You might be wondering WHY someone would want to line a pair of jeans, especially if you live in a warm climate. If you live in a northern climate, however, you can probably guess one of the reasons as winter weather is rolling in right about now; warmth. The other reason to line jeans is to extend the life of an older pair of jeans.
An extra layer of fabric, especially if you use soft flannel or cuddly fleece, helps to trap your body heat, keeping you warmer when you wear lined jeans. It's like wearing two pairs of pants to keep warm, without the hassle of tugging on two pairs of pants.
Lining Jeans to Extend the Life of Your Jeans
You can get some extra use out of threadbare jeans by adding a layer of lining. The extra layer forms a sort of full-body patch for your jeans. (I guess I should call that a full-leg and seat patch.) If you have any spots that are completely worn through you can either use an iron on patch on the inside of the jeans before you start or zigzag over the damaged area several times after you finish installing the inner layer of fabric.
This supply list is for average-sized adult jeans, you might need more fabric for larger sizes or less fabric for children's sizes.
- 1.5 yards lining fabric (preshrunk)
- 1 pair of jeans
- Quilting pins
- Sewing shears or sharp scissors
- Sewing machine
- Turn the jeans inside out and spread them out zipper side up on the table or floor (where-ever you have a big enough work space).
- With the fabric folded in half the long wy, with the selvage edges together, spread the fabric out on top of one leg of the jeans. The top edge of the fabric should ideally fall in the center of the jeans' waistband and the outer leg hem needs to be lined up as close as possible to the selvage edge.
- Pin through the both fabric layers and into the jeans' hem. Set a pin every three or four inches. Pin the fabric to the inner leg seam, too, and across the waistband and leg/ankle hem. At the center front, pin out and around the zipper placket.
- Get ready to cut the fabric, using the pins as a guide and cutting just outside (about 1/4 inch outside) of the pins. Remove the pins and flip the jeans over.
- Repeat the pinning steps on the back panel, except pin straight up the center back as there is no zipper placket to work around on the back.
- Pick up the two front panels, make sure the right sides are together, and stitch from the inner-thigh edge of the seat curve up to the place you cut out for the zipper placket.
- Pick up the back panels and with right sides together sew from the inner thigh seat curve up to the waistband area.
- Open out the front and back and place them right sides together. Sew the inner leg seams, starting at one ankle, going all the way up, and then down the other side.
- Sew the outer leg seams on each side.
- Turn the lining right side out and slide the lining over the still-inside-out jeans. Make sure the lining is all the way on the jeans so the seat will not sag or feel uncomfortable when you wear the jeans.
- Turn the hemline of the fabric under about 1/2 inch and, aligning the inner and outer seams of the lining and jeans, sew all the way around the hemline. Sew slowly over the seams, because it will be thick and can damage a sewing machine if you try to sew fast. Hem both legs this way.
- Fold the lining under around the cut-out zipper placket and waistband. Pin the folded edge down if it gives you too much trouble.
- Sew all the way around the zipper placket and waistband, making sure the side seams and rear seam line up on both the lining and the jeans.
- When you wash these, they will take a long time to dry because they are thick and heavy.
- When you sew around the zipper placket, waistband, and hemline, use denim thread that matches the jeans fabric so the new stitches won't show.
- If you want to line all the way across the front instead of leaving the zipper placket unlined, it's only a little bit harder. Use stretchy lining fabric, and do not sew the waistband for three inches on either side of the zipper. To finish the lining's raw edge, unbutton and unzip the jeans, open the zipper edge out, fold the raw edge under, and sew it down.
Thread image courtesy of USDA and Wikimedia Commons.