Sewing for Me: Ginger Skinny Jeans Muslin #2


We’re getting close. In my glacial-paced sewing of the Ginger skinny jeans, we last left off at discovering that the size 12 made me look like I’d sampled Charlie Chaplin’s trousers. Like so:


So I shaved off a size from the original muslin and dutifully sewed up a size 10 muslin (fabric salvaged!).

At first glance and with a roomy top (the beige-y top is a Renfrew I made in the softest imaginable bamboo knit a while back that I never shared here. I love it to death), it’s looking pretty good up there in the topmost image.

But then, you see that the hip area could use some denim liposuction:

ginger-2ndmuslin1 ginger-2ndmuslin4

And holy cow, I truly have no butt, so I need to take a few inches off of the center of the back yokes:

ginger-2ndmuslin5Sorry about all the dust on the floor – I actually swept the floors before taking photos and it makes me question my cleaning abilities.


Now, I have to confess that it was terribly, terribly exciting that I had to go down two whole sizes (except for my calves. Those are solidly size 12). Then I read that these patterns tend to give you extra wiggle room, so poof went my momentary thrill that my plodding, 16-minutes-per-mile treadmill workouts might actually be having an effect.


Oh well. At this point I exercise because I love the endorphins, so I’ve made peace with the idea that there may not be a fitness model bod lurking underneath my currrent physique. The important thing is this: I’m seeing the potential for a flattering pair of skinnies on the near horizon. Because I’m deep like that. Though at the rate I’m going, the near horizon is most likely a few months away. Still, I’ve got my snazzy rivets and jean zipper from Thread Theory, and a few tweaks to go. I am wildly optimistic.


40 thoughts on “Sewing for Me: Ginger Skinny Jeans Muslin #2

    1. Thanks Greta! I’m making sloths look like Indy 500 racers at the pace I’m going, but I’ll get there!! 🙂

  1. Seems to me this jeans patterns must’ve come with a self-training pattern making/alteration package. I would have been so frustrated long before I see the horizon. You are very persistent. 😀 Coming to the top, it’s something easy to make and extremely comfy to wear. I can live with that….

    1. It’s definitely good training for alterations, Jing! It hasn’t been too bad since I’ve just had to whittle away at the muslin pieces and really, I’ve just basted these together so not a lot of time investment :-). And yes, the top is AWESOME. I wear it all the time.

  2. These are looking incredibly flattering already! I am thoroughly impressed with your ginger sewing skills and perseverance. And our unique bodies, beautiful in every shape and size, is one of the huge reasons why I love sewing. I think I’ve learned to appreciate my one of a kindness the more I have sewn for myself!

    1. Oh thanks, Teresa! I’m glad my basting skills are looking good :-). I think it’s a good idea for me to document everything here no matter how slow I’m going because my memory is shoddy at best and I’ll forget everything as soon as I finish making them. And hooray for celebrating each and every body type!!! I’m right with ya.

  3. Seriously admire your commitment! I’m such an instant gratification sewer that I don’t even really like projects that take 2 nights to sew! lol

    1. I tend to be an instant gratification sewing person (gah – WHY has no one come up with a better word than sewer, sewist, etc.??). But this is my year of quality over quantity and I’ve developed a deep fondness for skinny jeans so I’m diving in :-).

  4. I so admire your persistence! The jeans are looking great and getting close, and I imagine it will be wonderful to have a pants pattern that is completely tailored to your body. I have avoided sewing for myself because I am totally intimidated by making a muslin, but one of these months I’ll make the commitment!

    1. Thank you, Angela! The muslin process is actually a whole lot less painful than I expected. I don’t normally make them, but since I’m just basting a few pieces together, technically it should go pretty fast (if you’re not like me and take weeks to go down just one size). 🙂

    1. Too true, Heather Lou! I’m so looking forward to my new favorite pair of jeans (which these surely will be!). 🙂

  5. It’s looking pretty good already! I admire your persistence, and look forward to seeing the final piece!!

  6. They are looking good! I wonder if you could go down another size?? Mine were fairly tight during the muslin stage but I knew the denim would stretch a bit with wear. Once you get through the fitting the actual sewing will go so fast! And then you can make any jean variation you want from that basic pattern. So fun. I am cutting out my second pair of Gingers today, after wearing them for a while there are a few little changes I want to make to the back leg and the waistband…it’s a process!

    1. Good to know! Hey, do you make pattern pieces from your muslin, or do you transfer changes to the papaer pattern? I’m just curious. Thanks Kelly, and your Gingers look amazing!

      1. I usually transfer the changes to my paper pattern…I feel like the muslin gets kinda stretched out so I hesitate to use them as pattern pieces. With these, I am keeping my previous version as is, and traced another copy to make changes. Because the fit is good, and I didn’t want to lose it if I don’t like the newest version as much. I made sure to label the pieces V1 and V2 so I don’t get them mixed up 🙂 I think it takes a few days of wear to really evaluate the fit properly. I am hoping I’ve got it pretty nailed down with the newest version though!

        1. So helpful, thank you Kelly! And that’s smart to retain the original modifications just in case you don’t like the new-new version. I’m considering going down two more sizes to a 6 since it feels like this denim is stretching a lot….but the calves…oh, the calves…;-)

          1. I have hyperextended knees so the calves are always tight on me too! I made the straight leg version so it’s fine but when I make the skinny version I know I’ll have to add some room to the calves. Heather shows how to do that in the fitting post of the sew along, it looks fairly easy 🙂

    1. Thanks much, Kristi! I know you’re an old hat at making jeans so you’ll have to give me some pointers!

  7. I am very greedily following along on your ginger sewing journey. I have the pattern printed out and dreams of denim to order, but have yet to even take my realistic measurements. I am excited to see how yours turn out, they already look pretty great!

    1. I took my measurements and still I cut out the wrong size…it’s pretty thrilling to see them looking more like skinny jeans with just one small change! Thank you Bridget!

  8. They are looking great! I think fitting trousers is the most difficult thing ever and you are doing it great. Lots of potential and every time I read your journey with the Ginger jeans, here on in IG, I want to make my pair!. I wish we lived nearer and we could sew them together with a cup of tea and good chat.

    1. Oh, that would be so fun, Maria! I would enjoy sewing with you with a cuppa and some chatting :-). I figure if I go slow, fitting won’t seem so overwhelming. My brain doesn’t naturally think in 3-D so this is very much a challenge for me!

  9. Good work! I am so proud of you for tackling jeans. I am still working up the courage to actually DO a FBA after learning about how to do one for several years. :o)

    1. Oh, you and me both on the FBA, Beccy. I try to avoid FBAs like the plague! It’s a big reason I love loose, tunic-like tops :-). Thank you!

  10. Looking good, looking good! I’m glad you did a fit synopsis of the jeans – I was very tempted to get the pattern but seeing you (and so many other people) have to size down, I’ve given it a miss. My grading skills are not going to be able to handle the size down from the smallest size. So sad as they look totally fab on you.

    1. My grading skills are nil, and yes, these are definitely generously sized. I also purchased the Jalie and Vogue 8774 patters, so I’m curious to find out how they compare. That would probably take me a decade, though…;-) Thanks, Grace!

  11. Sanae, you know I already hold you in high sewing esteem, but this latest project with the jeans . . .wow! I am so impressed by the patient tweaking you are doing to create a one-of-a-kind pair of jeans. IMHO, they look great already though I can see why you would want to take some off the hip area and back waistband. Just think of the great pattern you’ll have created by the end – you’ll be whipping these out in no time!
    And I just want to encourage you too with the treadmill thing. I, just like you, see very little transformation from my treadmill time (I won’t even tell my runner son what my speed is as I”m pretty sure he could literally run two miles to my one) but have grown to like it for different reasons other than weight loss. A great mood stabilizer, heart conditioner, stress releaser, etc. I know you already know all these things but just wanted to give you that virtual encouragement to stick with it:)

    1. I feel exactly the same way about the running, Lucinda! It’s amazing – when I don’t run now, I find myself in a big old funk. I’m convinced exercise is the magic pill everyone’s looking for!

      And I hope the jeans come out ok…after multiple muslins, it would be a let down to have ill-fitting jeans. I have a feeling I’m going to learn a lot about fitting though!

    1. This is great denim, Traveller :-). I love the dark wash too, and it’s on the thinner side, which I like. Thank you!

  12. The jeans are looking good! I didn’t think I’d ever have the patience to make jeans but your finished product might change my mind. However, the Renfrew top looks Ah-mazing! I’ve been on the fence about buying the pattern but I’m sold! I want to make it in beige, white, light gray, dark gray, heather gray, black, navy, beige (wait, did I say beige already?). I would live in it! I hope it is as great as it looks in your pic.

    1. Well, I just hope I can get these jeans done before the end of the century. The Renfrew is fantastic, I highly recommend it, Claudette! I made a stripey sweater knit version too and I wear that one so much that it’s starting to get ragged. I’m thinking of making another one in a double-knit!

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