View Full Version : My Jean making photo diary. (contributions welcome!)

6th July 2007, 01:57
Hi guys. As I said a few days ago, I am intent on making my first pair of jeans this summer, and as of this morning, all the nessesary materials came. This should prove to be pretty challenging, but completely worthwhile for the experience it will grant. I would love to start my own small label. And this is one small step in that direction.

This thread is a few things. It is first and foremost, my photo diary. That said, it is NOT an instruction manual. Ande Whall has that covered on superfuture. Though you can use this as something of a second guideline, I am not experienced and am using this thread to document for everyone how everything comes together, hence the title "diary" and not "how to". If you guys know anything, have any suppliments, or want to post your own experiences, feel free to do so here, and perhaps some may be inspired to start their own projects!

What you see here is about 3 hours of work, re-modeling the silly double waistband into a single, closing the legs up a little, and cutting. A lot of meticulous cutting. And everything still didn't come out straight. :rolleyes:


And there are all the pieces. Not as much as you might think, thankfully. Two of each excluding the belt carrier strip of which there is one, and the crotch/zipper pieces of which there are three. The only thing not pictured is the inner material which will be used for the pockets.

Sewing begins tomorrow, and all will be documented. :D

6th July 2007, 02:01
Cool man :)

Looking forward to reading this. Thanks!

6th July 2007, 02:05
good luck. Cool thread.
looking forward to find out how your project will turn out

6th July 2007, 02:06
good luck! will keep following ;)

6th July 2007, 02:12
kudos to you man! will keep reading this, curious how they'll turn out :)

6th July 2007, 02:20
Cool, this will be a great thread to follow. Good Luck.

6th July 2007, 09:37
First real update, it's an early morning and my mom got home with the goods. I went to work. ;)

Pocket construction:
Whatever you do, don't do it without a massive amount of pins. They are your best friend. And press everything. Makes the material easier to sew and less likely to bunch up.
And clip your seam allowance when sewing curves! It makes life easier.

6th July 2007, 09:38
Back yoke:
http://i51.photobucket.com/albums/f362/Your_enigma/picstorm7.jpghttp://i51.photobucket.com/albums/f362/Your_enigma/picstorm8.jpg All newer household sewing machines have a setting to create this reinforcement stitch. And "press everything."

Rear pockets:
Oh, and always chalk your lines, be they for sewing, folding, cutting, whatever, chalk it.

Sewing up the pocket with 5/8th seam allowance.

This is however a sad pocket as its creator has no idea what to put on it. If anyone has any suggestion for a simple-ish prototype design, feel free to name it.

6th July 2007, 09:39
The aftermath. Front pockets attached to front leg pieces. Rear yoke sewed to rear leg pieces. Pockets shaped and top stitched. Bag of beef jerky, opened.
Not bad for a few hours. More updates soon! :D

6th July 2007, 10:06
nice dude!

do you also make other clothes for yourself, or for other people???
because i do!

6th July 2007, 10:22
Sweet man!
I think these will become a nice pair of jeans.

6th July 2007, 12:31
good job dude, seems like you have sewn some before.

And for the backpocket, how about some kind of lightning looking stiching, just an idea.
I think you should keep it simple, NO Evisu looking backpockets, but do what you want man, its your creation.

So far so good. Best thread for a long time. :)

6th July 2007, 12:33
Do smiley faces on the back pockets!

6th July 2007, 14:37
Thanks for the update. Looks like you have some real talent.

6th July 2007, 14:44
This is great! Thanks! I am eager to see the progress! :)

6th July 2007, 14:45
thats really cool dude hope the result looks nice!!

6th July 2007, 16:08
Im really going to follow this project :D!

6th July 2007, 18:36
Hey guys. Thanks for all the comments and suggestions!

As for my sewing skills, believe it or not, this is my first time at a sewing machine in about 8 years or so. I did take a home economics course in 6th grade, which at least taught you how to thread a bobbin. This is my first sewing project. And that should not come off as bragging, it's really not. Rather, I think it's a testament to the fact that anyone is really capable of doing this sort of project. A little bit of hope for denimheads out there! :D

That said, I do have a good deal of experience with calculations and the mathematics of measurement and sketch designing from my two years of wookworking that I took in high school. They says it's for the "bad" kids, but that's rubbish. Gave me a lot of experience which was helpful on this project.

I am currently looking for zippers. After that is sewn (which I hear is tricky) and I finally figure out what to put on the back pocket (if anything), it will be time to sew the inseam and they'll finally start looking like jeans!

More updates soon!

6th July 2007, 18:38
Why zippers? Button fly is the best way to go IMO. Easier to sew on? But if you're getting zippers, get YKK!

6th July 2007, 18:39
I'm def eager to see the next update mate :)

6th July 2007, 18:42
Why zippers? Button fly is the best way to go IMO. Easier to sew on? But if you're getting zippers, get YKK!

Yea, I know. Button are the best. But button holes are very tedious to sew on non-industrial machines, particularly through multiple layers of denim. My next pair may very well sport a self-designed button fly, but for now I am going with a zipper.

YKK, gotcha.

6th July 2007, 18:45
Actually, I thought button fly would be easier? You just get a thick piece of denim,sew it on the jeans and make marks of what your button holes are. Then just make a slit and that's it? Not sure about attaching buttons though.

6th July 2007, 19:43
To make button holes are really stressed.
I was freaked out when I made button hole.
Anyway, I used Talon zipper to mine.

Good luck for your project.

6th July 2007, 19:53
Actually, I thought button fly would be easier? You just get a thick piece of denim,sew it on the jeans and make marks of what your button holes are. Then just make a slit and that's it? Not sure about attaching buttons though.

Well that's an easy way to make a pair of jeans destined to unravel. Look at your Nudies, or any pair you have, and notice that the material around the button holes should be reinforced by a stitching pattern covering its full circumference. This is not exactly easy to do on a household sewing machine. At least, not for me, not yet. My sewing machine has the function, but I need to practice using it first.

6th July 2007, 20:05
Hmm I think for the button hole, they actually make the stitching first, before cutting a slit through inside the circumference of the stitching made, if you get what I mean.

6th July 2007, 20:16
Correct... I've found jeans that were in an outlet store where the only thing wrong with them was that the button hole hadn't been cut.

6th July 2007, 20:32
these look like they are gonna come out really nice. can't wait to see them finished, keep up the good work!

6th July 2007, 21:28
cool stuff dude, but what kind of jeans are you going to make yourself? meaning: regular, tight or baggy fit??

6th July 2007, 21:34
Judging from the legs he cut out, I'm guessing some kind of bootcut.

6th July 2007, 21:36
The should turn out to be a lowrise flared leg jean, but it really depends on what I think of the cut after pinning the front and rear together. I'm shooting for a snug, but comfortable fit with a wide hem opening.

7th July 2007, 02:01
They were selling deadstock zippers on ebay. Get some Talon or Scovill (spelling)

Make them a true pair of denim ;)

7th July 2007, 02:41
cool. looks like you're doing a very professional job. good luck!

7th July 2007, 05:10
i cant wait to see them!

7th July 2007, 05:18
Awesome job, mate! I cant wait to see how they turn out!:grin:

7th July 2007, 06:22
quite the undertaking and this thread is great. The green thread is going to be an "interesting" touch but I suppose I would have said that about bright orange thread too.

7th July 2007, 09:00
great man.

Please post more pics. You are doing good .

And what kind of denim do you use? how many oz?

7th July 2007, 09:25
yeah I'm interested in that too

7th July 2007, 10:20
Alright guys. The denim is dry non-selvage denim, and though it was not labeled, I would probably say this material is somewhere in the 11 to 12oz. range. Nothing particularly impressive, but considering the price I paid, more than adequate for a first denim project. I would consider it comparable to Nudie's denim used for the Bootcut Ola.

Another update to hold everyone over.

Rear pocket finishing:
The design is basically a very angular "C" that looks more like a "<". For my first intial.

I chalked it a little heavily, but after a quick wash, I am happy with the result for a first experience.

7th July 2007, 10:21
Connecting rear pieces:
This is where things started to get a little tricky. More layers of material to penetrate and more consequences if you fudge your seam work.

Front/back construction, pins only:
This is merely a sneak peek of what's to come. Nothing is sewed above, just pinned down, the legs will slim down alot after I sew them along the in and out seams.

Just a preview. I hear this part is the hardest of all, so I am sleeping on it for now.

More updates pending! Thanks for tuning in!:D

7th July 2007, 10:32
Looking good. I really like the green thread you're using. Don't know what to say about the pockets yet. I'll wait to see what they look like when you have them on. Great progress, how long has it been now?

7th July 2007, 10:35
wow dude pretty amazing so far :o

keep up the good work

7th July 2007, 11:10
Wow good progress. Those are starting to fall together! Keep it up ;)

I was planning to make my own jeans too, but not DIY, just planned to get some really nice selvage denim, some buttons and bring em to my tailor :p

7th July 2007, 14:25
I like the back pocket design. The pocket looks really pointy. But I guess I will see what it looks like when you are wearing them.

8th July 2007, 01:01
Another update guys. They are getting close to being finished. I project one more day. That's about 13 days less than I originally planned. :D

Okay, this zipper was not as bad as it seemed to be reputed. But it is very tricky, and you'll be facing the thickest section of the jeans in some parts. Lots of layers.

This is the attachment of the zipper to the two front leg pieces.

8th July 2007, 01:04
And then of course, you need to add the rear flaps to protect the groin from the zipper teeth. Pretty important. And there is the finished zipper. If any part of the jean shows my limited sewing experience, it would be the zipper. Nevertheless, I still am happy with how it came out. When it actually worked as I closed it for the first time, I likened the experience to being that first primitive caveman who made a spark with two rocks. :D

8th July 2007, 01:04
Inseams and outseams:
This is the point when they finally start to take shape and become recognizable. The best part if you ask me.

Four seams later.

8th July 2007, 01:05
http://i51.photobucket.com/albums/f362/Your_enigma/finale12.jpg http://i51.photobucket.com/albums/f362/Your_enigma/finale13.jpg
Of course I had to try them on! The fit depicted is not completely accurate as I have yet to attach the waist band, but this does it good enough justice. They are quite comfortable, I would say they fit similar to a men's True Religion Joey more or less.

Still a bit of work yet. Waistband attachment, belt loops, hemming, and finishing with buttons and rivets. But now you guys can finally start to see the pieces coming together.

As always, more updates pending! Stay tuned.

8th July 2007, 01:10
It's amazing how good they are turning out. Especially this being your first creation

You are making me want to try.

Looking really good so far.

8th July 2007, 06:42
I've been thinking of this as well, so perhaps I'll have to give it a try... Quick question: what sewing machine are you using? I've been looking at some, but can't really tell what would be good (i.e. strong enough, but still affordable).

They're looking really good. I can't wait to see the finished product! :)

8th July 2007, 06:52
how much did you spend on the raw denim? did you use all of it?

8th July 2007, 08:04
The sewing machine I used was a Brother CE-4000 Computer. It has about 40 stitches built into it which make sewing button holes and finishing seam edges much easier. What I do recommend getting (more like insist) are denim needles. They are special grade needles designed to penetrate the thick layers that sewing a pair of jeans entails. The machine itself runs for about $200. Not bad at all.

As for hte material. I spent 8 dollars on three yards of material and ended up needing approximately 2 1/2 of those yards. Hope that helps you out.

8th July 2007, 08:14
We're on the home stretch here. Very close. Probably only one more update after this one. Sort of sad in a way. It's been so much fun!

The waistband proved to be very tricky to complete. In part due to the several times you have to fold the material, making it hard to sew, and also because it is totally mandatory that you baste the entire length, including the folded edges. Not easy.

After you baste the seams, press them down as much as you can, otherwise, the material may bunch up as you sew them. Sewing is tricky. It takes a bit to get the knack for sewing around the waist's curvature.

I am pretty happy with the way it came out, I don't think I could get it much straighter with my current abilities.

8th July 2007, 08:15
And now, they fit much better, and quite comfortably. Like I said before, they feel a little bit like my Joeys.

All right, almost done. At this point, all that remains are the hems, the belt loops, and the button for the front flap. That will be the final update. Bittersweet, I know.

Just wait until tomorrow.

8th July 2007, 09:40
You only spent 8 dollars on fabric?! That's amazing.

This is deffinitely inspiring!

8th July 2007, 10:01
not bad at all for the first time, i guess this is not your last one too.
Looks a bit big in the waist ot s that because you aint got a button yet?

Great job mate, as i said befor , Best thread in ages.
Would love to see them fade to. Do you think you will use them? or is it just a trial and error jeans that will have a special spot in your closet?

Cheers mate

8th July 2007, 10:51
Wow very impressive considering you started this not too long ago. 8 bucks for fabric? Where'd you get the denim?

8th July 2007, 19:06
Yea Loste, without the button the two front flaps sort of hang around and don't really hug the waist, but they actually fit exactly according to specifications, 30 3/4" in the waist, and 33.5 in the inseam. I'll post another picture as soon as the button hole is done and the button inserted. And when they're done, you better believe I'm using them! After the Olas first wash probably.

And nope, this will definitely not be the last time. The way I look at it, the more I practice and the more pairs I make, the more proficient I will get. I would like to make a straight leg next time around, just to have another design under my belt. Afterwards, I need to study pattern making and how to incorperate measurements into patterns. That will get me on the road to making jeans for other people.

As for the material question, all equipment was purchased at my local Wal-Mart and the fabric itself was Purchased at a Wal-Mart supercenter in Pennsylvania.

9th July 2007, 08:56
Alright guys, this is it. The last update. Total time taken was approximately 3 1/2 days from cutting out the pattern to securing all the final touches. I wasn't able to find rivets, so those will come later, but regardless, it's all over.

Most of you guys here already know how to hem anyway, so you know how I got here.

These are the tools for button hole making. You place the button in the back of the foot which guages the size. Pretty clever. The button hole was almost a disaster as the material was too thick for my sewing machine and it started to get angry with me. Loudly.

But as you can see, it didn't come out too bad. They make a liquid substance for sewing which seals button seams. I'll use that to avoid fraying.

9th July 2007, 08:58
And there you have it. One pair of DIY jeans! It wasn't as hard as I was expecting, but just the same, it was NOT easy. Still, I hope everyone enjoyed this little presentation as much as I enjoyed making them! And thanks for all the encouraging words everybody. :D

9th July 2007, 11:16
Nice job man, I really respect you doing this!
Wish I had seen this thread earlier, so the encouraging words could have been mine as well ;)

I like the way you take a whole other and unconventional design for your first pair of jeans, and considering it is your very first pair I can't say anything else then: congratualtions, you're well under way with your DIY's!
Like you said, it would be nice to make a straight cut next time, since I think they are a little too bootcut for my taste. Also those backpockets are not my favourite part (prolly making a ot of enemies here ;)) but the details are amazing actually, nice going with the green!

I hope you get your hands on some special denim and rivets next time. Together with some sort of patch, leather woud be nice ofcourse, with some own design 8-) and your experience from this process I bet they would be even a lot better than these!

Keep up the good work!

9th July 2007, 13:37
You've earned my respect man!
You did an awesome job!

9th July 2007, 14:11
I will remember this thread when you are BIG TIME!!

Awesome, awesome job!

9th July 2007, 14:50
So, when are you making me a pair ;)

9th July 2007, 19:42
Thanks guys. bilmaga, making jeans for other people is probably the next step, as soon as I figure out how to take measurements accurately and translate them into pattern designs. As for the rear pockets, what can I say? I've always been a fan of pointed, edgy designs, just a personal touch. If that will earn me some enemies, I bid them welcome. I'm the only one that has to wear them afterall. ;)

And as for the flare leg, again, it's something that I wanted for my own personal pair. Flare legs seem to have lost appeal on the market, everyone now turning to skinny tube legs and tapered hems (as manifest by Nudies newest fit guide). But for me, I stick to what I like. Let the trends come and go, I have always been comfortable in a nice generous bootcut. When Nudie ends production of the Ola (which as this point is seeming like more of an inevitability) I can only hope they leave the Alf alone. How I wish I could have had a flare glenn. :(

12th July 2007, 14:54
wow dude.. amazing job :|

didn't have all the time to read through all the posts cuz I'm on vacation now but the pics are great man!

two thumbs up from Bosnia ^^

12th July 2007, 15:18
I think you are completely right Conifurious, just stick to your own appealings and style.

If they ever stop making (R)Alfs, I'll bomb the whole factory. Damn. If there won't be any Ralfs, there certainly will be no Kim's or Finns.. Hell no.

12th July 2007, 15:25
I think you are completely right Conifurious, just stick to your own appealings and style.

If they ever stop making (R)Alfs, I'll bomb the whole factory. Damn. If there won't be any Ralfs, there certainly will be no Kim's or Finns.. Hell no.

hahaha nice.. people are really crazy bout those (R)alfs :P

16th July 2007, 09:51
Could you post some pics with shoes on too??

They turned out very good for a first time sewing. Good luck on your next pair. And what kind of fit will those be? Have you worn your jeans some days or are they just hanging in your closet as good memory?
Keep up the good work and you must post pics and updates when you start a new pair.


16th July 2007, 15:41
Great work Conifurious! I really admire you! :)

17th July 2007, 09:49
These shod-shots are for loste.


That is what you wanted, right? ;)

As for wearing them, of course I do! Granted I don't wear them with anything that could be considered frequency, but that is more because of the consistency I am trying to maintain with the Olas than anything else (and how can you not, they are so darn comfortable :D).

17th July 2007, 09:53
yeah, thats the one. Thanx man.
You must keep us updatet on your next project. When is that gonna be then?


17th July 2007, 10:04
Probably a modification of the current design, but cut straight along the leg starting from the thinnest portion of the knee. A simple design change that will yield significant results stylistically. I have also been "commissioned" by a friend to create a pair of custom jeans for him to tour with in his band. Hey, it's a start. ;)

18th July 2007, 12:35
Just wondering did you pre-soak the denim before making the jeans for shrinkage?

18th July 2007, 19:43
Sadly enough, yes, I did pre-wash the denim to account for shrinking, and a lot of the reasoning behind that was due to the fact that I wanted to be careful in avoiding ending up with jeans too short or tight respectfully. Particularly as it was my first pair and I wasn't positive as to whether or not all my seam allowances would be perfectly executed.

Yes boys, the magic process (if there ever was to be one) is gone. But frankly, who cares? I got the denim at wal-mart. :p When I find a more suitable site for procuring some high quality denim, then we're in business. ;)

19th July 2007, 02:32
The magic isn't gone. Now, they are a one-wash model.

Wear em hard, and show us what that wal-mart denim is made of.

19th July 2007, 02:38
Hm, it is worth a try. Though maintain the emphasis on the "from wal-mart" part of the sentence and don't expect miracles. I sure don't. :D Plus, I intend to maintain most of my focus on my Olas which surprisingly, hitting the one month mark today, are coming along much faster than I feel they are reputed to.

19th July 2007, 02:42
Make these into work jeans.

19th July 2007, 03:48
I like that idea. :D

7th August 2007, 06:56
i love this thread
as a matter of fact i was doing just the same
my mom was going to help me to sew a pair of jeans later this year
as well we have an industrial machine here at my house
mostly because my mom is huge into sewing
how much did all the materials cost you?

7th August 2007, 08:01
^^ Read the thread.

As for hte material. I spent 8 dollars on three yards of material and ended up needing approximately 2 1/2 of those yards. Hope that helps you out.

7th August 2007, 08:24
Thanks for being on top of things man. ;)

7th August 2007, 08:31
Anytime ;) I followed your thread with great interest, hence I remembered you telling us the cost :)

7th August 2007, 17:41
Fantastic! It will be great to see you model the finished project.

7th August 2007, 21:27
Thanks for the comments, but you guys need to read the thread...

post #59.

7th August 2007, 21:35
And now, they fit much better, and quite comfortably. Like I said before, they feel a little bit like my Joeys.

All right, almost done. At this point, all that remains are the hems, the belt loops, and the button for the front flap. That will be the final update. Bittersweet, I know.

Just wait until tomorrow.

for all those lazy ones here that dont even bother to read the thread, lol ;)

7th August 2007, 21:48
Thanks Loste. Though I should tell you the picture you brought up was before they were hemmed and are still missing the front button. ;)

I looked back and noticed that most of my old pics were a little low on quality so I took some higher-def ones for keeps. And now they are on top so all the new members won't have to dig. Yes, I am too nice. :p


8th August 2007, 10:29
nice fit...do I see a lap fade? :-P
Its just the lighting.

No sir, there is indeed a little bit of lap fade going on there. As well as a little bit of tearing near the thigh.

My friend Matt....he throws some trippy parties man... :D

8th August 2007, 22:49
Sorry about missing the first photos. The later ones were much better, though.
Conifurious, check out this web site. I think this guy has excellent design going for him:

8th August 2007, 23:04
Awesome. You haven't even finished making them and you're getting jerky grease on them. Great project. Thanks for making it public.

9th August 2007, 05:19

:rolleyes: A thread comprised of 10 pages and everyone is still too lazy to go past the first one...

The finished product, imperfections intact, is generously pictured above. Jerky grease and all. ;)