While making your own jeans may sound impossible, it’s really much easier than you think. Sewing your own jeans is a huge trend among sewists who are tired of paying huge prices for their everyday favorites! Before you sew, though, let’s take a look at the basics – fitting, tools, fabrics and patterns and then you’ll be ready to go.
Jeans Sewing Basics
The details of sewing your own jeans shouldn’t be taken lightly, but they don’t have to be hard. While not recommended for beginners, those with intermediate experience and beyond will thoroughly enjoy the challenge. On the Craftsy blog, Seattle American Sewing Guild president, Maris Olsen, offers an informative post with all the basics you’ll need to get started. Maris includes tips for tools, supplies, design details and more while breaking down the jeans sewing process into very doable steps. Yes, you can be your own unique jeans designer! Click here for the Sew Your Own Jeans post.
Jeans Fitting Adjustments
Heather Lou of Closet Case Patterns has excellent jeans fitting advice for you. Chill out! While that may not be technical, it is accurate. No one is ever as fussy about how our clothes fit as we are and there are no “fitting police” waiting to assess your jeans! For the basics of common jeans fitting needs, though, Heather Lou is your girl and she includes extensive tips and techniques in her post. Read it through before you begin so that you can indeed “chill out”. Click here for the Jeans Fitting Adjustments post and don’t miss the free e-book!
The Hardware of Jeans Construction
Sewing your own jeans involves tools, notions and fabrics that may be new to you. They each have a specific purpose and are designed for the jeans job. Purchasing what you need will pay off in a successful sewing adventure and that’s definitely what you need!
- Fabric – Does your pattern call for Stretch Denim? This is a woven fabric that includes spandex in the threads that were used to make the fabric. If your pattern does not call for Stretch Denim, using it will change the fit and sizing. The weight of the denim will change the look and fit of your finished jeans, too. Denim can be lightweight (6 – 8 oz.), heavyweight (10 – 12 oz.) or in between. Stick with the type and weight of fabric that is recommended for the best results.
- Hardware – Coats and Clark Brass Jeans Zippers are the perfect zip for your designer jeans. You’ll find 12 colors to choose from, so you can branch out from basic indigo with no problem! Dritz Sewing offers the rivets and buttons you’ll need. Look for all of these at your local sewing store.
- Thread and Needles – For all that authentic-look topstitching, Coats has you covered with fabulous Dual Duty Plus Jeans Topstitching Thread in 12 colors! You’ll need special, extra-sturdy sewing machine needles, too. Just any old needle won’t do. Look for Schmetz Jeans Needles at your local store while you’re shopping for your hardware needs!
Choosing Your Jeans Pattern
It’s a great time to be sewing your own jeans and pattern choices are vast. Think about the fit and styling you’ve found you love best then choose a similar pattern to start with. Here are a few popular patterns to browse. You’ll find many more available in the sewing world, too!
- Ginger Skinny Jeans – A modern cut with two different rise options designed for Stretch Denim. From Closet Case Patterns.
- Morgan Jeans – A slim, relaxed, boyfriend style designed for Non-Stretch Denim with traditional five-pocket construction details. Also from Closet Case Patterns.
- Women’s Stretch Jeans – Designed with a slim fit, boot cut leg and two rise options for Stretch Denim. Includes 27 sizes. From Jalie Patterns.
- Eleanore Pull-on Jeans – Features a yoke, wide waistband and faux fly front and includes 27 sizes. Also from Jalie Patterns.
- Ames Jeans – Designed for curvy apple or pear shapes with skinny or straight leg options to make in Stretch Denim. From Cashmerette Patterns.
- Mimi G Skinny Jeans – Stretch Denim jeans including a slim, average and curvy fit. Includes a Bomber Jacket, too. From Simplicity Patterns.
- Starboard Jeans – Slim leg, angled front pockets and lots of detailed design extras. From Paper Cut Patterns.
Beyond Your First Pair
Many pattern companies also feature tutorials and YouTube videos to help you on your jeans journey. Be sure to check their web sites! Once you’ve made your first pair, you can branch out from there to different styles and add your own self-desiged touch. In the world of “Make Your Own”, jeans are the crowning glory. If your first pair doesn’t go well, move on and try again! Just don’t give up. Have fun, practice, practice, practice and you’ll be a Jeans Making Master in no time!