{Introduction} Sewing with Denim

Hey sewing friends! I’d like to begin the New Year with several series to help you build confidence in sewing apparel and to encourage you to try new things. First up, we’ll be taking a look at sewing with denim! Let’s start by learning a little bit about denim and taking a look at various types and weights of denim that are great for apparel.


What are denim fabrics?

Denim fabrics are sturdy fabrics with a particular woven construction. Typically denim is made from indigo and white yarn but over time the term has come to reference various colors other than just blue.

What are the various types of denim best for apparel? I love using Art Gallery Fabrics denims for clothing. Let’s see their denim studio offerings:

  • Classic Denim
    • 100% Cotton
    • 4.5 oz/sqm weight
  • Textured Denim
    • 100% Cotton
    • 10 oz/sqm weight
  • Smooth Denim
    • 80% Cotton 20% Polyester
    • 4.5 oz/sqm weight
  • Linen Blends
    • 55% Linen 45% Cotton
    • 220 g/sqm weight
  • Lovey Dobby
    • 100% Cotton
    • 123 g/sqm weight
  • Crosshatch Textured Denim
    • 100% Cotton
    • 10 oz/sqm weight
  • Outland Yarn Dyes
    • 100% Cotton
    • 4 oz/sqm
  • Streaked Blend
    • 65% Cotton 34% Polyester 1% Spandex
    • 5 oz/sqm

When selecting the denim that is right for your project, pay attention to the weight of the fabric (shown typically in g/sqm).

Lightweight fabrics will be less than 150 g/sqm. You’ll want to choose lightweight fabrics for apparel that needs to have a good flow or will be fully lined. Ideas for apparel items: blouses, flowy skirts, children’s apparel, etc.

Medium weight fabrics are usually between 150 & 300 g/sqm. Medium weight fabrics are great for apparel patterns that need some structure but also allow for movement. Ideas for apparel items: pants, jackets, structured skirts, etc.

Heavy weight fabrics will be 300+ g/sqm. Typically heavy weight fabrics aren’t the best for kids apparel, so I tend to steer clear of them.

You’ll also want to pay attention to the fabric content. Any denims that include spandex (like the Streaked Blend from AGF) will have some stretch to it. Denims that have a combination of cotton and polyester will typically have less wrinkling or will shrink less in the wash.

You can read more about the various AGF denim offerings on their blog.

Here are some of my favorite denims. Simply click the photo (affiliate link) to shop. I’m curious if you recognize these fabrics from any of my previous sews????


Over the next few weeks I’ll be sharing sewing projects made from each type of denim offered by AGF. Which type of denim listed above are you most excited to see?? Leave me a note in the comments below!

In the meantime, shop around to find what type of denim you’ll need for your next apparel sewing project. You can also check out my Pinterest board I’ll be using during this series for more inspiration!

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