Selvedge Denim Jeans

I finally finished my jeans and couldn’t be happier with the way they turned out. I used a 12.25 oz, raw, selvedge denim from the famous Cone Mills in North Carolina. After working with muslin for so long, it was nice to use some quality fabric that I would actually wear.

selvedge denim roll

My main concern leading up to this project was that the sewing machine (Pfaff select 1526) would not be able to handle the thickness of the denim. For the most part it did just fine. In a few really thick areas, where I was sewing through two flat felled seams (the crotch point and where the back yokes came together), I had to hand crank the machine. This was fine by me because I tend to sew at a snail’s pace anyway.

back pocket stitching

The denim is a bit streaky, which I like because it gives the jeans some subtle texture. I added a branding leather patch that I left blank because I haven’t thought of a name for my “line” yet. I also added rivets to this pair, and lined the fly with the same fabric I used for the front pocket bags.

streaky cone selvedge denim

There are a few changes and improvements I would make on the next pair. The second muslin practice pair I made from my pattern had a little extra room in the waistband. I debated whether or not I should modify the pattern when cutting out the denim. After trying on the muslin practice pair multiple times, I thought that maybe the muslin had stretched, which would explain the extra room in the waist. I also thought the denim would be stiff and I would want a little wiggle room, so I left the extra room in the pattern when I made this pair. I wish I hadn’t because my waistband is still too big. While I can wear them with a belt, I was hoping for a perfect fit.

I would also take in the pattern through the entire length of the leg to make the overall fit a little slimmer. The last change or improvement I would make is to my top-stitching, which I’m sure will improve with time and practice. The top-stitching in the fly area is less than perfect, but will be fine for everyday wear.

back pockets

selvedge fly

The front pocket lining has greetings in multiple languages from all over the world. I used the selvedge on the fly as a way to reduce bulk.

selvedge denim cuffs

Despite the waist being a bit big and my top-stitching wavering here and there, I am thrilled with the way these turned out. Armed with my own pattern and an obsession with high quality denim, I can’t see myself ever buying a pair of store bought jeans again.

17 Responses to “Selvedge Denim Jeans”

  1. Pingback: Selvedge Denim Recap — TaylorTailor

  2. Pingback: TaylorTailor on Denim Debate — TaylorTailor

  3. Tiffany — June 14, 2010 @ 11:39 pm

    OMG I’m so impressed!!! I love them! I can’t believe how well you’ve done in such a short amount of time. Amazing, truly amazing. So proud of you Taylor!! πŸ™‚

  4. Taylor — June 15, 2010 @ 7:09 am

    Hey Tiffany,

    Thanks for checking them out! I’m thrilled that you are impressed. That really means a lot to me.


  5. Matt — August 4, 2010 @ 10:09 am

    You must have a remarkable combination of patience and determination. Nicely done!

  6. Jason's MacBook — September 26, 2010 @ 4:21 am

    Your jeans look awesome and the quality of the denim makes them extra special. Did you buy the denim from Cone Mills online?


  7. Chris — September 27, 2010 @ 1:18 am

    well done. i used to have a dream to make my own jeans but am shortage of machines. would you mind telling me what machines you use for this jeans? thank you.

  8. Taylor — October 25, 2010 @ 9:34 pm

    Hi Chris,

    I only used one machine to make the jeans. It is a decent quality home (non industrial) machine: Pfaff 1526.

  9. Chris — November 4, 2010 @ 2:45 am

    Hello Taylor,

    Cool! I only keep one machine left and it’s a Pfaff 1245,a industrial machine. I will try to make a pair of jeans and maybe a shirt : ) Stay cool.


  10. Dave — November 11, 2010 @ 8:11 am


    These turned out really well! I found your site when I was searching for a pattern to make my own pair of jeans. It seems like patterns for men’s jeans are hard to find so… I like you, will probably make my own. It’s great that you’ve documented your process so well. It’ll certainly make it easier for me.
    Did you purchase your denim local? If so, where? I’m not too far away from Nashville so I’d like to do the same.


  11. Francesco — November 24, 2010 @ 5:44 pm

    hi Taylor

    i’m truly amazed by the quality and clever design of your pair of selvedge denim. I just love the use of selvedge on the fly, it gives a ”luxe” look at them- i’m used to buy selvedge denim and the use of selvedge there is rare.
    You used selvedge even in the coin pocket? is it visible?
    Overall is a very clean work. Are you planning to use an heavier denim next time? seeing something done with 14 oz one would be really interesting.
    I also love your back pocket arch stitching design.
    Are you going to take orders? I’d be very interested in ordering a pair of 33/34 slim fit mid-rise selvedge denim from you πŸ˜€

    Keep it up with this amazing work,


  12. Andi — January 10, 2011 @ 2:22 pm

    Okay, now I’m officially impressed. I have the Pfaff 1530 but I didn’t get nearly as good results as you. Your attention to detail and the insanely exact seams are truly humbling (and I have been sewing for 10 years now).

    All this in a matter of months is amazing.

  13. jacquie — June 24, 2013 @ 9:46 am

    wow, am short of words. Your work is very impressive. Am learning to make my own clothes, this is so inspiring. I love your attention to detail. Amazing, simply amazing. Thanx very much, i know with some patience i can do it. Thanks a lot, am so inspired

  14. Nicolas Kinowear — August 2, 2013 @ 5:28 am

    Wow ! This is amazing ! I thought I knew a lot of denim heads but I’ve never seen anything like that before.

    That’s great work you’ve put to make this jeans and it’s really inspiring.

    Cheers, Nicolas

  15. Sharai — May 15, 2014 @ 12:24 pm

    Hi Taylor! I think your jeans look great!

    I just found your site. My sister and I have a been talking and dreaming about designing our own clothes for a while now. I finally hit Google to see how one might get started. I’d been reading your “Getting started…” page, saw your apron and now your jeans, and I knew that I had to let you know how inspiring it is.

    Thank you for being so honest about how hard and time consuming it can be. It helps me to keep things in perspective if something doesn’t go the way I want it to. I’ll let you know how things go (whenever we get started – we are squished in a small apartment, so space is a very big issue for us.) Thanks!

  16. Toby — April 10, 2015 @ 8:15 am

    Taylor, hello from London. You are a huge inspiration. Have been designing a wardrobe clothing concept professionally for over 20 years and have been fortunate to enjoy some success with a few well known brands. What you never forget is the joy of making your first ever garment, by yourself with your own hands. You obviously have a natural talent and aptitude but it still takes a brave, creative, soul to give it a go. Apart from that I can see you are making some wonderful products that are brilliantly conceived and executed. Am currently setting up a Denim Factory in Blackhorse Lane, London. Number 114. With may partner Han. Do pop by if you are ever travelling out of Nashville. Cats are welcome!
    ~Toby ~

  17. Taylor — April 13, 2015 @ 1:55 pm

    Hi Toby,

    Thanks for checking out my blog and your kind words! As luck would have it, I will actually be in London on Friday.

    My wife and I were supposed to fly into Paris, but French air traffic controllers scheduled a strike. As a result, we rerouted through London. So we will be there for a quick jet lagged day on Friday. Not sure how much time we will have yet.

    The French have actually called off the strike now, but we already changed our plans and are looking forward to seeing a little bit of London.


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