Sew, What's Up

Sew What’s Up Presents

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: 06-14-2007, 07:27 PM (1 of 8)
Hello every1, I want to start making my own Jeans. And I am not sure what type of machine I will need to sew jeans. Keep in mind that I have never sewn before, but I will be self teaching or at least trying to self teach myself how to sew. So any and all help with be greatly appreiciated.

Thank you Eric
User: E---WEAR
Member since: 06-12-2007
Total posts: 7
From: lendube
Date: 06-14-2007, 07:58 PM (2 of 8)
Hey Eric,

Welcome to the board!

All I can say is please plan on starting with simpler items and working your way up to jeans. That's a VERY ambitious and difficult item for anyone to sew. Absolutely learn as many basics as you can about sewing techniques and fabrics or you'll just get extremely frustrated. Try to take lessons rather than self teach.

As far as machines; any good, hard working, reputable machine will sew jeans for you. If you go into mass production then you'd better think commercial machine but if it's just for personal use a standard machine will do.

I'll leave it to others for more specific recommendations but get the very best machine you can afford preferably from a dealer rather than a large discount store.

Good luck and let us know how you do. :up:

Lennie (Just now saw your first post. Must have missed it. Guess I was just agreeing with the bunch! Sorry I have no spcific machine advice for you.)
User: lendube
Member since: 08-06-2006
Total posts: 1548
From: E---WEAR
Date: 06-14-2007, 10:35 PM (3 of 8)
Thank you for the advice. My goal is to make my own designer jeans for myself, I plan to start on scrapes of fabric first just to get used to using a sewing machine, and work my way up to hopefully jeans. A beginners class sounds like a good idea to start with. I am on a limited budget so I hope to just learn some basics and get just enough of a sewing machine, I will need to get started. I really want to learn to sew, because I would love to make my own clothes. Thats all I think about all day. I know it will take a lot of hard work and dedication(hopefully not to much $$):cool:
User: E---WEAR
Member since: 06-12-2007
Total posts: 7
From: PaulineG
Date: 06-14-2007, 10:41 PM (4 of 8)
Hi and welcome. Jeans huh? Very big undertaking to start out with. Is there a particular reason why jeans? If you're just after a sturdy pair of pants you might be better off to make some pull on pants with an elastic waist out of tough fabric. A lot easier to handle for a beginner.

As to a machine tough enough to handle that sort of sewing it might be better to have a look at much older machines. The newer ones don't seem to do too well with all the fabric thicknesses. The older ones have metal gears etc. rather than the modern plastic ones. Similar to Dorothy in the other thread I upset (luckily not killed) my machine trying to sew something a bit too heavy. Cost me $100. There are machines made now that are supposedly able to handle that sort of thing (Toyota jeans machine they call it here in Australia) but I have no idea whether they're any good or not.
User: PaulineG
Member since: 09-08-2006
Total posts: 901
From: E---WEAR
Date: 06-14-2007, 11:09 PM (5 of 8)
I appreciate the advice, I will keep all of that in mind. The reason for jeans is because ever since I bought my first pair and every time since then. I always wanted to design and make my own style of jeans (I always thought I could do better then what was being sold). I am never happy with jeans I buy and that is almost all I wear.
User: E---WEAR
Member since: 06-12-2007
Total posts: 7
From: lamx
Date: 06-15-2007, 07:27 AM (6 of 8)
I will swim against the current and say, "if jeans are what you want to sew, give it a shot" There are always people who will tell you you can't do something with absolutely no knowledge of your skills or determination. Jeans would be too difficult for them, so they must also be too difficult for you, right? I would suggest going to a thrift shop or yard sale and picking up a pair of jeans to dissect, preferably in your size. Notice how all the pieces fit together and how they are attached. If you still want to go forward, get some fabric off the clearance rack and give it a shot (this is known as making a muslin). You can buy a commercial pattern or use the pieces of the yard sale jeans as your first pattern. I will warn you, the first pair will turn out really crappy but you will learn more about jeans by making jeans than you will by making a tote bag. Notice where you had problems and ask questions on this forum or another and try another pair. By your third or fourth attempt, you should be ready to try a pair with the $7.99/yard denim. After that, it's merely a matter of refining your pattern until you have it the way you want.

My problem is shirts - If I buy one that fits my neck, the shoulder seams fall halfway to my elbows; if I buy one that fits in the shoulders, I can't button the top button and wear a tie. After a half-dozen attempts, I can now make a shirt that I am not ashamed to wear to the office, although I still need some improvement of my collars.

As for a machine, I second an earlier suggestion to buy an older one from the 70's or before with all metal gears inside. A Singer 15-91 or 15-125 would be my top choice because they are gear driven and have no belt to slip. Either one should be available for well under $100.

User: lamx
Member since: 05-04-2006
Total posts: 44
From: E---WEAR
Date: 06-15-2007, 11:06 AM (7 of 8)
Thanks Ed, That was some awesome advice. I have a few pairs of jeans I don't wear anymore, I am going to use your advice and dissect them. I know this is going to be a slow learning process. But my determination is so strong, I know I will do it. For me its not a matter of if I will make my first wearable jeans, its a matter of when I will. Right now I am trying to get as much info as possible about sewing. As for the machine, I am trying to learn about all the features offered, wether they are standard or extra options. Any time some1 gives me advice about a particular machine, I then do some research about that machine. Its all about learning, because the more I know the better it will go.:bolt:
User: E---WEAR
Member since: 06-12-2007
Total posts: 7
From: plrlegal
Date: 06-15-2007, 11:54 PM (8 of 8)
E---Wear, the only advice I can give you about a machine is you will probably find a good older Singer at an estate or yard sale, if you're prone to doing those or sometimes at a thrift shop back in a corner. There are also huge amounts of older machines advertised on e-bay.

User: plrlegal
Member since: 05-19-2001
Total posts: 318
Sew, What's Up
Search the “Sew What’s New” Archive:
Visit Sew What’s Up for the latest sewing and quilting tips and discussions.
This page was originally located on Sew What’s New ( at