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Selvedge Denim Jeans.

1873 Selvedge Denim Jeans Online Class - Begins April 9

Learn to draft, fit, and tailor your own custom pair of jeans based on originals from the 1870s.

Custom 1873 Selvedge Denim Jeans Class

I’m planning my latest historical tailoring class on sewing a pair of selvedge denim jeans based on originals from the 1870s with variations for more modern jeans. The class will be opening April 9, 2024 and will teach you step by step how to make your own pair of jeans for men (and women if there’s interest). The class will last 10 weeks with material being released every two weeks - you’ll have lifetime access when you sign up.

The class will be priced at $200, but save 50% when you pre-register through April 9. Pre-registering helps me know there is a market for the course and offsets some of the production costs involved. In return, your feed back and questions help determine the course content.

The jeans in the class are based on an original pair from 1873, and feature a one piece button fly, riveted back pockets, single-needle construction so no need for fancy machinery, front and watch pockets, hand sewn buttons, back adjustment belt, doughnut buttons and rivets at all the stress points for durability. I’ll also be showing a few modern variations as well along the way such as belt loops for those who would prefer to make a more modern garment for everyday wear.

Tailor your own pair of custom jeans.

The only machinery you’ll need is a good solid sewing machine to get through the thicker seam junctions - an old Singer usually does the job. Other supplies are listed below and I’ll provide sources for the denim fabric, rivets, buttons, and other little tools. If there’s enough interest, I will put together a group order to purchase in bulk an exact replica of the 1873 selvedge denim used.

An intermediate sewing ability is required - while not too technically challenging, you should know how to use a sewing machine and have some sewing dexterity in your hands. The class is entirely at your own pace, so if you can’t start right away or need to work more slowly that is perfectly fine.

Jeans pattern on denim fabric.
Jeans pattern laid out on cloth.
Jeans watch pocket.
Finished jeans from the side.
Jeans from the front.
Jeans top-down photograph on table.

About the Author

James Williams has been historical tailoring professionally for over 16 years, having gotten his start in American Civil War reenacting and wanting to learn to make his own clothing. He began teaching the craft in 2011 and since then has helped hundreds of people to improve their skills in historical tailoring. In 2020, James was honored to write a feature article for Threads Magazine on buttonhole making.

James also enjoys cooking, hiking, gardening, hand tool woodworking, and playing classical music (he may have too many hobbies!).

James Williams.

Curriculum

The following material is covered in this five-part class, both in written form with photographs, and with high-definition video:

Module 1 - Drafting and Fitting

Take your measurements and apply them to your own custom jeans pattern using step-by-step instructions. Custom digital patterns are also available free with your registration, if you prefer not to draft your own (one per customer). Then fit your pattern with a toile to get perfectly fitted jeans.

A custom fitted jeans pattern and toile.

Module 2 - The Back

Sew the back yokes together, attach your back pockets with optional hidden rivets, and sew the back legs together.

Jeans back pocket.

Module 3 - Front Pockets

Learn how to lay out the front pockets in a visually pleasing way and then construct the watch pocket and the front pockets.

Jeans front pocket with watch pocket.

Module 4 - One Piece Fly

In this module, the jeans start to really come together with the construction of the one piece fly. This superior method of construction gives a much stronger finished pair of jeans. Finish the fly with hand sewn buttonholes.

Jeans with one-piece button fly.

Module 4 - Legs and Waistband

Finish up your pair of jeans in this module by closing up the legs with felled seams. Sew on the waistband along with an adjustment belt in the back as per originals. Instructions on belt loops for more modern pairs will also be given.

Jeans waistband from the inside.

Supplies Needed

Here are a list of supplies you’ll need for your jeans. I’ll be sharing sources before we get started so you have time to acquire everything. The biggest thing is having a good, strong sewing machine to get through the heaviest of the seams. Old Singer sewing machines work well, though it’ll still be a bit of a struggle.

  • Strong sewing machine, an old Singer or industrial type machine

  • Jeans needles

  • Seam jumper for the bulky seams

  • Paper for drafting

  • Quilting ruler

  • Tape measure

  • Pencil

  • Cotton muslin for fitting

  • 4 yards selvedge denim (purchase on your own or we can do a group buy for the reproduction denim from Japan)

  • Cotton jeans thread

  • Cotton twill pocketing

  • Rivets and setting tool (have a source for these)

  • Doughnut buttons and setting tool

  • Buckle for adjustment belt

  • Optional leather for reinforcing buttons and rivets

  • Optional ½” leather punch

  • Optional 3/16” leather punch

  • Iron (household iron works fine)

One Time Purchase
$ 2̶0̶0̶ $100 /one time purchase
  • Lifetime Access to the class
  • Personal help from James
  • Drafting and fitting instructions
  • Full written instruction and HD video
  • Access to our tailoring support community
Register Now
2-Month Payment Plan
$ ̶1̶0̶0̶ $50 /per month for two months
  • Lifetime Access
  • Personal help from James
  • Drafting and fitting instructions
  • Full written instructions and HD video
  • Access to our tailoring support community
Register Now

30 Day Money Back Guarantee

When you register for a class at Historical Tailoring Masterclasses you are fully protected by our 100% satisfaction guarantee. If you don’t feel like you’ve received value or you decide you want to cancel any time within the next 30 days, just let us know and you'll be sent a prompt refund.