Wednesday, February 15, 2023

Ginger Jeans vs. Ash Jeans

I've been promising this post for a while now, and it's time. If this were a documentary, there would be a clip of two boxers getting ready to fight:

Ginger Jeans vs. Ash Jeans

Ash versus Ginger! The fight to the top of the indie jeans pattern world! I'm going to start this post with a comparison of the facts, and my completely biased opinion will be at the end. I've made both patterns, obviously. Ginger four times, Ash twice. You can scroll down to the end to see photos of each of my versions.

And because of course this happened in the middle of drafting this post, I have to mention that CCP just released the Jude Jeans pattern. It's two views and regurgitates their Ginger block into another pattern.

Size chart

Ginger offers two ranges, 0-20 and 14-32. Ash offers two ranges, 0-20 and 14-30. Ginger is drafted for 5'6" and Ash for 5'5" (Ash offers tall and cropped heights all within the pattern). The hip range for Ginger is 33"-63", for Ash it's 34"-62". Here are the charts:





On the 0-20 charts, Ginger has a 9" difference between waist and hip. Ash has a 10" difference. On the 14-32/34 charts, they both have a 10" difference between waist and hips. What this information tells me is that if you fit into the 0-20 range of sizes, there will likely be one of these charts that is closer to your measurements than the other. Of course, you may require grading regardless, but there is a difference between the two and it's worth investigating which is better for you.

Note that the mid-rise Ginger expansion pack is only available in the 0-20 size range.


I made a handy chart for you to reference which views, rises, etc. are available with each pattern. As I mentioned above, the Jude Jeans have been released using the same Ginger block, so I went ahead and added them to the chart.

You cannot mix views on Ginger. I found this out the hard way. The pattern pieces are vastly different between rises/leg types and you need significant drafting skills to mash them up. For whatever it's worth, CCP is claiming in the comments on their Jude release post that you CAN mix those views up. 


Ash is available as a PDF for $19.50 or a printed pattern for $22.29 (prices converted from AUD to USD).

The original Ginger is $16 for a PDF and $20 for a printed pattern (each size range sold separately). The mid-rise "expansion pack" (in quotes because it's a whole pattern) is $14 and is only available in PDF.

The cheapest you can get all views of Ginger is $30 and Ash is $19.50.

Jude is only available in PDF (still two size ranges) for $16.


I purchased a printed version of Ginger in 2016, and the mid-rise expansion PDF in 2021. I bought Ash in PDF in 2022. I make these notes to let you know that there is always a chance instructions change and are updated from what I used.

I found many mistakes in my printed version of Ginger (detailed on my blog here). The instructions for Ash were thorough and detailed and I had no issues. Take it with a grain of salt that by the time I was making Ash, I'd already made a lot of jeans and needed less hand-holding.

There is a Ginger sew along here and an Ash sew along here. At the time I was making a lot of Gingers, I used the sewalong a lot to supplement the instructions. I never even looked at the Ash one.


low rise Ginger Jeans
Ginger low rise in denim

mid rise Ginger Jeans

flared leg Ash Jeans

wide leg Ash Jeans

Biased Conclusion

I tried to keep my above comparisons as factual as possible, so you could draw your own conclusions about these patterns. Of course, I have my own opinions.

Ginger sucks. Ash is awesome. The existence of Jude is a stupid slap in the face.

That's the short version. So, why? Objectively speaking, you get way more for your money with Ash than you do with Ginger. Yes, Ash only has one rise, but in my experience it's much easier to stick with a mid-rise and change the legs as you like. After kids, low rise became very difficult for me to fit well, and high-rise just isn't loved enough by me to care about having that option.

The directions for Ash are just plain superior.

Ash fits me better. Both patterns require me to adjust the center back for a swayback, but that's the only change I need with Ash. These are facts that are true for my body, and honestly, it might depend on the day. Fit is in the body of the beholder and what works for me, even if our stats are the same, may not feel comfortable for you. Fabrics change, in particular stretch denim, and unless we're cutting the exact same bolt our mileage will vary.

I am salty about CCP. I've struggled with many of their patterns (and had success with others too). I resent the lavish praise I often see about Ginger when, in my opinion, it's not merited. Making jeans is difficult, and there is no magic pattern that will make it easy. It's harmful to praise a pattern to the high heavens and set up unrealistic expectations for other sewists. Sometimes things aren't clicking, we make mistakes, whatever, but sometimes the pattern is the problem, not you.

Jude being released right in the midst of me writing this post is so typical of what I would expect. Instead of four views in one pattern, CCP wants you to buy two different patterns. I'm sure I'm comparing apples to oranges; everyone has their own business model, expenses, etc. and maybe it's not fair to say Megan Nielsen and CCP should operate the same way. But as the customer and consumer here, my feedback is that buying two patterns vs. one is annoying.

As you can see, I have four pairs of Ginger Jeans, but the mid-rise are the only ones I wear. I'm sure I will soon replace those with a skinny pair of Ash Jeans, and my Gingers will be shoved to the bottom of the closet.

You can buy Ginger here and Ash here. Do you have any more questions about these two patterns?


  1. Loooove reading this. Of course a bootcut leg appealed to me this morning… at last. But reading you, I now know which pattern I will lean towards !
    By the way, you mention in the end of your article that there is only one rise in the Ash, but in your chart it appears as if the Ash has all three rises (which made me love it immediately, but I have to go and check this ;-) )

    1. You’re right about the chart! I will update it.

  2. For me, high rise Gingers just AREN'T high rise. I mean not compared to Chalk + Notch Isle. The rise difference is easily 2 inches. Or maybe it's just that my Gingers are all shrunken now. 🤷🏼‍♀️

  3. I have not made either pair. I did hear through several folks that the Ash jeans curve draft was not great. And I do remember lots of complaints about the leg twist in the Gingers. I have only made the Noice Jeans and they were a good experience. A free sew along is recommended. I am tempted to sew another pair of jeans. The Ash or Isle are on my list.

  4. Thank you so much for this. I decided against the Ginger jeans pattern because I saw quite a few reviews saying how confusing the instructions were. I went with the Love Notions jeans pattern instead, which was on sale and has quite a few views for petite and tall, and I am 4’11”. Anyway, great honest roundup. Thank you!

  5. I am definitely going to try the Ash jeans, I’ve had the pattern awhile but ever made it. I’ve made two pairs of Gingers and the legs twisted on both…even with single layer cutting according to instructions. Thank you for a honest review!

  6. This post cracks me up! So honest and true! I came back to reread it because I just finished my second pair of Ash jeans (and I’ve made one pair of Gingers). Gingers (and CCP in general) get high praise but the Ash jeans are way more bang for your buck and they are drafted beautifully with amazing instructions.


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