Summer Capsule Wardrobe Series

The Closet Case Patterns Ginger Jeans
Part 4 - with top stitching waistbands and pockets tips

Blog / 19 July 2017

I can’t believe we are on the final post of the mini summer capsule wardrobe series already! I really hope you have enjoyed the posts so far? If you are yet to catch up there are links to each post at the very bottom of this one.

So, the final item to complete this little collection of lovely clothes is the Closet Case Pattern Ginger jeans. Some of you might have caught my last post on the high waisted classic blue version that I posted a while back, but I think jeans are such a great addition to a handmade wardrobe and despite probably taking more time than your average make, you will certainly get so much wear out of them, so I think its totally worth the extra effort!

I’ve made a video to show you them in real life and included my tips on applying the rivets and button, as well as top stitching and adding a pocket decoration. 

Check out all my chat or skip to the bit you are most interested in by following this timing guide

4 mins 52 secs - How to sew through the metal toothed zip without breaking the needle

7 mins 18 secs - How to deal with sewing through lots of layers and balancing the level of the foot

8 mins 18 secs - How to use a zigzag stitch as a bar tack for attaching belt loops and fixing the fly in place

10 mins 21 secs - How to mark a top stitching design on the back pockets

14 mins 23 secs - How to top stitch your pocket design on

17 mins 13 secs - How to apply rivets using a whole punch and vario pliers

21 mins 42 secs - How to apply a jeans button in the correct position with vario pliers

25 mins 22 secs - Style suggestions and outfit options


You can also check out my rosary skirt video which has top stitching tips at 8mins 15 secs in. 

Design and style variations

The pattern comes with two designs. There is a high waisted skinny fit with a built in tummy slimming pocket stay, which I absolutely LOVE!

The pocket stay is an extension of the pocket lining that gets sewn in place with the fly, so it means there is this supportive band of fabric on the inside and it feels really comfortable and snug - in a good way! 

Alternatively you can go for a mid rise with a stovepipe fit on the legs. They are fitted and flattering around the hips and thighs, but the lower leg straightens out a bit more.

Each version comes as two totally different sets of pattern pieces, so if you decide to make one version, you’ll still have the other option there as well. It pretty much means you get two separate patterns in one, which is great! If you did want to combine them and say have the skinny fit with the low-rise then you could easily just lay the pattern pieces for each leg on top of the other to get the correct shape at the bottom of the leg.

There is also a flared version of the pattern available as a pdf from the Closet Case Patterns website (link here). 

Nicky, who is a local Birmingham Image Consultant  (find out more about her services in this link) says “darker jeans are great for a smarter look and can be more sleek and flattering, especially the high rise version. The stretch in the fabric will also help to increase your confidence and avoid any hip lines.” 

In terms of leg shape she suggests a straight or narrow boot cut if your hips are narrower or just a bit curvy. Wider boot cuts or flares help to flatter the legs if you have curvy hips, but be aware that decoration on the rear pockets can emphasise the bottom so depending on how you feel you might want to keep it subtle. 

Fabric choices and notions needed

This pattern is designed to be used with stretch denim so it’s important to use that, otherwise the jeans might not fit quite right. I’ve used our Light blue 9oz stretch denim for my light coloured ones and our Classic Blue 11oz Stretch for my high waisted skinny ones.

To get a really nice finish on the jeans you do need quite a few other bits and pieces including rivets and a jeans button too. 

To make it a bit easier we’ve included everything you need in our limited edition jeans packs – that also save you 15%! They contain the fabric, patterns and notions you need to recreate the jeans. Alternatively, you can get the individual items separately – all the links are at the bottom of this post. 

Size and alterations

I made mine in a size 6 and on both versions I did a small seal adjustment, which means taking a wedge out of the back rise.

I can highly recommend the Closet Case patterns sewalong on their blog (link here) for easy to understand advice and diagrams on how to make various adjustments to your jeans.

On both my versions, before I put the fly in (but after I had put the pockets in) I basted the jeans together with a long stitch length and tried them on. On both versions I took a wedge out of the centre back seam as it was gaping a bit.

Denim will always stretch and give a bit over time with normal wear, so it’s best if they are a really tight snug fit initially. That’s why its important to try them on before you really get going into your top stitching, otherwise it’s a real pain in the bum to unpick everything to make changes.

Design details

I really love the top-stitching on these jeans and it’s honestly really satisfying to do.

Here are my top tips for getting lovely neat top-stitching

  • Use the thicker top stitch thread in the top of the machine and normal thread in the bobbin (I usually just use the same blue thread that I use to sew the seams)
  • Use a top stitch needle – these have a slightly bigger eye which means there is less tension created when the thick thread passes through it
  • Always do a test on scrap fabric through the same number of layers of denim that you will stitch through on your garment. You may need to alter the tension of the machine and lower it slightly.
  • Consistency is key so find a mark on the foot of your machine and use that to line up the stitching and just take things really slowly
  • If you are turning a corner, for example at the top of pockets or at the waistband, use some scrap denim to help level out the foot of the machine so it can cope with all the layers of fabric.
  • You may have to use the hand wheel to manually do a few stitches in places to make sure the machine doesn’t get stuck stitching on one spot over and over.

Check out my video at 10 mins 21 secs to find out how I marked out the top stitching design on my pockets and for other top stitching tips in action! 

Style options

These jeans are my most recent favourite make! I’ve heard so many positive reviews about them and see so many gorgeous, flattering versions online on lots of different body shapes and sizes so I really encourage you to go for it and give it a try!

They go with so many different things and can easily be dressed up or down.

Here I am wearing them with the cropped Closet Case Patterns kalle shirt and some high heels – perfect for a few drinks out.

I think they also look lovely with the Breton style lark. You could easily make it more fitted and crop the length to suit the level of the jeans according to the rise you choose. 

The light blue ones look really cute with a simple plain Lark tee and some trainers – great for chasing a baby round the play park!

Or smarten them up a bit with a V-neck Lark tee and some sandals for BBQ chic! 

Well, that brings me to the end of this mini capsule wardrobe series! I've had so much fun making all the clothes, picking out the fabrics and trying new things and I really hope I've inspired you to do the same! 

Our limited edition packs are a great way to get started, or alternatively you can just select the bits and pieces you need separately.

Happy summer sewing you lovely lot!