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Tips & Techniques > Denim Thread - best brands from experience

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Posted by: Jennifer.Huber

About Jennifer.Huber star
Member since: 12/30/02
Reviews: 7 (tips: 4)
Skill level:Intermediate
Favored by: 2 people
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Posted on: 4/19/06 11:52 PM
Review Rating: Very Helpful by 13 people   
Web site/URL: photo
More about the experiences I've had tailoring vintage Lee & Levi's jeans.

When I'm altering vintage jeans, matching the thread color and thickness is of the essence to make the alteration as invisible as possible. I have scoured the 'net and all my local fabric stores in search of the perfect thread for the various jobs.

Below are the best thread that I've found for alterations on old Lee & Levi's jeans hands down. Thought I'd pass along the information to anyone that may be thinking of taking in jeans, but not sure how to go about it or where to begin.

M782 - Older Levi's and Lee Jeans (not as thick as topstitching)
850 - Lee Jeans (topstitching thick)
502 - Older Lee Jeans (used doubled up [2 threads, 1 needle])
870 - Similar to Coats Jeans thread, but has more luster. (topstitching thick)
525 & 506 Levi's white jeans (topstitching thick)

Coats & Clark
Extra Strong Thread for Jeans. This is the real deal, I just wish they'd put more than 70 yards on a spool.
157A/T29, 83F/T2, 83F/T29 - work well for zigzag or serged edges inside of jeans

Also, after taking in a nice faded pair of jeans, you may have to sacrifice some of that nice rippled fade at the cuff or inseam. Have no fear, I've had success using brush tip fabric dye markers to add in a denim fade around the top stitching. I've found that the light grey fabric markers are best, the blue or denim colored markers are far too jewel toned when applied to old denim. It just doesn't look right.

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Hilary said... (6/2/06 10:03 PM) Reply
Wow-what a great tip!! Thanks for the idea on the marker "fading" too :oP I always miss that look when I take up jeans! Finding the right color thread makes all the difference, thanks for the info.
Jennifer.Huber said... (4/22/06 8:20 PM) Reply
SewTwin: I've added a photo how to on "aging" a newly cuffed jean hem. I recenly discovered the wonder of a fabric dye marker.
jeanharville said... (4/21/06 1:00 PM) Reply
Thanks for you reply. You know, I'm no expert on sewing machines, but I too sewed on an old Singer machine for a long time and that thing would sew anything and never complained. I think those older machines were made more like industrial machines. If I could fit the material under the foot it sewed. My husband even sewed a matalic vinyl motorcycle seat cover on it.
Jennifer.Huber said... (4/20/06 3:52 PM) Reply
I have a Singer 328, yes you read that right. An antique from the early 60's There is a link to a photo of the actual machine in the post below.. I have also found that I must use Singer needles (18/110) only - the other needles I was using didn't have a long enough something to avoid skipping stitches. This is the post about that issue:
jeanharville said... (4/20/06 9:10 AM) Reply
jennifer, what kind of sewing machine do you use and if you could give the neddle size and other settings it would be helpful to me. Thanks so much for your tip. jean
SewTwin said... (4/20/06 3:42 AM) Reply
WOW!Thanks for the research.The Gold Coats is the exact match on most of my jeans.They look RTW if you use the gold on the hem of most RTW jeans.Matching blue thread on the hem screams "fixed the hem".
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