Saturday, April 30, 2011

Embellishing jeans

What do you do when your little one grows up and not out.. or her jeans look like she is prepared for a flood?

That is exactly the problem my daughter has with my oldest granddaughters jeans. She grows up before she grows out. If you have little one's in your life you know how expensive those jeans can be. Recently my local sewing shop had a class on how to embellish jeans, so off I went excited to learn to make designer jeans... I decided to bring a used pair of my granddaughter's old jeans that were too short just in case I goofed up. But, what I discovered was a way to get extra months of wear out of her jeans that would normally be ready for retirement.
I wish I had photographed my steps.. anyway.. hope you can understand my directions without the steps photographed.
First thing you need to do is open the seam on the inside of the legs. I let the seam out a good 6-8  inches or more, depends on how high you want to go up the leg with your design. You don't want to struggle getting the leg under your machine.
Embellish the legs first.
My instructor had this little jewel to cut out her designs to embellish. 
If you sew you probably have heard of this wonderful invention. It is called the AccuQuilt. You can see a demo here
I got this on my want list (it is a long list). But right now a bird house has this trumped.. you know the birds need a house soon. But it is next on my want list. The AccuQuilt comes with different templates of designs, and you can buy lots more. You lay your fabric on a plate, turn the wheel and presto, a perfectly cut design. It really is wonderful. Before you cut out your designs you  you need to iron wonder iron on fusible web on your fabric.. (you need to make sure both sides have adhesive) there are different brands. If you are not sure, ask for the kind of web that has double sided iron on. One side will peel off after you have ironed on the web to the fabric, stick to the jeans and iron it again.. (whew..confused.. I am)
Now.. for those of you like me that don't own one of these babies.. you can USE a coloring book or download an image. Trace the image on your fusible web, iron it on your fabric you want to embellish your jeans with, then cut the design out. Peel off the back and iron it on your jeans. Once your designs are placed and ironed on, use a small zigzag stitch to stitch them on. Now you don't have to worry about them washing off. Once you have your designs in place, you can embellish with all kinds of things.. ribbon, trims, buttons, jewels, etc.. just make sure a little one is not able to take it off.. you don't want them to put little things in their mouth.
Cute, huh?
Next to add the ruffles.
To make the base or the large bottom ruffle, (the one with polka dots) I measured how much I lenght I needed to add to the jeans, to make them a good lenght for my granddaughter. I added 1.5 inches or so to allow for a hem and cut my first width of fabric (one strip for each leg). For instance, the jeans may be 1 inch to short, so you need to add 1.5" for the hem.. so you need to cut the strip 2.5 inches wide. Now for the lenght, I cut the fabric 1.5 times the measurement of the bottom of the leg on the jeans. Measure from open seam all the way around, and add at least 1.5 times that amount to your lenght. Example your measurements may be 16 inches from seam to seam. So, you will cut the length 24-32 inches long.. (depending on how much tight you want your ruffle. So your widest (bottom) strip would measure 2.5 inches wide x 24 inches long. (Confused yet)? 
Now cut a second fabric to coordinate. (this is the middle layer on the ruffle). Make sure it is not as wide, so that your base fabric will show.  Repeat the same step as one as far as the width to ruffle. Now cut a third strip (this is the green ruffle on top). This strip will only be 2.5-3 inches when finished. I cut mine the width I wanted to use and finished the edges on the serger. If you don't have a serger you will need to add fabric for a hem on both sides.
I serged all my fabric to finish the edges before I ruffled.. this will make things a lot easier. Finish the bottom of all the ruffles except the narrow one.. you will need to finished both edges on this one. Ruffle the thin strip down the middle of the fabric. (This is the green fabric) You will use this piece to cover the bottom two layers. I really think you could used ribbon if you want.
After you finish the edges stack the smaller ruffle (the middle ruffle) on top of the larger ruffle (the one with dots) Pin right sides together to the bottom of the jeans and sew onto the jeans . I left the old hem on the jeans, and I sewed around the hem. Next sew the small piece on top of both ruffles. (this hides where you joined the pieces to the jeans) Now, last step is to sew the legs back together including the ruffles. Holla.. a new pair of designer jeans! It really is not as complicated as it seems. Hope I made the instructions clear enough for you. 
They really are adorable on .. have your priced designer jeans? 
Thanks for stopping by to see my jean projects. Hope it is clear enough.. I always look forward to your visits. 

Linking to


Pam said...

I love these. Thanks for the instructions.

Miss Char said...

Beverly, I bet your granddaughter was over the moon for her "new" designer jeans. What a great class to take and one that will save some money too, congratulations on a job more than well done.

Babs said...

Beverly, Those are the cutest jeans I've ever seen. Great tutorial and I'll bet your granddaughter loves them.

Olivia said...

Oh my gosh ADORABLE! Love it!

CeCe said...

Just darling jeans... so fun... I think I want to make some for myself but with maybe just the ruffles since I am the grandmother and not the child!

Ever - The red house by the lake said...

Thanks for stopping by at my blog!

Those jeans are lovely! I still remembered having a pair of embellished jeans (with "ruby" stars on) as a girl, so I can imagine your girl will be thrilled by these!

Shelia said...

Hi Beverly! Oh, this is a wonderful idea! You did a fabulous job and I love the little ruffles and all the little embellishments you've added!
Be a sweetie,
shelia ;)

Savannah Granny said...

Great idea for saving jeans and a little money also. Fabulous results.
Ginger :)

Unknown said...

Absolutely adorable!

Jill said...

Those jeans are simply gorgeous!! And you explained really well how you've done it!

Found you through the creative blog hop. I’m following you now, and hope you’ll stop by my blog sometime too! I'm having a month of upcycling clothes projects - and also have alinky page for upcycling ideas - I would LOVE if you linked this up!
Thanks for sharing such a lovely project!
Have a great week!
Jill @ Creating my way to Success

passionfruitprincess said...

I love it! Sooo cute! I need to make one for my girl!
I am a new follower from the Creative blogger party & Hop.
Ana Paula

Korrie@RedHenHome said...

These are beyond adorable! Amazing work.

Anonymous said...

These are very cute!

Thanks so much for stopping by the Back Porch.

SJ @ Homemaker On A Dime said...

That pair of jeans look so fancy and dandy :)

Linking this up with us made the Creative Bloggers' Party & Hop better and more special. Thank you!

Kim @ Savvy Southern Style said...

Those are sew cute! Thanks for sharing them at WUW!

Beverly said...

Oh my gosh, these are adorable.

Happy Pink Saturday.

Bella @ Bella before and after said...

Beverly, these jeans are adorable. My daughter has several pairs that are getting a little short, and this is the perfect solution to that. Plus all the embellishments, could cover up any other worn areas. LOVE it.

I'd love if you linked this up. Stop by anytime to say hello!!!
Bella :)**AMAZE ME AUGUST** @ Bella Before and After

riderwear said...

mens jeans
I love it! Sooo cute! I have to make my girl!
I am a recent convert to the Hop and creative blogger.

Pam @Threading My Way said...

What an awesome way to extend the life of jeans!!! Your appliques are stunning!!! I bet your grand-daughter loves these jeans. I would love for you to share this at our ongoing linky that's just for Refashioning with Denim...
... newest follower

angelmoore said...

share my #happiness when i sighted at the below dress at prettytailor dress
once come up with such a tiny dress,you would come fancy^^

Unknown said...

Thanks to share this post its all information is really very nice for children's clothing.

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