The power of sleep

denim culottes 4Sometimes 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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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?






10 thoughts on “The power of sleep

      • Yes, that’s it. Saw a picture in country living once, a teen had collected the lower legs of all her outgrown bell bottoms and made a skirt for her bed. Or valance, if you wish. It was awesome! And by using the leg bottoms, she completely avoided having to hem the whole thing. 😊


  1. You should enter these in the Refashioners 2016 Jeanius challenge. And by following that event, you’ll get lots of ideas on what to do with those other 9 pairs! Also-I use the magical sleep power on all my sewing dilemmas too.


    • Thank you Audrey, I read about that, I’ve used the hashtag now on Instagram, thank you. I’ll be looking out for what everyone makes, I bet there will be some amazing upcycles. And yayyy for sleep inspiration. Goodnight. Zzzzz.


  2. These culottes are the coolest! Wow, I love how all the colors go so well together, too. No ideas about your leftover jeans, but there might be a cool vest or backpack waiting to be born.


  3. So you know what I think about raw seams BUT other that than I absolutely looooove these culottes, haha. So super cool to mix all those different colours (British just for you my dear) of denim! And I so agree about getting solutions while you sleep. To the power of sleep, yeah! Thank you for linking up again. I really really appreciate it!


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