Tag: denim

Update Your Old Jeans to Fit

Update Your Old Jeans to Fit

What do you do with your old jeans that no longer fit? You can update them so they fit like new with a few scraps of recycled denim, here’s how!

Make Your Jeans Fit|Chambray Blues Blog|Chambrayblues.com
Make your jeans fit better with this easy jean hack!

 

Jeans that Don’t Fit

We are all guilty of purchasing something that didn’t really fit us. Recently, I came home with a pair of jeans that were 3 sizes to small from the department store. I don’t know what possessed me to buy them because I knew they didn’t fit. I wanted a high waist style in a dark denim, but the store did not have my size. I had a coupon and a gift certificate that I needed to use, so I bought them anyway. These brand new jeans were not returnable and had been sitting in my closet for ages. They had never been worn, until now. I could give them to the thrift store, but I was determined to not waste them. After a bit of experimenting, I figured out how to get the perfect fit by sewing an insert down the side of the jeans. The insert is made of strips of recycled denim (I love my scraps of my boys old jeans!) that were stitched together in a colorful stripe. This is an easy project, here’s what you will need:

Make Jeans Fit|Chambray Blues Blog|Chambrayblues.com

Updated Jeans Supplies

• Jeans that are too small

•9-10 Strips of used denim or other heavy fabrics, cut 2 1/2″ wide

•Sewing Machine and thread

•Scissors or rotary cutter, mat and ruler

•Measuring tape

Directions:

1. Measure your waist and record the measurement on a piece of paper. My waist is 42″.

2. Measure the jean waistband circumference. Subtract this number from your waist measurement to get the amount of inches you need to add to the jeans. If you are a curvy fit, you may need to compare the hip measurements as well. My jeans measured 36″ at the waist. So when I subtract 42-36= 8″, 8″ need to be added to get the jeans to fit. By dividing 8 in half, there is 4″ to add to each side of the jeans. If you need to add extra room in the hips, it is easy to shape your insert on a curve so you are adding more to the area where it is needed to fit.

My denim scraps are cut off of our boys old jeans.

Strips are cut 2 1/2″ wide and made as long as possible.

3. Sew the strips of denim together with 1/4″ seam allowance, matching the left edges, the length of the piece. You can piece the strips together if they are too short as needed.

4. Cut into pieces the width that you need for your insert with a rotary cutter or scissors, mine were 4″. If you need more room in the hip, your pieces may be wider in that area. I did not include seam allowance in these calculations for simplicity.

5. Sew the cut strips together edge to edge in long strips until the piece is long enough to fit down the side of your jeans plus 1″ for hemming. Trim away excess. Hem the top and bottom edges of the strip with 1/2″ folded hem.

6. Cut side seam of jeans apart, from hem up through the waistband, removing seam allowance and any rivets that may be in the way of stitching a new seam. Baste pocket to the side of the jeans if needed (My pocket was sewn into the side seam, so when I cut the side seam away the pocket was loose. It was basted in place at the side seam to make the sewing easier for the next step.)

7. With right sides together, sew the insert to the side of the jeans on the front and back. Repeat on the other leg. Press and enjoy!

Make Your Jeans Fit|Chambray Blues Blog|Chambrayblues.com
Make your jeans fit better with this easy jean hack! Don’t forget to Pin this post!

These jeans are now super comfortable to wear! The denim insert has a bit of stretch to it fits great, and it is so nice to have new jeans with a unique design to wear! I am thrilled that this purchase was not a waste of money and I know I will get lots of wear out of them this fall! If you would like more information on diy fashion projects from my Chambray Blues Blog, click here! Thanks to Deborah for having me guest post!

If you love this idea, here are some other recycled fashion posts:

How to Make a Quilted Potholder from Scraps

Mens Thrifted Shirt Upcycle Hack in 7 Steps

Re-cyled Jean Denim Vest

Easy to Make Scrappy Denim Skirt

Make an Upcycled Denim Hat from Old Jeans

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Easy to Make Scrappy Denim Skirt

Easy to Make Scrappy Denim Skirt

This simple skirt is made completely from scraps of thrifted cotton and an pair of old denim jeans. Here’s how you can save your scraps from the trash bin and create something fun and new to wear!

Easy to Make Scrappy Denim Skirt|Chambraybluesblog|Chambrayblues.com

Hi! I’m Jessica and I blog at Designers Sweet Spot.com. I also stitch up all sorts of fun things on my sewing blog Chambray Blues.com. I am so pleased to share this project with you all! Thanks to Deborah for having me guest post on her amazing blog!

Easy to Make Scrappy Denim Skirt|Chambraybluesblog|chambrayblues.com

Why Recycle Fabrics?

I used to give away all my clothes that didn’t fit to the thrift store. That is, until I discovered that thrift stores only keep and sell 20% of the donations they receive, the rest are bundled and sold off to foreign countries or disposed of. Isn’t that sad? All that good stuff goes to waste! I now look for ways to reuse every bit of household fabric that I can especially if it is colorful and in good condition. This is especially true for denim items, Every old pair of jeans can find a new life in someway, this type of fabric iss so versatile and wears for such a long time.

There have been dozens of popular recycled jean skirt projects across the web, this one is an easy version and quick to make with a few basic sewing tools. My fabrics came from the thrift store (other than the jeans that I already owned), which is an added bonus. The local thrift store here sells their fabric scraps for $.50 a bundle. You can’t possibly get any cheaper and I often find great quality fabric there that I couldn’t afford to buy new if it was in a fabric store.

Pair this skirt with your favorite t-shirt and sandals for a quick shopping trip, date to the movies or walk on the beach. You can adjust the length by adding or subtracting rows of ruffles, it would also be an adorable maxi skirt with more rows of fabric. This adult (size 20) version falls just above the knee and finishes 23.5″ long. This would also work great for young girls who have out grown their jeans from last year!

Here’s what you will need:

Supplies:

• One pair of old jeans, any size

• 1/2 yards cut of 3 different patterned 45″ wide cotton fabrics (red, yellow, navy)

• Rotary cutter, 6″ wide quilting ruler and cutting mat (or fabric scissors, pencil and a ruler)

• Matching thread

• Sewing machine

•Ruffling Foot attachment (optional)

Directions:

Easy to Make Scrappy Denim Skirt|Chambraybluesblog|chambrayblues.com

  1. Fold jeans in half, matching side seams and crotch seams. Pin seams together, folding pockets out of the way so they won’t get cut in the next step.
  2. Measure 10 1/2″ down from top of waistband at side seam. Mark and cut across horizontally to the center front, remove the legs of the jeans and lower part of crotch as in photo. Set aside. Save pant legs for other projects.
  3. Lay cotton fabrics on cutting mat with fold near the zero cutting edge of the cutting mat (closest to you), and selvedges at the top of the mat (away from you). Using the quilting ruler, cut fabric into rows of 6″ wide strips.
  4. Turn cotton fabrics on the mat horizontally and cut again, into 11″ wide pieces. Cut pieces will measure 6″ x 11″. Cut 15 of each of the three printed fabrics for a total of 45 pieces.
  5. Stitch the short side of the cotton pieces together in rows of 15, using a 2.5 mm single needle stitch altering colors/prints at random. There is no need to cut the threads between each row, you can chain stitch them together for faster sewing. Continue as needed until all 15 pieces are stitched together.
  6. Gather top edges of each ruffle 1/2″ from top edge with a ruffling foot or by hand using two rows of 5.0mm basting stitch 1/8″ apart and pulling up the threads to gather. Sew ends of each row together to make three complete circles of ruffles.
  7. Pin one row of patterned ruffle to denim cut offs to check fit. Adjust gathers and stitch in place. You can add or remove sections of ruffle if it is too large or small to fit it to your jean cut offs. (For girls a row of 7 pieces of patterned fabrics may be enough)
  8. Continue with second and third rows of ruffles in similar fashion, checking the length and fit as you stitch each row on.
  9. Hem finished skirt with 1/4″ narrow rolled hem on bottom edge.
  10. Press seams to finish.

Don’t forget to Pin this post!

If you enjoyed this project try some of these other recycled fabric ideas:

Scrappy Denim Boho Necklace Tutorial

How to Restyle a Boring Denim Jacket

3 Step Easy T-Shirt Pattern Hack

5 Step Easy Headband

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How to Make a Recycled Denim Ruffled Purse with Cricut and Simplicity

How to Make a Recycled Denim Ruffled Purse with Cricut and Simplicity

This is such a fun project to make with your Cricut! The Simplicity sewing pattern is cut to size on the Cricut machine and ready to sew in minutes!

Ruffled denim purse with Cricut|Chambraybluesblog|chambrayblues.com

 

 Sew a Denim Ruffled Purse

 

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Cricut. The opinions and text are all mine.


My Cricut has been going non-stop lately. I have been cranking out the projects and pushing my little machine to it’s limits. Cricut and Simplicity Patterns have sponsored me for this campaign, and I am so excited to share this project with you! Cricut has a great partnership with Simplicity Sewing Patterns, there are many options available in Cricut Design Space for sewing patterns that you can use with your Cricut Maker. This Ruffled Purse project is easy to download and cut out in minutes. My fabrics for this project came from my large scrap bag of old jeans and a remnant of a cotton batik pillowcase. The legs were removed from the jeans, flattened and cut to fit on the Cricut mat. Here are my top tips for making your project a success!

This is the future of sewing! Simplicity and Cricut are hard at work to develop and release more sewing patterns in the near future. Having the patterns cut on the Cricut machine is so much more efficient, saving time, fabric, and energy! Can’t wait to see what else they will come up with in the future!

Ruffled denim purse with recycled denim|Chambraybluesblog|chambrayblues.com

 

How to Use Recycled Denim (or other recycled material) in the Cricut:

1. Remove bulky seams as much as possible. For this project it was helpful to view each cutting layout in Design Space on the mat before it was cut. I was able to plan out where the denim seams would fall (and place them in between pattern pieces), and keep them out of the way of the cutting knife as much as possible. The Cricut Maker can cut through a lot of material, but cutting through the bulky denim seams is rather risky. I had to restart my machine once or twice when it got stuck on the seam. My machine was able to cut through the side seam of my jean leg, you can see it in the photo above at the center front and back of the purse. It looks very natural, like it was planned to be there!

2. Use a clean fabric mat. Denim shreds a lot of debris when cut. By using a clean mat, or even a new one each time the pieces were cut I was able to achieve crisp adhesion and get clean cuts with the fabric blade. Be sure the fabric is truly stuck to the mat, I used a Cricut rolling tool to be sure it was adhered as much as possible.

3. Place fabric right side down on the mat. As per cutting directions, the right side of the fabric should be face down.

4. Use a dark colored pen for marking. I realized too late that my blue fabric marking pen is too light in color to show up on the denim fabric. Use a dark colored fabric pen in the Cricut machine for marking when using denim.

Ready to start?? Here we go!

Ruffled denim purse with Cricut|Chambraybluesblog|chambrayblues.com

Supplies Needed (affiliate links are included for your convenience):

• Cricut Maker

•Rotary Fabric Cutting Blade

•Simplicity Ruffled Purse Sewing Pattern

•One pair old denim jeans legs removed, about 5/8 yard total (can be several different pieces)

•Cotton batik printed fabric for ruffles and purse lining, about 5/8 of a yard

•Pellon Craft Fuse Interfacing, 1/2 yard

•Thread

•Fabric Grip Mat 12 x 24″

•Hook and loop tape (optional)

 

 

Ruffled denim purse with Cricut|Chambraybluesblog|chambrayblues.com

Cutting Directions:

  1. Download and print the pdf sewing directions for the Simplicity Ruffle Purse Pattern from Design Space.
  2. Hand cut the denim pieces to fit on the mat. Keep in mind the direction of the grain as specified for each cut.
  3. Cut one 9 x 23″ piece of interfacing.
  4. Cut 10 x 16″ piece of contrasting print batik fabric for purse lining with grain running parallel to the 10″ side.
  5. Cut one 8 x 20″ piece of contrasting print batik fabric for purse ruffle with grain running parallel to the 20″ side.
  6. Cut one 12 x 20″ piece of denim with grain running parallel to the 20″ side.
  7. Cut one 4 x 20″ piece of denim with grain running to parallel to the 20″ side.

Ruffled denim purse with Cricut|Chambraybluesblog|chambrayblues.com

Purse Assembly:

1. Apply fusible interfacing to wrong side of purse front and back pieces.

2. Sew long ends of ruffle with a 3/8″ narrow hem.

3. Gather ruffle with a 5.0 basting stitch, sewing along marked center line. Stitch to front of purse with 3.0 top stitch along center of ruffle.

4.Apply interfacing to denim purse handles. Stitch ends of handles together.

5. Sew purse front and back in place on handles, matching circles and notches. Clip curves, press.

6. Assemble lining, repeating step 5. Attach lining to purse with right sides together matching circles and notches, leaving opening at bottom for turning.

7. Turn right side out, top stitch bottom opening closed. Press seams. Tie ends of straps together.

8. Hand sew hook and loop tape on purse for closure if desired.

Thanks to Cricut and Simplicity for sponsoring this post!

Upcycled Denim Hat|Chambray Blues Blog|chambrayblues.com

 

My little Ruffled purse will be a great addition to my collection of Cricut made projects, this denim hat is another Simplicity pattern that is available for the Cricut. Don’t forget to Pin these projects! You can read the full Woman’s Hat tutorial here:

Make an Upcycled Denim Hat from Old Jeans

What You Should Know About the Cricut Maker

5 Step Easy Headband

3 Step Easy T-Shirt Pattern Hack

How to Read a Sewing Pattern Envelope

 

 

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Make an Upcycled Denim Hat from Old Jeans

Make an Upcycled Denim Hat from Old Jeans

This cute hat uses recycled denim, cut up your old jeans and make them into something fun and new!

Upcycled Denim Hat|Chambray Blues Blog|chambrayblues.com

 

I have a large pile of old denim jeans for making unique sewing projects. This cute hat is made from a Simplicity pattern for the Cricut Maker. Using denim in the Cricut machine was a bit of a challenge, but it worked out quite well. Thanks to Cricut and Simplicity for sponsoring this post! Curious as to how this works??? Read on!

My Cricut Maker has become my indispensable tool in my sewing room. I have used it for many things, the options are endless.  Simplicity has a number of great patterns for the Cricut machine. You can see the complete list of options here in the Cricut Design Space.  To make the Woman’s Hat, you will need the following supplies:

Upcycled Denim Hat|Chambray Blues Blog|chambrayblues.com

Supplies:

(affiliate links are included for your convenience)

Cricut Maker

Rotary Cutting Blade

Pink Fabric mats

2 pairs of old jeans in different shades of denim (one light and one dark), about 1/3″ yard of each

Thread

Scissors

Sewing Machine

Upcycled Denim Hat|Chambray Blues blog|Chambrayblues.com

Directions:

  1. Purchase the Simplicity Woman’s Hat pattern and print off pdf sewing directions.
  2. Cut the legs off of the jeans. Cut the legs open along seam line, remove extra seam leaving a smooth fabric for the machine to cut. It was helpful to look at how the pattern pieces will be cut on the mat by previewing the pattern before you actually cut. Cut the light colored denim first for the top and sides of the hat. Cut denim fabric to size as per pattern directions. Lay the denim WRONG side up on the fabric mat, press in place with a roller or by hand to smooth out any bubbles.
  3. Insert the mat into the Cricut, be sure to select the HEAVY DENIM FABRIC setting when cutting.
  4. Remove mat and cut pieces. Clean mat with the scraping tool before applying the next fabric, the denim sheds a lot of debris when cut.
  5. Next cut the sides of the hat as directed by the Cricut design space, again use the light colored denim.
  6. Cut the dark denim last, for the hat brim.

Tips for cutting denim:

1. Keep the mat clean so the denim will stick to it. I found that when the mat was dirty it wouldn’t hold the fabric in place. Using a new fabric mat seemed to work the best.

2. Try to position any remaining seams so the are between the pattern pieces as the machine cuts it. The Cricut was able to cut through about 70% of my denim seams, I did have to restart it once or twice because it got stuck on the thick fabric and cut through the rest of the seam by hand with a scissors after the piece was removed from the machine. The Cricut does an amazing job cutting, asking it to cut through such thick, heavy material repeatedly is probably not the best use of the machine. Cricut sponsors me to go where no user has gone before, and I enjoy pushing my machine to the limit of it’s capability. Please, just be aware that if you decide to cut through impossibly heavy seams you could potentially risk having damaging your machine.

3. There were some denim fabrics that cut easier than others. Fiber contents are all different, and behave differently in the Cricut machine. You may have less trouble cutting thinner, stretchy denim than the old fashioned thickly woven denim fabrics. I used the heavier type denim for this project because that’s what I had available.

Upcycled denim hat|Chambray Blues blog|chambrayblues.com

Sewing Directions:

1. Stitch the side seams together from the 1 and 2 the pattern pieces by placing a #2 in the middle and attaching piece #1 on either side. End seam at the circle at top.

2. Repeat for the back side of the hat.

3. Stitch front and back together, ending seams at circles.

4. Sew the sides of the hat together using piece #3, and attaching piece #4 on either side stopping stitching at circles. Repeat for the back side.

5. Pin top of hat to the sides, matching circles and dots. Stitch together to form crown of hat. Press seams open.

6. Assemble brim, sew center back seam together. Repeat for facing (I did not use any interfacing because the denim was plenty sturdy).

7. Sew brim pieces with right sides together. Turn right side out. Press. I added a row of top stitching 1/4″ from top edge for a crisp look.

8. Apply brim to WRONG side of hat, matching notches. Stitch. Turn brim to outside of hat. Press in place.

9. Tack brim in place at center back seam if desired.

Upcycled Denim Hat|Chambray Blues Blog|chambrayblues.com

This hat was a fun project. It is a rather small size finishing about 22 1/2″ around. When I make this pattern again I will cut a few extra pieces to add to the sides and crown to make it larger. The originally Simplicity pattern called for fleece fabric which has a bit more stretch than the denim. To add to the fun hat, I pinned a vintage broach on the brim. Thanks to Cricut and Simplicity for sponsoring this post!

If you are a blogger and are interested in the Cricut affiliate program, click here.

Upcycled Denim Hat|Chambray Blues Blog|Chambray Blues.com

 

Love this project? Try these other ideas:

What You Should Know About the Cricut Maker

5 Step Easy Headband

3 Step Easy T-Shirt Pattern Hack

Scrappy Denim Boho Necklace Tutorial

How to Sew a Sunny Raincoat

 

 

 

 

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How to Restyle a Boring Denim Jacket

How to Restyle a Boring Denim Jacket

We all have clothes in our closet we no longer wear, here are some tips on restyling and updating a boring denim jacket!

Re-Style Your Denim jacket, easy sewing project|Chambrayblues|chambrayblues.com
Don’t forget to Pin it!

Re-Style Your Boring Denim Jacket

I have had this denim jacket in my closet for a few years. Most of the time, I rarely wear it. The jacket is too short in the sleeves and body for me, and too small around the middle. I bought this denim jacket on a whim when I was at a blog conference and I needed a jacket while sitting in a cool room listening to the conference speakers. If I had thought about it longer, I wouldn’t have bought it in the first place because it didn’t really fit. Sometimes you do funny things when you are cold!

I didn’t want to give the jacket away since it is practically new, and I decided the best thing to do would be to restyle it so it suits me better. I added wide lace to the sleeves and hem to make the jacket longer so it fits me. Then I was able to add 2″ to the center front by removing the old button placket and adding wide pleated trim. The jacket now fits better around the midriff where I need it. It doesn’t button closed, but that’s okay since I never buttoned it up anyway. Here’s how I made all the adjustments.

Re-Style an Old Boring Denim Jacket|ChambrayBlues|chambrayblues.com
Change up your old jacket for a new look with bits of vintage lace and trims.

Supplies Needed:

• 3 yards of 4″ wide lace

• 2 yards rosebud trim (sold in the lace section at the fabric store)

• 1 spool 1/2″ wide edge lace

• 1/2 yard vintage lace for yoke (I used an old skirt)

• the legs from 1 pair old pair of denim jeans, cut into 2 1/2″ strips

• matching thread, scissors, sewing machine

Re-Style a Boring Denim Jacket|Chambrayblues|Chambrayblues.com
Use vintage lace to cover the front and back yoke.

Yoke Directions:

1. Lay your jacket on a table and pin seams together along the front and back yoke, neck and sleeve. Trace the front yoke shape onto a piece of craft paper. Add seam allowance and cut out. Repeat for the back yoke (this should be on the fold)

2. Place the pattern pieces on top of your vintage lace. I used the bottom hem of an old skirt that had a beige lining. Line up the bottom of the yoke of the pattern with the hem of the skirt or other finished edge of lace. Trace around the seams, adding 1/2″ seam allowance for the shoulder seam. Be sure pieces line up from the front to back shoulder. Cut out the front pattern piece. Repeat for the back yoke, using your first pattern piece as a guide to match the neck and seam edges. Cut the pattern out of your vintage lace.

I kept the existing skirt lining intact with my lace since I liked the light color behind the lace. You could also just let the denim show through the lace if you don’t have a lining.

Re-Style your Boring Denim Jacket|Chambrayblues|Chambrayblues.com

3. Stitch the front and back shoulders of the lace yoke together. Add 1/2″ narrow lace trim to finish armhole edge using a 2.5 zig-zag stitch setting. Fold under lace trim ends and secure.

4. Place the lace yoke on top of the right side of denim yoke. Pin in place. Zig-zag stitch in place with a narrow stitch (2.5) along neck edge, center front, bottom of yoke and armhole. Repeat for back yoke.

Re-Style a Boring Denim Jacket|Chambrayblues|Chambrayblues.com
Use vintage lace to cover the front and back yoke.

Updating the Center Front

1. Cut off front button placket from both sides of the jacket, leaving collar intact. Reserve extra pieces for another project.

2. Make pleated trim for jacket front. Cut off the legs from an old pair of jeans. Cut 6 strips of denim 2 1/2″ wide.

3. Pleat the denim strips by making 1″ folds in the denim with a salad fork as you sew. It’s a bit awkward at first, but you will soon see how easy it is to make even pleats. I love this method and will definitely use it again soon! Don’t worry about the raw edges, the fraying of the denim is part of this vintage charm!

4. Attach the pleated trim down the jacket front from collar to hem with a single needle stitch 3.0 setting. Overlap the pleated trim and center front edge by 1/2″ , pin in place. Top stitch 1″ away from first line of stitching on the right side. Be sure to catch any loose pockets in the seam, my jacket had pockets that were sewn into the original placket and I needed to anchor them in place to keep them from flopping about.

5. Cut a row of lace flowerettes and apply them down the center front on top of the pleated trim. Zig-zag stitch in place. You can use a different lace trim about 1″ wide instead if your lace is an allover pattern and doesn’t have rows.

6. Cut one row of flowers from the flower trim, zig zag stitch on either side of the trim along the center front, on top of the lace and pleats. I preferred my trim slightly off center, covering half of the lace for a unique effect.

Re-Style a Boring Denim Jacket|Chambrayblues|Chambrayblues.com
4″ gathered lace was added to the cuffs and hem of the jacket.

Updating the Jacket Cuffs and Hem

1. Gather the 4″ lace 1/2″ from top edge.

2. Fit lace to cuff edge, trim. Pin in place. Sew a zig-zag (3.0) stitch along edge on the wrong side of the cuff.

3. Add a flowered trim to cuff. Cut the floral trim to the same width and length as the cuff. Pin in place on right side of jacket. I cut the trim 1″ short to leave the button and button hole on the sleeve intact so it was still use-able.

4. Zig-zag stitch flower trim in place on top and bottom of cuff.

That’s it! This hack only cost me about $15.00. I already had the jacket and the lace skirt, so it was just a matter of purchasing the trims. We have lots of old jeans around the house and you can’t even tell that the pleated trim on the front of the jacket doesn’t match the rest of the jacket. It’s fun to mix up your old clothes and make them feel new again! Be sure to share pics in the Chambray Blues Sewing Group on Facebook if you remix your old jacket, we would love to see it!

Re-Style Your Denim jacket, easy sewing project|Chambrayblues|chambrayblues.com
Don’t forget to Pin it!

 

Like this post? Try some of these other posts:

Sew Along 2018, the Year of the Blues!

How to Read a Sewing Pattern Envelope

How to Shorten Pattern Sleeves

How to Measure for Pattern Alterations

What You Should Know About the Cricut Maker

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