My Black Gingers – a success story

My sewing projects are progressing slowly up here on the mountain. For obvious reasons, I didn’t bring a huge fabric stash with me from Sweden, so my projects tend to be well planned in advance and I’ve only bought fabric online for a few specific projects. So when I was cutting the pieces for my second pair of Ginger jeans and cut two front right pattern pieces, I cried like a pathetic little baby.

Karen over at Did You Make That published a brilliant list of fury inducing sewing f*uck-ups – and cutting out the wrong pieces with no fabric to spare should definitely be added to that list. I’m sure a lot of you know the feeling, and I was so close to just chucking the whole project in the bin after having spent ages on the floor cutting. But, with a low fabric stash (and also pretty limited funds to spend on sewing), I got over it and started thinking about solutions. Enter: Dylon Fabric Dye….

black-ginger-jeans-4I happened to have some black Dylon fabric dye with me, and having dyed jeans before I figured it would solve the problem pretty well. Having started with a traditional blue denim, the jeans started their lives looking like this:

black-ginger-jeans-7The fit was great, but I definitely prefer mono-coloured jeans over this. Dylon dye is fantastic, it soaks through and covers your fabric completely. And I swear the jeans felt a bit softer after I dyed them. I used black thread for my top-stitching, as I think black jeans look a bit odd with contrasting thread.

Sewing these jeans also turned out to be an interesting project, because I had managed to buy jeans fabric without any lycra content – i.e. no stretch. I hadn’t realised, so when I basted my fabric pieces together, they barely fit. However, thanks to Heather’s generous seam allowance, I could just give myself some more room in the hip area, and I’m actually really pleased with how they turned out. Jeans always stretch out anyway, so I’m glad I’m starting out with a snug fit.

On my first Gingers I added 0.5″ to the rise, which I removed this time. I stuck with the 1″ I’d added to the length however, and I could probably have added a bit more. I wear them folded up in the photo’s.

black-ginger-jeans-3black-ginger-jeans-5black-ginger-jeans-1black-ginger-jeans-6And last but not least, the obligatory ass-shot… Overall I’m happy with the fit, but not having used stretch denim, my behind is slightly flattened out. Hoping it will stretch slightly the more I wear them.

black-ginger-jeans-2Very glad I didn’t give up. I can really recommend fabric dye to anyone who find themselves in the same predicament.

Jeans are so much fun to make. I hate the prep stage and cutting all those pieces on a single layer (as it obviously can lead to mistakes being made…). But once I get going, I love the involved and detailed process. There is nothing as satisfying as a successfully executed fly front. Except maybe really even top stitching.

My next project is another awesome Closet Case Files pattern – the Kelly Anorak. Am just waiting for my fabric from Minerva to arrive in the post! I’m going to try to underline it as per Heather’s tutorial to make it a little bit warmer for winter. Not looking forward to cutting out all those pattern pieces, but as I’ve never sewn I jacket or coat before, I’m really looking forward to getting my teeth into the construction and sewing!

Hope you all have a good start to your week!

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13 thoughts on “My Black Gingers – a success story

  1. Amazing jeans! Perfect fit! I have Heather’s Ginger jeans AND her ebook on how to make them! on my bookshelf. I’ll get there I’m hoping in 2017. After wearing jeans for more than 50 years off and on I can’t imagine how joyful it must feel to finally have a pair of jeans that fit!! Maybe one or two pairs out of at LEAST a hundred have fit me really well. I admire your ingenuity and tenacity to get these jeans right with the dye :) I actually really like the new colour :) And I could fill volumes with crazy mistakes I’ve made but I’ve certainly done exactly what you describe – forgetting to flip the pattern for the second piece? So easy to do! :)

    • Thank you so much Kathleen!! I can warmly recommend the Ginger pattern. Heather’s instructions are incredibly thorough. I don’t have the eBook, but it seem to be the perfect companion when making jeans for the first time. It definitely takes some work but the result is definitely worth it :) Have fun!

  2. Lovely jeans :)
    You really can’t tell they were dyed!
    I’m curious did the dye rub off a lot after the process? Did you have to rinse the jeans for a very long time?

    • Merci Clemence! :) No, the dye hasn’t rubbed at all. Although I will be careful to only wash it with other black clothes the first few time (ie no grey’s etc). You actually dye your fabric/clothing in the washing machine – it couldn’t be easier. First once with the dye, then a second time with detergent as normal. And then to set the machine to one cycle to rinse it properly but take out the jeans. Hope that makes sense!

      • Thanks for all the information! I have dyed with dylon once but it was in a big pot instead of the washing machine and a fairly light colour!

        Have fun wearing your jeans, they look great!

  3. Wow!! They’re beautiful, the fit looks great (especially considering the lack of stretch), and the color is SO EVEN! I think I prefer the black denim to the original blue, too!

  4. The irony is there’s a French designer who is charging ridiculous prices for jeans that looked like your pre-dyed version. Love your fix!

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