For all of its wonderful qualities, denim was a pain in the ass to work with.
Now some of those problems arise from the very wonderful qualities I mentioned. Trying to cut through 2 pairs of pants at one time is frustration looking for a place to happen. From the 4 layers of denim to the factory produced seams, cutting denim is a huge pain. But that’s why everybody wears it in the first place. It’s tough and lasts forever. On top of that is the fact that it’s a pain to sew as well. You need to change sewing machine settings and needles. Thread size, foot tension and stitch length. Everything changes in order to keep from overwhelming your Not Factory sewing machine.
One thing that caught me by surprise about working with denim; how quickly it unravels. You can’t cut it and then wait a day or two before sewing. It’s like I created some kind of temporal anomaly when I cut the pants. They quickly started regressing to thread. If I waited a day or two they could have been cotton plants. Make sure you’re ready to start sewing before you put scissors to denim. I was lucky in that I happened to be ready to start sewing when I made my cuts.
I was surprised at how quickly denim started to fray but not some of the other fabrics that I purchased. Many of them are thinner and lighter and more susceptible to the rough handling you’re going to give them while sewing. Making sure you’re ready will help minimize the damage through out the process.