For decades, denim has been a staple in men and women’s fashion. And virtually every person in the nation has some form of denim clothing in their closet. This is because denim is a widely-versatile fabric to work with, as well as, long-lasting and comfortable to wear. Jeans, shirts, skirts, jackets, blazers, and even purses and shoes are common apparel made from denim. So if you are a novice sewer ready to take on a denim project, then continue reading to learn some tips and tricks to working with denim alterations and sewing projects.
Needle and Thread
Denim is a strong and sturdy fabric that can certainly stand the test of time, but it can also test the strength of your sewing needles. Denim is known to break a few needles in sewing machines, so it is important to choose the proper sewing needles to protect your supplies and your project. On top of the having the right needles, you also need to invest in a quality thread for the same reasons. There is no way a heavy fabric like denim will bind together with a weak or flimsy threading material. So go the extra mile and get yourself a high-quality needle and thread.
Always Pre-Wash and Dry
Never, ever skip a pre-wash and dry when it comes to sewing with denim. Without pre-washing and drying denim fabric, you are at risk of shrinkage and color transfer issues. Not only does this jeopardize your initial measurements, it will change the overall result of your garment. Pre-washes also soften the fabric, making it much easier to work with. Just be sure to wash with like colors and on the same cycle you will use in the future for the garment.
Sharpen Your Tools
With denim, you need sharp tools. Start with an extra-sharp pair of scissors, which are available at most fabric and craft stores for under $30. Next, you want to be sure your rotary cutter is sharp. You may need to replace the blade. This will make pattern cutting much easier and prevent fraying disasters. And last, you will want to get yourself some strong pins to hold your fabrics together during the different stages of your project. Sturdy sewing pins should not bend when they are being used.
More Tips and Tricks:
- Practice a lot!
- Take your time. Sew denim slowly.
- Pay close attention to seams.
- Keep an iron hot to flatten seams as you sew.
- Consider buying a specialty pressor foot.
- Use a zig-zag stitch over the cut edge on interior seams.
- Use a professional tailor for complex denim alterations.