Top Tips for Sewing with Denim

Posted by Freya Gilbert
on January 30, 2022

We wear denim so often but how often do you sew with it?  

My guess is not very frequently! It's one of my favourite fabrics to sew with, as it's stable and hard wearing, but I know some times it can be a little scary to work with if you've not worked with it before.




Top Tips for Sewing with Denim

  1. Heavyweight denim can be hard to cut out, try cutting on the single layer.
  2. Make sure you use the right needle for your machine.  A jeans needle is extra strong and sharp.  Use a longer stitch length to sew too, a length of 3mm will do the job nicely.
  3. Take your time with top stitching, go slow and keep a straight line.  Top stitching thread is thicker and stands out well against the denim, definitely time to take your time!
  4. Top stitch to reinforce seams. Jeans, jean dresses, dungarees etc all take a lot of stress with use.  Use all purpose thread in the bobbin when top stitching. 
  5. To avoid the dye transferring, pop some salt in with it when you prewash your fabric.  There is nothing worse when doing laundry than accidentally dying all your clothes blue!
  6. Make sure you choose the right pattern for your fabric.  If your pattern is designed for stretch denim make sure you buy fabric with elastane content.  If you don't your garment might not fit!  The wight of your fabric is also important.  Pay attention to the fabric recommendations on the pattern envelope.
  7. Use light weight fabrics as facings to reduce bulk.  Cotton poplin, calico or lightweight denim are all good options.
  8. Finishing your seams is super important when sewing with denim - it can fray like no ones business!  Overlocking the seams will do the job, but flat felled seams will give a professional finish.
  9. Take your time and cut to grainlines carefully.  Denim will twist out of shape of cut off grain.  This is not a fabric it is worth playing pattern Tetris with.
  10. Use strong closures.  Heavy duty snaps, proper jeans buttons, mental zips will make sure your finished garments do up and stay done up!

Shop all our denims and corduroy fabrics here.