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Learn to Add Premium Denim Details

Use quality fabric, and sew a classic fly zipper
Threads #196, April/May 2018

Originally the fabric for the common workman, lowly denim has made its way to high fashion and premium prices for premium denim. When you shop for jeans or other denim garments, you’ll find a wide range of price points. There’s a difference between a $35 pair of jeans and a $200 pair, and it comes from the fabric—which should last for years and get softer and more comfortable with wear—and the construction techniques used to make them.

Factors that make expensive denim worth the price include the fabric’s yarn, the dye, and the weaving technique. I’ll share the details that set high-quality denim fabric above the rest. Once you know how to choose the best denim fabric for your sewing, you’ll want to re-create the well-sewn, sturdy features of premium jeans, including a proper fly zipper. I have detailed instructions to make that process easy.

If you have worked to perfect the fit of a jeans pattern, now you can use it to replicate the costliest designer or boutique jeans on the market. Your custom jeans will look better and last longer than store-bought versions and give you the satisfaction of saying, “I made them myself.”

Make your own blue jeans from quality fabric.
Blue jeans are casual, cool, and even chic. Make them in quality denim, with all the classic features, for years of stylish wear. Pattern: author’s design. Fabric: 100-percent cotton denim, author’s stash.


Make a blue jean skirt.
Traditional jeans details make an A-line skirt a wardrobe staple. Pattern: author’s design. Fabric: 100-percent cotton denim, author’s stash.

From fiber to fabric

To select denim that will look and perform the way you want, consider several factors, from fiber content to overall weight and hand. No one denim is right for every project, so evaluate how a particular fabric’s characteristics will…

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