Mid Rise Ginger Skinny Jeans for March's #wardrobebuilder: Part 1

Ginger Jeans Sewalong | Closet Case Patterns

For March's #wardrobebuilder I set myself the challenge of making a pair of jeans. There really are a lot of patterns to choose from but I felt that I had to give the Ginger pattern from Closet Case Patterns a go. I've envied many a pair that other sewist have made and thought that the Closet Case website had a lot of help in their sewalong (always welcome). And so, I join the Ginger Jeans tribe...I'm currently working my way through my masterpiece so you'll have to wait another week to see the finished article but here they are so far.


Having plenty of blue jeans in my wardrobe already I was very keen to make a black pair (of which I have none). I wanted a medium weight denim - thick enough to be more than casual wear but still comfortable. I also wanted a denim with a fair amount of stretch to help with fitting. I found a denim to meet these requirements online from The Splendid Stitch. (I was lucky enough to win a voucher which pretty much covered the entire cost, so very happy with that). I ordered a little less than the fabric supplies guide advised, and went for 1.75 metres. I had hoped that the amount I needed to shorten the length by would save me a little extra fabric that I didn't need to buy (turned out fine btw).

Ginger pocket stay lining

I really like this denim; it feels like it's good quality and has a nice rigidity to it too. Apparently it was made for a 'high end high street' clothing store, which is nice to know as I think it would probably cost a lot more than £20 for a pair of jeans from this material on the high street. As you can see the black colour isn't the dense opaque weave I was looking for when I started; I love the effect that this fabric has though. I think it looks better than a blank black and lends itself to formal and informal wear. I have to say that whilst making these jeans the fabric did leave a fair amount of itself around my house. I know this doesn't bother most people but is quite annoying for me! Once the seams were sewn and overcast it wasn't an issue.

These jeans also require a lining material for the pockets and (if making) the pocket stay. I chose this Atelier Brunette Angele fabric that I had left over from making my Mimi blouse. I love the pattern on this and thought it contrasted well with the black denim (even though only I'm going to see it!). The stability of the cotton as opposed to the stretch denim is meant to have a 'tummy tuck' effect when used for pocket stays. All good news.

(Just realised I'm channeling the Closet Case black and yellow palette - is this from spending so long on their site?)

Pattern and Instructions

The Ginger Skinny Jeans pattern is available in printed and pdf versions. The skinny jeans have two versions. View A with a low rise and stovepipe leg, and View B with a high rise and skinny leg. I downloaded the pdf from the Closet Case Patterns site, hoping to make View B and alter it to a mid-rise instead. There are instructions in a blog post on the site that detail how to do this. About a week after I bought my pdf a new mid-rise version of the pattern also became available on the site...never mind!

Mid rise skinny Ginger jeans instructions

The instruction booklet features the usual layplans, supplies and actual making directions (with illustrations). The diagrams are especially helpful in identifying what to do for tricky elements. It also includes lots of tips for fitting, topstitching and selecting/preparing fabric too. There is also a great download all about fitting if you sign up for the newsletter (looks like a free chapter from the Closet Case eBook  - very high quality)

I supplemented the instruction booklet with the Ginger Jeans Sewalong. The sewalong has lots of guides within it for sourcing and cutting fabric so as to get the best out of the denim as well as tips on personalising the jeans too. Combining the colour photographs with the illustrations also makes some of the more complicated elements a little clearer. Even with both of these together I found attaching the pockets and pocket stay difficult to figure out.

The part I was most concerned about, the zip fly, was very straightforward and required no unpicking. Result! The printed and sewalong instructions were so clear it was hard to go wrong.

pocket stay Ginger jeans


Making a good fitting pair of jeans was always going to include alterations. I knew I wanted to make mid rise skinny jeans which was already going to need some pattern adjustments. Then they would need some fitting too. My measurements fell between sizes 8 and 10, making me a 9. I cut the size 8, on the basis that practically everything I make needs to be taken in.

This was one of the rare occasions I made a toile to get an idea of what the pattern looked like. I initially thought that the rise of View B was going to be far too high, and that the measurements of View A's rise would be much more appropriate. I made a toile using non stretch fabric (so not ideal) but even so the rise was lower than I wanted. So, View B then.

I used the Closet Case post on adjusting View B to a mid rise to alter the pattern, reducing the rise by 35mm. I also reduced the length by 3 inches, based on the finished length in the instructions and the length that the rest of my Levi's were bought at. At first I reduced the length in the pattern by 2 inches (which is actually still too long but I wanted to keep some length to remove later, just in case). In the end I did reduce by another inch.

I then followed the instructions in the booklet and basted together key parts to check where there might need to be further adjustments. I was pleasantly surprised to see that no more were needed and went ahead with making. When it came time to sew the waistband I basted it first, to check that it really still didn't need any other alterations (I had suspicions of gaping waists). However, again no alterations needed. (FYI - I usually wear a UK high street size 10, and am 5ft tall.)

How to draft mid-rise Ginger Jeans // Closet Case Files

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Welcome to Sewing and Other Stories; my journeys with sewing and knitting; pattern reviews, tips and guides for beginners. I'm also the designer behind West Beach Knits knitting patterns and I host a Knitting and Sewing channel on YouTube where you can see all of this in person. Come have a look!

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