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rodeo bill

home-made jeans

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I'm sure I remember a few people alluding to their own home-made jeans projects, and I thought it would be cool to have a thread for jeans that people have made themselves. Doesn't matter how amateur they are, and failed attempt stories are welcome too. Home-made is always best:)

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So let;s get this rolling!

Just to be clear before I start, I really admire what people like ANde Whall and Conie Jeans are doing, and I'm not trying to compete with them in any way- I've made these for myself, for fun- I haven;t got any plans to do a production run any time soon:D

I only started thinking about this on Monday, and by Thursday I'd worked out the details, ordered some denim. cut a pattern and made a fit sample- it's all gone really really quickly!

Personally I like quite a vintagey, baggy fit, and for this pair I decided to go with a hybrid of workwear-inspired detailing in a jeansy cut- loosely like early Levi's/repros. I started by tracing round my Evisu 2001, but I made it more crooked (more slanting seat and fly), widened the legs all the way down, and tapered the hips a lot. I also made a much deeper yoke, and took a lot of shape out there, so that you get quite a round seat. Here's the fit sample I made from some spare denim I had left over from a previous project:

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I actually made my jeans last night. Started around 7 after work, and I was done by midnight- more productive than my average Friday night:D

Here's the pattern pieces layed out on the denim (on the floor in my sitting room- as I say this is a 100% home-made project:))

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I took a few photos in the early stages of putting them together, and I meant to properly document it, but in the end I got a bit caught up with making my jeans, so I didn't take as many photos as I'd intended...

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I didn't get the denim until Friday morning, and I wanted to make them over the weekend, so I had to get the buttonholes for the fly made from slightly different denim from the rest of the jeans- but I think this is kind of a cool secret detail anyway.

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french-seamed denim pocket bags:

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my sewing machine. It's a very good domestic machine, but I really could have done with an industrial one for this- it couldn;t really cope with the heavy denim, and I had a lot of trouble with snagged up thread underneath, which is a pity, but it's all part of the story:rolleyes:

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so here they are:) detail pics first:

weirdly foreshortened front flat photo (comme des garçons belt):

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weirdly forshortened back flat photo:

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the hip pockets are square, sewn on in one stitch, like the match pocket on Levi's/repros, and fully lined with calico (sorry to cover up the patch- it's handwritten with "MADE IN [my address] Nov 7 2008":

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lined beltloops:

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Narrow selvage, and double-folded hem:

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I made the hop topstitch on the right hand side into a pencil pocket by bringing it back up over the pocket and under waistband:

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and here's how they look now:

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and fit pics:

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I'll get the top buttonhole put in tomorrow, and then rivets and buttons will go on next week. After that I'll give them a soak, and see how they;re going to end up. I'm really excited about them!:)

edit- I'm thinking silver or copper dome rivets (like Carharrt), and plain silver donut buttons, like wartime Levi's. Any thoughts/recommendations much appreciated!

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^^thanks! They are pretty baggy, but personally that's what I like (I know it;s not the classic sufu silhouette:D), also they should shrink a bit when I soak them.

By the way selaviso and everyone else, I'm really sorry I can;t work out how to embed my photos. I've tried eveything I can think of, and I've read the posting guides loads of times... I don;t know why I can;t do it:confused:. I'll really try to work it out though, and when I do I'll edit my posts.

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Nice looking denim, button holes on the fly are top notch. I started a small brand this past year and invested in an industrial leather and denim machine with a walking foot. It gives you a seam much like the ones see on high end japanese made pairs, where the thread protrudes over the fabric adding an extra bit of stretch. I would also recommend you invest in a hand press for setting the rivets and shanks if you plan on making more pairs, mine was about a hundred plus and it has lasted me for years now. Also if you want more longevity out of your jeans you should contact one of the major thread manufacturers and invest in some tex 90-120 thread which will give you that added bit of strength, preferably poly wrap poly core.

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edit- I'm thinking silver or copper dome rivets (like Carharrt), and plain silver donut buttons, like wartime Levi's. Any thoughts/recommendations much appreciated!

Good choices, I really like the Carhartt/Samurai USA rivets. Didn't the wartime Levi's have wreath buttons?

And this is super nitpicky, but I can't stand the look of a skinny belt in big loops. You should consider wearing a wider belt with those jeans.

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Great work +rep

edit: with flickr, you have to delete "?v=0" after each photo's link when you either use the insert picture button or tags

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Nice looking denim, button holes on the fly are top notch. I started a small brand this past year and invested in an industrial leather and denim machine with a walking foot. It gives you a seam much like the ones see on high end japanese made pairs, where the thread protrudes over the fabric adding an extra bit of stretch. I would also recommend you invest in a hand press for setting the rivets and shanks if you plan on making more pairs, mine was about a hundred plus and it has lasted me for years now. Also if you want more longevity out of your jeans you should contact one of the major thread manufacturers and invest in some tex 90-120 thread which will give you that added bit of strength, preferably poly wrap poly core.

thanks very much firstdoor- that's really helpful advice:)

to be honest this really is just a one-off project for my own fun, but you're absolutely right, if i was going to take this further i'd definitely need a more serious sewing machine (although personally I like single-needle construction done well), a proper bartack machine, and a rivetter.

regarding thread, I originally bought some gutterman 90 poly thread, but it didn;t go through my machine very well at all, and I do like cotton for the wear it develops. In the end I went for 50, which was the thickest I could easily find. Doing it again I think I'd go for 70-90 100% cotton.

I'd be really interested to see your product here if you can find time to post:o

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^^thanks! They are pretty baggy, but personally that's what I like (I know it;s not the classic sufu silhouette:D), also they should shrink a bit when I soak them.

By the way selaviso and everyone else, I'm really sorry I can;t work out how to embed my photos. I've tried eveything I can think of, and I've read the posting guides loads of times... I don;t know why I can;t do it:confused:. I'll really try to work it out though, and when I do I'll edit my posts.

use photobucket. they give you the code for posting on forums.

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Great work +rep

edit: with flickr, you have to delete "?v=0" after each photo's link when you either use the insert picture button or tags

YES!!!! thanks so much- I really appreciate your help. +rep for sure

now I have to go back and edit all my posts:D

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now I'm putting the photos in properly I can only do 10 per post- here's the rest of the detail shots:o

so here they are:) detail pics first:

triple-stitched seat seam (all the threads are white 'Atlas' 100% cotton. Apparently Atlas is no longer available, spun in England, which is extra cool as I just happened to have ot lying atround at home:D. Obviuosly it's all single-needle sewing, because I don;t have an overlocker, let alone a run-and-fell machine...

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selvage waistband:

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the fly is the trickiest bit for me. this was the first time I really got it right I think:

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Triple-stitched slanted front pockets. the stitch you can see up the pocket facing is the run-off sewing line from putting the kuroki label onto the pocket bag:

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Good choices, I really like the Carhartt/Samurai USA rivets. Didn't the wartime Levi's have wreath buttons?

And this is super nitpicky, but I can't stand the look of a skinny belt in big loops. You should consider wearing a wider belt with those jeans.

thanks very much! I think I'm right in saying that wartime levi's fly buttons were plain donut, and the top one was a victory wreath? that's what I'd like to go with- I'm pretty sure I can find the plain fly buttons but I donlt know if i'll be able to get the wreath button- I'll keep you posted:D

totally with you on the belt. I'm only wearing that belt on the jeans in these photos because there aren;t any buttons yet, so the jeans'd fall off without one, and that was the first belt that came to hand. Once they;re finished and soaked I'll post proper outfit fit pics!

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^^ I'm really sorry, but Kuroki only do wholesale really, I'm just friends with a guy who works for them and he helped me out. I paid 30pounds for 4m, but i think a lot of that was the DHL from Japan to UK...

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I have some denim.

I think I had 6 meters from Nisshinbo, but I'll check.

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Good stuff Bill. Nice looking house too, are you in East London?

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thanks everyone! west is best;)

I'm in Hong Kong, so buttons, rivets and post-soak fit to come next week hopefully

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those are awesome, bill! great job, although the pockets are a little too square for my liking, it's good to see a slightly different take on the vintage stuff... keep up the good work

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those are awesome, bill! great job, although the pockets are a little too square for my liking, it's good to see a slightly different take on the vintage stuff... keep up the good work

thanks! a few other people (here and in real life) have said they;re not keen on the square pockets (they are 100% square)

the thinking behind it is: I think I'm right in saying that original levi's pockets measured square (measuring top-point against edge-to-edge), so I'm working out from that, also these are kind of workwear-based, so this is a nod to headlight, big yank/john/smith, carharrt, hercules etc, which had (again I think) square pockets with rounded corners. I figured square corners are easier and more time efficient, so more authentic (plus just easier!) Finally I'm just a bit bored with all those spade pockets!

It'll be interesting to see them after they've got the metalwork and have been washed. at the moment they still seem like some bits of cloth I sewed together, and then (in my previous experience) they;ll transform into 'a pair of jeans' and I can see what I really think of them. sorry if that sounds a bit hippie:D

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^^ good job! Looks great to me, looking forward to seeing buttons and rivets (exposed back pocket rivets surely?)!

I like the big square back pockets, but how come you placed them over the yoke? Any vintage inspiration for that? Carhartt have been yoke less as far as I know, and work pants with a yoke usually have it cut more shallow.

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^^ good job! Looks great to me, looking forward to seeing buttons and rivets (exposed back pocket rivets surely?)!

I like the big square back pockets, but how come you placed them over the yoke? Any vintage inspiration for that? Carhartt have been yoke less as far as I know, and work pants with a yoke usually have it cut more shallow.

thanks superB:) The yoke thing is something I've worked on for a while. As I understand it there are 2 reasons for having a yoke- 1 is it allows you to get the jeans out of less cloth (you cut the yoke out of what's between the leg panels) and 2 is that you can put some shape into the seat (like the darts in dress trousers). If the yoke's very high then you;re either not putting any shape in (if it;s just a straight seam) or you're putting shape in at the back of the hips, which doesn;t do much good (although it can help cover your arse when you bend over (in the saddle??)). I moved it down a lot and took loads of shape out (effectivelty big darts into the seat seam and at the hip), so get quite a full seat. This is a look I like, but also it happens to suit my shape:D

yes exposed rivets- I'm not good enough for concealed yet! also then I'd have had to have done the rivets before finishing the sewing, which would have taken much longer. In fact I think expeosed'll work better here, and they;re going to be dome rivets anyway, so there's no risk of scratching my saddle!

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Good work fella.

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Really like the workwear look/baggy fit and the fabric you sourced.

+ rep!

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