Monday, 14 September 2015

Ginger Cords modelled by a ginger, of course!

Hi hi hi there people!

I am very pleased to have finally finished these. I was getting 'UFO (unfinished object, for those not in the know) guilt' as I started these back in May, but then abandoned them when the weather perked up, and for some reason returning to them wasn't so appealing even though there were only a few steps left to completion. Now that Autum's coming on I thought it was high time to get these done, and I'm so glad I have! One of my stumbling blocks was that I have an overwhelming fear of waistbands- I can never get them looking neat and they're tricky to fit on me as my back dips in but my belly sticks out. I probably need to try a curved waistband on everything- but that's a struggle for another day.

So here they are- my Ginger jeans! These are view A (low rise and stovepipe leg). I prefer view B (high rise and skinny leg), but thought best to try this version first as the corduroy I used doesn't have any stretch. These are made up 'straight out of the envelope' (or fresh off the printer, if you prefer, as it is a PDF-only pattern) with no fitting adjustments at all- I anticipated making a few but just wanted to see what was what first. And I have to say these fit pretty well!

The low rise isn't the most flattering on my 'muffin top' (see aforementioned waistband woes) so I think I'd probably go for the high-waist version (view B) next, but keep the stovepipe legs from view A if going for another non-stretch fabric. I have some denim from my boyfriend's old jeans I'm hoping to recycle for another test pair! These are also a great replacement for a pair of black skinny cords that I wore to death when I was at uni. They weren't even mine- I nicked them off a friend's boyfriend who'd bought them for Halloween for his 'emo' costume! Does it make me a bit emo that I loved them so much and am glad to have them back in my life in a new incarnation?

Can you spot any errors on these? I accidentally put my coin pocket on the wrong side! Whoops . Not a big one but I'll try and avoid that next time, it wasn't a deliberately subversive act. The other thing that does stick in my craw a little more is that my back pockets aren't totally level. I'm so annoyed about this as I quickly basted them on, thought they were OK, but then abandoned the project for a while. When going back I remembered that the positioning seemed fine and sewed them down properly- it wasn't til I got to riveting stage that I realised the outer corners on either side were not quite level! I don't think I'd ever have noticed without the rivets as the pockets are pretty well camouflaged in the corduroy, but luckily the rotund shape of my rump means it's almost impossible to see both rivets at the same time (unless standing at a fair distance) so a layman is unlikely to notice. Something to be more careful on next time for sure, especially if I go with contrasting topstitching thread! Another thing I might change/ read the instructions more carefully about is the french seaming of the pockets- I did mine so it was a clean edge on the outside, but this means the fold is on the inside which is uncomfortable when I put my hands in my pockets.

Overall I'm really pleased with these though- and it's nice that they fit pretty well straightaway, as I was a bit disappointed with the fit of the Ultimate Trousers which had me downhearted about my trouser-making abilities. I think maybe the style of the Ultimate Trousers just doesn't work for my shape! The smooth lines don't really hide much in the way of sins, whereas having a bit more structure over my lower abdomen makes me look and feel less of a porker. I might have a go at Gertie's Cigarette Pants next and see how they turn out- they'll be a quicker hit than jeans! I am keen to get going with more Gingers soon though- but maybe after another quick project or two as they are quite labour-intensive (but in a really satisfying way).

Another bonus of my cord jeans is that they were pretty much free to make- the corduroy is something I inherited from my mum's stash, the zip is from my boyfriend's gran's stash (although is does have a slight tendency to slip, so I do have to be careful about 'flying low'! Definitely going to use a new zip for my next pair) and I didn't bother with topstitching thread as I didn't think it would show up against the cord pile so just went with all purpose black thread that I had anyway. I did buy new jeans buttons and rivets though as I didn't want to use up the nice ones I got in with my cone denim package. The 'Williams' brand rivets I got from Simply Fabrics in Brixton, and came with very handy hole-cutting and rivet-pressing tools which hopefully can be reused for the fancy rivets too! And you may recognise the pocket and waistband lining fabric from the Staple dress I made for Holly.

Oh, and yes, I'm ginger! This is an 'interim' colour- the salon is going to fix it next week, just had to wait for the scabs on my head from the first couple of rounds of chemical blasting to heal. Oh, the things we do for fashion...Hopefully by the time of my next photos I'll be the blonde I was aiming to be (and hopefully not bald!).

Until next time,

NorseOtter xxx


  1. I like your cords! No matter the small mistakes, we all do them ;) I have a question: since you went with a non-stretch fabric, how did you choose your size? Thanks :)

  2. Hi Sara,

    Thanks! Yes, I'm not too worried about the small things- makes me all the more keen to try again and get it right! I confess I just went with my standard size for this pair, which may have been a risky decision. I think perhaps the fabric is a bit more forgiving than some wovens- definitely less rigid than non-stretch denim. However, they have bagged out a little after a few wears, hopefully they'll go back to being a bit more slim-fitting after a wash. I wouldn't go with non-stretch fabrics for any future pairs, I just had this in my stash and wanted to try the construction process before buying anything especially, so it was an experiment that turned out better than it could have! What are you thinking of making your Gingers with? xxx

    1. Hi Elinor,
      thank you for your kind answer. I have a nice cotton drill and I was struggling in the decision. Anyway, thank you for pointing out the bagging, because I had totally forgot to consider that, I was just worried about the size to choose. So, all in all, I think I am not going to make a Ginger out of it. I will go with a traditional stretch denim and use the drill in a different way. I'll let you know how it turns out. And if there will be small mistakes, well that will be ok, I'll be happy to try again :) Ciao xxx

  3. Hi! I'm also thinking of making these in a corduroy (since I don't actually wear jeans normally!) so was very happy to read your thoughts on the matter. You look great too, and it's always good to make things from your stash :)

    1. Thanks Anushka! I would definitely check if your corduroy has any stretch, as mine do bag out a bit over the day. I'm sad to report mine have worn a bit thin over the rear too- I shouldn't have worn them on my bike! I have a new pair made up in black stretch twill though which I'll post soon. Good luck with yours! X