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The Sew What’s New Archive

This archived content is from Mary Wilkins’ sewing and quilting message board “Sew What’s New,” which was retired in August 2007. It is being provided by “Sew What’s Up,” which serves as the new home for many members of “Sew What’s New.”
From: E---WEAR
Date: 06-12-2007, 07:10 PM (1 of 14)
Hello, I plan on trying to make my own Jeans. I am new to sewing. By new I mean I have never done it. I need to buy a sewing machine, but not to sure what kind and what features I will need to sew Denim Jeans. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you
User: E---WEAR
Member since: 06-12-2007
Total posts: 7
From: IsabelleB
Date: 06-13-2007, 06:12 AM (2 of 14)
Hi Eric and welcome to Sew What's New!
Sewing jeans is probably a challenging project if you have never sewn before. I wold suggest making a pair of shorts and/or a top before you embark on making jeans. I'm certainly not saying that you won't manage to make your jeans - provided you have the will and motivation to learn, I'm sure you will :smile: . However, starting straight off with jeans might discouraging you from sewing. It may take away all the fun for you instead of build your confidence.

As for sewing machines, you will probably have more response if you post directly in the Machine Talk ( forum.
You will need a sturdy machine, and to sew jeans, you will need to use specific strong jeans needles.

Hope this helped. Welcome again and feel free to shout for help in the various sections of the boards - you will get some, I promise you. :smile:
Sewing blog: Kitty Couture
User: IsabelleB
Member since: 10-25-2006
Total posts: 265
From: esrun3
Date: 06-13-2007, 06:54 PM (3 of 14)
Welcome to the gang Eric! I agree with Isabelle, probably should start with something more simple than jeans but when looking for a machine, be sure to test drive it yourself, take some denim you are likely to use along and make sure it sews well on the denim-folded over a time or two to make sure you have the proper thickness.

Do post your questions in the Machine forum-you'll get lots more replies to your question about machines.

Glad to have you onboard.
User: esrun3
Member since: 12-02-2004
Total posts: 2345
From: AndreaSews
Date: 06-13-2007, 09:51 PM (4 of 14)
When you test-drive a machine before buying it, bring a large piece of denim, midweight ought to do, and try the following:

1) sew a seam to connect 2 pieces,
2) fold that seam allowance over on itself (look at your jeans side seam and you'll see what I mean) and sew that down.
3) Now fold a hem--at least 2 folds from the bottom--and try to sew across the whole length, crossing the mini side seam you made.

See how the machine handles that, b/c THAT is what your machine is going to have to work through.:up:
User: AndreaSews
Member since: 02-18-2005
Total posts: 1007
From: DorothyL
Date: 06-13-2007, 11:17 PM (5 of 14)
I killed a sewing machine once making a jean jacket.
User: DorothyL
Member since: 12-09-2002
Total posts: 3883
From: E---WEAR
Date: 06-14-2007, 07:19 PM (6 of 14)
Thank you, to every1 for the advice.
User: E---WEAR
Member since: 06-12-2007
Total posts: 7
From: bosco_ette
Date: 06-18-2007, 01:31 AM (7 of 14)
If you have the machine that can handle it You will do fine, but agree with taking denim to the store and see if it can sew through8 layers of denim. Yeah it really does involve sewing through intersecting seams. An industrial sewing machine will have no problem with it but most home sewing machines cannot make it through 8 layers of denim or leather or heavy duty duty luggage type materials or vinyl.
Inserting a zipper in many heavy layers is a challenge to learn the technique. as is applying grommets or big decorative snaps at the waist/zipper closure.
Usually beginning designers try adapting ready made jeans, cutting or adding appliques to them or dying them, or rhinestones or various other ways to adapt the ones you can purchase to meet your needs. but to try and assemble the jeans with out an instructor guiding you or letting you use the industrial machines might not be a positive experience. Light weight shirt denim is fine for most home sewing machines its the pants weight or even the stretch denim that will give a trouble if made traditonally.
15 mintues a day minimum.. get to your studio and make something!
User: bosco_ette
Member since: 06-14-2007
Total posts: 16
From: Teri
Date: 06-18-2007, 10:05 PM (8 of 14)
I have to say they where easier than I thought due to the great pattern, I think it was A Fit For You or Just Your Size pattern, however, the amount of work was about the same as some bridal gowns I've made. In addition to the may layers the top stitiching and the grommets were buggers to do.

"Where are we going, and why am I in this basket?"
User: Teri
Member since: 09-14-2005
Total posts: 66
From: Upholsteress
Date: 06-18-2007, 11:13 PM (9 of 14)
My very first foray into sewing clothing was as a junior in high school. While the freshman (yep i was in a starter class) chose elastic waisted shorts... I chose the sweetest little tailored and topstitched blazer and pants (lined!) circa 1974.. :) I finish both before the other kids finished their simple shorts and crop tops... And it was perfect.. I had it for years...

So.. if you are INSPIRED and really want to do this... could be you are just about to discover a talent you didn't know you had! :) BEST WISHES!!!

As for a machine... definitely test drive any prospects. For really authentic jean seams... you will need to be able to sew through 6 to 8 layers of denim. Granted.. you will go very slowly in those heavy areas (even turning the wheel by hand at times)... but your machine will still need to have enough torque and power to handle it.

Good luck!
User: Upholsteress
Member since: 01-21-2007
Total posts: 35
From: MaryW
Date: 06-19-2007, 08:52 AM (10 of 14)
I have sewn jeans for myself and my grandson once! Not fun and very tedious but some just love them. Good luck and let us know your progress. :smile:
owner/editor of Sew Whats New
User: MaryW
Member since: 06-23-2005
Total posts: 2542
From: E---WEAR
Date: 06-20-2007, 05:03 PM (11 of 14)
Thank you to every1 who gave me advice. Some1 gave me advice in machine talk about taking apart a pair of my jeans to see how they were made. I have to say that was an experience all in itself, but extremely valubale. I now have a better understanding of how jeans are made. With the pair I took apart I will try and use that as my first jean pattern. Right now I am trying to gather as much info as I can about sewing jeans. One very important thing I am starting to learn is when I do buy my machine make sure it is the right one for the job. I am still a little bit away from getting started. I am taking every1's advice into consideration and also doing a lot of research and reading about sewing right now. Thank you again everyone.:bluesmile
User: E---WEAR
Member since: 06-12-2007
Total posts: 7
From: lendube
Date: 06-20-2007, 07:12 PM (12 of 14)
Love your enthusiasm! I'm sure you'll do a great job.

Good Luck!

User: lendube
Member since: 08-06-2006
Total posts: 1548
From: MartySews2
Date: 06-25-2007, 08:06 PM (13 of 14)
Hi Eric, welcome to the group. Keep us informed of your progress. When using the jeans as a pattern, do not forget to add seam allowances. It will make a difference. Until you are ready to start sewing, check some sewing books out of the library so that you will understand the terminology and the process. This will help keep you motivated and to learn about different pieces of equipment and supplies that you will need. There are also lots of online resources for supplies.
Happy Stitching!
User: MartySews2
Member since: 05-03-2007
Total posts: 293
From: yoyomom
Date: 07-26-2007, 09:16 PM (14 of 14)
I love my Viking sewing machines and have sewn denim effortlessly with them. I have sewn right on through up to 6 layers no problem. There is an attachment for this, I call it a hump jumper, it looks like a fork that fits under your presser foot. Good luck!
User: yoyomom
Member since: 07-08-2007
Total posts: 11
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