Gingers (of a thousand muslins)

Every time Closet Case Files puts out a new pattern I’m all ‘Want, want, want!’ but for no explicable reason I’ve yet to try any of Heather Lou’s patterns – until these Ginger Jeans.  Here is my entry for the ‘New to me’ competition.  I’ve been through a lot of muslins (ok, maybe not a thousand) and I’m mostly happy with how these have turned out.  To be honest, if I tried them on in a shop I’d probably put them back on the shelf while I went and had a coffee to think about it and then end up not returning to purchase them.  As they are, they are really comfortable and will be a good busy day, throw on item.  There are still some alterations I want to make but I’ll list these later with the details of my personal fit changes.


(I am bemused by the giant butt looming over my head)


Pattern: I choose to do the high waisted, skinny legged View B.  Again, I printed off the pdf and HOLY MOLY this pattern went together easy-peasy, piece of pie.  The logical numbering system meant that the pages just flew together and the neat way that the pattern is separated into two means that you don’t have to join together the centre row of pages, therefore no cutting the margins on that part, making it nice and quick!  Best pdf I’ve put together, ever.

Thats about where the easiness ended though….

Size: My measurements put me at a size 6 at the waist and size 10 at the hip.  I found grading trousers was not easy, like say, grading a t’shirt from bust to waist is.  For the front, I had the pocket facing, pocket lining and coin pocket that all had to be involved and then I could not figure out where along the crotch curve I should start to change sizes.  I managed to trace out my best guess.  I also shortened the leg along the shorten/lengthen lines by 8cm.

Fabric: It’s just some basic denim.  I’m not sure how well it will wear.  It’s very marginally below the 20% stretch recommend in the pattern.  My aim for these Gingers/fabric was to create a wearable muslin.

Cutting/Sewing: I just completely followed the Ginger jeans sew-a-long and it was awesome.  Great photos and enjoyable to read text.  The fly front especially (I’ve done a few before but not so many that I don’t need instructing) came together before I knew it and is easily the tidiest fly front I’ve sewn.  I used my overlocker and didn’t do flat felled seams.  I used a gold topstitching thread and a jeans needle and had no problems with sewing up the thicker material.


I would recommend this pattern.  Just cross your fingers that you are one of those people (and there seem to be lots out there) that this pattern fits either out of the envelope or without too much adjusting.  I do not fit into that group – nope.

Here are my personal pattern changes, in case they are of use to anyone else.  I should say that I have never read a book on fitting and have never had to fit anything before so in all likeliness I went about this all back to front and upside down.


Muslin OneStarting Point: size as per measurements (6 waist to 10 hip/legs) – Observations: ‘Ha,ha what a crack up.’  Way too big.  Changes to make: size 6 waist to 8 hip/leg

= Muslin Two – Observations: Still too big? Under butt wrinkles and baggy front crotch.  Changes to make: size 6 from waist to knee, size 8 knee down. Straighten out back crotch slightly.

= Muslin Three Observations: Still under butt wrinkles and baggy front crotch. (Posted in Facebook group for feedback)  Changes to make: ease back inseam from knee to crotch making the back 10mm shorter than the front, straighten front crotch slightly.


= Muslin Four – Observations: Baggy front crotch, still too many wrinkles under butt.  Changes to make: Shorten by 1cm at front lengthen and shorten lines just below pocket (on right side only.)

= Muslin FiveObservations: Front improving, back still baggy.  Changes to make: Shorten by 1cm at back lengthen and shorten lines, pinch out a curved dart at front from base of crotch up to pocket (on left side only).

=Muslin SixObservations: Left front much improved, barely any bagginess. Still too many under butt wrinkles.  Changes to make: Take a horizontal dart out at the top of the thigh, front = 2cm on inner thigh to nothing at outer thigh and the back = 4cm at inner thigh to nothing at outer thigh (left side only)

= Muslin SevenObservations: Front is now fine, back is still a bit too wrinkly.  Changes to make: Change the horizontal dart at the top of thigh to run from 2cm inner front to 3cm on side (rather than 0cm) to 4cm inner back.  Back length is shorter so is stretched to fit front.

= Muslin Eight – I transferred all my changes onto the pattern piece and then this became the wearable muslin. IMG_5824

Changes I still want to make after competing my wearable muslin:

  • There is still an excess fold of fabric at the front crotch.  Some of this could be caused by the fly, I feel it is slightly too low so the firm, bulk of fabric here where it ends could be causing the rest of the fabric to fold under. Next time, I’ll try and have the fly end about 15mm higher up.
  • There is still quite a few wrinkles that gather up under my butt (see pic2 in the top photo montage.)  Not sure whether to keep removing fabric horizontally or try a vertical dart towards the inner thigh.  Or change the crotch curve, although how, I’m not sure.
  • I seem to still have a deep horizontal fold of fabric at the back, top of each thigh.  I know there will be some wrinkles for ease of movement but I’m wondering why it falls in a single fold like that?
  • Now the waist height seems to be in-between the high and low rise.  I’d like to try and raise it but then I’m not sure if this is just going to un-do all the changes I’ve made.
  • I think shortening the top of the jeans adjusted the length of the leg too so they are now slightly too short.   I’ll add 4cm to the bottom of the legs
  • Perhaps move the back pockets inwards just a teeny, tiny fraction?

If anyone has managed to read this far and wants to offer feedback on any fit alterations they are most welcome to!  Thanks!

P.S. I can’t believe I just put this many butt photos on the internet.

29 thoughts on “Gingers (of a thousand muslins)

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  4. Don’t be embarrassed about putting so many butt photos online! Your butt looks great in the jeans. You did a great job!!


    • Ha ha thanks! It was a tad awkward photo shoot with my sister telling me to stop lifting one butt cheek like I’m about to pass wind ☺️ but we managed to get a few respectable ones.


  5. i love looking at the transition photos and seing how each version ha improved! im also interested in your fitting adjustments too as having only made a few pairs of trousers myself am kind of new to the required fitting adjustments. your latest iteration looks great!


    • Thanks! I wouldn’t rely on my methods as the proper way to do it but I definitely learned to take one small step at a time. Good luck with your next pair of trousers!


  6. I think they look awesome, and someone needs to say that you have a very cute figure that deserves the perfect pair of jeans! I promise it’s worth the work; once you make a pair that fits, you’ll be like, “I’m never buying pants again!” I have two pieces of advice. First, a cheat for fitting is to use a rolled up piece of tinfoil to measure your crotch. Place it between your legs and squish it to your body to match your curves. Lay your pattern out and alter it to the tinfoil. Explain to family members present what you are doing when they look at you askance. Second, be aware that even once you have the perfect pattern it is going to fit differently with each fabric, even if the fabrics are basically similar. Fit as you go each time. Sorry, I wish it was easier. Pants are hard! You Gingers look adorable on you.


    • Awwww! Thanks! That’s interesting about the tinfoil. I’d read something similar with using a Flexi ruler. I’ve owned a Flexi ruler for 15 years since I had to buy it for my uni course and I’ve never, ever used it in my work. Finally about three weeks ago in a fit of organisation I thought ‘why are you cluttering up my desk drawer?’ And I threw it out. So I was kicking myself when I learnt it could of been handy to me in fitting these jeans. I never thought of using tinfoil to do something similar and will definitely give it a go. In the complete privacy of my sewing room that is!! Thanks for your input.


  7. I admire your persistence! Looks like all your hard work paid off and the final result is a nicely fitting pair of pants. I don’t think I’d have the patience to do all that. Well done!


    • Thanks! I’m surprised I kept going too, I definitely owe myself a new quick unpick/seam ripper that’s for sure


    • Yay! I’m glad they are useful. Since they are a bit of a personal fit issue I wasn’t sure whether to include them or not but I figured there must be others who have the same issues!


  8. Omg I don’t think I’ve ever made 8 muslins – that is dedication!! I agree with moving the pockets in a tad, but can’t offer any other suggestions. I’m only on my third pair of pants ever, and I’ve never made jeans, but I think you’ve done a great job!!


    • Yes I hardly ever make muslins but luckily I decided to this time. It was more a matter of stubbornness that I kept going with eight. Thanks for the feedback on the pockets!


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