Hooray! You’ve decided to sew yourself a pair of Buttress Jeans. I hope, like me, you’ll learn to love the process of sewing custom-fit jeans. If you need help in the process, there’s still time to sign up for our Virtual Buttress Jeans Class that starts on March 30th. I’ll walk you through each step and offer sewing tips that aren't included in the pattern instructions.
For now, let’s talk about gathering your supplies. Not all denim, interfacing, and zippers are created equal, so this post will outline what I recommend you use for your Buttress Jeans.
The Buttress Jeans require a non-stretch bottom weight fabric like denim, canvas, twill, or corduroy. Fabrics weighing 10 to 12 ounces per square yard are recommended. You can learn more about fabric weight here.
In my experience, a 10 ounce fabric will give the jeans a bit lighter, more comfortable fit that works great for everyday wear for spring through fall. Personally, I like the straight and wide leg view sewn in a 10 or 11 ounce denim for a comfy pair of jeans where the silhouette of the leg doesn’t need a rigid fabric to hold its shape.
Buttress Jeans View B (Straight Leg) - Sewn in a 10 oz. denim
Buttress Jeans View C (wide leg) - Sewn in an 11 oz. denim
A 12 ounce fabric provides a more hard-wearing, rigid fit and results in a pair of pants that will be warm in cold weather and will hold its shape through lots of wear. I think View A (the barrel leg) looks best in a 12 ounce fabric, as the curved outseam doesn’t collapse like it might in a lighter weight fabric.
Buttress Jeans View A (barrel leg) - Sewn in a 12 oz. denim
Before you go spending lots of money, I recommend you sew a muslin in an inexpensive fabric of similar weight and hand. This will give you an idea of how the fabric will affect the fit you’re after.
Fabric requirements are listed on page 5 of the pattern and are generous to account for fabric shrinkage. Prewash these fabrics on hot and dry on a hot cycle. Cotton bottom weights tend to shrink a lot, so you may want to prewash twice.
You’ll also need 1/4 yard of cotton pocketing fabric. Be sure to use a stable fabric here like quilting cotton. A lightweight rayon or silk can make your pockets ride up and peek out of the slit pockets as you’re wearing the pants. Trust me, it’s annoying. Prewash and dry this fabric too!
The outer waistband and fly facing are the only pattern pieces that are interfaced on the Buttress Jeans. I recommend using a lightweight woven interfacing as it will make your waistband pliable but still give it some structure. Steer clear of heavy weight, non woven interfacing. In my experience they can make your waistband feel super binding and uncomfortable around your waist.
Jeans Zipper and Button
You’ll need one jeans zipper. The length needed varies by size and is listed in the tables on page 5 of the pattern. I like these zippers from Wawak. Make sure you’re using a metal zipper, I’ve had plastic zipper teeth rip out in high-rise pants like this.
Any metal jeans button will do. You can check out this video on how to install jeans buttons if you’re new to it. If you're sewing your Buttress Jeans in something other than denim and don't want the classic jeans look, you can use any heavy duty button you'd like.
Thread and Needles
You’ll need a spool of coordinating thread for sewing up your jeans. I like Gutermann polyester thread for most sewing projects. A 500 meter spool should be plenty.
I use these jean needles for the construction of the jeans.
You may also want a contrast thread for topstitching. I like to audition a few different colors to see what I like best. I use these Klasse Topstitching needles, as I find other needles don't have a big enough eye for thick topstitching thread. And I never put topstitching thread in the bobbin, otherwise my sewing matching will throw a fit.
That’s all the supplies you’ll need to sew up your Buttress Jeans! There are lots of jeans sewing doo-dads on the market (jean-a-ma-jigs, awls, etc.), which can be helpful but not required for your first pair. If you get hooked on jeans sewing, like me, you may want to invest in these eventually.
Enjoy your jeans making journey!