Jeans seams

How to keep the original jeans seams in your denim project

Denim bag made with jeans legs

One of the reasons why we love denim items is the unique wash effect they have on the seams and pockets. And this is why we want to keep that washed look when recycling jeans into new items. It is quite difficult to achieve the washed effect at home, so let’s see what are other options are available for using original jeans seams to make our handmade denim project to stand out.

How to keep the original seams

Even a plain bag made using jeans legs can look cool and trendy. And the original seams from old jeans surely add a lot of character to your denim bag.

If the jeans you are using have wide and straight legs, it might be just perfect for your sewing project. You can just cut the leg open on one side, open it and you might straight away have enough fabric there to start cutting out the pattern of the bag-to-be.

But sometimes you have to join more “legs”. Or if the jeans are flared or very narrowed at the bottom, then you need some method of joining the denim pieces yet keeping the original jeans seams.

The neatest way

This way is suitable and works best when the denim is thin enough and the side-seams are not too bulky.

Side-seams of jeans used in a bag
Sewing pattern for this bag is here >>>

Cut it right

Cut next to the original seam at a distance of about 1-1,5 cm. Preferably on the side of the seam where it is tucked under.

Cut next to original seam

Very carefully iron the extra fabric folding it under, along the seam. You should get a very neat seam.

Sew it right

Place the edge (which we have just ironed) onto another strip of denim (as by your plan). Make sure there is an overlap of a minimum 2 cm. Pin it in place in a kind of very flat way like on the picture below.

pin it flat to another piece of denim

Choose such colour of thread that it’s almost invisible on your denim. You will be surprised, but a lot of times it’s not blue colour! It’s grey that matches most. However, you will sew very-very close to the original stitches, right next to them for the very neat result. Look at the picture below where the needle is. Once you have done one, stitch another line next to the second original stitching for strength.

Stitch right to original stitching

And you are done!

Trim off the excess of fabric at the back if needed and go ahead with your denim project!

Cut excess off at the back
Sewing pattern for this bag
Sewing pattern for this bag is here >>>

No fold side seam

This is another way to use a seam and it is for the tough and thick denims.

Cut very carefully right near the original seam. Some jeans will be better for this method, some – worse. However, the point is to get as close to the seam but not cut through the yellow stitches.

Cut right next to the seam

Pull off and trim the loose threads, there will be some for sure. If you don’t do it now, you will find those popping out later 😉

Cut off threads

Now place the piece over another piece of denim, per your plan, and sew along the existing stitches, just as with the method above.

Pin and stitch on top of the next piece of denim

This makes the same look, but yet there is always a risk that the loose threads eventually will come out from underneath. You can cut them off later too. Or you might wish to keep them as a part of raggy style. Also, if you cut not so close to the seam at the first place, you can rough up the edge and have even more raggy effect on that joint:

Denim bag sewing pattern
Sewing pattern for this bag is here >>>

As easy as that. Just place this edge on top of your next denim piece and stitch along just as for the other two methods.

Decorative stitch with a frayed edge

Frayed edge is cool. It might be that leaving some raw edge nearer to the original stitch is a good idea too. The same way as mentioned above, but slightly further from the seam, makes a larger fray. Cut the jeans up along the side seam leaving just a couple of millimetres.

Cut next to seam

Then pin in place onto the other piece of denim. Stitch along with a similar colour of thread in two lines (for strength).

Pin and stitch along

Rub the raw edge to fray it. It helps a lot to wet the fabric while doing it. Trim off loose threads which seam to be hanging out too much and it should look quite cool!

Fray the edge

The inner seams

Sometimes the inner seams of jeans are looking so good that you wish to use them too. Ah well, nothing can be easier!

Using the inner seams from old jeans

Just cut the leg near the seam and iron flat. It is now ready to be sewn on. It is much flatter and thinner then the double stitched seam (discussed above), so this décor element is very useful in many sewing projects.

Cut the leg


You can also cut the seams out at the both sides and sew the strips onto a base:

stripy makeup bag
Free lesson how to sew a make up bag or a coin purse is here >>>

For any sewing project different methods described above can be used together:

Sewing pattern denim bag
How to use side-seams of old jeans

More lessons about sewing denim are here >>>

6 thoughts on “Jeans seams

  1. I’m so glad I have found your site. I love all your ideas and tips are wonderful. I enjoy sewing in denim and now I’m going to like it even more. Can’t wait to try some of your tips using the seams.

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