Jeans can be found in every wardrobe – not only kids and teenagers wear them, no, also babies or grandmothers and grandfathers… In my closet there is usually only one pair of purchased jeans and I just wear them “until they fall off my body”. Then do I buy the next one or would sewing my own be an option? Sewing jeans yourself naturally lures every sewing enthusiast, but will it work? We all own more or less good household machines. Can they do it? We all know the tight seams, overlapping pockets and stubborn hems of jeans. And the fabrics, there are so many, how do they differ? What makes authentic jeans? Besides, how are you supposed to manage all those pattern pieces? Lots of open questions. That unsettles.
That’s where the book comes in sewing jeans by Johanna Lundstrom. It’s not a book with an inlaid pattern to sew up. But a book that consistently works through all the production steps and deals with the questions and problems that may arise.
Every sewing job begins with the choice of fabric. Logically, the first chapter is titled: Substances. Technical terms are clarified. Differences are shown and the limits of what is feasible are clearly shown. Every type of jeans needs its fabric. How heavy can, may or should the material be. Does he have to stretch? How do I actually care for jeans and are there sustainable jeans? Finally: How do I cut correctly.
Chapter 2 belongs to the patterns. First there is an overview of the typical jeans parts and an exact listing of the correct seam allowances for each Part and for the different seam variants. Then there are style adjustments. What’s the difference between selvedge jeans, bootcut jeans, etc. I’m not a jeans connoisseur, so I’ll learn a lot about jeans variants while reading it. You can find out exactly where, for example with bootcut jeans, fabric has to be added and where it has to be removed in order to achieve the right look. A separate double page is dedicated to the shaped waistband (many of you are probably familiar with this: the jeans fit great, but the waistband sticks out in the back), how to design it, how to achieve the best curve… We continue with fit problems typical of jeans: Smile lines, tension creases, vertical creases…I realize once again how little I know and how much a good tailor knows.
Chapter 3 deals with tools and accessories, i.e. presser feet, needles (and the ideal size), pliers, haberdashery, etc.
Seams includes the 4th chapter. Very nice: the double-sided overview board. Clearly divided into stitch-look-use features. This is followed by tips for decorative seams and very precise explanations of the felled seam, the seam allowances you need (depending on which seam: center seam right, center seam left, inseam…) Step by step, with photos and text, Johanna Lindström explains the real felled seam, the felled seam with a special foot and tie sewing.
Chapter 5 is in a book called sewing jeans logically the most extensive: sewing together. It starts with the correct sewing sequence, the ironing of the jeans seams and then it starts: the front pockets – in variants, the zipper – as is well known, a stomach ache topic, but of course there is also the button placket closure (would be even worse for me!), back pockets and what I found interesting, different position options depending on the character. Central, yoke and side seams, waistband, belt loops in different seam variants and so it goes on to the hem.
A separate chapter is dedicated to distressing, the deliberate artificial aging of jeans.
The conclusion is the chapter templates, the bonus to this book, which was really made with great care. There are PDF templates to download: bags, ironing and quilting templates, zippers and templates for decorative stitching on back pockets.
Conclusion: Great book, nice to look at and easy to read, informative and many, many step-by-step instructions that are not only good to use for jeans. A good reference book for sewing trousers.
A book: Sewing Jahanna Lundström Jeans, published in 2021 by Stiebner Verlag, softcover, photos and illustrations throughout, 191 pages, format 19cm x 24.5cm, ISBN978-3-8307-2109-3