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I am currently sat on my floor sat in what seems like more pattern pieces than I have ever used collectively in my life, Trying to draw pleats perfectly straight down a trouser leg. 

This is the start of my first pair of jeans and I'm freaking out.

The marking is overwhelming and I can't draw straight with a 30cm ruler to save my life.

Has anyone ever made their own jeans? How did you get on and was there anything that made it easier?


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Hi Stevie,


I made some Johdpur Jeans when I was at Tech - if you can believe that! 


Denim needles are a must - they are strong. 


Keeping bulk to a minimum is also necessary unless you want to break said needles.  Hand turn the fly wheel instead of using the pedal will also save needles. 


You could teach yourself a trad. denim stitch - Flatfell - to imitate the look of your other jeans - you see it on the outside leg seam - you have to do it before you sew the inside leg seam.


Slightly thicker topstitching thread will make it stand out more - if you are bothering to do it - people may as well see it!  Or you could experiment with running two threads from the top of your machine down and into the one needle - maybe do a test of this first!  Your machine may freak out!.  It needs to be very accurate and two lines equal distance apart - consistently!  Hard!


Here is a quick tip, instead of cutting triangle notches around the pieces, do a wee snip into the seam allowance - so much easier .  But don't cut so deep it will fray when made up - you want the snip to be caught up in the overlocking.


Can't wait to see the photo!  I am thinking of doing Sailor Pants in Denim- but I really want to find a nice stretch denim - so much more comfey!


Good Luck!



Hi Stevie,

What pattern are you using? I have absolutely no advice (nice, so unhelpful of me) but I'm so curious how you go about this. Please let me know and good luck, it does sound a bit overwhelming but if anyone can figure it out, you can!

Hah we shall see Cathe! I'm on a mass cutting mission today!

The pattern is McCalls M5142. Its from the people that wrote "Real Pants for Real People" according to the booklet. But I have trouble with RTW trousers fitting let alone making my own to fit my odd body

I'm making view D just plain straight leg jeans.

I too have jeans on my list to make. Male Patterned Boldness just did a sew-along Take a look at his posts. He has good tips and is an entertaining read. Good Luck!
I have made a number of jeans--in fact, they're one of my favorite things to sew, simply because you can get creative with top-stitching etc.

Along with MPB's sew-along posts, I'd also highly recommend looking through this patternreview thread on Jeans tips & tricks:

If you end up confused by the fly instructions, Sandra Betzina's video is great:

If you don't end up with enough zipper coverage when using that method, I also like the Hot Patterns fly tutorial:

Good luck!
Great thread - great resources - I've just orded a half a dusin books on pants sewing from the liberary - hopefully I can get started on the 26th. I've followed MPB Jean sew-a-long closely and it's been so inspiring. I think it would be fun making jeans.

I've thought about this a bit more during the day, and have a couple of things to add...


First, don't get discouraged if your first couple of pairs aren't as perfect as you would wish them to be.  Admittedly, I'm a slow learner, but it took me several tries before I ended up creating jeans that I really, really loved. 


It's worth every bit of effort. I have never ended up with jeans from the store that fit me as half, cost as little, or reflected my personality as well  as my homemade versions.


Also, if you want to get really fancy, I wrote a summary of how I designed the stitching for the back pocket on one pair of my jeans here:


Have fun!

I was just going to chime in with the link to Peter's Jeans Sew-Along, but Shannon beat me to it! :)  Peter has made several pairs of jeans and he really explains it in a matter-of-fact way.


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