Monday, August 04, 2008

Refashionistas: What To Do With Jeans

(crossposted BlogHer)

It's been a while since I've done written about the refashionistas, those creative, frugal fashion crafters who take older, unworn clothes and thrift-store finds, cut, paint, sew, style, and design great new functional items from them. A gold-mine of ideas for used jeans can be found at WiseBread's post: Twenty-five Things to Do With Old Jeans by Myscha Theriault.

Let's examine some of her ideas:

2. Cool Quilts. Theriault and I are fan of these jeans quilts. Simple but heavy, these are great picnic quilts and dorm rooms quilts. You can find a discussion on making them written by Susan Druding at the equilters forum, with links to insturctions by some of the makers. There is also an inspring forum on jean's quilt photos.

4. Pocket books and backpacks. Jeans, with their already constructed pockets and installed zippers are a natural for cutting up and making purses and backpacks. CraftBits offers simple instructions for a "no sew" denim bag. My experience with gluing as she suggested, is that the purse will fall apart quickly and usually at the most inappropriate moment. Crossing a busy street, maybe?

WikiHow has great instructions for sewing a similar purse. If you're more of a needle-artist, Crochetnmore offered directions for turning a leg from jeans into a purse with a crocheted top.

5. Patches. Using denim as the base for little art patches is the brilliant idea by B. Original. I don't think I've seen this before, but I'll be playing this idea later this weekend.

6. Embellish. While Simplicity offers an article on embellishing jeans, I'll admit that I would want these fused embellishments stitched down, or at least have the edges painted over (painted fabric embellishments. Doesn't that sound too 1980s for today?) Unless you cut open the inside seams, however, you'r limited to awkward hand sewing. I like the suggestion of checking at local bead shops for classes; that should give you a more modern look!

7.. Pimp Your Jeans! The link to Thread Heads Coffee stained jeans is fabulous! After all , who doesn't love a Thread Heads video??

10. I LOVE the idea of an electronic gadget pocket from old jeans. Something to keep my phone and car key together no matter which bag or purse I'm using? The Instructable How-to by sage femme is complete, even to this warning:

Denim is strong - I broke two needles, a pair of scissors and a seam ripper making just two of these little pocket pals. That taught me some lessons I'll pass on to you: Don't force anything and Always cut through the thinnest area possible.

13. Ofcourse recycling jeans into a crazy quilt jacket has been around perhaps as long as either individual skill. The piece by Magpie Mumblings appears to include some nice embroidery, traditional piecing, and maybe a furry collar?

14. Demin Vest. Turning jeans upside down and using them for the basis of a vest? It's another old idea. But is it old enough that a whole new generation might be ready to adopt it? I can't judge! (that old, "if you wore it the first time, don't the second time around" rule keeps screaming in my ears!). You tell me.

17. Coffee cozies. An office/club small gift idea whose time has come? I like the ones by two straight lines with the little button detail, but pink milk and fairycakes published a whole tutorial on flickr.

18. My favorite idea of the bunch is this custom camera case from Evil Mad Scientist. Maybe because it was designed for my camera, so I don't have to go changing a thing?

OK. I ran through the list, adding a few links and pointing out some of my favorite ideas. Now it's your turn. Which of these ideas are you itching to get to started on? Do you have any other big ideas for used jeans? One idea I didn't see mentioned (again, it may be one whose time has come and gone) is cutting your jeans into strips, joining them together and making a braided rug from old jeans. Should I be wearing my "I survived the 60s/70s/80s crafts movements" Tshirt to even suggest that?

Let me know in the comments.

And a big ole beef-jerky hat tip to the fabulous MizFit for pointing this link out in the first place.

I also blog at: Weight for Deb and BlogHer on Mondays and Saturdays.


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