It’s pretty much true what they say about the weather in Seattle; it can be rainy, cold and dark here most of the year. When it comes to sweaters, pants and boots I am well covered, but every summer I find I am severely lacking in clothes for warmer weather. You probably won’t ever catch me in any sort of above the knee shorts (I prefer dresses and skirts to shorts), but I will wear capri length. Levi’s classic capris have been my go to in ready-to-wear for many years. I was still in jean-making mode from my stove pipe Mid-rise Ginger Jeans, (with three machines set up, one for topstitching, one for regular stitches and one for serging), so decided to roll right into a making a pair of capri length Mid-rise Ginger Jeans. I figured these would be a great addition to my me-made spring and summer wardrobe.
Closet Case Patterns Mid-rise Ginger Jeans shortened to capri length
Cone Mills 11oz. Stretch Denim from Stone Mountain & Daughter Fabrics
Size traced and sewn
Shortened to capri length (shortened about 7″)
This is my third pair of Ginger Jeans, but the first time I sourced the denim on my own (vs. buying a kit from Closet Case Patterns). I think that was the first problem. I also need to learn more about the what the different weights and stretch percentages in denim mean. These jeans are thicker and not as stretchy as the other jeans I have made. As a result, they are VERY tight and kind of warm for summer.
Since I had made the same size two other times and it had worked out fine, I almost skipped baste fitting them. Thankfully, I didn’t and was able to take the seams out about a 1/4″. Unfortunately, I had ripped a hole in the fabric while seam ripping them, so I had to sew at a regular 5/8″ seam allowance once I got closer to where the tear was. It was near the knee, so I was able to give myself a little extra room in the thighs (which was where I needed it the most), but it still wasn’t enough. My last pair started out a bit tight, but are perfect now, so I have been wearing these in hopes that they would do the same. They have stretched out a little bit, but not as much as I’d like.
Putting these together went pretty smoothly due to the fact that I had just made a pair of jeans, but my machine definitely has trouble with multiple layers of denim. With this denim being thicker than my last, it struggled even more. This time, I did use my walking foot on the fly topstitching and that helped immensely.
I have to remind myself that not all sewing projects can be wins and that the learning experience is just as valuable. This pair of jeans cemented the fact that all denim is very different. From now on—no matter how bad I want to skip it—I will always baste-fit. This experience also showed me that 11oz. is on the heavier side for jeans, so I would love to know what the sweet spot is for a medium weight jean. I wish I had some record of what weight the denim from other two pairs is, but I don’t think I do. I would also love to know what the stretch percentage is I should be looking for, so if anyone has any info on that I would love to hear it!