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Getting out of my comfort zone and tackling the daunting task of trousers adjustment…this is what I’ve done lately!
The Ginger jeans pattern
When I started sewing, I had a strong tendency to buy whatever fabric pleased me and trending patterns. That’s how I ended with the Ginger pattern. I thought I wasn’t able to sew trousers because of all the alterations needed, especially as a beginner. And the pattern was never printed.
Fast-forward in my sewist’s life: I know my body better, I master some advanced sewing skills, and I don’t fret if I need to sew multiple muslins!
Let’s get back to Ginger. This is the original pattern I have on hand and here are the options it offers:
- a low-rise with stovepipe legs and fold-over front pockets.
- a high-waist with skinny legs and a pocket stay.
New options have been added. There’s a add-on to the original Ginger to make flare legs. A new Ginger pattern is also available if you prefer a mid-rise Ginger.
My stretch denim Ginger
That’s when I pre-washed and pressed my denim fabric* that I found it was rather stretchy. I wanted to sew view A (the straight leg), but the designer said to use stable denim for that view. I opted to sew the skinny leg instead. It also offers the pocket stay option, a feature I love in my Levi’s 314.
According to the size chart, I was between sizes. I chose the larger, size 12.
Seam allowances are generous (5/8″-1.6 cm) so you may sew flat-felled seams on the inseam and crotch. My plan was to use them to make alterations.
I had no similar fabric to make muslins and I really wanted to sew a proper pair of jeans.
However, I was rather happy with the fit when I basted all the pieces together.
Most of the faulty areas were in the back.
The classical denim jeans
Here’s a chart of what I noticed and how I adjusted:
|Knee notch too low||Shortened the pattern at the L/S line to get the knee notch higher (-5.5 cm)|
|Back waistband plunging at center back||Not enough room for the buttocks: releasing a bit at the seam allowance|
|Horizontal lines under the buttocks||Low seat: changing the shape of the back cortch from the designed J to a L and lowering it a bit (-0.5 cm)|
|Gaping at center back|
Sway-back: shaving a triangle on the yoke (0.5 cm top down to 0)
|Extra fabric at knees||Genu valgum: I didn’t address that issue because I had not enough fabric to cut new legs!|
Front was almost perfect to my utmost surprise!
What’s more time-consuming when sewing pants are the sum of akterations neede. You have to proceed one cm after one cm and sew/unpick many times.
Many (video) tutorials are available, but you need to assess the fit first and see the faulty areas. Hearther, the designer, also gives you hints in the instructions about how to alter the pattern.
I know that I’ll need to modify the front a bit because there are lines there that shouldn’t be.
Sewing the jeans is not too long, even if you have to change threads multiple times for topstitching. I bought this set of topstitching threads and it was great. I didn’t use a topstiching needle, I used a Schmetz Denim size 100, I lowered the tension a bit, a straight stitch size 4, and the Accufeed foot of my Janome 6700P.
The back pockets design comes from the free booklet available on Closet Core Patterns’ website.
If you plan to sew some skinny Ginger, here are some fabrics* that may fit the bill in terms of stretch.