Sewing Tutorial: How to Make Your Own Jeans

Steph time
by Steph time
13 Materials
15 Hours

I've been eyeing up a particular style of jeans for a while and was waiting for the perfect pattern for them. Then the Helene jeans sewing pattern came out and I had some thrifted denim, so I decided it was time!

I've never made a pair of jeans before, so follow along with me and learn how to make your own jeans.

Tools and materials:

  • Helene Jeans pattern from Anna Allen Clothing 
  • Denim fabric (non-stretch) approx. 5 yards
  • Lining for pockets
  • Paper for printing
  • Tracing paper
  • Fusible interfacing
  • 6 Rivets (optional)
  • Waistband button
  • Jeans zipper
  • Fastener
  • Tailor's chalk
  • Scissors
  • Pins
Preparing the fabric

1. Prepare fabric

Print out the pattern pieces and tape them together. Make any adjustments to them that you need.

For example, I lengthened and deepened the back crotch curve and shortened the rise on the front and back.

Place the pattern on your fabric as directed and cut out the fabric pieces. 

Drafting front knee patch

2. Front knee patch

Use the front leg pattern to draft the front knee patch. Trace off the area you need, adjust the inner edge as you want it, and add the seam allowances. 

Cut one patch from your fabric, turn the pattern over and cut the second one.


3. Interfacing

Cut interfacing to fit the waistband and zipper placket and press firmly on to the wrong side of the fabric.

Inserting the zipper

4. Insert zipper

Serge or zigzag stitch around the edge of the zipper placket and attach the zipper.

Join the front of the pants with right sides facing and sew the zipper to the second side. Top stitch the zipper placket.

Back pocket

5. Back pocket

Decorate the back pocket with top stitching or a patch.

Knee patch

6. Knee patch

Mark the seam allowances on the knee patch with tailor's chalk. I like to mark a second line at twice the depth of the allowance to give me a straight folding line. 

Fold in the seam allowances and press them. I incorporated the outer edge of my patch into the side seam of the pants so I turned in the allowances on three sides only. 

Knee patch

If your patches extend into the crotch area, snip the allowance along the curve before folding.

Pin the wrong side of the patch to the right side of the front leg and top stitch in place.

Front pockets

7. Front pockets

Fold the pocket bags in half lengthways and press them. 

Front pockets

Attach the pocket welt to one side of the lining and top stitch the coin pocket in place.

Pants back

8. Pants back

Join the back legs together at the crotch and attach the back pocket.


9. Fitting

Baste the inner and outer side seams together and try on the pants.

Make any fitting adjustments needed. Sew and top stitch the leg seams.

Attaching the waistband

10. Attach waistband

I attached and top stitched the waistband and then realized that the fronts didn't line up. I had to unpick the first few inches on each side and restitch them.

This has happened to me before so my advice is - baste and check first, before sewing.

Finishing DIY jeans

11. Finishing

Optionally, add rivets to the corners of the pockets.

Make a buttonhole on the waistband and attach the jeans fastening.


Sew and attach the belt loops and hem the jeans.

How to make your own jeans: DIY jeans

How to make your own jeans: DIY jeans

These are bootcut jeans to which I added long knee patches. The pattern gives the option of a traditional button or zipper fly.

I found it best to take the construction slowly, concentrate on the details and enjoy the process.

I'm very pleased with how my first pair of DIY jeans turned out and I'd love to hear how you get on. Please let me know in the comments below!

For more sewing content, check out my post on How to Sew a Super Cozy Color Block Fleece Jacket.

Suggested materials:
  • Helene Jeans pattern from Anna Allen Clothing
  • Denim fabric (non-stretch) approx. 5 yards
  • Lining for pockets
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Join the conversation
  • Dee green Dee green on Jan 27, 2023

    You are amazing

  • Beth Davis Beth Davis on Feb 17, 2023

    That's awesome. I just realized that I've made a wedding dress and 3 bridesmaids dresses, soooo many other things, but I've never even considered making my own jeans. Girl, that's inspiring! This would be awesome, considering I can never find jeans to fit me properly.