Monday, August 28, 2017

Black Ginger Jeans-- Summer of Basics

One of the most worn items in my closet are my jeans, especially my black ones. There is a pair of black jeans in my wardrobe that is so comfortable that it might be endowed with a trace of supernatural powers. It's been my favorite pair for 5 years, and there are periods where I have worn them almost every day. They've fit me through some pretty dramatic body changes-- I haven't worn them when I was pregnant or directly postpartum, but they are they first jeans to fit when things start to fit again. 

I bought another pair of jeans at the same time I bought the "magical" pair, in a slightly different colorway, and they just aren't as magical. I've tried to buy the same ones, but I can't find the exact same ones, and similar cuts of the same brand just don't fit the same. (If you are curious, the original two pairs were NYDJ, bought at a somewhat unbelievable price on Amazon... so I'm not even completely sure they are NYDJ, or they could have been seconds or something.)

Of course the first thing I did when I got my Ginger Jeans pattern was compare it to my favorite jeans, and the cut is remarkably similar. However, when trying to reproduce a favorite pair of jeans, it seams like finding, or making, a good pattern is only part of the problem. 

One of the big problems is the HUGE variation in denims. The thickness and the amount of stretch and recovery varies widely. My "magical" pair is made of a denim that is quite thick, has lots of stretch, and has incredible recovery. I've never found any denim on the market that is quite like it. I've also sampled lots of twills, since the "magical" pair is a black-black shade which means it is either an overdyed denim or a twill, but the stretch twills I've sampled are even farther from the mark, even the ones that are marketed as particularly pants-worthy. Cone Mills denim is widely cited as some of the best out there, but it is not a super-stretchy denim. My first pair of jeans was from Cone Mills denim, and while there are lots of improvements I can make in fit, I'm not altogether convinced that I'll ever make a pair that are super-comfy from Cone Mills. 

These are made from the Black Turkish Denim from Threadbare Fabrics. This denim is thick without being too thick, and definitely stretchier than Cone Mills. I have high hopes. 

I also made the fit more relaxed. The fact is, my "magical" pair are not skinny-skinnies, which is probably why they are my favorite pair. In the Ginger jeans pattern, I cut a straight 14, which is pretty much my size by the numbers right now. 

I did a 1/4 inch full belly adjustment, but I think that might have been somewhat of a mistake, because when I baste-fit them, there was too much fabric in the front crotch. I ended up taking material away from the front crotch curve to correct this. 

In baste-fitting, I decided that a full bum adjustment might be helpful, since it felt like the back waistband was being tugged down. Using Heather's suggestions for a quick and dirty full bum adjustment, I added 3/8 at the top and bottom of the back crotch curve, making the seam allowances there a scant 1/4 inch. I also deepened the J of the back crotch curve. These changes seemed to really improve the fit for me. Next time I will definitely factor this in when cutting.

I made was to make the waistband facing out of the same stretch denim. Previously I've gone with quilting cotton for the waistband facing. Since I'm going for comfort, I decided that stretchy was the way to go. 

With all these changes plus the stretchier Turkish denim, I ended up taking the side seams in an extra 1/4 inch on both sides, from the waistband to mid thigh. 

I went with black topstitching on this pair, and I didn't even bother switching to topstitching thread. It made things go soooo much faster to not be switching thread all the time. These were by far the fastest jeans I've made, they went together in record time.

The rivets and jeans button are the lovely matte black ones that Angela Wolf carries on her website. I found these rivets harder to install than other rivets, the posts seemed to blow out through the caps half of the time, but I could just be out of practice. I blew through nearly the whole packet of 10, but ended up with 5 decent ones in the appropriate places. 

I've entirely given hope that my machine will sew an automatic buttonhole on a jeans waistband so I didn't waste time trying this time. I sewed the buttonhole with the zigzag stitch on my machine, following a hand drawn guideline. 

The weather is just now getting cool enough to be true jeans-wearing weather, so we'll have to see how these hold up. I have high hopes that they'll be a hit this fall! I would really like a black-black pair, so I have some more of this same denim on order, as well as some black dye!

Do you have a favorite pair of jeans? Have you tried to replicate them, either through buying or making a similar pair, and have you had success?

1 comment:

  1. Those jeans are PPIEW! And that black-on-black combo is a winner. I have got to make me a pair of jeans... great job!