Fit and Sew Custom Jeans — Sewing Book


Classic and Creative Sewing Techniques for Modern Patterns

There is nothing like wearing your own custom fit and sewn jeans! Start with a style you like and use this book by author and certified sewing instructor Helen Bartley to create a pair of jeans that fits your unique body and your unique style.

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Fit and Sew Custom Jeans sample book pagesOver 1,200 illustrated techniques and photos. 

Learn about:

• Choosing jeans materials and tools.

• Determining your best pattern size.

• Fitting the pattern to your unique shape.

• Step-by-step construction order that includes fly front, pockets, seams, waistband, topstitching, bartacking, and hems PLUS when and where to fit as you sew.

• Customizing with unique stitching and hardware.

Once you perfect traditional jeans, try Helen’s creative modifications for button fly fronts, welt and trouser pockets, waistband variations and changing up your bottom line with a tulip hem or ankle zips.


CHAPTER 1: Why Sew Jeans?
The Case for Sewing Jeans | A Bit of History | Jeans Branding

CHAPTER 2: Tools
The Machines: Sewing Machines & Sergers | A Pro’s View | Pressing Equipment | Sewing Notions | Alteration Supplies | Hardware Setting Tools

CHAPTER 3: Materials
Denim | Fabric for Pocket Bags | Hardware | A Pro’s View on Needles | Needles | Thread | Interfacing | Zippers | Other Little Helpers

CHAPTER 4: Patterns, Fit & Alterations
Jeans Patterns | Pattern Size | A Pro’s View on Patterns | Personal Jeans Profile | Our Jeans-Making Order Includes Fit | Ease | Crotch Depth and Crotch Length | Tissue-Fitting—Why Tissue-Fit? | Finding Your Best Size | Wrap-Test Your Denim | Pattern Size Calculation Chart | Prepare Your Pattern for Tissue-Fitting | Assemble the Tissue | Tissue-Fitting Order | Alter Your Pattern | Your Jeans Body Map Alteration Worksheet | Fabric Fitting | Master Chalk-Marking Your Changes | Tracing a PDF Pattern for Tissue-Fitting

CHAPTER 5: Real People Fitting Jeans
Learn to fit by examining different bodies: Ava | Alli | Pati | Helen | Julie | Jeff | Greg | Taylor

CHAPTER 6: Before You Sew
Preparing to Sew: Good Sewing Hygiene | Waste Not, Want Not | Fabric Preparation | Prepare the Altered Pattern for Cutting | Layout and Cutting | Transfer Pattern Markings | Seams, Topstitching, Bartacks and Buttonholes | Reality Check

CHAPTER 7: Constructing Jeans
Quick Stitch Guide | Snap-View Construction Order | Interfacing | Efficiency Serging | Belt Loops Close Up | Back & Coin Pockets | Front Pockets | Fly Front Zipper | Fit As You Sew—Baste & Fabric Fit |Fabric-Fitting Order | Continue Fitting | Continue Sewing Your Jeans—Yokes • Back Pockets • Inseams • Crotch Seam • Side Seams | Belt Loops | Waistband | Finishing—Belt Loops • Bartacks • Buttonhole • Hems • Setting Hardware

CHAPTER 8: Design Mods (Modify to Your Heart’s Content)
Leg Modifications —  Articulated Knee | Saddle-Seamed Jean | Windowpane Legs | The Princess-Seamed Jean
Pocket Mods — Pocket Bag Variations | Topstitched Trouser Pockets | Coin Pockets | Back Pockets | Topstitched Welt Pockets | Tulip Pocket | Darted Cargo Pocket
Front Closures — Hidden Button Fly | Exposed Button Fly  | Mock Fly Front
Waistbands — Elastic Waistband
Hems + the Bottom Line — Raw Edge | Fringed Raw Edge | Tulip Hem | Ankle Zippers | Side Slit at Ankle

CHAPTER 9: Care & Feeding of Jeans
Laundering | Mending

CHAPTER 10: Templates
Fly Topstitching | Topstitched Welt Pocket  |
Darted Cargo Pockets  | Tulip Pocket

Helen Bartley is a Palmer/Pletsch corporate instructor and has been teaching jeans  workshops steadily while researching for this book the best ways to fit jeans and the easiest techniques for sewing them. She has tested most brands of jeans patterns in order to be familiar with them. She has become a fit expert co-teaching fit workshops in Portland, Oregon, alongside Pati Palmer and Marta Alto and contributed to their highly regarded book, The Palmer/Pletsch Complete Guide to Fitting. Helen learned sewing at age 6 at her mother’s knee and studied clothing construction and textiles at Eastern Washington University. In 2008 she founded the regionally groundbreaking Seam Divas Sewing Lounge in Vancouver, Washington, where she continues to teach classes.

Additional information

Weight N/A
Dimensions N/A
Binding Type

Regular, Spiral


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