hello, i am in the process of making clothes for my character. does anyone know how i can make some jeans? i have cut up an old pair of my jeans but i can not get it to stop fraying when i sew pieces together. obviously i am trying to make the seam as small as possible so i don't want to sew too deep into the denim sections. is there a trick to sewing denim?

Tags: clothes, costumes, jeans, puppet, trousers

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This Scissors is good for every drapery/textiles, when you don't want to sew a hem. I'm happy you find another solution.


anybody know where to find fabric paterns?

I'm pretty sure there are a couple of books at Amazon on making doll clothes for Balljointed dolls.  They may be for bigger scales like 18" or 24" tall, but you can scale them down.    So far, doing a quick search, I found mainly books on clothes for bigger, baby-proportioned dolls. And mainly female stuff. So, it might be better to look at full sized clothes patterns.  I guess fabric stores still sell paper patterns, but that means you pay money for just one garment.  So maybe a book like this?


Or maybe someone like Suzanne Oroyan who writes about creating art dolls from polymer clay, and also covers clothing and props.

I worked out some basic patterns years ago, by pulling apart some old clothes, and a bit of trial and error.  Every puppet is different anyway, so I have to adjust them each time.

These are the basic shapes for trousers, and shirts and jackets:

I'm not sure if this would help for jeans specifically, but I was recommended this book a little while back for making small clothes in general. Apparently it's the go to book for a lot of people who make clothing for puppets. Maybe it helps.

Finishing The Figure, by: Susanna Oroyan  |  Amazon, EbayEBook

As for the seams, a thinner material might be a bit easier to work with. Canvas / muslin is pretty close to a denim texture, and can be thinner. A bed sheet with a denim pattern could work too. If you got a thinner solid color material you could dye and distress it to look like jeans. That could be something to experiment with.

If sewing isn't possible, or not worth the frustration, you could try Heat n Bond Ultrahold. It's an iron-on adhesive. It comes in a roll, like tape, and is about 1cm wide. You just cut and trim what you need and iron it on. For small puppet clothes an adjustable soldering iron with a wide flat tip is useful. You'd just adjust the heat within 100-200 degrees celsius depending on the fabric. Most household irons have a little chart for reference.

Anyway... I've yet to make any puppet clothes myself, I'll need to within the next couple months, so I'm just spit-balling ideas here. Hopefully some of it makes sense and contributes to helping you make your jeans.

I recently replicated a pair of jeans for a puppet. There are a few pictures here.


If you use a textured cotton with a slight stretch and the right colour that would be quite easy. When I get materials I often test how well they crease with my hands. You don’t want something that does not keep a crease when ironed. I have a Mini Clover Iron, which is really good for the seams and hems. I did not need to do any extra turn overs to prevent fraying, I just kept a bit of excess material and then looked at how much I could cut them down afterwards so that the jeans were not too bulky. I would sew all the parts by machine to make it really neat except for the inside legs. These can be ironed to shape and then hand sewn straight onto the puppet so that they fit well. You can create what look like front pockets by the way that you join the separate pieces of fabric together as in overlaying them and then sewing together. If you are going to have turn-ups you don’t need to worry about the bottom of the trouser legs. You can make turn-ups separately by folding a strip of material and gluing on top, so that they come down past the bottom slightly. You can spray the jeans with some Scotch Brite when you’ve finished to age them slightly.

I usually make patterns by using either light thin weight cotton and pinning / tacking onto the puppet or sometimes use kitchen roll. I then copy the patterns onto greaseproof paper so that I can refer back or alter it later.

I use a clear-drying contact glue when I need glue, and occasionally liquid super glue. This is shiny under lights so only in parts that won’t show and really need it – such as for the belt loops.

The Doll's Dressmaker by Venus Dodge has a range of clothing patterns.   It was helpful to me and I found it in a public library.


There is a liquid stuff at the big fabric stores that you can paint on the cut edges, after you sew the seam and trim off the extra, that stops it fraying.  Like a fabric glue basically, but called something like fraystop.  Before I found that, I used a little liquid latex to stop the edges fraying.  Both work.

I agree, cotton is usually best.  The seams iron flat.  And, you can wet it and form creases in the knees and elbows that make it look more like the smaller natural creases you get in full size clothing.

I didn't read through everything so this might be redundant. There is a glue like substance called fray check. It stops all fraying and is mostly invisible when dry. I'm sure you've made the jeans by now, but for future reference, there you have it.

I founded something jeans-like in socket shops, nylon, lycra etc.

where can I get denim fabric from?

Every fabric store carries denim. Shirting denim would be best because it is a lot thinner. I cant imagine regular denim looking right. Here in LA I can name five places off the top of my head that sell it. Nationally, Joann's fabrics has it.

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