How you look after your clothes has a significant impact on your carbon footprint. But being eco-friendly doesn’t necessarily mean you need to invest in expensive sustainable brands. It can be as simple as taking care of your clothes and crafting your own. Here, we discuss the top tips for serging denim and jeans to ensure you create the perfect denim garment:
Tricks to Remember Before You Start Sewing Denim
To make sure you get a fantastic finished product, keep the following tips in mind:
- Make sure you always pre-wash your denim fabric. The fact is that denim often ends up shrinking and bleeds color too. Consider putting some vinegar in your rinse water and leaving it to soak overnight. This method can fix pigments and eliminate bleeding.
- During the warping process, your denim is glued with several chemicals. Pre-washing it can help soften it, which, in turn, makes it easier to sew on.
- Consider washing your fabric twice to avoid shrinkage or fading issues.
- Be sure always to use a brand new blade on your rotary cutter or sharp scissors. In addition, focus on cutting one layer at a time. It helps reduce the pressure on your hands.
- If your jeans fray a lot, it’s always a good idea to zig-zag or serge the raw edges once you cut out the patterns before sewing them.
How to Prepare Your Denim for Sewing
Kick start your new project on the right foot by following appropriate cutting, marking, and pre-treating techniques. Here’s how you should prepare your denim and yourself for sewing:
Denim is available in an array of different weights and exciting colors. Regardless of which wash and the weight you select, it’s critical that you pre-treat it to prevent bleeding and shrinking.
For this reason, use warm water and avoid bleach or detergents. Next, dry your fabric while using standard settings on your dryer.
You may even repeat this process to eliminate shrinkage in your denim.
You can find denim in various weights, which means you’ll have to employ different cutting techniques for each.
For instance, you can easily cut lightweight and medium-weight denim on the fold with the help of sharp shears or new rotary cutters. However, if you’re cutting heavyweight denim, you’ll have to cut fabric flat.
You can easily find denim in an array of washes and colors. Make sure you choose a water-soluble chalk pencil that contrasts the color of the jeans. It ensures you can see the markings easily, and they won’t wash away.
Consider using fusible tricot interfacing for your denim. It is because fusible tricot interfacing stretches and moves with your denim.
Sewing the Denim
Sewing the denim requires in-depth consideration of the products you’re going to use. Here’s what you should keep in mind:
Using the Right Needle
You can find a denim needle designed specifically to sew jeans and denim at your local sewing supply store. When stitching thicker denim, upgrade to a 100/16 needle.
Select High-Quality Thread
Construct your garment’s seams with all-purpose polyester thread. For the topstitching, however, consider switching to heavy-duty thread or even upholstery thread.
In most cases, your sewing machine will shred cotton, so avoid using it. Upholstery is an excellent substitute as it’s smoother than cotton jeans thread and less prone to shredding.
When pressing denim, make sure you use a high-temperature cotton setting, including plenty of steam. You may even use a clapper for setting the seams.
For a stunning finish, use a serger to design a contrasting seam finish. If you’re planning to create a high-end look, you may use faux flat-felled or flat-felled seams.
A wide hem allows you to combat different bulk. A 3/4 inches double-fold hem is the best way to finish your denim garments.
Top Tips for Sewing Denim and Jeans
Here, we discuss the tips and tricks you should keep in mind when sewing denim and jeans:
Test Your Stitching
Sewing is full of confusing questions like what stitch length should you use for topstitching? What is the best way to achieve the perfect sustainable zig-zag? Can your sewing machine handle sewing through thick layers of fabrics?
An excellent way to sew perfectly is by initially using a practice fabric. Here, you can test your stitching, play with different settings, and stitch different lengths.
Get Your Tools Ready
Sewing includes using several power tools. Although you won’t need anything too heavy, you might need the following:
- A powerful hammer to fix jeans buttons and rivets.
- A pair of pliers to add a zipper to your jeans You may even need sandpaper or a nail grinder to distress the jean’s seams.
Choose the Right Design
Keep in mind that heavy denim is best for sewing structure garments. It means that it’s not only ideal for pants and shorts, but it’s also great for jackets, skirts, and fitted dresses.
Apart from that, lighter denim can make flowing garments like dresses, full skirts, and button-ups.
When Using Heavy Thread, Increase the Needle Tension
The fact is that the thickness of the thread and fabric affects the required tension. For this reason, you must conduct a sample before topstitching your jeans.
Without proper needle tension, you’ll notice loops forming on the underside. Instead, you should aim for tension that lacks visible knots on both sides. Remember that the fabric, thread type, and even your machine will affect how much tension you should apply. For this reason, you must make test samples before sewing your denim and jeans.
Use Regular Thread in the Bobbin
Often, novices use a heavier thread in the bobbin. This causes a tangled mess with inadequate tension. It is common when you’re using a regular household sewing machine. Since they are not optimized for heavy bobbin thread, they end up underperforming.
With a regular sewing machine thread in the bobbin, sewists can save themselves a lot of headaches. It ensures high-quality topstitching every time.
If you prefer using heavy threads in the bobbin, you’ll either have to tamper with its tension or check if the brand has a set bobbin for a heavy thread.
Stitch a Folding Line for a Beautiful Inner Waistband
When sewing jeans waistbands, make sure you stitch a folding line on the inside. Press along the stitch to ensure you create an even and razor-sharp fold.
Ultimately, this allows you to stitch the waistband and provide an aesthetic appeal.
Use Sturdy Closures
Your garment will only be as strong as its weakest part. Therefore, you must match your closure to the fabric.
Riveted jeans buttons, heavy-duty snaps, and heavy metal zippers are perfect for denim. On the flip side, you may use standard closures with lighter denim.
Baste or Tape the Waistband
A tip to remember is that you should baste your seams together. It includes side seams, crotch seams, and even waist seams. You may have to try numerous adjustments before you locate the perfect one.
Another great idea is using water-soluble double-sided tape on your denim’s inner waistband. If you use wonder tape, you must add it to the seam allowances and press it in place.
Buy Lots of Topstitching Thread
It’s no secret: you’ll need plenty of thread to assemble your project. You’ll also need a lot of yarn for topstitching. A single pair of jeans requires yards of topstitching.
The fact is that you won’t be able to finish sewing your jeans or top with a single spool of topstitching thread. Heavy-duty topstitching thread includes a thicker, more robust gauge, so less thread fits on the spool. It means you’ll be out of the thread within seconds.
Thus, if you purchase one measly spool, you’ll have to visit your local shop at least 2 to 3 times before you’ll be able to finish your project.
Keep an Extra Scrap of Denim
When it comes to sewing denim, you must keep a scrap of denim near your machine.
This is because when you’re sewing over the thicker areas, such as the place where the seams of the jeans cross at the back yoke, your machine may end up stalling. It mainly occurs because the pressure foot becomes unbalanced.
Solve this problem by folding a scrap of denim and placing it in front of or behind the presser foot. This way, you can level out the foot and continue working on your project.
Pay Attention to Grainlines
When you’re cutting your jeans, make sure the grainlines are correctly aligned. In case you cut your fabric off-grain, chances are, you’ll experience twisting.
Avoid this by making sure everything is cut straight lengthwise, as well as crosswise.
Use Light Facings When Necessary
Denim is a bulky cloth so consider cutting down on it using lighter fabrics for inner details like facings.
Seek Fitting Help
When it comes to testing your project, consider fitting pants on a 3D model. It requires patience, as well as time.
You may even read in-depth guides on pants fitting to troubleshoot fitting challenges you come across. If you’re still unable to fix your problem, you may connect with different communities that will be more than happy to help you.
For instance, you can join a Facebook Group or start a discussion in the comment section of a related blog.
What Are The Four Stages Of Sewing?
Sewing is further divided into four different stages:
- Prep work
- Sewing the front
- Sewing the back
- Lastly, assemble the jeans
Remember that the sewing process may vary depending on your projects’ production scale, setup, and finer details. Regardless of the order, you need to follow the procedure below:
- The first step is to complete some prep work. Create the belt loops, sew the pocket facings, and finally, the button-hole strip.
- After this, sew the front side of the jeans, including the front pockets. Then, the fly and the front rise.
- Next, start sewing the back of the jeans, which includes the yoke, the back pockets, and the back rise.
- Lastly, you need to sew the front and back together. Start with the inseam, the out seam, the belt loops, the waistband, and finally, the trim.
Bonus Tips for Sewing Denim and Jeans
Here, we’ve listed several bonus tips for sewing denim and jeans:
- A great way to enhance the look of your denim or jeans is by adding a decorative seam with thicker contrasting threads.
- Consider adding an edge-stitching foot to your sewing arsenal list if you plan to topstitch a lot. It’s especially incredible if you’re using thicker fabrics because it helps you follow the exact fold and edge.
- Press the seams properly with the help of a rubber hammer or a meat pounder.
- Reduce bulk trimming seam allowances, mitering corners, and clipping curves.
- Start sewing while holding both thread tails. Don’t pull on the thread tails to avoid bird nests.
- Use a multi-layered and thick fabric to start and finish bulk seams. In addition, consider using stronger, thicker, heavy-duty pins.
The Origins and Characteristics of Denim
Denim is a sturdy cotton-warp-faced textile popular across America. While the U.S. is well-known for contributing to its success, denim was actually invented in France.
In fact, the word ‘denim’ comes from the French word ‘de,’ which means “of,” while “nim” is derived from ‘Nimes,’ an incredible town present in the south of France. It was also where denim was invented during the Middle Ages in 1864.
Meanwhile, the word ‘jeans’ originates from the French word for ‘Genoa’ Italy. It is because sailors from this town were well-renowned for wearing cotton trousers. Denim is a super sustainable and long-lasting fabric that requires thicker needles and threads.
The Bottom Line
When it comes to investing in a DIY denim wardrobe, you can test out many designs and colors. Follow the steps mentioned above and enjoying creating the jeans or skirt of your dreams.
Brandi is a professional and experience content writer working for several clients. She loves creating SEO optimized content to generate leads and divert organic traffic to websites. You will usually find her researching different topics on the internet, and if not, she must busy with playing with her pets.