast, cheap, it’ll-last-for-a-year-before-getting-tossed fashion for a variety of reasons that I won’t bore you with here (or at least not right now). One of the hardest items of said clothing for me to stop buying has been PJs from Target. They’re normally surprisingly well designed and *so* cheap. They keep sucking me in. Well, never again.


I had originally planned to do the collar & pocket top in solid orange, but it looked a bit like a bowling shirt.


My first notched collar with piping, a fairly well-hidden pocket, and perfectly matched buttons!


I can’t believe I found vintage buttons that match so perfectly online.

Pattern: Closet Case Files’ Carolyn Pajamas
Fabric: 100% cotton ‘Metro Tile in Orange’ by Robert Kaufman (which I purchased 10+ yards of for a long-forgotten home project years ago) with scraps of orange Kettle Cloth gifted to me by my mum for the cuffs and piping.
Buttons: Vintage, glass, and hand-painted in the perfect color

Confession: Despite a large pile of different sewing projects in my queue, I’m almost finished cutting my second pair of these and have my fabric prepped for a third.