Upcycling Old Jeans

I love using my dyed fabric, but I have been wanting to try upcycling some old jeans and other thrift fabric I have around my studio.

Before cutting up the jeans, I needed to decide what I was going to make. If I wanted straps made from the jeans I wanted to make sure I left some legs uncut so I’d have some long lengths of fabric to work with. But before I show you what I’ve made, I caught Puddin the other day laying in the container of jean fabric I had on the floor. She acted like I had made it just for her!

Before I started this project, I looked at my small stash of jeans, and decided I needed to check out what the local thrift store might have.  I couldn’t believe all of the jeans with the cutest pockets. Mine are always just plain. Here are a few I’m waiting to use.


In addition to the jeans fabric, I used some old fabric I bought years ago at a thrift store.  I made Dave an apron out of it back in December of 2013. It’s a canvas-like fabric that works great as an apron. I thought adding it to denim would be perfect. Here is a picture from that year of my muffin man baking up some goodies.

My first project was made from a bag making class offered by Crafty Gemini. As many of you know, in addition to teaching online classes, I love taking them. We learned to sew a variety of bags. This is the first one I’ve made from her selection.

So I used that fabric for the lining, the outside pockets and the straps. Lots of bulk and even broke a needle and messed up my plate on my Juki. I’ve ordered a heavy duty plate so this doesn’t happen again. Although next time I’ll make this with lighter fabric.

Here is the inside lining.

Then it was on to my project to use a couple of those pockets. I ordered this used book online because of the bag directions. You can see a picture of it at the top in the middle.

I thought her purse was cute, but I didn’t think the pocket placement was useful. It was meant to cover the ends of the waistband straps. I decided to just make my straps like I did for the tote and let them show.  I also didn’t put on a strap closure. I will probably put a snap or velcro inside the purse to keep it closed.

It wasn’t until I took the picture that I noticed that the left pocket isn’t on straight!! Well, just adds character. These pockets are full of sparkles which I absolutely love. I thought her idea of using the hem  as the top of the bag was a great idea.

I added some of my ice dyed fabric for lining.

That was so much fun. Can’t wait to use these bags.

The weather has turned cold again. I remember as a child asking my mom if summer was ever going to come. She’d tell me each cold spell was a different winter. Well, the last couple of days it’s been blackberry winter, and to prove that our bushes are full of blooms.

But the weather didn’t keep us from getting out and participating Saturday in the Newburgh Rivertown Trail 5K. It’s just a small race in our small town. I snapped a picture while we were waiting to begin.

Happy Mother’s Day to all of you today! Have a great week.