How to Make Jeans

by Kate Lee

If you’re frustrated with trying to find jeans that fit, you might want to make your own. By sewing your own jeans, you can customize the fit and add any features you want, such as extra pockets, cuffs or belt loops. Simple pull-on pants made from denim are the easiest jeans to make, but for professional looking jeans, you’ll want a jeans pattern that includes a zipper. Jeans can be a bit challenging to make, but having that perfect fit and style can be worth the effort.

Items you will need

  • soft measuring tape
  • jeans pattern
  • denim fabric
  • thread
  • jeans zipper
  • scissors
  • straight pins
  • iron
  • ironing board
  • sewing machine

Make Jeans

Step 1

Measure the fullest part of your hips and waist (or the area where the waist of the pants will be, if you want low rise jeans).

Step 2

Look for a pants pattern that suits the style of jeans you want. Make sure the pattern has the features you want, such as the right waist height, and a straight, tapered or flared leg. To get the right pattern size, make sure to compare your measurements to the pattern size chart, since patterns often use a different size system than store-bought clothes.

Step 3

Buy denim for the jeans, using the chart on the pattern envelope to figure out how much you need. Denim should be cut using the “with nap” fabric guidelines since it generally has a grainline that looks different from side to side and top to bottom. Most fabric stores carry a variety of denim colors, including various shades of blue, white and black, as well as some denim prints.

Step 4

Buy thread, a jeans zipper and any other notions you need. Many fabric stores sell zippers especially made for use with jeans.

Step 5

Cut out the pattern pieces for the jeans using the cutting line for the size you need. If your waist and hips are different sizes, you can cut the bottom of the pattern in one size and the waist in another, gradually tapering between the two sizes.

Step 6

Cut each pattern piece along the lengthening or shortening lines to make the jeans taller or shorter, if needed. Cut away or fold up the paper and tape it in place to make the legs shorter, or add strips of paper to make the legs longer. Be sure to include enough extra length for the hems.

Step 7

Follow the “with nap” cutting guide in the pattern directions to pin the jeans patterns to the denim and cut out the pieces. Make sure to place any patterns on the fold that need to be.

Step 8

Sew the jeans together, following the pattern directions. Be sure to try on the jeans periodically, especially before hemming them, so you can adjust them if needed.

Tips

  • If you want custom sized jeans, but don’t want to sew your own, some online stores let you order custom jeans by putting in your measurements.

Warnings

  • Use caution when working with scissors, pins, irons and sewing machines.