Sometimes I go to bed with creative thoughts and ideas that bother me, things that I can’t quite work out, things that I’m not too sure about. Obstacles. But by the morning I have ideas, I find solutions. That’s the power of sleep. Sleep is where I find my inspiration.
So I woke up one morning with an idea that I needed to translate to fabric as soon as possible. I had 12 pairs of my husband’s old jeans waiting for a new lease of life. Some people get flowers, I get jeans. My husband, he’s a true romantic.
With jeans you need to think carefully about pattern placement because there are a lot of seams you need to work around (or with). I just about squeezed a pair of dungarees for my 4 year old out of one pair of jeans, but making clothes for a 9 year old out of a pair of jeans, needs some thinking.
I found a pattern in my Japanese sewing book, Collection Privée Filles et Gaçon for some culottes that used 4 panels to make up each leg. I used 3 pairs of jeans to get the effect I was after, carefully choosing colours that compliment.
I wanted a worn beaten up look that was a bit rough around the edges, so I left the hem raw. The denim from Levi jeans has much more character than any denim that I have seen in fabric shops. It would have been difficult to achieve this raw distressed look with new denim.
And it feels good to upcycle, taking something I already had but no longer use and turning it into something new, useful and beautiful. Making a positive impact on the environment and minimising waste.
These culottes are going to get a lot of use now; spring, summer, autumn, winter. They can be worn with anything, but a crisp blouse looks great to stop the distressed look feeling messy.
I still have some spare denim from the 3 pairs of jeans that I cut up, so I’m going to make Scout some culottes too. They are really quick to make. And I’m feeling pretty smug that I have made some old unwanted jeans sparkle again.
So, I have 9 pairs of jeans left, any suggestions?