top ten reasons you’re gonna want to join my
dem jeans sew-a-long
1. You can make better-fitting, better-looking, and longer-lasting jeans than you can buy. Yes, custom jeans for yourself. And yes, they look better than what you can buy retail. And after your first pair, you’ll realize it’s easier than you thought!
2. What’s your poison? Trendy raw denim, or selvedge denim? Looking to bring high-waisted acid wash into your life? Trying to emulate that awesome pair of white jeans you had in middle school? Want a pair of “boyfriend fit” in just the right dusky grey – or waxed deep indigo? Want to line your cuffs with your favorite old band t-shirt? Or stencil an awesome motif on the backside?
Yes, you can have your cake and eat it too.
I can help you plan your jeans out, so you get exactly what you want. Send me an email – and be prepared to put aside some time and energy.
Now, if this sounds overwhelming or intimidating, start smaller: make a pair using a standard pattern. You will get used to construction methods, before trying your own custom-fit – and you can gift your first pair to a friend!
3. These jeans are ethically-produced. The vast amounts of retail jeans out there are made at the expense of workers in other countries, without regard for quality of life, and rely on pillaging environmental resources in other countries. These jeans will also last longer, further extending your clothing dollar. Use the money you save on retail jeans to buy ethically-produced retail jeans! Or make ethically-produced jeans for your friends, family, or clients!
4. Once you start shopping for good denim you will be hooked. I ain’t gonna lie. It’s like a drug. Denim, even good denim, is affordable, it feels great, it lasts a long time, it is beautiful to look at and dare I say, fondle! – and the scraps make beautiful quilts (or potholders, or teddy bears, or, or…).
5. I don’t like to compare prices – because custom-fit, ethically-made, perfect jeans with tailor-level detail simply aren’t available on the market at all – but this is one case where a simple high-end home project is cheaper than high-end jeans. A lot cheaper. Even buying ethically- and organically-produced fabrics, you come out ahead.
6. My sew-a-long: you aren’t going to find better close-up photography and a more in-depth tutorial than mine (ask my previous students). My background in technical writing and knowledge of clothing construction means you will be rolling your eyes at the level I geek out on these! (all the while appreciating the meticulous detail!). And my photographs are important for jeans – the beauty is in the topstitching and technical detail, really.
7. Your jeans can be made for your body, as-is. Tired of jeans that don’t fit right, or too-long cuffs, or jeans too tight at the thigh? Yeah. And those high-end brands? Definitely not made in a diverse size range. Need I say more?
8. Once you’re finished, you’ll have a pattern made to perfection. It’s worth the time to create this template. Because forever after, all you need is a few yards of denim in your house, you can make up jeans whenever you’re feeling lonely. The jeans will be your friend. They won’t let you down.
9. You have a mentor the whole way. (That’s me!). I figure if Jalie Patterns (I’m not worthy!) thinks my sew-a-long is good enough for their professional site, you’ll probably be pretty pleased with my help too. You can ask questions via Skype, text (if we’re down like that), comments here, and email.
10. ASSES. Your ass looks great in jeans. Seriously. It’s true. A pair of well-fitting jeans, is a friend to asses everywhere. Look, someone had to say it!
So LET’S DO THIS!
If you’re a novice stitcher, you may be thinking There’s no way I can pull this off!
But – you can.
You’re gonna need to invest a little bit of money – and a lot of time. And you will feel like a million bucks when you are through!
Here is what you will need for this sew-a-long. Please read carefully. Some items may need to be ordered online; for instance, Kenneth D. King’s class on cloning jeans requires a small tuition, requires supplies, and takes time to complete.
Feel free to post any questions to the comments – or email me:
I strongly suggest you take the time to prepare and do one of the following:
purchase any pattern and use this straight-size pattern, without alterations, as your first-run template – to get used to sewing jeans.
any kind of raw, selvedge, or cotton denim works. We are making non-stretch button-fly selvedge jeans for this course
(I buy from Pacific Blue Denim
). If you want to work with stretch denim, make sure your pattern is drafted and adjusted properly for this. Be sure to buy adequate yardage; I always buy enough for two pair of jeans.
contrast fabric, 1/2 yard
100% cotton or linen woven works best. We will be making the pocket bag, belt facing, and button-fly detail with this fabric. Consider something that looks good on both sides, for best pocket effect.
rivets and snaps &/or buttons (optional)
you will need four buttons and ten rivets; buy a few extra to be sure. I buy mine from castbullet.com
stitch witchery or thin fusible web
this will help us get a perfect waistband
sewing machine(s) – can handle buttonholes and perform a zig-zag stitch
thread: high-quality cotton-wrapped polyester, in both construction color and topstitching color
an awl, hammer, and wire cutters (for rivet- and button-setting)
steam iron and ironing board
beeswax & strong needle for button-sewing (if you use sew-on buttons, as opposed to hammer-set)
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