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My Gorgeous Ginger Jeans (And My Sashiko Addiction Part 2)

Never did I think that I’d put a close-up picture of my butt on the internet. But I’d do anything to sing the praises of this Ginger Jeans pattern.

My Ginger Jeans keep me in a snug embrace, safely securing all my looser bits within the flattering curves. They flatten my belly and lift up my tushy. They are my secret Spanx.

I didn’t think I’d ever wear cropped tops again after the birth of my second child, but take a look! Here I am daring to show a sliver of belly with my Gingers paired up with a Morning Glory Top by Sarah Kirsten. This is made possible only by Heather Lou’s clever engineering of a classic jean pattern.

Designed by Closet Case Patterns, my Ginger Jeans are my wardrobe workhorses. So much so, that I’ve made two pairs so that I can alternate between them if one pair has to be thrown in the wash.

This pattern for slim-fitting jeans comes in two views. View A is low-rise with a stove pipe leg. View B is high-rise with a skinny leg. I can only give my two-cents about View B because high-waisted pants are the only style of pants I wear now. Gone are the days when I can proudly show-off my six pack (no kidding, I used to be a 2-degree black belt jujitsu practitioner) in a pair of low-rise pants. I mean, my six-pack is still there. It’s just hiding beneath a slab of belly fat striated with stretch marks. So the advent of View B Ginger Jeans is literally a god-send. No longer do I have to try on endless pairs of denim jeans for the right fitting pair of skinnies. And I no longer have to worry about flesh hanging or spilling out of my skinny jeans. Everything is nicely and comfortably tucked in. As a result, they have dramatically increased my wardrobe options because I can wear them with anything.

Sizes for the Jeans come in 0-20, and I sewed up a size 4. This pattern is meant only for stretch denim with at least 2% lycra in it. The denim that I bought happened to be on clearance sale and it was going for around $3 per metre. So it was like striking gold twice – first for discovering a great pattern, and second for getting cheap denim. But I’m kicking myself now that I didn’t get the whole bale. I should have but I was worried about the quality back then. The fears turned out to be unfounded because it’s been a year and my jeans are holding up fine.

There are two more details in the pattern that make the pattern stand out for me. First, the last step to make sure that your jeans fit you to a T is basting up the side seams for a fitting. A generous 1” seam allowance is drafted into the pattern so that there is ample room to make adjustments in either direction.

Second, the pockets for View B have an extra tummy-tucking effect. This is achieved by drafting the pocket bag to be sewn into the centre zip fly. This also means that you don’t have to straighten out the pocket bags – ever. They stay neatly secured, and never bunch up or stick out for a peek through the pocket seam.

Here’s another plus. If you subscribe to the Closet Case Newsletter, you can access their resource library to download a pdf file of many topstitching templates for the back pockets.

The instructions are mighty clear, and is perfect for any first-timer who wants to plunge into the construction of jeans. There are also sew alongs that are available on the blog (here) to help you out as well. This is easily the best thing that I made in 2019. As you can see, I can’t stop gushing about the pattern, and I can’t stop smiling. The only alteration I made is to shave off 1” off the length of the pants. So this is a keeper, and I plan to make more pairs in different coloured denim.

Now a few words about my second adventure (or addiction) with sashiko.

My first bout of addiction happened when I was making my Blanca Flight Suit, which you can read about here. Sashiko is a technique of Japanese embroidery that uses running stitches to make intricate patterns. I’ve been bitten by the sashiko bug and now suffer from sashiko-zombie syndrome now and again. Here’s Part 2 of said sashiko sickness. I had made the Morning Glory Top (my review here) so that I can show off the Ginger Jeans in their full glory in preparation for this blogpost. I knew the top was a quick sew and it’d be ready for a photoshoot the same day of the make. Little did I know that a sudden and all-consuming urge to put sashiko stitching on the front bodice overtook my life for the next 24 hours. The detour made me throw everything to the side. I became a sashiko zombie, dead to the rest of the world until I got the job done. So everything had to be postponed for a day, including this post.

With the help of some templates from an internet search, I gathered the traditional sashiko patterns that I thought would be suitable and then hodgepodged my own design that you see in the pictures. The most important bit about sashiko is drawing out the grid on the fabric where the pattern will be stitched. Your best tool for this task on light-coloured fabric is removable-ink Frixion pens. Dark coloured fabric would require some kind of transfer paper for more accurate pattern marking. This took me about an hour and a half. As you can see, the early sketching is rather confused and convoluted.

Then it took me about a total of 10 more hours to do the embroidery from first stitch to last.

Since I was concocting my own design and not just transferring a template, I took longer to embroider it. A lot of time was spent going back and forth in my head with the different choices in front of me. I was changing things as I went along. Usually the back of the embroidery should be as neat as the front. But since I meandered back and forth, the back of this piece is not worth showing. Anyway, from the front, I think the sashiko embroidery has elevated a cute top to one that is quite extraordinary. It’s a neat and striking way to put my own stamp on me-made clothes.

Now I can feel the sickness coming on again for a pair of Gingers with sashiko embroidered on it. Wish me luck!

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