Mar 04

5 Fun Ways to Refashion Your Old Denim

iusb_760x100.13160675_87acUsing up “old stuff” is what we do around here. It’s just a habit. Our dryer makes a loud squeaking sound so we’re waiting for the parts to come in to fix it. We thought about getting a new one (this one is at least 17 years old!), but we can get it repaired for about a third of the cost of buying a new one. So we’ll have a “brand new” fixed up old dryer by Friday and then I can get back to thinking about all the other stuff that needs my attention.

DSCF4097Lots of families do the best they can with what they already have. That’s just part of life these days. Kind of like back in the day when the girls were little and the skirts were suddenly a bit too short on the favorite dress – so we would add a ruffle or a row of lace. Or when the little boys suddenly shot up an inch or two taller but no bigger around, well we could add a cuff and some patches to those old jeans. We’ve been doing this “upcycling” thing long before it was fashionable!

DSCF4122As winter days slowly (I’m thinking it seems VERY S-L-O-W-L-Y!) begin to turn to spring, we’ve finished up the last of our refashioned sweater coats for this year, and we’re moving on to a few new projects. There are so many ways you can upcycle and refashion denim garments that I thought it would be fun to share a few ideas with you just in case you are in the mood to fix up something old around your house instead of throwing it away.


1. Make a skirt from a worn out pair of jeans:  Super simple to do, and you can use up lots of scraps of fabric that you might have left over from other projects. Cut off the top part of the jeans and stitch on rows of fabric and lace ruffles, or get really creative and stitch on strips of fabric to make a “fringe” effect. Or anything else your imagination can come up with!

Denim Twirl Jumper2. Make a jumper from a pair of bibs: Cut off the top, front and back, keeping the straps intact. Stitch together several long strips of leftover fabric to make a skirt, gather up each one a bit for more fullness, and stitch onto the top of the bibs. Add a bit of embellishment and you’ve got a sweet little jumper for your princess.

il_570xN.2704986283. Embellish a pair of jeans that still fit: This one is easy and it is lots of fun! For kids, if the jeans are getting a bit too short, just add a cuff or a ruffle, add a couple of patches wherever needed, and voila! You’ve got yourself a pair of “designer” jeans – and if you’ve got a pair of jeans that you still just LOVE and they fit oh-so-perfectly but they are getting a bit thread bare around the edges, simply add a few embellishments and you’re good to go for at least another season!

il_570xN.2661965504. Dress up a vest or a shirt that is getting boring: There are so many ways to embellish denim vests and shirts, but the short version of this story is to get started and let your creativity take over! I like to create fabric collages with various textures and colors, lots of decorative stitching, ribbons and lace, and maybe add a few buttons. On a shirt you could also add ruffles or trim on the cuffs and collars, and cut off the bottom and add layers of fabric for a totally unique design all your very own.

Refashioned denim jacket5. Denim jackets are so fun to embellish and refashion! There is no limit to the ways you can refashion denim jackets – add patches and ruffles, rows of lace and other trims, create a “button brooch” to add to the lapel, sew vintage buttons on the collar and cuffs, or cut it up and completely recreate parts of the jacket using bits and pieces of other garments.

We’ve got lots of creative ideas for refashioning that we will be sharing here on our blog in the coming weeks, and if you want to take a peek at some of the designs we have listed in our Etsy shop, Tatters to Treasures, come on over! The sky is the limit when it comes to taking “old stuff” and turning it into “new stuff,” and we’re going to be trying out some of those creative ideas this spring. Can’t wait to share more ideas with you next time!




Skip to comment form

  1. beth b

    Love, love, love that skirt — so feminine!! Great idea!

  2. Katherines Corner

    that skirt is fantastic xo

  3. Beth Brubaker

    Apparently there’s ANOTHER Beth B. that loves that skirt! I want one too! 🙂

  4. Darlene Fadem

    That little girl’s jumper is the CUTEST. THING. EVER!!

  5. The Redhead Riter

    I love the skirt! Awesome! 🙂

  6. All that's Jas

    Beautiful creations! I agree with Katherine – the skirt is fantastic!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>