Embroidered Jeans {DIY Tutorial} & 5 best positions for Jeans embroidery designs

embroidered jeans tutorial

There is no other article of clothing as universally loved and worn as a Jeans! It is a sure-fire staple in almost all wardrobes – of men and women. Is there a corner of the earth that hasn’t seen a jean?. 

Since the conception of the jeans from the sturdy work ready denim fabric, we all have tried our best in many many ways to embellish and decorate it to suit our sensibilities of style – To change the plain, mostly indigo coloured jeans into something more feminine and enticing. Embroidery is a major among them. If you are up to the slightly ornate look that embroidery brings to your plain old jeans, read on.

Check out the related post on 18 different ways to embellish a jeans

Why are you embroidering your jeans?

Other than the need to be different or turn the plain jeans into a more attractive avatar, there are times when you may absolutely have to embroider – like when I failed to realize how hideous the print on my jeans leggings will look when I first saw it with a heavy discount in an online shop. When I saw it in person, this one called out (begged) for embroidery.

embroidered jeans

With some embroidery over this offensive area, I managed to make it more suitable to my taste. You may disagree and prefer the earlier look.

embroidered jeans

Then if your jeans is torn in a place you would rather not have that tear – yes, there is a scope for embroidery there too. Kids jeans are almost always embroidered even as you buy them- if they are not, you can test out your embroidery skills.

5 places to position your embroidery on the jeans

1 On the top part of  a pocket

embroidered jeans diy

This has a startling effect of something popping out of the jean pocket. Some people embroider cats and dogs in this place – as if they peek out from there!

I have simply added a small bow made of butterfly stitches and a small flower.

jeans embroidery diy

A butterfly stitch is done by making loose and wide satin stitches along the design.


Then after the whole design is complete tie three (or four) of the satin stitches together with a contrasting coloured thread.

2 On the back pocket

This is another favorite position.

Usually branded jeans like Levis have decorative stitching lines there. The bat shaped ones on Levi jeans is called an Acruate.

These can be further embellished with your favorite stitches or you can simply draw some flowers and work it there with simple hand embroidery stitches

3 Under the front pocket

embroidered jeans

This position comes along the thighs and is very visible. Big designs can be incorporated here.

4 Side seam border

jeans embroidery diy

A very subtle way of adding embroidery on your  jeans is to add some simple stitches, preferably knot stitches, along the side seams. Simply adding running stitches is effective as well.

embellish old jeans diy

5 Along the Jeans Hem

Adding embroidery to the hem may not be your preference but for kids jeans this is a good position

You can add rhinestones, studs or beads along the hem.

jeans embroidery

3 Best type of designs for jeans embroidery

Floral designs are the best for embroidering on jeans. Lettering is another favourite for jeans embroidery.You can choose many methods to embroider letters on your jeans. A more detailed tutorial to embroider letters is given here with as many as 9 ways.

Another favourite is simple running stitches – in different countries this a running stitch embroidery is called by different names  – Sashiko in Japan, Kantha in India – all with a simple but effective beauty. The running stitches in a light coloured thread look nice against the blue background of the denim

jeans embroidery

You can check out this Pinterest board for some ideas for some simple as well as very complicated embroidery designs you can do on the jeans. If you are new to embroidery learn some of the 25 different ways to embroider flowers and stitch the basic hand embroidery stitches

How to embroider on jeans

It is not impossible to machine embroider on jeans but you cannot reach all the positions unless you loosen the seam. Use the free arm of the machine to reach inner positions.

I do hand embroidery on jeans. For small designs hand embroidery is more than sufficient – a few hours of work and you have embroidered jeans on your hands (or rather legs)

Marking on the jeans – if you use chalk it may not be clearly visible. Use marking pens with disappearing inks.

Some choose to attach waste canvas on top and embroider on this – the waste canvas is taken out after the work is done.

embroidered jeans diy

Denim is a thick tight weave sturdy fabric and you need a bigger needle than you would use on thin fabric. You also need one with an eye big enough to pass all the six or at least three threads through. Check out the posts on making thread knots at the start of the embroidery and frequently asked questions answered on embroidery.

Delicate embroidery is possible on denim but you can save yourself some time by doing embroidery with all the 6 threads as that looks good on the dark blue back ground of the denim.

Related posts : How to buy jeans; Different types of jeans; Jeans Repair and solutions : 7 types of problems ; How to fix holes on jeans ; How to rip jeans properly.

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