Let’s Look at My Crotch Curve (Or, Fitting My Badonkadonk Into Ginger Jeans)

Now that my work is all casual, all the time, I pretty much wear jeans daily. My go-to brand has been Levi’s for the last few years. But, they’ve changed the fabric makeup and cut and I can’t get the jeans that I love anymore. Plus, the ones I bought last year are already destroyed in the inner thigh and feel gross (they can keep their recycled water bottles out of my jeans thankyouverymuch).  RTW jeans are now a sad crapshoot of tears, self loathing and contempt.

Which means, it may be time for me to make my own. I have no intimidation about the construction of jeans (I made a not great fitting pair before. The comments in that post are a treasure trove). But, the fitting of them. Ugh.Yet, I’ve been intrigued by the Close Case Patterns Ginger Jeans I’ve seen in the wild. Especially LoveLola’sSewmanju and By Gum Golly.

My measurements correspond to a 16 in the pattern and that’s what I traced out. There is no vanity pattern sizing for me! Which reminds me of a friend I was helping sew and she insisted the pattern size was wrong. M’kay. That dress did NOT fit when we were done. One ‘good’ thing about gaining weight (and approaching middle age), my waist isn’t so disproportionately smaller to my hip measurements anymore. But, what I am is still built like a brickhouse. So, I decided to compare the crotch curve of my best fitting jeans with those of the Gingers so I wouldn’t blindly start altering.

Levis line is in green, Gingers in orange and the pencil is the seam line for the Gingers. Both lines on right are to the yoke.  (click to enlarge)

 photo 20150724075740623_0001_zpsu2twflj7.jpg

I have a huge ass and a severe swayback. Here’s my standard full seat, swayback, opposite-of-thigh-gap pants adjustment. I do these in every pattern line and have gotten some good fit in pants.

Which leaves me to wonder what adjustment do I make to have these fit my tuchus. I think I make the full inner thigh (which also adds some fabric to the front curve which is needed) and swayback adjustments. I’ll wait until I’ve got a muslin to pin out any darts at the waist needed since I’m not as small in the middle (but got much back).

So, um, I guess we all know what I’m doing this weekend. And, if inclined, feel free to weigh in.


  1. My butt has been a major problem when trying to sew pants. If I sew for my waist 14/16 then the butt is too small, if I sew for my butt size 18 then it is too big and additionally i am only 5 ft tall so most patterns are usually way too long for me. i have not tried making jeans but i have seen several bloggers make them that i am tempted. My favorite jeans are from PZI out of Atlanta which fit me well and are comfortable all day. Looking forward to seeing how you make your jeans fit for your needs.

  2. Have you made a decision on cutting the low(er) rise or the high rise? I cut the high rise in 16 and found I absolutely needed to adjust the back crotch AND move the yoke line up toward the waist band. (Seriously, the unaltered yoke was a line right across the widest part of my tuckus.) I also needed to take quite a bit out of the back thigh.

    I’d love to see which alterations you make, though.

    • I’m actually going to make the high waist version first. I bought eight yards of fabric so I could muslin and get two pairs out of it. But, right now I’m tempted to do a first muslin in some off brand fabric just to see. I did read it had a generous cut in the hip and butt — which is good for me! But, I like my jeans pretty snug too. What kind of adjustment did you need to make at the back crotch?

      On Fri, Jul 24, 2015 at 9:08 AM, Miss Celie's Pants wrote:


  3. And the award for best headline to make you click on a blog post goes to….

    • What makes this comment perfect, is I was just wondering this week if you read my blog anymore since it’s so much sewing.

      On Fri, Jul 24, 2015 at 9:24 AM, Miss Celie's Pants wrote:


  4. Hurray! 30″ waist and 45″ hip here – Your butt alterations are what first drew me to your blog so many years ago. I’ve been eyeing the Ginger jeans too, can’t wait to see how yours come out.

  5. I haven’t even read this post yet – just have to comment to say it’s the most hilarious title I’ve seen in a long time!

  6. I used the Jalie pattern once and it fit pretty decent straight out of the envelope, even though I, too, have a huge butt. I’ve never heard of this full inner thigh adjustment, maybe that’s what the Barb pants I’ve been struggling with need….God knows I’ve rubbed many a pair of jeans to the breaking point in that area.

    Interesting difference between the Levi’s and the Gingers. It almost seems like there’s no way it’s going to work as they are, but then, I don’t pretend to understand how things work in fitting pants. Or sewing in general, sometimes. 😉 I hear ya on the quality of RTW jeans lately though. I recently bought some that feel more like jegging/pajamas than actual jeans. Sure they’re comfy, but I miss being able to wear men’s cowboy cut Wranglers…those were REAL jeans, and they kept my stomach under control (and made my ass look fantastic). 😛

  7. I’m looking forward to your adjustment solutions too…I also have a big behind and a smaller waist! (and a hard time buying pants, and even worse making them)

  8. Shape of crotch makes an incredible difference. I’ve had pretty good luck lately with turning that shape more into an “L” than a “U” — at least, for the back part of the crotch curve. Unlike you, my thighs are relatively thin compared to my hips. I end up with way too much fabric across the underneath of my buttocks, unless I make the crotch deeper and cut away extra fabric in that “U” shape in the back — the resulting seam draws the pants in nicely just where I need it to do so. That, and leaving all darts unsewn in the front waist, fits my weirdly-shrinking-and-at-the-same-time-expanding middle-aged figure.

    • I don’t have my patterns handy to reference, but I think I did something similar on my second pair of Gingers.

  9. Hysterical title, made my day. No advice other than to mention Peggy Sagers is having a free webinar tomorrow; she will be sewing a complete pair of jeans. May be of some help.

  10. Thanks you for the early morning pick-me-up with your title. I’m sitting in class and came at full attention when I read your title. Similar to Scooby-Doo “ruh roe”.

    I look forward to seeing your ginger muslin and finished garment. Enjoy the process.

  11. “weigh in”. Haha. I am really wanting to make my own jeans too but haven’t yet committed to a pattern. My alteration issue is no butt.

  12. “RTW jeans are now a sad crapshoot of tears, self loathing and contempt.” Amen!

    I have the opposite issue, my ass took a hike at 50. Jeans fitting is an exercise in patience. I muslined the HP Weekender Jean recently and got pretty close, but they still need work to be comfortably wearable. Considering Style Arc’s Jean pattern.
    Good luck!
    And, great title.

    • I am just not a ruboff pattern person. And, I don’t love what I have. They aren’t bad but not as good as I’ve had. On Jul 24, 2015 11:47 AM, “Miss Celie's Pants” wrote:


  13. You’re SO in luck! Tomorrow = 10am = 1pm CT = Peggy Sagers of Silhouette Patterns is having a LIVE Jeans sewalong!! You can watch live on her website here>> Jeans Sew ‘N Chat:


    But to watch AND chat, ask her a question live and get her ideas/answers live, you must login to youtube and subscribe to her site here:


    These live sewalongs have in the past been so informative and enjoyable. Hope you can join in and watch! I really looking forward to this event.


    • I’m intrigued to see how this all works out for you. I have a 12″ difference between waist and full hip and top of my thighs measure the same as my full hip. I did a study on a bunch of pants that fit well, but they all have differing amounts of stretch. Having screwed up a few pieces not accounting for that, I’ve realized that the study only helps so much. I hope you have fun with the muslins! And I look forward to your results.

  14. I got my ginger pattern and NEED jeans like crazy… my levi 529’s are just not right either even though they are the best fit I can fit in RTW to fit my big booteh and full thighs… but I also have a lower hanging butt screwing things up with all RTW jeans ever. And how did I just make man pants for my husband with zero alterations… men are so easy to fit. Ugh.

  15. I’m so glad you posted this. I have a sway back too and have in the back of my mind wanted to try making jeans. I bought the Jeans making class’s on Craftsy but haven’t delved in. My sway back is what’s holding me back. Thank God we can buy 100% denim cotton! I’m looking forward to see what you do.

  16. I have been considering making these jeans as well and look forward to seeing how the fitting goes. That is what scares me the MOST. Fitting them to my body and getting them just right. SIGH….

    • I didn’t see that. But, I did read about the relaunch with my lower half body double Alicia Keyes. I will say the jeans I’m wearing now that fit, are super stretchy. They feel like leggings almost. It’s what I don’t like about them. I think thought I read about this in the Post and Times. I’ll check out what Bloomberg says too. Thanks!

      On Fri, Jul 24, 2015 at 1:39 PM, Miss Celie's Pants wrote:


  17. Let me start by saying that we are kind of twin in the lower bodies :-). I’ve had much better luck starting with the Burda crotch curve, which is a lot more realistic. Not just not u-shape, but very sloped front to back where it counts. And works very well in larger sizes, these German women are often substential :-).

    But I think you’re doing thigh adjustments which could be improved. Instead of adding to the outside of the leg, Sandra Betzina had me add it all to the inside, ie lengthen the crotch curve horizontal-lish part. 1/2″ only for my pretty big thighs, but you can go an inch without distortion. All on the front, because that’s where most of the thigh extras are in most humans if you look at it. And you know, that made a huge difference, I’ve never done it differently since Taper that addition down to the regular seamline by the time you get to the knees. You get a front seam that’s slightly longer, but you just ease that in, it works great.

    As to the butt, you can do a bit of the same midline-only adjustment, on the back of course. But I really don’t think your butt is as out of proportion as you think :-). With your same shape, and thighs which look significantly lumpy on the outside, doing the front thigh adjustment alone makes everything fall perfectly for me. As long as I pick the right size in Burda pants (well, Jalie is probably OK too), that is measure, ignore US sizes entirely (2 too small compared to US pattern companies) and make what the result is.

    Give it a shot :-). May I suggest that just like you can perfect bra band fit before you attack the cups, you can perfect the crotch curve on more trouser-ey pants before you transfer that to jeans?

  18. I agree with M-C. Perfect on non-jeans first. I’ve been trying to get a good fit (classes, described on my blog) but so far haven’t succeeded. My shape is much more difficult than when I was younger. So making decent fitting pants is still top of my list of sewing to dos.

  19. The Levi jean curve has the usual ‘jean’ draft of the back curve being lengthened and angled, whereas the Ginger one looks closer to a formal pants/trouser draft, where the back curve is more upright. The jean curve puts the fabric on that seam almost onto the bias, allowing more give. From your description of your figure I’m not sure if the Ginger upright back crotch curve would be a comfortable solution.

  20. Well the fact that you got 8 yards is awesome because you can probably cut 5 pair of jeans.

    I think the curve will be wrong on the Gingers; but how wrong?? You’ll have to “just muslin them”. First in something other than your denim. Then you can muslin in your fabric.

    I also think that having a big butt is hard because so many fit resources focuses seem to be either plus–which is not the same fit issues…or pear-again, not the same

    I made the Style Arc Sandra but didn’t need a ton of adjustments. I can’t wait to source more denim!

  21. You crack me up! I love my Gingers. I have a good boo-tay too, and sewed it straight from the pattern at first. I ended up taking several inches out of the back because of gaping. Plumber crack is only cute on kids! Good luck!!

  22. Badonkadonk has to be one of the best words ever–nothing like keeping our inner five-year-old selves alive! Swayback though is another thing, bringing to mind a poor old broken down horse, rather than a beautiful–and sexy–back curve, leading of course to the aforementioned badonkadonk.

  23. Yep yep, Peggy Sagers mentioned already a couple of times, she has her “Just Jeans” video + cargo pant pattern special going on right now (silhouettepatterns.com) plus many of her prior webcasts deal with pant fitting and they have all helped me quite a bit

  24. I can’t wait to see your jeans I have made several jeans and I always have to adjust the crotch front smaller and the back larger. hips wider waist smaller.. But I love the fit of my own jeans!

  25. Man, I was such a Levis girl my entire life, but they’ve changed the cut of my go-to pairs and the fabric is so thin and gross-feeling now that I’ll be forced to sew all my own jeans once my current pairs die and go to heaven. Ugh! So frustrating!

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