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Apr 5, 2011

Thinking about JEANS... plus contest winner!

Can it be?   Are we really only four weeks from the beginning of the MPB Jeans Sew-Along on Monday, May 2?  Somebody check and make sure I'm counting correctly!

Reminder: I'll be making my jeans from Kwik Sew 3504, a multi-sized, in-print men's jeans pattern.  You can sew whatever jeans pattern you wish and follow along.

You can purchase Kwik Sew 3504 through the Minneapolis-based Etsy store Sewtropolis and domestic shipping is FREE.  You'll get the pattern for just $11.99.  They'll also ship abroad of course.

Here's the link

Now is the time to start thinking about fabric.  Jeans don't have to be denim: you can sew corduroy, twill, hey, why not polyester shantung?  But please make sure you give yourself time if you're ordering online.

To make Kwik Sew 3504 in a Small,  I'll need roughly two yards of denim (a little more, a little less depending on the width of the bolt), a 7" zipper, one jeans button, and -- this is optional -- jeans rivets.

Topstitching thread is recommended -- I like to mix colors -- along with a jeans needle (I'll be using a size 18).  In the coming weeks I'll be talking about thread tension and sewing through multiple layers of thick fabrics like denim.  How well does your machine do this?  You might want to give it try.

Before I forget -- our contest winner:

The winner of the vintage Seventies "Valerie Bertinelli" pattern is that "itchy-fingered" super-mom and sewing sensation...


 Luv huh!

Tanit-Isis, please email me your address (peterlappinnyc at gmail dot com) and I'll get this off to you ASAP.  Can't wait to see the finished dress -- no pressure -- and congratulations!

And now back to jeans.

Have you joined the Jeans Sew-Along Flickr group yet?  If you haven't, please shoot me an email and I'll send you an invite.  Or if you're already a member of Flickr, send me a request.  The Flickr group is open for all to see but only members can post photos and leave comments. 

Today is s a great time to ask questions here, if you have any.

Here's one for you guys:

What are your favorite denim sources?  We've all heard of  Are there any other sites you recommend that have good prices, good selection, and fast shipping?

How about topstitching thread and rivets?  (What color topstitching thread do you like to use?)

Your expertise -- and I know you many of you have it -- is greatly appreciated. 

Hope you'll join the Jeans Sew-Along -- TWILL be lots of fun, he he. 

Jump in!


  1. Aww, yay!!!! I will get you that address later today!

    I think I will be sewing along in spirit more than fact this time, as I am currently set for me-made jeans and while I'd love to sew a pair for my hubby, the fact that he still hasn't let me photograph the shirt I made him for your other men's sew along makes me not inclined to sew for him quite yet. We'll see....

    I look forward to hearing your denim tips, it's certainly an adventure on my non-vintage machine...

  2. I'm definitely looking forward to some sources suggestions; it's a bit thin locally, so ordering jeans supplies online will be the way to go! Now I just need to start making a mockup of my jeans pattern and getting the fit down (since it'll probably be an epic battle between the pattern and my bod; pants usually are).

    Have to say, I'm loving the white loafers with the jeans that the vinyls are sporting. Wonder where I can get some? ;)

    Congrats to Tanit-Isis!!!!

    ♥ Casey

  3. I think I'll go to my little fabric store ($3 a yard), because online stores only have really expensive denim. A tip: I bought a XXXXL size jean in my local Goodwill to make a muslin (I deconstructed the whole thing and got enough fabric to try). If you find a good place online to buy denim please let us know!

  4. Hm. That reminds me. I need to launder my denim in preparation. And trace off my pattern and make any length alterations. You know, all the tedious stuff before you get to the fun part of sewing it all together! Peter, will a pint-sized version be good? Complete with adjustable back elastic waistband? (I took apart a RTW pair of toddler's pants and figured out how they use buttonhole elastic to make it adjustable.)

    Evie needs some new jeans, (she's too tall for 2T, and too slender for 3T) and I've promised her Cookie Monster and bumblebee jeans. So you'd end up with decorated jeans for the sew-along....

  5. Bratling, have you considered posting a tutorial about that? I have some buttonhole elastic and would love to use it for my kids who are all slender.

  6. Congrats to Tanit-Isis!

    And I think Peter would be thrilled with decorated jeans. I wonder what kind of jeans Cathy would wear?

  7. For Blue Jeans

    For other colors of denim and twill

    I'm very excited for this project and to have found your blog. I am a man and will be sewing for myself. This blog is the only place I have found that has any information on sewing mens clothes.

  8. Welcome, Anonymous, and thanks for the links!

    Treadle, denim and Cathy don't mix. ;)

  9. How about bright red corduroy jeans? With sparkle lace back pockets?

  10. Yeah Treadle and tiger print gussets! :D

  11. I get denim from work, I know that doesn't help you. Our fabric buyers get the best stuff, maybe I could find out who supplies us...

    I like coffee-colored top-stitching thread and looooove corduroy jeans. I find that the jeans' buttons with a star in the middle consistently pop out of whatever I'm working on, go for another brand if possible. The one with the wreath (Birch) is better, never a pop.

  12. Sandi, I'll consider it when I make them. It's simple, really. I can do it if I take apart RTW jeans a little, too.

  13. Any preferences on denim weight? I've bought lots of fabric, but never any that had oz. by it. I suppose what I'm really asking is which weight gives you a good pair of jeans that isn't too light weight or too thick and heavy. is great for the topstitching thread. Well, any thread obviously.

    Where do you get rivets?

    And Raquel, thanks for the great idea about the goodwill jeans as muslin!

  14. I bought some lovely Japanese denim at a luxury department store in Munich (you wouldn't expect them to sell fabric). If you live in Europe, the following internet source might be interesting for you: They sell organic denim, even with a selvage. It is dyed with natural indigo. Nice but quite expensive. Another source for selvage denim:
    I will use signal-red and off-white topstitching thread from Madeira (Aerofil No. 35 extra strong). It produces really lovely seams. No zipper, but a button fly and certainly rivets.

  15. Thanks for the links, guys.

    Elle, my understanding is that you'll want 10-12 oz denim. Anything lighter is too light for pants and anything heavier too stiff.

    I've only bought denim in a store and there hasn't been any info about weight; I just feel it.

  16. Another great source for denim is Lura's Fabric shop:

    I heard about them a while ago via the Selfish Seamstress' post about them:

    They carry both stretch and non-stretch denim in a range of weights. Their prices are very fair, and sometimes you can find great deals in the sale section. (I got a couple of yards for $7 total a while back.) They'll send samples, though that's not clear from the website -- just shoot them an email. When I've done so, I've gotten a very quick response. The pictures on the website aren't super great, so swatches are the way to go.

    Peter, I've never commented before, but I'm a loyal reader and super excited for the jeans sew-along!

  17. Thanks for the links, Alison. Welcome aboard!

  18. I would so love to participate in this sew-along I can't even tell you! I've got some denim waiting in the wings for a pair of 1960s cigarette jeans, but I'll be out of the country in May. Poo! Oh well, at least I'll have all of your projects to read through for advice once I get back.

  19. I have had my ideal pair of jeans in mind for years. They have a button fly and cinch back. However I think I wanna do my own thing on the front. I kinda wanna try something inspired by the front of the pants they used to or maybe still do wear at west point. Think vintage brass band uniform...


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