It seems recently that there has been a boom in men wearing selvedge jeans. The loose cut of the jeans also makes it a refreshing alternative to the ever skinner skinny jeans. Selvedge jeans are made from hand woven denim originating from Japan and called selvedge because of the red edging on the selvedge, achieved when woven on a loom.
However, weaving on a loom produces a narrower fabric and the handwork involved usually makes the fabric more expensive.
My previous attempt in making proper selvedge jeans was not only expensive and extremely annoying when the jeans shrank so much in the wash that everytime I rolled up the hem, it looked like I was wearing three quarter length jeans!
That said, you’re probably thinking ‘Why make it when you can just go buy it?’. The main reason was finding the perfect fit! I already had the prefect jeans pattern and I’d recently salvaged a piece of denim that was destined for the bin. Unfortunately that piece of denim was not a selvedge denim so I decided to cheat!
Have you guessed what the cheat is yet? Yep! Sewing a narrow bias binding on the seam allowance to create an illusion of a selvedge!
I know it’s not exactly an authentic selvedge denim but it gives me more options in terms of the type of details I can have. I initally thought about using a ribbon with a blue and red chevron (like those on old envelopes) but could not find the type I wanted so stuck with using red bias binding instead.
As it was recently the Easter break, I brought this project into the college and before long the the jeans was all done. Thank heavens for industrial sewing machines. I recently struggled to sew the thick denim on my domestic sewing machine and at one point I though I had broken it. This time round, in order to avoid shrinking the jeans, I made the pattern slightly bigger and when washed and dried, I ended up with a comfortable, well fitted and cheap selvedge jeans. I think I only spent £5 on this project!
It may not be everyone’s cup of tea but imagine the possibilities! I have been thinking of making bias binding from Liberty fabric to use in a future selvedge jeans project!