This is the second part in a series of guest posts on how to create a pair of raw jeans. This series is written by Christopher J. Brown, the owner of denim label Brown, Deim. In case you missed it, be sure to check out Part 1.
The Fall season always ushers in new batches of denim and designs, and one would be hard pressed to find a better opportunity to expand one’s lineup. Some might say that year after year within this raw denim niche, there is a lot of similarity in terms of design aspects.
The denim mills, on the other hand, are making great progress on their own developments with fantastic fabriques which can interest everyone. Super heavy weights, weft dyes, organic cottons, not to mention the various blends & colours available.
If you’re anything like myself, you’re quite pleased with all of the great products in the premium denim market but would like to create a more personal or specialized pair of jeans that can not be offered through the batch production.
In other words, your favourite pair of jeans just need a slight tweak in design or fit for perfection. I hear this response quite often because of people’s great passion for denim. Really, it makse sense, since one size or design does not fit everyone.
Designing a pair of jeans on your own is fairly easy. The first thing that is logically in place is just to enhance a pair of your favourite jeans. Let’s take the process a few steps ahead and look at the whole process properly. This project can be fun, not too expensive, and will produce the perfect pair of jeans that you’ll never want to go without.
The fit can be based off of a pair of jeans that you already own or if you’re feeling adventurous, you could develop a cut of your own. You would then want to take this material to a tailor that would make a pattern and sample to begin.
Most of the time, small or local tailors aren’t willing to take on this challenge on because of the machine requirements. For instance, the stitching tensions required to properly sew the denim fabrique together are a bit much for the average mender/tailor.
That said, with a bit of research, one can find a great many specialists in this field who would be happy to help with your project. A master tailor that I partner with here in Boston is Roger of Hinds Lines & Designs would be more than happy to help with any queries when time allows.
For example, full-kit pricing is $150USD for a basic pattern, and $200USD for a complete sample, not including fabrique and pieces.
Now comes the denim fabrique of your choice. For instance, I use 100% cotton, natural dyed denim, and a option of full or short roll. The full rolls come in a myriad of textures, dyes, spins, and other intricacies. The short rolls will host some of the same qualities but tend to specialize in the selvedge textiles. This specialized fabrique can be purchased from a textile jobber (see Part 1 for more info).
The average pair of jeans will require about 1.5 yards of standard denim per pair, and 2.0 yards from a short/selvedge roll. For the small fee charged per denim yard, it would be recommended to purchase extra to take into account any errors or mistakes.
The following four various fabrique houses are quite reliable and offer a ton of different types of denim, of course there are numerous others out there as well
So here you are in the game with fabrique on hand and a professional to make up a pattern & sample piece for your perfect pair of jeans. Without getting too elaborate with the hardware & top-stitching, the only other variables lie in the accents and personalized design. Simply put,the pocket bags and other areas.
Pocket bags are nothing more than the doubling of fabrique to create front pockets. As a designer, I source unique pieces from all over the world such as vintage railroader denim, batik, European embroidery, bandannas, raw silk, and other various fabriques.
Your options are basically endless, though I recommend you consider the durability for extended wear & tear. The same could go for the lining the two rear and coin pockets as well.
Now all you have left is to personalize the pair of jeans if you so choose. A marking, label, emblem, leather or cloth patch, or even hand markings with paint, dye, etc. Patches and labels constructed with cloth or leather are easily fastened by stitch and/or rivets.
My main recommendation now is that you take the time and do the due diligence to properly assemble a pair of unique jeans and finish it with your own personal style. What sets you apart from the pack?
By all means embracing this adventure is a surefire way to learn a lot about the industry and have a lot of fun doing it. If you ever need any help with sourcing or other related issues please feel free to contact the shop.