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Sweet Jeans.

Create custom denim jeans pockets by choosing from a variety of techniques. From kid-friendly to elegant to cheeky (pun intended), the design you choose may or may not dictate the appropriate embroidery method. Read on to learn more.


Embroidery on denim is a trend that's not going away any time soon. From jackets to jeans, denim is a great canvas for embroidery designs, as the thread colors pop off of any denim wash beautifully. Take a cue from fashion runways to design your perfect pair of pretty jeans, and then get to it!

Readymade Revamp


The most basic way to add embroidery to the pocket of readymade jeans is to remove the pocket, embroider it, and then sew it back on.

* Measure the pocket to ensure the chosen design will fit. Remember to take the typical lower point shape of a jean pocket into account when measuring. Avoid embroidering on the folded pocket edges; the density change will reduce the stitchout quality.

* If concerned about proper placement when restitching the pocket, trace the pocket using a removable fabric marker.

* Using a seam ripper or small pointed scissors, carefully remove the pocket from the jeans.

* Print a template of the design and audition it on the pocket. Once the desired placement is found, mark the pocket centerline.

* A pocket is usually too small to hoop, so use a self-adhesive cutaway or tear-away stabilizer or hoop the stabilizer and adhere the pocket using temporary spray adhesive, aligning the center marks with the hoop centerlines.

* Embroider the designs. For the featured sample, two of the thread colors were matched to the two different topstitching colors, and then a gradient of colors that fell in between were chosen for the remaining colors.

* Remove the pocket from the hoop and cut or tear away the stabilizer from the wrong side.

* Align the pocket to its original position; pin.

* Thread the machine with topstitching thread that matches the original Install a denim needle and set the machine to a longer stitch length. Slowly and carefully stitch the pocket in place along the original stitching lines.


Another method for adding embroidery to readymade jeans is to attach it using fusible web. The pocket can remain attached to the jeans for this, making it a quick and easy technique, but the design options are limited. It's possible to make a patch from a filled design, while a freestanding lace design provides a clean and neat finish.

* Choose a freestanding lace design that has large sections of mesh backing. Too many open spaces can make it difficult to attach. In the featured sample, a large, curving floral design that would run off the pocket was used. *

* Hoop two layers of fabric-like water-soluble stabilizer. Embroider the design. Remove the lace from the hoop and trim any jump stitches and thread ends.

* Remove the stabilizer following the manufacturer's instructions. Rinse the lace thoroughly to ensure the lace is as soft and flexible as possible. Allow the lace to dry fully.

* Choose a flexible fusible web, such as Therm 0 Web Heat n Bond Soft Stretch Ultra. This allows the embroidery to flex with the body as the jeans are worn. Cut a rectangle of fusible web slightly larger than the lace piece and fuse to the lace wrong side following the manufacturer's instructions. Allow the lace to cool completely.

* Trim the fusible web as close as possible to the lace edge, being careful not to cut the stitches. Also cut the web out of any large holes in the lace.

* Place the jeans on a flat work surface and audition the lace over the pocket with the paper side down.

* When satisfied with the placement, peel off the paper, repostition the lace and fuse according to the manufacturer's instructions. Allow the lace to cool completely.

* If desired, embellish the lace with hot-fix crystals.


Depending on the design you choose, hand applique is a simple method for attaching a machine embroidery design to a jean pocket; however, it does take more time to finish.

* Choose a patch design or freestanding applique design. The design must be digitized as a freestanding design; otherwise stitching and/or design portions could separate from the design or warp when the stabilizer is removed.

* Hoop two layers of tear-away water-soluble stabilizer.

* Embroider the design, adding fabric pieces as indicated by the digitizer.

* Once the design is complete, remove the stabilizer from the hoop. Carefully tear away the excess stabilizer. Remove any remaining stabilizer fuzz from the design perimeter using a cotton swab dipped in water. Press the design from the wrong side using a press cloth, if needed.

* Position the design onto the pocket; pin. Thread a hand-sewing needle with transparent monofilamant thread or matching heavyweight upholstery thread, depending on the design density and desired finished look. Hand sew the design to the pocket through the pocket layer only, using a thimble and upholstery needle.

* Tie off the threads on the pocket wrong side. Press the pocket using a press doth.

Custom Jeans

If making jeans from a pattern, embroidering the pocket before or during construction affords you myriad design options. Plus, you're able to position the pockets to best flatter your figure and add as many or as few pockets as you wish.

Choose a design that mimics the pocket shape, either along the corner or lower point (A).

Cutwork isn't a traditional pocket design, as the pocket contents are then visible through the open design areas. To make sure pocket contents stay put, place cutwork designs at the upper pocket edge, back the pocket with a contrast fabric, use designs with only small holes or limit the number of openings (B).

A border design is a great choice for jeans pockets because it's easily resized to fit the pocket width or length. Rainbows, geometric lines and floral bursts are all great options, among others. Use borders at the upper pocket edge, along the lower curved or straight edge or, for larger scale designs, across the pocket horizontal middle (C).


Bee: Urban Threads, Sweet as Honey UT3224;

Butterfly floral: Urban Threads, Las Flores: Corner:

Cacti: Urban Threads, Prickly (Split) #UTZ2223;

Corner floral: Embroidery Online, Sun Blooms; Lace Leaves Corner;

Desert border: CME Southwest Story Collection, Desert Musing;

Donut applique: Urban Threads, Donut (Patch):

Freestanding lace: Embroidery Library, Floral Spray (Lace) A5890 and A5892;

Mountain scene: Urban Threads; Naturalis--Wild Stream #UT17487;

Paisley cutwork: Embroidery Online, Heritage Creations Cutwork;


Coats & Clark provided the Extra Strong & Upholstery thread and Topstitch for Jeans thread:

Hilos Iris provided the rayon embroidery thread:

Husqvarna Viking provided the Designer Epic sewing & embroidery machine:

GuMom e/eanA,


These jeans patterns have back pockets that are totally customizable. Pick one depending on the fit and style you prefer, with a lot or a little stretch factor.

* The Ginger Jeans from Closet Case Patterns has a modern, flattering silhouette for most figures.

* 8516 Mimi G Skinny Jeans from Simplicity is a great option for curvier figures in a trendy slim cut.

* The Mountain View Pull-On Jeans from Itch 2 Stitch has a faux fly and tummy control waistband, perfect if you fear making jeans because of buttons, belt loops or crotch fit issues.

If you're on the fence about making your own jeans, check out "Jeans Demystified: Pant Fitting & Construction the Easy Way" on BurdaStyle Academy to learn how to sew your perfect pair of jeans (a pattern is included!):
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Publication:Creative Machine Embroidery
Date:Sep 1, 2018
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