I’ve just finished another pair of Ginger Jeans, this time the high-waisted View B version.
I have worn the previous pair I made an awful lot, so I felt that it was time to make another pair so that I could rotate them a bit. Just for a change, I decided to try the high-waisted View B. View B also has very skinny legs all the way to the ankle, unlike the ‘stovepipe’ leg of the lower-rise version. I prefer a little more ease in the lower leg, but luckily Heather provides instructions for widening the leg to match View A. Otherwise, the only alterations I made were to blend sizes between the hip and waist (I’ve got wider hips and a narrower waist than the pattern as drafted), and to use the larger rear pockets as on my last version. There are various options for how to do the waistband, including using two layers of denim (as I did on the last version), one layer of denim, lined by a stable cotton, and/or interfacing one or both layers of fabric. I realised after making my first pair that I should have made the waistband more stable (probably by interfacing one layer), as stretchy denim has a habit of stretching out with wear. It snaps back to size when you wash it, but even over the course of a day, the waist grows a bit, and on the low-rise version, this means that you need to wear a belt. The high waisted version was less likely to slip down, given that it was sitting at my natural waist, and I didn’t want to make the waistband too firm1, so I opted for the middle ground of lining with a stable cotton, and no interfacing. This worked out really well, and the waistband is comfortable, but supportive.
I really like the lining fabric I chose: it provides a lovely pop of hidden colour, and goes well with the red top stitching and overlocking thread. I case you haven’t realised with my previous sewing projects, I like red a lot. I’m also quite proud of my topstitching on these jeans, and of the fly. That all worked out extremely neatly this time. In fact, the only thing that didn’t go to plan on these jeans was the buttonhole. I forgot to interface the square behind the button and buttonhole as instructed before sewing the waistband closed, and that — coupled with a bit of bulk caused by the end of the zip that I didn’t quite trim enough — meant I had to place the buttonhole rather high on the waistband. It looks a bit silly, but it works fine, and most of the time is covered by the hem of whatever I’m wearing on top, so it’s no big deal.
These are definitely my best jeans yet, and possibly the best fitting and most comfortable jeans I’ve ever worn. They fit me perfectly, especially at the back waist, which is always an issue with jeans for me, and the front is very smooth with the pocket stays. These are a really clever feature: the pocket bags (which are made of a stable cotton) are extended over to the centre front and stitched in behind the fly. This means that they provide a kind of gentle corset effect over the front of the jeans, preventing your tummy from stretching the front of the jeans, while still being comfortable2. Seriously, every pair of jeans should have this feature. There are only 3 very minor tweaks I’ll make to the next pair (I still have enough denim for one more pair). First, I will lower the centre front very slightly (by about 1-2 cm), curving back to the original level at the side seams. My natural waistline isn’t level, and slopes down from back to front. Dipping down slightly at the front will sit a little better on my waist. I’ll also bring the side seams in slightly either side of the knee, as my re-drafting of the wider leg made the knees a bit wider than I prefer. I fixed this at the basting together stage for this pair, but altering the pattern will avoid that step next time. Similarly, I’ll move the pocket placement marks up 3 cm so that I don’t have to try them on to mark the pocket positions. Other than that, these are just perfect, and I have already been wearing them to death.
My guiding principle for waistbands is to always leave room for pudding! ↩︎
And leaving plenty of room for pudding. ↩︎