Ogden and Ginger

Hi everyone. I can’t believe we still had snow when we took the pictures for my last post. Since then we’ve already had two heat waves and spring is finally and truly here. I’m so excited! My sewing list for spring and summer is super long and I have already 4 projects cut out and ready to go. Now to find the time to sew them.

Before diving into frivolous summer sewing I made sure to fit a sensible project in first. One of the things in my wardrobe that I wear to death are black skinny jeans. The two that I own are not black anymore and I’m just waiting for them to fall apart. I have been looking for a new pair in the shops for ages, but I can’t find anything that works with my hip/waist ratio. True black stretch denim, however, isn’t easy to find either. So when I saw that Fabric Godmother offered some Super Black Super Stretch Denim I immediately ordered some. The fabric when it arrived was not as stretchy as expected, though still suitable for skinny jeans. For the pattern I went with my trusted Closet Case Pattern Ginger Jeans in a medium to high rise (I amended the rise for my second pair and have stuck with it for my third and fourth). As in my previous versions I used the pocket stay version, which keeps everything nicely together. The legs are slimmed down from the straight leg version as much as comfortable, making sure I would be able to still get the leg opening over my foot. Most of the construction was straight forward (by now I’m very familiar with all the steps) the only hick-up were the back pockets. With this stretchy fabric I made sure to pin the back pockets over a tailor’s ham but when I tried them on, they were still too tight and digging in. The second attempt then was too loose and they were sticking out. I finally managed to get them right on the third go but I’m wondering if there is an easier way of doing it. Any tips?

The final jeans definitely fill a gap in my wardrobe, though they are not quite perfect. There is some pulling/wrinkling at the front pockets and the back yoke and the jeans zip that I used is super chunky so the front doesn’t lie flat properly. Then there is the twisting of the leg, which I wasn’t able to get rid of by alternating the direction of the front and the back leg (which I thought I did). Finally, though not surprising with black fabric, these jeans attract lint like crazy (and are impossible to photograph). Still, I’m sure they will prove very useful and I’m glad that I ticked them off my list.

I’ve paired the jeans here with my espadrilles (a summer favourite, though I almost ruined them in a swamp excursion to see snake’s head frittilaria) and a new Ogden Cami. This cami started out as an 80s jumpsuit that I picked up at a flea market maybe 7 years ago. It was a double breasted jumpsuit in shorts length, which I could not pull off (I wish I had photos!) so I turned it into a slightly more wearable shirt dress. That got worn a couple of times but was still a bit too retro for my taste. It then recently ended up in the donation pile but got rescued in the last minute since I could not let go of this perfect sand-washed cupro. To squeeze it out I had to be creative with the centre front and back seams; also the length is slightly shorter than the original pattern but that actually works better for my short torso. The hem is preserved from the original garment. I made a straight size 6, as for my last version of that pattern, and it turned out really nicely. It’s the perfect little summer top.

I can’t wait to sew some more summer things. I’m super inspired by all the recent Me Made May posts!

Ginger Jeans – Version 3


It’s been almost 2 years since I made my first two pairs of Ginger Jeans. They both are still going strong and are in heavy rotation. I’ve really enjoyed the jeans-making process and absolutely love the pattern, so I was just waiting for an excuse to make another pair. I didn’t really need another pair of blue jeans (the three pairs I own are more than enough) but I’ve been looking for a simple black pair of jeans for ages. I work in a business casual work environment, and can get away with wearing jeans if they are black. So far I’ve bought them in the shops, instead of making them, as black jeans seemed quite a boring project. Unfortunately, the quality of the rtw jeans was not great and  I’ve gone through two pairs in the last two years. It’s also difficult to find a high-waisted pair that fits me,  so I finally decided to make my own. This denim that I found in the free remnant bin is not really black but more a dark grey with a stripey texture, but it looks sleek enough to wear to work.

In terms of the pattern, I just worked off the amended pattern that I used for my high waisted version last time. Back then I worked off the low rise version (out of laziness and to save paper), adding 5 centimetres to the rise (3 cm at the lengthen/shorten line and 2 cm at the top). This results in a rise that is probably slightly lower than the high-rise version of the pattern, but for me it’s the perfect rise that hits at a comfortable spot.

One issue I had with my high-waisted pair last time was that I used the original pocket facing pieces which resulted in the pocket facings sitting so high that they would sometimes peak out. This time I made sure to add the 2 cm to the top of the pocket facing and lining pieces. The other problem I had for my last two pairs was the waistband. Even though the original pattern piece is curved, there was still a lot of gaping at the top. For the the low-rise pair, I drafted a waistband that was even more curved, which however, resulted in the front pieces being almost cut on the bias, which then stretched out too much. For the high-waisted pair I used the original piece again, as it was already cut (and nothing goes to waste here) and I just added darts to the final waistband. This obviously didn’t look very professional, so this time I decided to draft a proper darted waistband. I decided to add the darts slightly behind the side seam to avoid bulk. Since I decided to leave out the belt loops on this version the dart is visible, but at least the fit around the back is spot on this time.

For the leg I couldn’t decide between the stovepipe and the skinny leg. In general I find skinny leg jeans easier to style, then again the wider leg looks a little dressier. I went for the wider leg in the end, thinking that I could still narrow it at some point if I got tired of that leg shape.

In terms of finishings, I went with black topstitching to keep the look clean. The only pop of colour is the pocket lining and the binding of the fly shield. I’ve had this Japan inspired print in my stash for a while now and can’t decide if I want to make an Alder shirt dress or something else. So while I decide, it makes it’s first appearance on the blog as a lining fabric.

For the button I decided to forego the jeans button and go instead for a silver sew-on button that matches the zipper, which I rescued from a bag that had to go to the bin. I knew that it probably would not be the wisest idea to not use a jeans zipper (the one I used is plastic and might not hold up very well) but then again it matched the fabric so well in comparison to the one jeans-zipper I had at home. So far it’s behaving fine, so I’m hoping I can get away with it.

The final jeans turned out really nice. The fit is pretty good. I might allow a little bit more room around the hips next time, as there is some pulling at the zipper and the pockets. All in all, they look good though and they are pretty comfortable. Here I have paired them with my Papercut Patterns Fall Turtleneck (blogged about here) and some ankle boots. These might not be the most interesting jeans but I am excited to add them to my work wardrobe. On cold days like we are having them in the UK right now, trousers are the only thing I feel like putting on in the mornings.

These photos we took today after visiting the farmers market. It was lovely in the sun but freezing cold in the shade. For the first time this year this little pond was frozen and people were super excited smashing pieces of ice on the surface. Sometimes I forget that ongoing frost is a rarity here in the UK. The cold definitely made it feel like proper winter today and was perfect for getting in the Christmas mood. I hope you all had a lovely second advent!
ginger-dark_02 ginger-dark_03 ginger-dark_04 ginger-dark_05 ginger-dark_06 ginger-dark_07 ginger-dark_08 ginger-dark_09 ginger-dark_10

Ginger Roundup

Ginger_1What a better way to start my blog than with my favourite sewing project to date.

Like a lot of people I was shying away from making jeans. Too much work, too complicated and I didn’t even have the problem to find store-bought jeans that fit. I always thought it just wasn’t worth the hassle. And then Heather Lou released the Ginger pattern and it was love at first sight. For weeks I plotted the perfect jeans, collecting all the supplies. For the fabric I even sent my boyfriend to my favourite fabric store back in my home town. Even though he doesn’t know anything about fabric he came back with the most perfect stretch denim, with enough yardage to squeeze out two pairs.

While I was most drawn to the high waisted skinny leg option I decided to start with the lower rise stovepipe leg version, partly because my boyfriend is not a fan of the “old women’s trousers” that have populated my closet over the last years and he made these jeans possible after all. As the fabric was a real bargain I skipped the muslin and dived right in. I did however baste the pieces together and made some adjustments, mainly curving the back yoke and the waist band more. Thanks to the great sewalong, putting them together was a breeze. Even the description for the fly front was totally fool proof.

Trying to slow down my sewing process these days it took me around a week of after-work-sessions to complete them and I love how they turned out. They are really comfortable but still look put together. The only things that I would change next time is to do a darted waist band (the extreme curving meant that the front bit is cut on the bias and stretched out a little) and adding a bit of length to the legs.

Ginger_2Ginger_3Ginger_4Ginger_5Ginger_6For my second Ginger I decided to do the high waisted skinny leg version. Naturally I was too lazy to print and tape the second pattern so I just raised the waistband and tapered the legs. I worked like a charm and they fit beautifully. As I needed a pair of jeans that I could get away with wearing at work, I chose the top stitching thread in the same colour as the denim and I really like the clean look.


Ginger_9Ginger_10Both pairs are holding up really well. The high waisted version even survived a day of cycling through Paris. I love how some garments are connected to lovely memories. Happy sewing!