Make Your Own Jeans in 7 Simple Steps

Stop being afraid to try!

Follow these 7 simple steps to make the most comfortable pair of custom jeans you’ve ever owned.

1. Measure Yourself

Before you can make your own jeans, you’ll need to snag a few measurements. This will help you pick a pattern and buy the right amount of fabric. It will also come in handy to have these measurements available when you’re ready to make custom fit adjustments.

Not sure how to measure? Watch the video:

Measurements You’ll Need:

  • Waist – The narrowest part of the waistline
  • High Hip – Around hip bones where a traditional waistband would sit at midrise
  • Full Hip – The  fullest part of the hip (usually around the booty)
  • Thigh – Midpoint between crotch and knee
  • Knee – The center of the kneecap
  • Calf – The widest part of the lower leg
  • Inseam – Vertical distance from the midpoint of the crotch to the bottom of the ball of the ankle

2. Pick a Pattern

As with any other sewing project, if you want to make your own jeans you will absolutely want to choose a well-drafted pattern with clear instructions. To get the perfect fit, choose from our selection of jean patterns below. Each pattern includes crystal-clear video instructions, custom fit alteration tutorials, and sizes misses 00- plus 36.

Want to know the secret to why our patterns make sewing more enjoyable? Find out here.

New to DIBY? Get any of these jeans patterns for 15% off!

3. Purchase Fabric and Hardware

A big difference between store bought jeans and typical “homemade jeans” is in the materials. Even with a perfect pattern, the jeans you make will never feel like designer quality if you are using poor materials. If you want to use the same denim the big brands use on designer jeans check out the jean material kits below.

Things to Look for in Your Supplies:

  • Stretch Percentage – This is the amount that you can stretch your fabric, NOT the percentage of elastic or spandex in your fabric. So if you have 4″ of fabric and it can stretch out to 6″, that fabric has 50% stretch. Likewise, if it can stretch to 5″ you have 25% stretch. When you are shopping for denim to make your own jeans, look for a minimum of 30% horizontal stretch (2-way). 25% CAN work but the comfort level just isn’t as great as 30% for tight fitting women’s jeans.
  • Recovery – Sometimes your fabric may have the right amount of stretch but it doesn’t “bounce back” very well. This is your fabric’s recovery. You will want a strong recovery to your fabric to avoid sagging cabooses and legs as they are being worn.
  • Hardware – 1 zipper, 1 tack button, and 4 rivets are required to make your jeans. It can be challenging to find all of these hardware pieces in one place, so shop from our hardware below to save both time and shipping costs.

4. Prep Your Fabric

You will need to consider a few things before you prep your fabric. How often do you need to wash your jeans? Does the longevity of your jeans matter to you? How custom do you want these bad boys to be? Understanding these questions and how you will want to prep your fabric based on your answers to them can be found in our Denim Care Guide. Or just watch the video!

Watch the denim prep video:

5. Sew Them Up

Follow your pattern’s instructions to construct your jeans! Quick tip though – plan on your first pair being a “tester”. Jeans require a bit of adjusting so save your favorite fabric for your second pair.

Need a little hand holding? No problem! Check out these popular denim sewing articles! You can find all of our denim sewing related posts here.

6. Make Alterations

Your body is unique to you – so sew your jeans to fit it perfectly! There is no need to settle for poorly fitting jeans when you are making them yourself.

Things You Should Adjust For Before Sewing:

  • Inseam length (height adjusting)
  • Grade between sizes to fit you

Things You Should Adjust After Sewing:

  • Crotch length and depth (everyone is shaped differently)
  • Booty shape
  • Back pocket locations
  • Adjusting ease in the legs to fit you perfectly

Use our alterations guide (included in every DIBY Club jean pattern) to make the proper adjustments to your pants.

Download it for Free!

7. Customize Your Jeans

Now it’s time to take custom to the next level! Check out these tutorials to learn how to make your jeans truly one of a kind.