The jeans project / Video

Video: Game changing techniques for sewing jeans

This post contains affiliate links.

Last night I finally finished making the two pair of jeans that I’ve been working in since the beginning of September. And since jeans making techniques is top of mind right now, I decided to make a video today and share my best tips for making jeans, especially addressing some of the biggest challenges we face when making jeans.

Jeans sewing topics covered in the video

  • How to make a flawless waistband
  • Succeeding with buttonholes on thick denim fabric
  • My best tips for topstitching (I also covered this even more extensively in this topstitching tutorial and in this video topstitching tutorial)
  • How to use a coverstitch machine for jeans making
  • Sewing perfect back pockets
  • Plus lots more!

Jeans making tools mentioned in the video

(Amazon affiliate links) .

Schmetz Topstitching needles

They have an extra large eye and goes through thick seams so nicely.

Jeans/Denim needle from Schmetz  is also excellent for sewing  jeans

Hump Jumper (love that name!)

Güterman jeans thread colour 968 

Water-soluble Wondertape  

All my blog jeans making tutorials


  • Mary Nanna
    October 22, 2018 at 12:35 am

    Wow – love it! So many great tips and some new ideas for me to try. One thing I am curious about is your construction method. I have come across lots of different ways that people assemble jeans. Recently I purchased the Ginger Jeans pattern and was surprised that her recommended method was to sew fronts together, backs together, then outer edges followed by inseams in one big swoop. I always thought that method lead to leg twisting (because when you sew up the leg inseam you are sewing against the fabric grain and pulling the fabric off grain) but I looked at my husband’s RTW jeans and that’s exactly how they sewed theirs. Do you have any problems with leg twisting in your jeans?

    • Johanna
      October 22, 2018 at 3:22 pm

      Yes, that’s the way I do it too. I first found the method in Wendy Mullin’s book Sew-U and have used it ever since. The only drawback is that it makes fitting as we sew more tricky, but I know that Closet Case has some suggestions for that. And I’ve never had a problem with the leg twisting, this flat assembly gives great result, I’ve used it on regular trousers too with great result

    October 22, 2018 at 3:50 pm

    I love this video post. I have made many pairs of jeans in different kinds of fabric. I’m always fond of using fabric with lycra since the stretch in the material produces a super comfortable form fitting pair of jeans. My additional tips are
    1. When preparing a jeans pattern, make sure to take all your measurements from a good pair of fitting jeans, make all your adjustments to the pattern and ensure you get the fit you want.
    2 Top stitching I use the blind hem foot most of the time or edge stitch foot. I also sometimes use 2 regular threads in the top if I can not find colors that I want. This works great and is not much different that using regular top stitching thread.
    3. I typically have 3 machines setup for making jeans.
    a. My regular sewing machine for straight stitching seams
    b. Another machine setup specifically for top stitching – nice if you have an additional machine. This machine I use the speed control to ensure I go slow and the top stitching is perfect.
    c. my serger is setup with 3 thread overlock
    4. In my jeans construction I am using a Flat Felled seam for constructing the back yoke, the back seam on the bum, and the seam on the inside of the legs. I find this gives me a more professional/industry looking pair of jeans. Doing this all depends the thickness of the fabric, when the fabric is thick i just use the overlocked seam pressed and top stitch.
    5. I started using stiff pressing templates. I put the card stock in my printer and make a copy of the pocket pattern piece so I get the exact pressing done. I also use the template for creating designs on the back of the pocket. Lately I have been using the design from a vintage pair of Calvin Klein jeans.
    Again great video post.

    • Johanna
      October 30, 2018 at 4:17 pm

      Those are some excellent tips! I’m really anxious to start testing flat-felled seams on jeans and think I will start with one area, and perhaps the yoke would be a good start?

      • COREY
        October 31, 2018 at 5:26 pm

        The back yoke is typically where i start. During my construction process i normally stitch the back yokes together with a flat felled seam. I next put do the pockets by adding a design and them to the back, next I join the 2 back pieces together with another flat felled seam. Next I move on to the front, pockets, zipper install , next in the inner seam in which I do the flat felled again. This is easy to do with not so heavy denim. Heavier denim I just serger and top stitch over the serged seam

      • COREY
        November 1, 2018 at 1:57 pm

        I forgot to add, if you want to see a guy from sweden put together jeans using much the same technique, Watch his youtube vidoes … lookingglassdenim .. You can watch him put together jeans including felled seams with a vintage green viking husqvarna sewing machine. I found it inspirational. Also watch Roman Lesmeschko make a pair of jeans here its a great video with professional sewing

  • Chris Griffin
    October 24, 2018 at 8:26 pm

    I love these!!
    I also set up 3 machines.
    My tip is leather needles! They’re Great for places where there’s lots of layers because they’re designed to slice through Very well. They also have a large eye, like a top stitching needle.
    Oh! And instead of buying hump jumpers, I use sticky notes. You can make it any thickness you need and since they’re slightly sticky, they stay in place. Very helpful for button holes, belt loops and hems!
    I love these videos you do 🙂

    • Johanna
      October 30, 2018 at 4:24 pm

      Such great tips, I had no idea you could use leater needles on denim. But it makes sense for sure! And the post-it idea is gold, have not heard of this one before either 🙂

  • […] Game-changing techniques for sewing jeans (video tutorial) […]

  • Mem
    May 17, 2020 at 3:36 pm

    Hello Johanna , I came across this post when looking at using my coverpro 1000 for jeans making . I was wondering if you have ever done top stitching using the coverpro . It would give such nice parallel stitching lines . If it is doable what tips do you have yo do this


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