Rivets are the fun part. The hardware icing on your denim cake. Or something. Rivets secure pockets to the fabric, and just look cool. They aren’t required, but they make your jeans look legit and add durability.
To set your rivets, you’ll need the rivets, a hammer, a puncturing tool (nail, ice pick, awl), a cutting board or something similar, and possibly a pair of metal snippers.
Rivets can be hard to find. I used to be able to pick up Dritz rivets at my local Jo-Ann. But they no longer carry them instore. And honestly, they don’t look like “real” jeans rivets. I’ve begun to buy my rivets from an online shop called CastBullet.com It’s a very…rugged store, specializing in products for outdoor sporting. But the quality is topnotch, up to the task of any outdoor adventure and all. And the prices great. Below are rivets I’ve purchased from CastBullet.com in two finishes, and the Dritz from Jo-Ann on the far right.
And here they are up close. The Dritz are on the top, and the CastBullet.com below.
Here is the only drawback with the CastBullet rivets: The nail on the stud is really long. They’re made to go through leather or multiple layers of thick denim. Dritz on the left, CastBullet on the right.
You need to trim the top excess of the CastBullet rivets with a metal/wire snipper before setting them. Otherwise, the nail will punch through the rivet.
Okay, let’s set the rivets, whatever type you have. Punch a really small hole through the area you want the rivet. I use a point of some Fiskars for this, but a nail or ice pick would also work. You want the hole to just be big enough to get the rivet nail through.
Poke the rivet nail through the hole from the back of the fabric.
Place the rivet on the nail on the outside.
Place the jeans down on the cutting board, on a really hard solid surface, with the rivet facing down. Pound the stud with a hammer to set the rivet.
You’ll have this on the other side. Okay, so I didn’t cut my nail short enough on this rivet, and wanted to show you. See how the silver of the nail punched through the center bullseye of the rivet? Frustrating, but not too big a deal. Just hammer it down on the front side, so that the nail flattens and becomes flush with the rest of the rivet.
A bartack is a line of super thick horizontal stitching. My machine has a bartack stitch option. It looks like a series of horizontal lines on the #6 button I’m pointing to here:
You can also use a satin or zig zag stitch. Set your stitch length to as short as possible and you should be good. Bartacks usually show up on jeans at the belt loops, fly topstitching, pockets, and the side seams where the pocket ends.
And now you just need to hem. There’s not much to say about hemming, it’s pretty straight forward. But one tip: wear your jeans around for a day or so before you commit to a hem length. See where you’re comfortable with them hitting, whether you want ankle, cropped, long, whatever. AND wash the jeans first. Denim can continue to shrink for a while. Now that you have spent the time to make some rockin’ jeans, it would stink to hem and then have them shrink to too short. So wash them, wear them, then hem them.
And that’s it!! JEANS!! Tomorrow, we both reveal our jeans and next week we want to see yours! We’ll have a link party for you to share any jeans you’ve made, for the sew along or otherwise, so we can all be inspired. And there will be a giveaway. So don’t miss it!
And don’t miss Melissa’s post today discussing “Should I Sew My Own Jeans?”
Here are the previous jeans posts from both Melly Sews and myself
And a list of ideas for giving your jeans a new look:
The sponsor coupons last through the end of the month, so don’t forget to check them out:
10% off all pants and short patterns at Named using the code trousersandshorts