See how to turn old jeans into a corset, apron or clutch with easy sewing techniques.
Jeans: the styles are constantly changing! High-waisted or low? Skinny or bell? Faded or dark? Who can keep up? If you’ve got a pile of jeans from years past that you just can’t part with, we’ve got some denim refashioning inspiration for you. Check out our easy sewing and repair tips and get inspired to give those old favorites a new life, or simply add some trendy embellishments to them to bring them up-to-date.
The refashion: super cute clutch/cross-body convertible.
Key ingredients: lining fabric and Dritz belting and bag hardware (a snap, D-rings, swivel hooks and slide buckles), basic sewing supplies, and Liquid Stitch™ fabric glue. For this refashion we used the back yoke and a leg from a pair of jeans.
Technique tip: use fabric glue to reassemble cut pieces of denim and/or fabric. Sometimes there are instances during reconstruction of a project where you’re adding a lining or detail that does not need to be stitched, and when that’s the case, fabric glue is your friend!
The refashion: the go-anywhere apron (too cute to stay in the kitchen!).
Key ingredients: Dritz racer-stripe belting and eyelets/grommets for embellishment, plus the Dritz Jean-A-Ma-Jig™ tool for sewing over thick seams. For this refashion we used a leg from a pair of jeans.
Technique tip: use a Dritz Jean-A-Ma-Jig tool to get started stitching over thick seams. The jig essentially raises your presser foot and lets you stitch evenly over that thick seam. It’s super handy.
Here’s another example of the jig in action – not only did we use to get started sewing over the belting on the edge of the apron, we used it again as we approached the seam that runs down the middle of the apron.
Helpful hint: when we shared this tip on our Dritz Instagram feed, we got some good questions: will this jig work with leather? Can the jig be used with other thick materials? Yes, and yes! If you’ve got a thick seam to sew over, this jig will help you.
Technique tip: get creative with embellishments – hardware & more! Eyelets & grommets don’t always need lacing – sometimes they’re perfect just to add punch to sewing projects. And don’t forget about all of the other non-hardware add-ons that are out there, like this Dritz striped belting. It’s brand new and looks fab paired with denim, don’t ya think?
The refashion: the lace-it-up corset.
Technique tip: add eyelets & grommets for lacing. This is a refashioning technique that really lets you transform your denim (and many other fabrics, for that matter). Also remember to cut jeans on the bias to created angled seams, like we did here.
The refashion: embroidered “patch” repair with punch.
Technique tip: think beyond the basics when it comes to repairs. Need to patch a hole? A fabric scrap, some pins and needle/thread/threader are all you need. So cute, you might even want to make a hole in your jeans, just so you can patch it. (We did!)
Helpful hint: When choosing your embroidery needle, choose one with a big eye (it’s easier to thread).
The refashion: jeans-leg basket.
The key ingredients: lining and interfacing, basic sewing tools. For this refashion we used a leg from a pair of jeans. (This project is from the book Jeans and a T-Shirt by Niki Meiners.)
Technique tip: to make this basket, you’ll need to choose a section of the leg where the top and bottom of your cut piece are the same width.
Helpful hint: use a seam ripper to remove pockets if they encroach on the part of the leg you need to use for your refashioning project.
So? Are you thinking about that pile of jeans? Have we given you some inspiration? We hope so.
Be sure to check out these other refashioning resources:
- T-shirt refashioning building block techniques and best T-shirts – many of these techniques you can apply to denim, too.
- All of the other refashioning projects here on our blog – beyond denim & Ts.
- Our Dritz YouTube channel – lots of tutorials for using many of our products.
- Dritz Facebook & Instagram – inspiration direct to your feed daily!