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SewStylish

Tips for Styling Jeans from Angela Wolf

Jun 11, 2012
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From coloring to style, there is a jean style for every day.

Jeans are not just for working in the garden anymore. In fact, they have become a staple in our wardrobe. From coloring to style, there is a jean style for every day. ~ Angela Wolf

So what particular styles are in for summer?
• Skinny jeans and jeggings are taking a new look for summer with a shorter, cropped hem. This is a great way to show off your cute shoes, especially if you are into platform sandals.

• Bell jeans are a little different than the traditional bell bottom pant. This season, the waist is higher and the thigh area is tighter. Think of a boot cut jean with a wider hem.

Despite the fashion trends, boot leg cut jean is the most flattering on most figures. This cut narrows at the knee a little and then slightly back out to the hem.

Colored jeans
Using a standard jean pattern, you can add some creativity to your next pair of jeans by sewing them out of some of the summer’s hottest colors: orange, fuschia, or royal blue. This takes me right back to my college years when my entire closet was colored jeans. I knew I should have saved some of them! If you really want to ramp up your sewing skills, embroider the outside legs on a pair of white jeans.

Topstitching tips
Sewing jeans can be a little boring, so allow your creative edge to come out when topstitching. Of course you can always use standard jean thread, but consider using 2 or 3 spools of Coats & Clark polyester or mercerized cotton thread (all three spools of thread run through the upper looper and then through the same sewing needle) with a 4.5 stitch length. If you have the triple stitch available on your machine, use one spool of thread and use a stitch length of 4.0. Hammer your seams to enable easier topstitching without skipped stitches or press in the black knob on your sewing machine foot.

Preventing the plunging waistband
I really like denim with some stretch, but throughout the day the jeans can stretch out and begin to sag at the waist. When sewing the top of the waistband, add a strip of stay tape along that upper edge. Take the outer and inside waistband with right sides together. Stitch along the upper waistband edge as you would normally do to attach the waistbands together. Then add stay tape or cotton twill tape and stitch along the same seam line. This will prevent the upper waistband from stretching out, yet allow the rest of your jean to stretch as they should.

Fabric
For a standard jean I prefer cotton denim with 3-5% stretch. If you are making jeggings, then you will need a little more stretch than that. Some resources for denim:
• Vogue Fabrics — they even have a special section with my personal favorites. Check this section often as the selections change frequently.
• Fabric Mart is another place that I have found designer denim. 
• Don’t disregard JoAnn Fabrics — they have added a nice selection of colors and weights.

Styling
Longer, light weight cardigan style sweaters are a great match with the skinny jean. Another look is the loose, flowing silk top. You might consider adding a belt to create an asymmetrical look. A shorter jacket is complimentary to the bell jean, or even try tucking a loose top in and adding a belt to accentuate the waistline.

by Angela Wolf

Don’t miss Angela’s techniques for giving denim a well-worn look in SewStylish Summer Fashion 2012. See more of her patterns at her website, AngelaWolfPatterns.com, and check back for your chance to win her new jeans pattern, available July 1st!

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  1. User avater GeniKnits January 9th

    Cotton Sateen! are you referring to the Red Jeans? Would you say the jeans were easier, more difficult or the same with the cotton sateen vs. denim. Still waiting for my fabric to get my muslin going! :)

  2. User avater angable December 7th

    The black button on the sewing machine foot - when you press it in the foot remains level instead of going up and down when you sew over humps of fabric (or thick seams). Try it sometime, it's pretty slick.

  3. User avater angable December 7th

    Yes, that is my jean pattern and they are sewn with cotton sateen. Very fun :)

  4. nachodog November 27th

    Could you please elaborate about the "black knob on the foot"? Thank you

  5. User avater mousiesews June 16th

    Hi Angela,

    Love the color! I have yet to find colored denim as I have not been too successful in locating good quality in different colors. Is this your pattern???

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