SD1001: Pattern Review Jeans Competition

Like most people, I wear my favourite jeans until the last possible moment. When the pair you see chopped up above died, I went about trying to find a jeans pattern to attempt to make my own. Nothing really appealed at the time, so I figured, why not try to make my own pattern from a garment I know fits half decently well? Since then I’ve bought the jeans pattern Vogue 8774 which was released recently, but I’m still waiting for it to arrive…

Then I noticed just the other day that Pattern Review are having a jeans sewing contest (details here) – could the timing be more perfect? I’m not in it to win, but rather use it as a motivator to get them done in a quick time frame, and see what others are doing as well. The contest starts on January 15, last submissions by February 16. The rules say that toiles can be done before the contest starts (phew!) but the fabric for the end garment can’t be cut until the competition starts. So out came the scissors and I chopped up my retired jeans. 

The direction of the grain line is super important so after tracing the pieces I copied this across (which is thankfully super easy to spot on denim!), and added a rather large seam allowance as an insurance policy.

I’ve got my fabric – a mid-blue 100% cotton ‘Depp Denim’ from Tessuti which I’ve washed and hung about 3 times to pre-shrink (on the left). I’ve also got some turquoise coloured denim from Gorgeous Fabrics which I personally think looked a LOT nicer (ie darker) on their website than in real life, to the extent that it will now be relegated to hitting the right fit. 

I’m also thinking embellishment – nearly all of my jeans use denim fabric layering as the visual point of interest, so I’m going to unashamedly copy this:

I’m off to start trawling the web for jeans sewalongs any other tidbits of information that could be useful during construction. Pattern Review has this fabulous page on jeans tips and tricks, with heaps of pointers and further information on DIY jeans. I can sense I may get lost in a sea of links here… Does anyone have any favourited or recommended sites/blogs/info sources for making jeans? I’m especially at a loss as to attaching the button at the front…

At the beginning of the week I made the mistake of thinking I could wander into Tessuti during my lunchbreak to pick out a simple striped cotton to use as waistband facing and pocket lining for these jeans. I got the cotton and also came out with this:

Some AMAZING fabrics in wonderful palate cleansing colours. I do love greys, pastels, creams and whites. Did I mention they were on sale?



  1. Isn't it hard to take the scissors to your favourite pair of jeans???? All for a good cause, I know, but cutting them up…I am no help on the jeans front, but will be following along with you all the way…love your new fabrics – beautiful colour choices…

  2. Oooh, the new fabrics are pretty! I am also interested in making jeans this year (probably not in time for the contest, but later), so I will be very interested to see what tips and tricks you pick up. Thanks for the link!

  3. Doobee, yep – it was a little wierd at first, but I just kept telling myself they are unwearable anyway so get to it!Elle C – thanks for those links! I didn't know he did a jeans sewalong – that will be great!

  4. I am so not ready to tackle jeans. I must admit that I am a bit of a designer denim junkie, so I can't see myself going that route right now. I think I'd cry if I had to cut up my Seven's or Joe's, even if they were completely battered!

  5. Me to Lara – there's nothing better than a good pair of jeans! My favs are Seven (the ones cut up!) and Sass & Bide. Doubt I'll be quite able to recreate a finish as good as the RTW version, but it can't hurt to try, eh?

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