After sewing my first pair of Ginger Jeans, I was bit by the pants-making bug. I had to make another pair! Something I had been longing for. Something I had been unable to find in stores thanks to my 35″ inseam. Secret pyjamas that I could wear to work. In short: Ponte Ginger Jeans!
I found the fabric, a stable viscose-based ponte knit, at a local fabric store and immediately got to work. Usually, fabrics sit around in my stash before finding use, but this one was processed in record time!
To add a little visual interest, I added a narrow strip of black faux leather in the outseams.
I made a few alterations to the pattern, mostly to accommodate the ponte fabric:
- Lengthened front and back crotch by 1cm
- Convert the yoke to a pair of darts
- Remove the front pockets
- Taper the legs a bit more below the knee for a slimmer shape
- Leave off belt loops
Since the pattern fit me well straight out of the box, I didn’t have to change it much in terms of fitting. I lengthened the front and back crotch a little because I found my denim pair to be a little tight there.
Converting Yokes to Darts
I decided to sew darts instead of the back yoke. The process of converting from one to the other is pretty straight forward:
- Trace off a fresh copy of the back leg and yoke.
- Mark the seam allowances at the top of the back leg and the sides and bottom of the yoke.
- Decide where you want the dart and mark that spot with a straight line on the yoke. Usually, the dart is located about halfway between the center back and the side seam.
- Cut the yoke from the top to, but not through, the bottom seam line. Also snip the seam allowance below the seam line.
- Align the seamline of the yoke with that of the leg, starting at center back. The curve of the yoke should intersect the curve of the back leg at center back and at the point you marked previously for the dart.
- Pivot the other half of the yoke so that it matches up with the side seam on the leg piece.
- Tape the two pieces together and/or trace them off as one. The gap in the yoke that resulted from pivoting is your new dart.
Constructing Ponte Ginger Jeans
I used my serger with a standard four-thread wide stitch to sew most of the seams (in- and outseams, crotch seam, constructing and attaching the waistband). I used a normal straight stitch on my sewing machine to sew the front fly and darts and to top-stitch the inseam, waistband and back pockets. Since I left off the front pockets and belt loops, they came together pretty quickly.
I enjoy hand-sewing so I hand-basted the leather strips that I wanted to include in the outseams. Additionally, I stitched down the seam allowance by hand after sewing the outseams. Otherwise, the seam allowance would flip-flop between laying to the front and back, because knits don’t hold a press as well as wovens would.
For the hem, I opted to do a hand-stitched blind hem. Of course, a machine blind hem would work as well, but – like I mentioned… I actually found that the ponte fabric also stretches enough vertically that I had to trim 5cm/2in off the leg length.
Instead of a jeans button, I used a trouser hook and bar. It works, but there’s definetily a little bump caused by the fabric pulling. In the future, I might move the zipper to a side seam and use a small hook and eye to secure it.
Main fabric: Black ponte knit from a local store, EvLi’s Needle.
Topstitching thread: Coats Epic #50 Weight in black from Der Rote Faden.
Interfacing: Vlieseline G770, as well as cotton organdie in the ends of the waistband.