That is, until I heard that the new pattern was jeans. NOOOOOO! PANTS ARE SCARY! AND JEANS ARE THE SCARIEST! Even to experienced sewists (or so I've heard). On top of it, RTW skinny jeans have never fit me right. I don't own a single pair because they're always too tight at and below the knees (I don't know why, I am a wimp with no muscles in my calves so I don't get it).
And in general, 9 out of 10 RTW jeans of any style don't fit me right, because my waist is too big for my hips/thighs. So if I can breathe in them they bunch up under the butt and across the back thighs. The only place I can may be, just may be, find jeans that fit me is Express. On big sale days and even then the pricetag hurts. So there was just NO WAY I could make something remotely wearable so early in my sewing journey.
Still, I wasn't about to say "No" to my first pattern test! Plus even if I failed miserably, I'd still have something to say and critique (this is me, after all), which would hopefully be helpful to the designer. I hope! So I immediately emailed Heather to ask if it's ok to do it with 0 pants experience and hardly any sewing experience. She replied right away that yes, yes it was, and that I can totally do it. So I did!
And it worked! And better than I could have imagined!!!
I am so happy I want to stop random strangers in the street and be like "Look what I made! Look at that topstitching! And did you see my butt? See how there's no fabric pooling under?". But that would be weird.
I am not saying my creation is perfect because clearly it isn't. But honestly these Gingers do fit me better than 90% of RTW jeans and better than 100% of skinny jeans I've tried. And they are my first! I can't wait to try it again. I am also secretly terrified that this was all beginner's luck, that the universe will correct itself the next time, and my second attempt will turn out rightfully terrible.
1. YOU CAN ABSOLUTELY DO THIS! I know jeans are scary. But if I can follow this pattern, anyone can! And she is making changes based on feedback so I imagine it'll be even easier for you. And there'll be a sewalong!
2. I first made these very rudimentary shorts to test the butt fit. It was very helpful and if you have any doubts I recommend it highly. I didn't end up changing the crotch lines or anything much about the pattern, but it did help me figure out sizing, especially since I had no idea of my pant size plus my denim was so stretchy. The shorts came out quite good actually, so I'm going to try to turn them into something wearable.
3. If you're unsure start with the skinny version (it comes in a stovepipe version as well) and a light stretchy denim. Stretchy things are easier to fit, in my limited experience.
4. The pattern is easy to grade! I've only ever graded once before on my Gabriola Skirt, and messed it up in that I didn't grade the hips enough. But since it didn't look too scary, I graded my Gingers to my heart's content. I ended up tracing one size in the waist, then graded to TWO different sizes in the hips and thighs (one for inner seam and one for outer seam), then back to the waist size in the knee and below. I'm not giving you numbers in case she changes the sizing on the official release, but I am happy to tell you more in the comments.
And my favorite addition: my insignia on the back pocket, a letter S with kitty ears because I'm obsessed with kitties. It was my first time doing a free hand design on my rickety Brother, so it's not quite right -- the ears are not perfectly symmetrical. But I am hoping my even double topstitching will distract viewers from the kitty ears.
(Huh, now that's a sentence I don't get to utter every day).
6. But most of all, making the Ginger Jeans REALLY BUILDS UP YOUR CONFIDENCE! The fact that I would be arrogant enough to modify things on my first try just goes to show how much this pattern ends up building one's sewing self esteem. I feel unstoppable and so proud of myself. Ok may be be too proud. But but... in my defense... I made jeans! Jeans!!!! I made them! And they fit! And, and. I made them!