Jeans up-cycling

I thought I’d try something different and make myself a new item of clothing out of something I would have normally thrown away. My jeans were pretty unwearable – I have big thighs that rub the fabric away in my jeans.


I was an avid watcher of The Great British Sewing Bee and as a result I follow Cinelo Bally’s sewing blog.  She has got a great up-cycling project on her site which converts an old pair of jeans into a cropped denim jacket (here).  I thought it was something different so I decided to give it a go.

To make this project you need to measure yourself in all sorts of places and then cut the fabric directly, without using a pattern.  You get much better results if you cut out on a nice hard surface like a table, rather than a soft surface like a carpet.  I know these things (now).


Cropped denim jacket taking shape

My cutting wasn’t great and as a result I didn’t quite get the pieces exactly the same but I kept going.

The waistband ended up being too big for the fabric I was sewing it to, so I had to trim it somewhat.  Because of this it no longer fitted around my ribs.  It was starting to look very different to how I envisaged but I kept on going.

Sewing the jeans waistband to the bottom was quite tricky, only because it was so thick in some areas – up to 12 layers of fabric in places.  I had to go really, really slowly on my sewing machine.  I have broken a few needles before on layers of denim but I got away with it this time.

blog 2

nearly done

Those darts on the front were a bit awkward too.  I had to do some very careful pressing to avoid pointy boobs.

At this point I realised that I did not have enough denim to do the collar or sleeves so I decided to have a sleeveless jacket.  The inside was very messy too so I thought I’d try lining it.  I found some cheap spotty fabric in my stash and thought I’d use that.  This also finished the edges off nicely.


I hand stitched the lining to the waistband using a blind stitch and I did the same with the arm holes.  These are the neatest bits of the whole project.


Wearing my jean jacket to the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow

On the whole I’m quite pleased with this project.  It looks totally different to the jacket that Chinelo has made but I don’t think that’s necessarily a bad thing.  I quite like the fact that you can see where the back pockets have been and there are a few holes in it because I had to dig out the rivets.  I still have the back pockets and the zip.  Thinking of making a matching purse now..


2 thoughts on “Jeans up-cycling

  1. Pingback: Me Made May Week 3 | applebymakes

  2. Pingback: #MMMay16 week 3 | applebymakes

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