Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Denim Weight & Designs

Celeste writes:
"This is starting to get you have a particular weight of denim that you like to sew with? I noticed when I was shopping online for stretch denim that there were different weights and I'm not sure what that means. Also, I'm pretty sure I understand what you mean when you say 'design the pockets', but could you elaborate on that a little?"

I like to use heavier-weight denim (11 or 12 ounces) and require that four inches of denim stretch no more than a quarter of an inch. The weight refers to how much a yard of denim weighs. The larger the number, the heavier and less pliable the material. I like my jeans a little on the snug side, so this is just a personal preference. The second pair of jeans I made were of a lighter-weight material and with more stretch. After a year of wear and losing 12 more pounds, I can take them off without unzipping/unbuttoning and must wear them with a belt.

By 'designing the pockets,' I am referring to the back pocket design. I don't embroider much (though I'd like to try) and am always thinking of what type of picture I want my back pockets. I have some hot-fix crystals that I am thinking about using on one pair and maybe some sort of geometric picture on the other.

On a technical note...

Does anyone find that this page loads slowly? I don't know if it's the template background, but this page loads slowly for me.



  1. I was going to ask the same question Celeste did. I bought a few yards of (I think) 10 ounce stretch yesterday, and it feels so thin and flimsy. So, I came home and handled my favorite pair of RTW, and they seem to be about the same weight. I might order a few yards from just to have some extra to play with. Of course, I could just hit the stash, because i'm sure I have tons of denim in there, but what's the fun in that?

    I haven't noticed that this page loads slow. Therefore, it probably loads just fine because that type of thing makes me nuts.

  2. Wow! Thanks for the answer! This helps so much. After asking the question about pocket design, I looked around the web for RTW design ideas and discovered that the pockets I liked the best had no design on them at all. Easy-peasy for my first attempt at jeans. That being said, I LOVE the idea of crystals on the I'm putting that idea away for next time.

  3. The timing of this sewalong couldn't be better for me - I'm waiting on the jalie 2908 pattern and some 11.5 oz denim I ordered from last weekend. I went for the jalie pattern because my DD (6 yrs old) wants me to make *her* some jeans, too. I figure I'll have plenty of fit issues to wrestle with, so I'll make hers first and work out any kinks in the construction process.

    At the moment, I have NO jeans in my wardrobe, because I refuse to wear any that don't fit well (and I haven't had any luck with RTW or thrift store jeans). I have made jeans that are acceptable, but I'm hoping to tak it up a notch this time.

  4. Okay...made a trek to the big city, and found some GREAT stretch denim. It is the right amount of deep blue, very soft...I was really jazzed! But now I'm thinking there is too much stretch (if the 1/4" stretch Jalie patterns recommends is the rule). So...I'm going to go forward, but am more nervous than ever about the whole thing. I'm washing the dickens out of it as we speak....wish me luck!