Aging jeans

Handmade jeans
My precioussss….

One of my most enjoyable sewing is making jeans. there are so many things that I can love from a pair of handmade jeans. I love the feeling of crisp denim fabric. I love cutting them and putting all the details into a pair of jeans. And when they are finished, I love watching them aged.

After several years, they can look completely different from when they are fresh out of under the sewing machine. A pair of new and crisp jeans slowly turned into a soft and comfortable pair of jeans. The colour is fading, but it only adds character to the jeans. Worn marks are appearing, sometimes there are holes on pocket where wallet and keys are usually kept. Every pair of jeans show a little side of their wearer.

Here is several of my handmade jeans that get worn most.

Men’s jeans, 2011.

Pumila Men's Jeans
Pumila Men’s Jeans

Non-selvedge denim. Pattern is Pumila Men’s Jeans (Japanese pattern, no longer available).

My first handmade jeans. This is how it all started. I didn’t have an overlocker at that time, so the raw edges are finished with zigzag stitches on ordinary sewing machine.
Pumila Men's Jeans Pumila Men's Jeans

2013, 2 years after.
Pumila jeans, 2 years later Pumila jeans, 2 years later

Pocket linings have been changed (2014).

Crotch and pocket holes repaired (2015).

2016, 5 years after.
Men's Jeans (Pumila) Men's Jeans (Pumila)

Men’s jeans, 2013.

Men's jeans (Kwik Sew 3504)
Men’s jeans (Kwik Sew 3504)

Non-selvedge denim with striped texture. Pattern is Kwik Sew 3504 view B, size M.
Men's jeans (Kwik Sew 3504)



2016, 3 years after.

Color has faded, making the striped texture more prominent. Holes on pocket and crotch need to be repaired.

Men's jeans (Kwik Sew 3504 Men's jeans (Kwik Sew 3504

Men’s Selvedge jeans, 2014.

Men's jeans FOP07
Men’s selvedge jeans FOP07

Selvedge denim. Jeans pattern is Mens’s jeans FOP-07 by Full of Patterns (Japanese), size L.
Men's jeans FOP07 Men's jeans FOP07

2016, 2 years after.

The denim fabric was quite crisp and hard when it was new. it has now turned softer and more comfortable.
Men's Selvedge jeans (Full of Patterns) Men's Selvedge jeans (Full of Patterns)

Women’s pleated pants, 2012.

Denim pants (Evan - Tamanegi Kobo)
Denim pants (Evan – Tamanegi Kobo)

Soft corduroy fabric. Pattern is Evan by Tamanegi Kobo (Japanese PDF pattern), size 38 on waist and 36 on hip.
Denim pants (Evan - Tamanegi Kobo) Denim pants (Evan - Tamanegi Kobo)

2016, 4 years after.

Not much worn marks, except for slightly faded knees.
Evan denim pants (Tamanegi Kobo) Evan denim pants (Tamanegi Kobo)

Women’s jeans, 2014.

SJ tee and Sandra jeans
Sandra Jeans

Stretch denim. Pattern is Sandra narrow leg jeans by Style Arc, size 6. Waistband has wide elastic in it.
SJ tee and Sandra jeans


2016, 2 years after.

My most comfortable and most worn item. The colour has faded and one knee has hole.
Sandra jeans Sandra jeans

Women’s boyfriend jeans, 2014.

Wyome boyfriend jeans
Wyome boyfriend jeans

Light-colored denim with no stretch. Pattern is Wyome jeans from Named patterns (PDF), size 36.
Wyome boyfriend jeans Wyome boyfriend jeans

2016, 2 years after.

I didn’t wear them so much at first because somehow the light colour felt too massive to me. Last year I decided to take a cutter and seam ripper and started heavily distressing them. Now I wear them a lot.
Wyome Boyfriend jeans (Named) Wyome Boyfriend jeans (Named)

Women’s jeans, 2015.

Sandra jeans and Basic tank
Sandra jeans

Dark denim with no stretch. Pattern is Sandra narrow leg jeans by Style Arc, size 6. Wider waistband to accomodate two front buttons.
Sandra jeans and Basic tank


2016, 1 year after.

Another basic favourite.
Sandra jeans (Style Arc) Sandra jeans (Style Arc)

As you can see the aging of my husband’s jeans is much more interesting than mine. I think it is normal as he wears the jeans on rotation almost everyday while I have many other options to wear.

There are some jeans that I have made that are not included here. Sometimes it is because they don’t fit anymore, more often it is because they don’t get worn so much. I have also made jeans for Sidra, but they never have the chance to age at all because Sidra is aging in much faster rate than the jeans!

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  • Eveli Kaur

    I just love this post. I am in the process of sewing jeans at the moment 🙂

  • wow, this is such an awesome post. I had no idea denim aged so awesomely with time, figured you had to deliberately distress them to get this kind of look.

  • How beautiful, your observation about your son, it’s like you summed up motherhood 🙂
    I also really like the overview of changing jeans 🙂

  • What a fun post! It’s so awesome seeing what happens to the jeans as they’re worn!

  • lisa g

    Love seeing the aging process!

  • This is so cool! I don’t have any handmade jeans old enough to show this type of age, but hopefully I will one day. They look so lovely all soft and worn-in.

  • Melinda Lai

    Thank you so much for this post! I have not had any luck buying jeans (for a few years!) and my favorite pair is literally falling apart. No holes, but the fabric is so thin in places that I only wear them when absolutely necessary now. I feel like they’re about to disintegrate. I love seeing the progression and I think I’m finally motivated to sew my own jeans.

  • Wow this is so interesting! They have all aged really beautifully and it is fascinating to see the changes of colour in the different denims. And such a great advertisement for sewing your own clothing, it’s amazing how long some of them have been worn and still look fantastic

  • What a fun post! I love seeing how denim ages, especially how the topstitching kind of sinks in and affects the indigo around it; it’s beautiful at any stage of its lifecycle.

  • Amazing post! I’ve always been fascinating at the natural distress of denim. I’ve never had any long enough to see the change. But now that I KNOW I’ve stopped growing, I hope that I can make some pairs that will last the test of time.

  • This is a fantastic post. I love seeing how the jeans have changed and how you’ve mended and augmented them as needed. I’m about to make a pair of white (!!!) jeans, using the Birkin Flares pattern (can you hear the ’70s calling?). Your post is inspiring.

    • I’m always attracted in the ideas of white jeans (or white anything), but I’m so clumsy that I’m sure I will splash something on them, ketchup or sauce 😀
      Looking forward to seeing your white Birkin flares!

  • LInda (A Crafty Scrivener)

    What an awesome post! I love this!

  • Amy Brown

    They all look amazing! I wonder if you could help, I recently made my first pair of jeans and the waistband is too big. What’s the best way to make it smaller? I used denim as the facing and it’s just too stretchy.

    • If the waistband is not attached yet, you can cut it to fit. Denim usually don’t stretch too much if the cut pieces don’t get handled too much. But you can iron interfacing on the wrong side if worry about stretching.
      If the waistband is already attached, I would remove the stitches and leave several cm on the center front still attached. It is usually difficult to remove these areas as they have button and buttonhole. Then I would shorten the waistband on the center back and stitch the waistband back. This seam would be covered with belt carrier.
      Hope that helps!

  • verykb

    Fascinating to see, the denim goes on such a journey

  • Megan O

    What a great post. I love how your husband’s jeans have aged just like RTW – so cool. Your distressed Wyomes look fantastic!

  • This post is interesting! Thank you, Novita, for showing your aged jeans, I totally find them even more charming by aging.