Saturday, 2 July 2011

Recycling jeans and "jammies"

As I recently mentioned, I have been busy with some sewing.  I took a pair of John's old jeans that he could no longer wear and used them to make an apron.  The other material I used was a pair of thread-bare pyjamas that had torn next to the center seam.

First, I cut around the waistband of the jeans and down the side seams.  then I cut the front across the about three inches below the zipper.  The waistband I left attached to the back side to make a second apron.
Next I opened up the side seam of one of the legs.  They opened up nicely to make a nice long piece of material. 
I held the leg up to me to decide how long the top part needed to be; using a pin, I marked where the leg needed cutting off so that I could measure it.  I laid it flat, measured from the top, marking it with pins. 

I simply followed the pins to cut off the leg.  I needed a guide to go by to make the waistband and ties.  So I dug out a simplicity apron pattern and used three pattern pieces; waistband, top ties and bottom ruffle. 
Using a seam ripper, I opened all the seams on the pyjama bottoms.  I unpicked the waistband and then cut it off, as it had been frayed.  The legs were nice long pieces to use.  I made sure that I had pressed everything flat.  I also found the grain by pulling one thread, which created a cutting line.  then I used the pattern pieces to do the actual measuring/cutting business.
After I cut the waistband, ties and bottom ruffel, I started sewing.  First I put the waistband on the jeans front.  It took some strong "guidance/persuasion" to get the needle to sew over the zipper area because it was so thick.  But in the end, I succeeded.  The waistband went on first, and then I sewed the ties onto the waistband.  I made the waistband wide, so I could simply sew the top onto the waistband.  
You can see where I cut away part of the zipper closure so make it thinner to sew through.  Also, I used a moderately stiff inner facing to add support to the waistband.  This is where I'd attached the waistband, and was preparing the edge before folding it over to sew it down as well.  It was also at this stage that I put on the ties.
This is the front view.  The ties had to be added before I folded over the waistband and sewed it into place because the attachment ends needed to be hidden.  You can see from the photo that once the apron is finished, the pockets will indeed be usable.
 The next step was attaching the neck ties to the top.  I didn't make the ties as long as the pattern indicated as they would have been too long.  So that was a little modification I made before cutting them out.  Also, once I got the ties on, I tried the top on.  I was glad I did.  Once the ties were tied, I noticed that the top bunched in an awkward manner.  This would be corrected by putting in some darts.  I pinned the darts whilst I had it on, for the size of the darts.  Once I had the size determined, I measured everything out evenly before sewing the darts in.  Once sewn in, I trimmed them out and pressed them open.  I chose to do the darts before sewing the apron together, as it was easier to handle. Once that was done, I sewed the top and bottom together.  Finally I added the bottom ruffle.  Here is my new apron--which is very cute!  I've even worn it to cook in!
Now I have to use the back part of the jeans to make a second apron.  I got the idea of using old jeans from a couple of blogs I read.  They used the back pockets.  I thought it was a good idea to use the front and the back.

Recycling is great fun, if you don't mind investing a little time.

Serving Jesus, Author of our faith, "Lady Helene"


  1. This puts a whole new meaning on the word 'jeans'. They'll never be the same again...

  2. I HATE throwing away old used up clothing but I am not at the stage of life to have much time on my hands (3 kids age 4 and under). Looks like a fun project though.

  3. Dalletta,

    You are so clever and talented!I wish I had half of the clever ideas you seem to get! Keep on sister !!

  4. A way to save. These days, every idea helps.

  5. Your Jeans aprons are too cute! I made a camping/beach quilt from old jeans. Cut the legs into usable squares and sewed them up. Then took all the back pockets and sewed them into a band across the top to hold lotions and things while at the beach. We really used it alot while the kids were little. Oh, and we backed it with a sheet and old blanket for a soft fill. Had to replace the backing 2x before the rest started to fall apart. It lasted forever!
    Carol B