Digital Pattern Library || High Waisted Raw Edge Denim

You may have noticed this design has been promised across social media platforms for months. Sorry about that, but the length of time it takes to finalise these much loved digital pattern library posts is almost inexplicable.
They take a while, a long old while.

Disclaimer: there was a lot of resourceful mix and matching to create this design. 

When preparing my fabrics for this design I didn't actually have matching thread to overlock my pieces, so I felt the need to commit to the contrast. It's actually resulted in a rather clear, colour coded tutorial. You're welcome. 

Ensure you fuse your "UPPER FRONT WAISTBAND" with 1cm deducted.
This is to ensure the fraying and distressed detail to the denim can be achieved. 

When overlocking the pieces, stitch with minimal to no waste. Overlock the outer leg only, as the inseam will be flat-felled. (I'll explain all of this in due course). Other pieces to overlock are the "POCKET SELF", "FLY GUARD" and "FLY FACING" - unlike my impatient ways, you may prefer to select a matching thread and pocketing colour.  

Step one: back patch pockets

Turn and press the seam allowance on the pockets. These are slightly shaped with a gentle curve so take your time. Usually a patch pocket would have a facing but as we are using the frayed edge of the denim as a design detail, you do not need to worry about this. Pin in place between the tailor tacks marked from the pattern. Edge stitch. 



Match the "POCKET FACING" to the notch on the "FRONT" and sew with 1cm seam allowance.

Notch the curve of the pocket so once pressed, forms a smooth line. 

Press "POCKET FACING" and understitch

You may topstitch around the edge of the front pocket if you so choose before pinning the pocketing in place and sewing around. When turned to the right side, the pocket bag should not be visible as shown. 


The inseam has 1.5cm seam allowance. We sew a flat felled seam on the inside leg to add strength to the garment in areas under stress, in this case, the movement of the leg which may otherwise result in tears.

So begin by trimming away excess on one side of the seam allowance, close to the stitch line but careful not to cut into it. Fold the remaining seam allowance over and press before folding and pressing again. Edge stitch in place. The final photo illustrates the wrong side of the fabric. 


Sew 1cm seam allowance down the outer leg and press open. 


IMPORTANT: The crotch seam is another flat felled construction (1.5cm seam allowance) to be folded in the direction of the fly piece. For example, if the fly piece is sewn to the left of the trouser, ensure the flat felled seam is folded over to the left. This results in a clean overlap when inserting the zip.

Wrong sides together, sew the seam from the centre back up to the step in the crotch and trim away any excess before folding over as previously described, pressing and edge stitching. 



Now, this may be the point where things get a little more complex but equally satisfying when you emerge with a professional zipped trouser fly. A tip would be to look at a pair of trousers in your wardrobe to get a feel for what you are about to do. Womenswear and menswear also sew on alternating sides, though essentially this doesn't matter, which is lucky as in this example I have actually sewn the zip onto the 'menswear' side. If you want to do things to tradition, simply flip the instructions around and apply to the opposite side of your project.

So, deep breath, let's get going. 

Fusing your fly guard, fold over and overlock edges of both this and the fly piece. Then trim away the seam allowance of one side of the front crotch. The side with extra allowance is for the zip, to ensure it is fully covered by the overlap when worn and therefore cannot be seen. 


Sew the fly facing to the extended seam allowance before pressing to one side and edge stitching as shown. Fold underneath and press, checking the centre front of the trouser sits flush. 

As mentioned previously, and to coincide with my mix and match approach to this design, I have a bag full of used zips which I ordered from eBay. Recycling for a fraction of the price, I found the appropriate 7" zip required.

Should this be your first time constructing, initially pin the zip in place as it will be sewn in order to give you a clear understanding of placement, you can also mark the fly piece alignment with tailors chalk if you so choose. Pin and sew the zip to the opposing side ready to be sandwiched between the fly guard and leaving 1cm at the top for attaching the waistband.

Once the zip is in place, pin the fly guard and sew, the folded edge should be facing inwards. 

Fold the overlapping fly piece to centre and check the alignment, it should look nice and neat, lying flat. Match the other side of the zip to the fly piece, perhaps where you have marked with tailors chalk at the earlier stage and pin. 


Sew to only the fly piece taking care not to include the front of the trousers!

Finally, pin the fly piece to the front of the trousers so it's flat and fix in place with a smoothe curve of stiches, meeting the two stitch lines of your flat felled seam. We've done it!



Match and sew the side seams (1cm seam allowance) of the lower front and back waistbands and press open. You should now have two waistbands, match these on top of eachother and sew together with 1cm seam allowance. A great tip for matching seams is to push the pin straight through the centre.

Once you have sewn these together trim the bulk at the corners and along one of the seam allowances. We do this to reduce the layers which would otherwise result in unwanted lumps when clothes are worn. As there are two waistbands in this design we must reduce areas to avoid this. Alternatively you can skip adding on the high waisted layer and finish your garment after this step (not forgetting the button and button hole). 


Bag the waistband out by turning it the right way, and press. Pin to the trousers matching the notches and the side seams, be sure to press the seam upwards and into the waistband on completion.


Press the 1cm seam allowance over on the wrong side of the waistband that will be folded over to the inside of the trousers. Press and pin in place, this should line up with and cover the line of stitching visible on the inside so take your time. Stitch. Followed by edge stitching the entire waistband to neaten. 



Now, I acquired a button press through a man who tried to con me, that's a story for another time; but you can achieve the same trim finish with hand held equipment or even more simply hand sewn on. Attach your button whichever way suits you best. 


STEP NINE: The Upper Waistband

Repeat the process as before, matching the side seams, sewing and pressing open. This time, when you attach the waistbands together, only sew across the top as the frayed detail will be on show in this design. 


Trim the 1cm seam allowance again to reduce bulk and sew to the lower waistband as before, turning the seam allowance in on the wrong side and stitching down.

Step Ten: The buttonhole

Finally, where marked and using a buttonhole foot and accompanying setting on the machine sew the buttonhole accordingly. Essentially you are sewing a bar tack at the top and bottom with tight zig-zag stitches running down the sides of the opening. Cut open so the button can now fit through the hole. If you do not have a buttonhole foot this can actually be achieved through patience and hand sewing adding a couture detail to your look. 


And we're Done!

Available in sizes 6 - 16. Be sure to share your creations with me on social media and reconnect to your clothes.

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