Let’s Make Jeans!

Let’s Make Jeans!

Earlier this year an opportunity came up to sign up for a jeans making retreat at a location close to my home. There is a local fabric store that has been selling wearables fabric online called Style Maker Fabrics  https://stylemakerfabrics.com/. Since the pandemic has let up a little bit, they are starting their retreats again as well as opening their store to visitors. You must email them prior to coming to shop but it’s nice to know that one can go in and touch the fabrics prior to purchasing! The retreat portion of the business allows for 10 people https://makershideaway.com/. It is a lovely location; the food was wonderful, and they catered to all our dietary needs. I sincerely hope their business prospers. It is a nice respite since most of the fabric stores have disappeared.

The jeans class was offered in June or September. Since September 8th is my birthday, I thought this retreat would be a wonderful birthday present to myself, so I signed up for the September date! With only room for 10, spots go quickly. I promptly emailed my sister and since her birthday is September 29th, she decided to give herself a birthday present as well! Both of us had making a pair of jeans and attending a retreat at this location on our bucket lists. So, scratch off two bucket list items!

The jeans class was taught by a gal out of Nashville, Tennessee, Lauren Taylor aka Lladybird on Instagram. https://lladybird.com/about/ She is an expert on constructing the Ginger Skinny Jeans pattern made by Closet Core Patterns. She is quite a character and quite a task master. She had us moving right along, with no time to dally, and no time to visit with my sister! We were even too tired after dinner to do much chatting!


She taught us how to make the one on the left. Obviously, the pattern called for stretch denim. Life just wouldn’t be the same without stretch denim, in my world at least!

I was kind of skeptical when I saw all the different body shapes of the students and Lauren commented the first night that this was not a fitting class, rather it was a construction class. Eeek! She brought completed sizes for us to try on so we could figure out what pattern size fit us best, then we got to cutting out our patterns. She did help make a few fitting type tweaks to our patterns but not many.

At the end of the first full day, we had the fronts completed except for the buttonhole. At the end of the second day, we had the backs completed, sewn to the fronts, then we tried them on and made small adjustments, then sewed the waist band on. The waist band was quite challenging, especially sewing the topstitching on. We did all the topstitching as we went along, constantly changing our threads. I was able to bring my own sewing machine, but several students that had flown in from other states had to figure out how to use the provided machines. Several melt downs occurred!

On the third day, we finished making the buttonhole and attached the rivets and the button. Everyone looked really good in their jeans. I was amazed. I need to wash mine a couple more times and then I can hem them.


It was a fun time, although kind of stressful to get so much completed in our 2 ½ day class.

If you are wondering…I did buy enough fabric and hardware to make two more pair! (I will not be making them in 2 ½ days though.)

Next up on my list is to follow Maiwa’s Natural Dye Workshop. Here are some of my fabrics drying after they were mordanted. Fun stuff ahead!

Happy creating!

11 thoughts on “Let’s Make Jeans!

  1. They look beautiful and so professional Tesi. That was quite the achievement to make them in such a short space of time. Excellent decision to buy the makings of a few more pairs.

    Many congratulations and belated birthday greeting to both you and your sister.

    I hope we might see the results of your natural dye sessions in the fullness of time. 🙂

    1. Thanks for the belated birthday greetings!
      Can hardly wait to see the natural dye results myself. Hope to start that process within the next few days. I’ll take lots of photos as I go!

  2. The jeans look so good Tesi – and a real bonus that they fit you – far better than making do with off-the-peg.

    That’s a lot of fabric to dye – hope you will share your results with us?

    1. I’ll probably start the natural dye process in the next few days. I’ve been dyeing with Procion dyes too so I’ve got quite a mess going on in the studio. I need more tables!

  3. Completely amazing that you completed your jeans in that time frame. I certainly would have had multiple meltdowns! 😉 I think we need a photo of you wearing them.

    The mordanted fabric looks like it is ready for some natural dyes. I’m looking forward to hearing all about it.

  4. Maybe once I get the jeans hemmed I’ll take a photo of them on. Hemming is not my favorite task. I have 3 other purchased pants that I need to hem as well.
    I’m looking forward to playing with the natural dyes. Quite the learning experience!

  5. I did enjoy reading about your jeans adventure, and I am sure you must be so glad to have completed them in 2 .5 days. I will look forward to hearing more about the dye project too, that is something I have always wanted to do, but something else always gets in the way.

    1. If you ever decide to go for it, check out Maiwa’s website as one option. Their videos are excellent and very straight forward. They only release classes periodically.
      I’ve been having quite a bit of fun playing with procion dyes the last couple of days and have quite a few smaller pieces 12″ x 12″ or less that I’ll be able to use in collage work or as stitching backgrounds. Fun stuff!

  6. Great jeans, Tesi. I’m amazed you can make such professional looking jeans at all, let alone in such a short time. It’s great that you & your sister find such fun things to do for your birthdays.

  7. Well done Tesi, thats some achievement in 2.5 days! I can imagine the tutor being a bit frazzled by the end of it! You made me smile saying hemming wasn’t your favourite task, I imagined that would be a breeze compared to making the jeans from scratch!

    1. Hemming is SO boring. I think the teacher thrived on the craziness of that schedule she held us to.

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