Cone Mills Stretch Denim Gingers x 2

All the hype about Cone Mills Stretch denim? It’s real. It’s so real. I’m A, really happy I bought 6 yards last year from Blackbird Fabrics, but, B, so freakin’ bummed, even more than before, that the American mill has closed.

Sorry ’bout the lighting – I was chasing some morning sun…some wins, some fails. Whatevs.

Back to the denim and the Ginger skinny pattern. If you use another jeans pattern, I implore you to construct them so that you’re basting your outside leg seams last, so that you can try them on before committing to serged seams/flat-felled seams and all that jazz.

The Cone Mills has a lot more stretch to it than the Robert Kaufman pair, so I went down a whole size in this dark pair, and almost a full size in the lighter pair (below with purple shirt.) No reason on the discrepancy between the dark and the light other than I want the dark ones really tight. I’m hoping both shrink up even more in the wash.

I want them PAINTED on! lol

While this denim has more stretch to it, it also feels a bit more….sturdy. It’s got a really good feel to it. I wish I had another 6 yards.

Denim jacket is a used eBay find from last year, Hellacopters shirt is from, well, Hellacopters. 😀 Hat I made, and shoes by NIKE. Gloves are some RTW I got a few years ago and are well loved…I’ve had to stitch them back together a few times.

Damn bright winter sun.

The lighter pair lends themselves to more pastels.

Some of these photos look like I’ve got some weird cat whiskers thing happening with the crotch, and some look perfect….that’s just a difference in me sitting in these, about a cm more room in them, and just room for movement. I’ll probably wash them on hot a few times.

Obligatory butt shots. I moved the pockets up higher than my first Robert Kaufman pair too…. my flat butt needs all the help it can get. I can do squats until the cows come home – the strength is there…but it ain’t gonna be no poppin’ booty without a LOT more work.

Sweatshirt is an old me-made Renfrew in a double-knit from Bolt Fabrics.

some closer up so you can see the fit…I am a bit knock-kneed (TRUTH: I look like a goofy ostrich when I run) but I don’t care enough to do a knock-kneed adjustment…as much as I move and am active, I prefer the extra bit there.

I’ve got a smidge more room in the waist of these, and that is why I went even more extreme-tight on the darker pair.

Alright, a little tech talk.

Alexander Henry fabrics for the pockets (this is where being a quilting cotton hoarder comes in real handy), basic metal “denim” zip, shanked metal button – but I may swap that out for a matching brass button later…

I knew it as I was doing it but didn’t really care…yeah, that’s some pocket material visible from the outside.

I’m skilled enough to copy RTW, sure, but that’s not my goal. I couldn’t care less about copying RTW. So, yeah. That’s how that’s gonna be.

Serged…but you can see my first set of seams….and then where I took it down farther….then top stitched.

I haven’t hemmed any of my jeans except my Velvet Gingers. And I’m not going to. For now I’m wearing them rolled up anyhow….I like keeping my options open. Just a 3-step zig-zag to keep them from fraying too crazy.

So, that’s a pretty lengthy, double project post…I think I covered it all. I top-stitched with the same color thread that I assembled with…Gütermann Poly 40wt.

I see there are still a lot of people scared of sewing jeans…and yeah, fitting pants is kind of a pain….but once it’s done, you can copy the general shape of the crotch that works for you on to other pants patterns. So…bonus!

Velvet Ginger Jeans

Ugh. Christmas cookies. You know you’re testing the strength of your seams and fabric if you make skinny Ginger jeans after the holidays. After making a batch of pecan tassies and pretty much eating them all by myself…yeah, I did it. Do these cookies make me look fat? Don’t answer that… I already know. My usual hourglass shape is now more of a keg shape. Whatever. This Fitbit will fix that in no time…

I cut the same as my first denim pair, with a bit more smoothing out in the back yoke, and this time did not grade out to a 14 at the hips as I found that bags out a bit in the last pair too much.

I’ve already been wearing these for a few hours before shooting these photos and they hold up nicely. VPLs be damned. I’m into my giant granny underwear right now. See above about cookies. I’m packing at least 5 lbs more than usual.

No regrets.

These are made from Italian midweight stretch velveteen from Britex. As of this post, there’s still some left. It’s holding up to my abuse (cookies) really well. I’m pleasantly surprised. I’m not sure why…with Britex you get what you pay for…sure, they cost a bit more, but the quality is aces. I haven’t been disappointed yet with any of their fabric.

I think I bought 2 yards, pre-washed and dried, and easily got a pair of Gingers out of it, keeping the nap going the same way. It’s a messy fabric to cut…little velvet nap bits everywhere, and it frays quite a bit, but I was gonna serge it all anyway, so that’s no big deal. It feels amazing. Cotton, so while velvet, not overly warm.

I paid better attention to the instructions this time, and actually got the zip in right. Lol. I’ve only used a 7” zip…the instructions for a 12 say to go up to an 8” but I haven’t found that to be necessary. I’ve got a 1/2” of zip to spare with the 7”.

I hemmed them this time – two turns at a 1/2” each, and this is the length on me. No adjustments to pattern length.

Wearing with my puffy sleeved TATB Agnes. Gotta keep with the 80s theme.


I’m calling this a TAT (tried and true) pattern. I’ve got two more cut in Cone Mills denim, ready to go. There’s something about having a pants pattern that just comes out perfectly that is really….refreshing. I didn’t even baste and try these on as I went. They came together really quickly this time, and just fit. So refreshing.

A pretty happy finish to the first sewn garment of 2018…now to go work off these cookies.



I DID IT! I’ve had the Closet Case Patterns Skinny Ginger Jeans pattern since June 2015. (sheepish grin)

Now, normally I’m not afraid to sew anything – I’m not really afraid to fail. It’s just fabric, and it’s always a lesson. However… My pants fitting has been on the scale from “Meh” to “I-JUST-BLEW-OUT-THE-ASS-OF-MY-PANTS-AT-COSTCO.” It’s true. Normally I have to scoop out the crotch, or add some hip length – I’m tall with most of it in my torso. Thanks to our amazing sewing community, Bad Mom, Good Mom pointed out on my Colette Juniper pants, most of my fit issues could be fixed with going up a larger backside size than the front. I’ve made about a dozen pairs of pants, but nothing quite like my Colette Clovers that actually split up the backside while picking up a case of water at Costco. That has steered me clear of close-fitting pants for a few years.

I had enough of the fear, and frankly, everyone else and their dog has made Ginger jeans now, so I was bordering on being pathetic.


I picked up a 1.5 yard remnant at Modern Domestic…it wasn’t labeled and it’s not on their site, but knowing MD, I’d says it’s a Robert Kaufman, probably close to this 8.6 oz stretch denim here. I paid about $25, so that’s about right MD would be a bit higher priced than as they’re my locally owned fabric store. I would definitely recommend it and use it again.

I was going for a hopefully wearable muslin, as I wasn’t ready to cut into the Cone Mills I’ve been hoarding or the velvet bottom weight I have from Britex, but actual muslin fabric wasn’t going to test correctly, so hell with it, right? Just do it.

I only had a hot pink denim zip in my stash (hee hee), and I FUBARed the placement a bit – it’s about 3/8″ off – I read “line up edge of zip” wrong at the fly. Whatevs. I also have just a regular button on them, and skipped the belt loops – I’m still having top stitch thread issues. In fact, half of the top stitching is popping off a bit, but that’s a technical issue on my end, not the pattern. I tried to do it on the Janome and on the Viking, but I’m going to have to break out one of the vintage machines IF I’m to get that top stitch thread to work – or I may just ditch it. I’m not that in love with it anyway.

What do you think of the pocket placement? Should I move them up a cm? I can’t tell. I’m not a good judge of my own butt. I took a 3 inch wedge out of the back yoke – which I need to blend better on future pairs, but other than that, it’s pretty spot on. I’ve worn these for days, and this is fresh out of the dryer, so they’re a bit “packed sausage” at this point. They will loosen up a smidge, but the denim is really good and there’s no bagging out anywhere. You can see below where the wedge of the yoke meets the back seem of the butt and there’s a little wrinkle where it wasn’t blended well on this version.

For me, the waist is now at 0, the largest point of my butt/hips almost at a 14, and the rest is at 12. I’m fairly hourglass shaped, and gain/lose weight pretty evenly in that hourglass ratio, so this is normal for me.

Here’s the IG post of that wedge – I didn’t get a “good camera” shot of it:

The legs fit perfectly. They’re bunching up a bit because I’m refusing to hem them.

My husband keeps teasing me that he’s going to hem them. I don’t want to….I want to leave them raw. We’ll see. I don’t know what the fashion consensus is on that. This is the full length of the pattern without any removed, as reference if you’re looking to make the pattern.

Sexy pants. LOL. Didn’t the 80s just totally ruin that word? Sexy. Ew. But the pocket stay on the inside?!? Holy crap. It’s like…it’s like a smoothing magic, without the discomfort of actual gross sweaty spanx or something.


Please excuse my mud room – it’s Oregon and we’re in the rain-half of the year.

Post post notes:

I had the pattern printed before the latest updates to the pattern. I think there have been 2 updates, and my version is smack in the middle. Meaning, IF I would have had the latest version, I would have probably scooped the crotch out the cm or so that was put in, and taken more out of the yoke? I think? Regardless, I did baste the sides, and the construction of the pants makes fitting on-the-fly really easy.

Let’s talk drafting for a minute. I’m just now learning pattern drafting and it looks so much easier than it truly is. The base pattern/sloper, or block, must be good before moving on to style, and then eventually grading to different sizes. To have the success of these jeans on the level that Closet Case has had, which is near cult status…well, they have the magical block. Will this fit everyone as easily as me? Well, no. But, again as reference, I fit J Crew/Banana Republic size 8 or 10 off the rack just fine. Sometimes I have broader shoulders/bust and the waist is too big, or whatever, but for the most part, I’m shaped pretty RTW-friendly. So, if that’s you, then this pattern will be GOLD!

If that is NOT you, Cashmerette JUST released the Ames jeans in different body shapes. While I have not sewn any Cashmerette, I have seen the detail work that has gone into their drafting, not to mention their HUGE fan base. Sewists aren’t fans of crap pattern companies. Well, I take that back, Big 4 still exists, but I submit that’s because they’re cheap (read that how you will.) Indie patterns cost more, and must be made better to succeed, and damn if Cashmerette hasn’t succeeded! I can’t wait to see Cashmerette’s jeans all over the Sewscialsphere.