General ramblings

Take one pair of jeans…

As you are all no doubt bored to the back teeth by now of my tales of patching, I got to thinking what else could be done with jeans that are ‘past their best’.

Last summer, I made an old pair of jeans in to a skirt:

Jeans challenge1

I have also made a small bag from a leg of a pair of jeans:

Jeans challenge2

I have had the top of yet another pair sat pinned for months, waiting to be turned into a bigger bag:

Jeans challenge3

And I have created a dedicated “Jean genie” (genius, I know…) Pinterest board for jeans upcycling ideas.

Sooooo, that brings me to the point of this post.
And it involves YOU!

In a new and exciting (?) twist to the tale of My Make Do and Mend Year, I am throwing down a challenge to my lovely, thrifty, inventive readers (don’t look around, I am talking to you..)…

And here it is….


Oh the excitement!

I’ll be kind and give you a couple of weeks on this one-answers on postcard, or leave a comment, or even blog about it and send me the link, and I will act as judge and jury and declare a winner.

There is no prize. This is a Make Do and Mend Year after all. You can however bask in the heady glory and kudos and being designated the ultimate Jeans Upcycler….

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  • Reply Global Sharing Day | My Make Do and Mend Year June 2, 2013 at 6:00 pm

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  • Reply Fiona April 5, 2013 at 7:55 am

    My teenage stepson has just outgrown another bin bag or two full of clothes including a few pairs of jeans (some of them had already been “upcycled” into shorts when the knees got ripped.) Instead of sorting through them for cousins/charity shop/recycling I remembered a pattern in a book we have for a denim dog bed and the dog was in need of a new bed. The legs of the jeans make a bolster around the edge. Because it is stuffed with material bits it will take about a week to dry whenever I decide to wash it but its his “second” bed not his main one so hopefully I won’t have to do it too often!
    Took some adjustment as the jean shorts were missing fabric and our dog is pretty large/porky but he has a lovely cosy bed now, made of jeans and a flannel shirt and stuffed with chopped up t-shirts, socks and even bits of pants!

    • Reply Jen April 5, 2013 at 8:05 am

      Great idea! What a great inventive use-love it 🙂

  • Reply sarahn April 2, 2013 at 8:50 pm

    I was so chuffed when I made a shoulder bag back when I started uni (more than 10 years ago) out of jeans. But then I hardly used it :s

    • Reply Jen April 2, 2013 at 9:32 pm

      Have you still got it? dig it out and ressurect it!

  • Reply ginny April 1, 2013 at 6:40 pm

    checked for pics on old blog but couldn’t find any to link to.. will try and find some & email you.the project for using jeans to make a rucksack is in first book Sew fabulous fabric if that helps Gx
    also check out what one of our talented students made Not out of one pair of jeans though but many!!

    • Reply Jen April 1, 2013 at 6:51 pm

      That quilt is gorgeous! Who got to keep it?!

  • Reply ginny April 1, 2013 at 6:12 pm

    Hi Jen,
    loving the challenge!
    i have made rucksacks, shoebags and peg bags from old jeans in the past, also christmas stockings and naturally have used any scraps to repair/patch other jeans. Scraps are also useful for applique. One thing i would like to try through is cutting strips and weaving the denim to form a new fabric. i shall check out your jean jeanie board, very fitting what with Bowie’s 40th AS aniversary this year.
    p.s. have you ever seen flight of the conchords bowie sketch? very silly : )

    • Reply Jen April 1, 2013 at 6:29 pm

      They all sound fab Ginny-would love to see some pics!
      Will check out the Bowie sketch 🙂

  • Reply pennypinchingpeach April 1, 2013 at 2:47 pm

    Great ideas, y’all! This is a fun topic! I’ve made purses in the past, and made my daughter a small purse from the pocket of a completely worn out pair of jeans. My friends used to make skirts of various designs from them. You may’ve inspired me to try my hand at this again. 🙂

    • Reply Jen April 1, 2013 at 5:00 pm

      That’s great. Look forwards to seeing what you come up with!

  • Reply knitstitchsew April 1, 2013 at 9:07 am

    I made a skirt this weekend out of jeans. Looks great but a little snug!

    • Reply Jen April 1, 2013 at 9:23 am

      I can’t take very big steps in my skirt..!

  • Reply Hazel April 1, 2013 at 8:46 am

    I’ve made both my girls lunchbags out of old jeans (and one for my son out of old cords) when I got fed up of replacing torn padded ones. Better get thinking…and find my denim sewing machine needle…

    • Reply Jen April 1, 2013 at 9:07 am

      Lunchbags sound fab! Have you got a pic-I am intrigued…

      • Reply Hazel April 1, 2013 at 1:16 pm

        I’ll get my technical adviser onto it 😉

  • Reply joelleharris April 1, 2013 at 5:12 am

    I’ve got a pile of jeans to recycle….I’m up for a challange (& I need a new peg bag!)

    • Reply Jen April 1, 2013 at 9:06 am

      Yay! Can’t wait to see what you come up with Joelle 🙂

      • Reply joelleharris April 3, 2013 at 10:13 am

        made peg bag this morning, rather pleased! I always think it’s a waste of good fabric to make a peg bag and am not interested in spending ages making one. This was great: Found coat hanger, chopped across jeans, sewed up the bottom edge (2 rows for strength) popped coat hanger in and zig zaged across the top :0)

        • Reply Jen April 3, 2013 at 3:16 pm

          Sounds fab Joelle! Now the challenge is to make use of the legs 😉

  • Reply Vivienne Downes (@VivienneDownes) March 31, 2013 at 9:34 pm

    Saved linings to use to repair jacket pockets that had frayed too badly to sew again !

    • Reply Jen April 1, 2013 at 9:06 am

      Very frugal-I’m impressed!

  • Reply heathercards March 31, 2013 at 8:53 pm

    Just made a cover for my sewing machine and a little flower brooch. Just wondering what to with the left over pieces

    • Reply Jen April 1, 2013 at 9:05 am

      Sounds fab. The brooch sounds lovely. Let us know what you come up with for the rest!

  • Reply Vivienne Downes (@VivienneDownes) March 31, 2013 at 5:45 pm

    I made a peg bag for my daughter out of a pair of jeans that were her late Dad’s & I still have the legs …. mmm …. now what else do we need ???

    • Reply Jen March 31, 2013 at 5:48 pm

      Peg bag sounds fab. Have you got any pics?

      • Reply Vivienne Downes (@VivienneDownes) March 31, 2013 at 9:32 pm

        Derr if I knew how I would post a pic but … ! Peg Bag started as a joke just lopped off legs & sewed across to make bag out of the top part. Cut the front pocket linings out so you can put your hands in to reach pegs. Then found an old wooden coat hanger which had flat(ish) shoulders & sewed into waistband with metal hook sticking out.

        • Reply Jen April 1, 2013 at 9:05 am

          Sounds fab. Bet it looks great 🙂

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