Tuesday, January 4, 2011

New Uses For Old Jeans

For this first post I thought I would talk about what to do with my favorite cast off....Old jeans....
A while back I needed a heavy duty work apron. Something I could craft in and not worry about glue, paint or anything else getting on it. I didn't really want to go out and buy something. I figured I should have something around the house that I could make into a cute yet serviceable apron. I realized I had a bag of my family’s old clothes in the garage that were headed to donation. Maybe there was something in there I could use. Sure enough I found a stash of old blue jeans. The denim material from the jeans would make a great apron. So I gathered the jeans, my sewing machine, scissors, some ribbon I had for the straps and ties, thread, a pillowcase, tennis balls, and a denim sewing machine needle and set out to make my apron. I cut the legs off at the crotch. Then I split the legs open on one of the side seams. Over lapping the cut edges and not trying to hide the fraying denim, I sewed the two legs together to form one flat piece of fabric. This is the bottom of the apron. Then I took the seat of the jeans and separated the front from the back. I wanted to use the back side of the jeans for the front top of my apron. I went and grabbed a kitchen apron to use as a pattern and laid it over the leg piece to figure size and where to place the back pockets for the top. Using the same piecing technique I used on the legs I attached the top. Then using the kitchen apron again I laid it out on top of the denim and traced around it using a marker. I cut the denim just inside this line and then sewed around all sides, except for where they waist band it forming the top.  Trim seams  even on the front and cut slits into denim towards stitches but not all the way to stitches. Trim excess from back on aprons seams. Wash in the washing machine and dryer. This will give you that great frayed denim look. Then cut your ribbon for you neck strap and waist ties and attach to apron. Now you have a great utility apron that will really last and probably looks better the more paint that gets on it. Now I have a great apron to craft in, garden in or whatever. I do a lot with recycled crafts, which you can see on my web site at www.ginabahrens.com. 

I have also used them to make handbags, book covers, lunch sacks, table runners, cosmetic bags, diaper bags, oven mitts and hanging kitchen towels. What can you think of to make out of old jeans?