How To Sew Denim – Tips & Detailed Guide

Do you want to learn how to sew with denim? If so, Find out how to sew denim jeans in this complete guide with instructions, tips & tricks.

Denim is a very popular fabric these days and it has been for decades. This time-honored material was created to hold up against the rigors of work, play, or anything in between; because denim can handle whatever your day might throw at you with ease!  

Deni pants today usually refer specifically to those blue jeans we all know so well – invented by Jacob W Davis alongside Levi Strauss & Co back in 1871.

Origins of Denim

Although denim is an American invention, the word “denim” comes from French. In fact, it was created in France during The Middle Ages and named “serge de Nîmes”. It eventually became shortened to just Denim sometime between 1864-1867 when Charles Hangzhou invented his famous sewing machine.”

In translation, the word “jeans” comes from Genoa. This is one example of how trade and goods traveled across international boundaries in antiquity; when jeans were first worn by sailors who came into contact with French traders during their journeys around Europe – especially if they lived or worked near the borderlands between cultures like England did back then (Pont de Gard).

The term does not actually derive from India as it has been said to be but rather via Arabic for “tight garment” which might explain this oddly specific detail about its origins!

Characteristics Of Denim

Denim is a long-lasting fabric that’s been around for over 100 years and anyone who has owned jeans knows you must not skip your prewash.

In many cases, they’ll shrink a little bit but also washing will soften the denim somewhat—the more you wash them the softer they become! It’s always advisable to do this before wearing so as not to transfer any color on accident elsewhere in your wardrobe.

Denim is a tough fabric that will last you longer than any other type of clothing. However, it’s also inevitable for your jeans to start falling apart at some point or another and when this happens the irony can be too much!!

inspect high-quality thread and needles if want them in good shape after many years with their original owner!

Preparing Your Denim For Sewing

Start your project on the right foot with these 3 simple steps to pretreating, cutting, and marking.


Today, denim comes in a variety of weights and colors. Regardless of whether you want your jeans to be dark or light-blue; it’s important to pretreat the fabric before washing them so that shrinking doesn’t happen. 

Start by washing your pants separately using warm water without detergent or bleach – then dry off on regular settings for permanent results!


There are many types of denim out there. Some, like lightweight and medium weight ones, can be cut on the fold (double layer) using sharp shears or with a new rotary cutter while heavier fabrics need to have their lengths cut flat instead; this will make them easier for you to sew together!

Tips on How T Sew Denim


Denim comes in a range of colors and washes. Pick water-soluble chalk pencils that are easy to see for markings you want to be erased, as they will wash away with ease!

Sewing Denim

Now you can get stitching! Now that your garment is cut, marked, and ready to go it’s time for some serious sewing.


It is important to use the correct thread when you are constructing your garment. For topstitching, we recommend using an upholstery or topstitch thread; otherwise stitching might not hold correctly and could shrink over time in hot water (or wash).


Use a 90/14 needle for light and medium weight denim, or 100/16 if you’re looking to create heavyweight fabrics.


When pressing denim, use a high-temperature cotton setting with plenty of steam. If you want to save even more time and are feeling creative about it then clapper your seams after pressing!

10 Tips For Sewing Denim

There are just a few tips and tricks (and tools) I try to keep in mind when working with denim. It’s strong, durable- you can easily fray it or cut the fabric without any snags!

There is also no risk that your seams will come apart because of how much resistance they offer. 

And sewing on top means little slipping through between stitches; this makes them super easy compared to other fabrics like polyester for instance which takes forever even if you use zippers!”

1. Choose The Right Design

Heavy denim works best with structured garments. It’s obviously great for pants and shorts, but also has a tendency to work well in jackets or fitted dresses; as long as they are designed accordingly of course! 

Lighter types of denim however can be layered up into more flowing pieces like full skirts that will provide an element-textured finish instead if you’re looking for something on the softer side.

2. Grab A Jeans Needle

Ever wondered which needles are best suited for denim? The all-purpose needle or ones with a label like “Jeans”, designed to puncture through multiple layers. You can use 90/14 if you’re sewing lighter type fabrics but 100/16 or even heavier-weight cloth requires an extra-large size such as 118 / 18s (or higher).

3. Pay Extra Attention To Grainlines

When cutting, make sure that your grainlines of fabric are aligned correctly. If you cut off the fabric with a straight line rather than at an angle or crosswise from its lengthwise direction, then twisting will be less likely to happen and more manageable on final projects.

4. Use Lighter Facings Where Necessary

Denim is bulky, but you can cut down on that bulk by choosing lighter fabrics for inner details like facings.

5. Reinforce Seams With Topstitching

Some denim garments (including tight dresses!) get a lot of stress. To help them last longer, use stronger tys like topstitching or upholstery thread for seams from the right side and regular all-purpose string in your bobbin to sew down hems as well!

6. Use A Longer Stitch Length

If your denim is the typical heavyweight, jeans sort of fabric that takes time to break in and wear properly. Lengthen stitches by about 3mm if you want a more substantial feel when wearing them out there!

7. Use Heat And Steam

Protect your investment with pressing denim. Use the highest heat setting on your iron and plenty of steam to get that deep, crisp creases without worrying about over-heating or damaging delicate fabrics like cotton-spandex blends!

8. Use A Clapper

Don’t have a clapper? You should! It’s one of my favorite tools. A Clap-a-matic will allow you to apply sustained pressure on any seam, helping get it really crisp and flat without causing bulkiness as other methods do.”

9. Use Sturdy Closures

A garment is only as strong as its weakest part, so make sure to match the closure of your pants or shirt properly. Heavy-duty snaps and riveted buttons will never break denim sturdy enough for any job! But if you need something lighter in weight (like say shirts), then use standard fastener types instead.

10. Finish Your Seams

Denim can fray something awful, so unless that’s the effect you want be sure to finish those seams. A flat felled seam is a classic choice for straight seams on denim garments like jeans but there are plenty of other ways in which one may choose: serge them; use mock-flat felled (my fave) or Hong Kong finishes!


Can I sew denim on my regular sewing machine?

You can, but if you are not a skilled sewer and plan on sewing many layers of the fabric together at once–I recommend using denim that’s lightweight. You’ll need something sturdy enough for heavy-duty work like hems or industrial machines with extended reach which is able to handle any task without struggling too much.

With the right needle and thread, your home sewing machine can work well with denim fabric. If you have patience for this type of project it’s a great way to use up all those old jeans that won’t fit anyone but themselves anymore!

How do I cut denim?

When cutting denim pattern pieces ensure that the directional ribbing in its surface is consistent and follows one direction. This nap should be followed for all pattern pieces to look good together, so use a sharp tool like rotary cutters or scissors equally well!

Which thread should I use for sewing denim?

You can use topstitching thread to sew denim. If you don’t have any on hand, just substitute two spools of regular sewing machine string and a needle for that! Your machine should come with an extra pin – attach it then push both ends through the eye at once before pulling tight.”

A contrast color like orange is often used for topstitching denim fabric in jeans. Your choice of thread would depend on the look you want to achieve on your garment, and I think a bright hue such as yellow or pink looks good with indigo shades while lime green may not show up well against other types of blue dyes at all if it’s too light-colored. Try both colors out first before deciding which will work best!

Which needle should I use when I sew denim?

Denim is best sewn with a special denim needle that you will find in sewing supply stores. These needles have bigger eyes and longer points, making them capable of stitching through thick fabrics like denim without breaking or puckering easily due to its thicker thread diameter; these qualities make it perfect for use on any type of fabric including stretch material!

It is always a good idea to keep some extra denim needles (usually No. 16) on hand for sewing with this fabric because it can be quite demanding and dulls the needle quickly. It’s also very important not to go too fast when working in Denim, as rapid stitching will result in breakage or frustration all around; slow down your pace if possible!

Should I prewash denim?

Denim is a fabric made of cotton fibers and it will shrink when washed. Sometimes the color may run too, but that’s common sense because denim needs to be prewashed before sewing- you should ask your local store if they’re sanforized or not! 

If not then all bets are off; even though there might still be sizing in them which can make repair difficult for us sewists out here trying our best…

What machine settings should I use when sewing denim?

Increase the stitch length to 3-4 when sewing denim. Turn a hand wheel at times for thicker seams, and navigate thick fits with ease!


Robert Patricia

Robert Patricia is a data analytic and content creator. He has worked extensively with large data sets to glean insights for both public and private sector clients. He has used this knowledge to create compelling content for brands across the internet. Albert also enjoys creating content for websites and social media. He is an expert at creating catchy headlines and understands how to capture the attention of readers.

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