And now, Day 4 of Denim Week, we get to probably our favorite part of sewing a denim garment…details! If you’ve taken the time and effort to sew a detailed denim garment, you should absolutely make it special by adding some unique denim details. We’ve found 7 different areas to add denim details to your garment, and we’ve got loads of examples of ways it’s been done in the sewing community. Plus we’ve added 2 tutorials and 2 free cut files for you to use if you want on your denim garments!
Denim Detail #1 Back Pockets:
This is probably the most noticeable way denim garments are personalized! And, why not? The back pocket is basically a blank canvas, waiting your design! We’ve created 2 tutorials for you, a pleated back pocket and a pieced back pocket.
Pleated Pocket Tutorial:
Step 1: Fold, pin and iron horizontal rows of pleats until the pleated section is long enough to fit pocket pattern piece.
Step 2: Topstitch across pleats with topstitching thread
Step 3: Cut out pattern pocket pieces and attach to back as instructed in pattern.
There is a side view where you can see the cool texture the pleating creates.
Pieced Pocket Tutorial:
For this tutorial, we used the smaller size of the Goose Chase pattern by Jeli Quilts. There are hundreds of paper piecing patterns available, and we can’t wait to use some more! Be sure to show us if you’re inspired to use a paper pieced quilt pattern on your denim back pockets.
Step 1: Use paper piecing template and the front and back of fabric to create design. We used both sides of the fabric so the finished pocket would have the same color value, just light and dark tones.
Step 2: Sew on extra denim to sides and top as needed to expand size of the pieced fabric.
Step 3: Cut out pocket. Cut out another pocket piece from lightweight lining. Fold the edges of the denim pocket over the lining pocket. This is to protect the insides of the piecing. Then, just attach to back as instructed in pattern.
Funny story: I couldn’t decide if I wanted to topstitch around the flying geese or not, so I tried it to see what it looked like on one pocket. Which do you like better? See photos of the finished skirt below to see what I ended up with…
Back pockets from the sewing community:
Here are some amazing examples of back pocket personalization from the sewing community! Click on each photo to be taken to their creation.
Denim Details #2 Tags
There are a couple of ways to use tags in your denim creations. The leather tag on the back waistband is a common element of denim garments. We have 2 free cut files for the designs we used.
For this tag, we used Kraft-tex paper (which is what is often used on ready to wear denim.) Since the cutout details are quite small and wouldn’t be stitched in place, we used Aleene’s Okay-to-wash-it fabric glue. We’re happy to report that it’s still just like new after much wearing and several washes! You can get the FREE cut file project here.
For this second tag, we used real leather and created this free cut file. After cutting it out on our Cricut Maker machine, we simply topstitched it on.
You can see what a special, customizes skirt these details make!
Tags from the sewing community:
This first example is a different kind of tag on the inside that’s totally unique and amazing!
Denim Detail #3: Inside pockets, facing and trim
Inside the denim garment, there are several fun places to tuck in vibrant fabric! The pocket lining, the bias trim, the inside of the waistband, and so on. It’s like a secret smile and a small celebration tucked inside!
Insides from the sewing community:
The preview photo above only shows the awesome back pocket design, but over on Instagram, you can scroll through the photos to see the insides too!
Denim Detail #4: Fabric and Topstitching choices
The combination of fabric and topstitching fabric makes the garment look so different! On the Sandbridge Skirt we sewed above, we used contrasting thread. If we had used white, or a navy contrasting thread, it would look different again.
When you use contrasting topstitching thread, it really stands out and makes a statement. Matching topstitching thread results in a totally different look.
Fabric/topstitching combinations from the sewing community:
Denim Detail #5: Hardware
Yes, installing the hardware can be intimidating. But it’s worth it! If you can make an incredibly complex garment from denim, you can install the hardware! I think it’s scary because this step is the last one, and you’re doing it to the finished garment! If you mess up…all your hard work and time is wasted, right? But there are loads of helpful tutorials and videos, and you should always practice (buy enough extra hardware!) first.
Hardware from the sewing community:
Denim Detail #6: Distressing
We don’t have any experience with distressing denim, but we’ve seen it done well. Here are some helpful tutorials:
How to distress denim from Bernina
Sew Guide how to make your own distressed jeans (15 ways!!!)
Imagine Gnats distressing denim tutorial (photos of different techniques on different denims)
Patterns for Pirates (tips and good advice!)
Distressing denim from the sewing community:
Denim Detail #7: Pattern Hacks
I used the Sandbridge Skirt pattern and made it into a maxi skirt. To do this, I simply grabbed a denim maxi skirt from my closet that I wanted to replicate the shape of. As I was cutting out my skirt, I extended the length of the skirt starting beneath the pocket bag and angled it gradually out and down. To get the shape I wanted, I laid the RTW (ready to wear) skirt out on my fabric, and used the angle and length as my pattern from below the pocket bag and down to the hem. The result is exactly what I was hoping for!
Pattern Hacks from the sewing community:
More Denim Details Inspiration:
We’ve got a Pinterest board dedicated to Denim Details here.
Day 1: Introduction and Cone Mills Denim Giveaway
Day 2: Giant List of Denim Fabric, Supplies and Resources
Day 3: Giant List of Denim Patterns Classes and Tutorials
Denim Week Discount
Right now, the Sandbridge Skirt is the featured pattern over at Hey June Patterns, so use the code “Sandbridge15” to get if for 15% off!
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