Self Drafted Jeans and Tips for Sewing Jeans

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Since I’ve been doing so much reading and experimenting with jeans, I thought I would post my top tips for sewing jeans. Here’s a picture of my very first pair. I started them at the beginning of January, but I only just finished them now, mainly because I had to repair my flat felled seam on my inseam, which started totally coming apart, since I only used a 5/8 inch seam. These were made using a stretch denim. I’m not sure what the weight is since I bought it from the annex section at Mill End.

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Here’s a picture of the pocket. To make the pattern for the top stitching, I folded a piece of paper in half, made a random curve on it, and cut that out.

Here’s the back of my jeans. For the back yoke, I wanted to completely eliminate my back dart by having the yoke encompass the whole dart. This made the back yoke length 4 inches. Bad idea. You can see how far down the yoke goes, and I’m not so into that look. So for my next pair of jeans, I made the back yoke 3 inches, and moved the rest of the dart into my side seam.

And here are my top tips for sewing jeans.

1. Make a muslin first, and after you make adjustments to your pattern, make another muslin, but this time, use your final fashion denim to make a pair of short shorts. That way, you can see how the stretch and weight of the denim affect the fit.

2. Buy high quality buttons and rivets. Do not buy those cheap ones from Joanns. High quality buttons and rivets are made out of metal and are easy to install with a hammer and metal plate. I used ones from http://www.castbullet.com/rivet.htm

3. Use a 3/4 to 1 inch seam allowance for flat felled seams on denim. A 5/8 is insufficient. Tape paper to the outside of your pattern, and add that extra amount by using a ruler and pencil. 3/4 inch is good for a narrow looking seam, and 1 inch is good for a wider seam with 3 or 4 topstitching lines.

4. Practice sewing the front fly. By the time I got to my 4th fly on my purple jeans, then I finally felt like I knew what I was doing.

Okay, I was aiming for 10 tips, but that’s all I can think of for now. Have a great day!

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About Karen

Karen first took sewing classes in middle school, but took a break until her husband bought her a sewing machine a few years back. Her MIL taught her how to quilt, and recently, she started making clothes again. Karen is taking sewing classes at Portland Sewing. She took Beginning Sewing 1 2 and 3 in summer 2011, Patternmaking 1 and 2 in Fall 2011, and is currently taking Textiles.

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