Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Upcycle - Papaw's Jeans to "Sparkle" Shorts!

Don't throw those jeans away! Upcycle them into one-of-a-kind "Sparkle" Monogrammed Shorts with Iron-on Rhinestones for pennies! Use my easy to follow step-by-step directions and photos to for your own creation that your "Little Princess" will love!! You could also modify this design for your "Little Prince"! It's "SEW Easy"!

I have a bag of my husband's perfectly good jeans that no longer fit since his weight loss, so I came up with this project for my granddaughter Mia. Mia loves everything that's "Pink and Sparkles"! 

An old pair of adult jeans
Thread (matching and contrasting)
Scrap fabric for the waistband
3/4" elastic
1 button
Iron-on Rhinestones

Cut it out!

I will only be using the legs for these shorts, but of course I'm saving the top of the jeans for a future project! First, I cut off the legs.

I cut the inner leg seam of both jeans legs, making them flat.

I laid a pair of Mia's shorts (Size 5) on an old pattern and adjusted the pattern to the same size, folding and overlapping. The fabric was cut in one piece since I planned to use the existing side seam of the jeans to complement the design. Later, I plan to draw this "adjusted" pattern on Freezer Wrap or a large sheet of paper for future use!

I also used Mia's shorts as a guide to cut a pattern and 2 pockets from the upper part of the jeans legs. The pockets that I cut are 4-3/8" wide and 4-3/4" from top edge to the middle corner, and 4-1/4" from the top to the side corners before folding and sewing. You can use any size and shape that you like!

Sew, sew...

I pinned, sewed a 5/8" seam to connect the shorts fronts, sewed again to reinforce the seam, and serged the edges. 

Tip: Since serging trims and finishes the seam, it eliminates one step, saving precious time!! If you don't have a serger, finish all seams with a zigzag stitch on your sewing machine.

And now for the pockets. I serged the top edges of the pockets, turned them under 3/4", and sewed two rows of stitching about 1/2" and 5/8" from the pocket edge using the contrasting color of thread that had been used on the jeans.

I then steam-pressed the side and bottom edges of the pockets under 1/2". I pinned the pockets evenly to the shorts front and stitched using 2 rows of contrasting thread along the sides and bottom about 1/8" from the edge, leaving the top of the pockets open. I stitched again 1/8" away from the first stitching. I created a fake "fly" by sewing 2 rows of contrasting stitching where a zipper would normally be.

Pockets with contrasting thread
The next step was to stitch the back seam in the same way as the front seam. With right sides together and matching the center front and back seams, I then sewed the crotch seam twice with a 5/8" seam and serged the edges.

The big mistake...

I had originally planned to fold the upper part of the shorts down to create a casing for the elastic, but this denim felt too thick, and I knew it would be bulky and uncomfortable. I decided to make a casing from a thinner, softer fabric instead. On to the fabric scrap containers! I measured and cut off 1-3/4" from the top of the shorts to allow for this adjustment.

The pink solution...

I cut a pattern for the waistband 3-1/2" wide and the length of the shorts + 1/2". This scrap of soft, brushed pink fabric was the perfect width to cut the waistband. Mia was happy about the pink!

With right sides together, I pinned the ends of the waistband together and marked the center. I sewed from the center to the end on one side and about 1/2" from the end on the other side. This "opening" will allow elastic to later be easily inserted. With right sides together, I then folded the waistband lengthwise. I sewed 3/8" from the folded edge and about 1/4" from the cut side, creating a "casing".

I then pinned and sewed the waistband to the shorts using a 5/16" seam, with the casing opening on top so it will be inside when completed. I pressed the seam toward the shorts and top-stitched in contrasting thread.

I inserted 3/4" elastic was in the casing, adjusted it to fit, and pinned the ends flat with a safety pin. I pulled the pinned elastic out of the casing enough to sew a secure "square" of stitches through both pieces of the elastic.

"Square" of stitching
Next, I secured the elastic. 

Tip: Sewing through the waistband and elastic at the front, back, and sides with matching thread keeps the elastic evenly gathered and also prevents the elastic from rolling.

2 rows of stitching on
back waistband
The sides -
1 row of stitching

"Boxing the front"
I serged the edges of the shorts legs, turned them under 3/4", and pressed. I stitched a straight seam in contrasting thread about 5/8" from the leg edges. I then steam-pressed the hem and all seams flat.

Tip: Steam-pressing also lightens the edges of the denim, giving it a "washed" look.

And now for the "Bling"!!

The very affordable "Sparkle Buttons" and Iron-on-Rhinestones were found at Walmart in the Sewing and Crafts Section. This pink "Sparkle" button came in a pack of 3. I used matching thread to hand sew it inside the "box" above the fake fly. 

Tip: "Fray Check" was then applied to the thread to make the button more secure. I love this product!

I followed the directions from the Iron-On Rhinestones to apply Mia's initials to the tape that came with the rhinestones. I then ironed the design to the shorts pockets. Tweezers made this job a little easier! 
Lots of bling!
Tedious work, but fun!
It worked!
I always say that some of my biggest mistakes turn out to be my best projects, and this one was no exception! I really think the pink waistband looks nicer that the plain denim shorts would have been. I am pleased with these "Sparkle" shorts that cost pennies! 

Now, on to the next project...

You may also like: 

Upcycle: Child's Lined Tote-Bag 

from a Pair of Jeans

Mia' loves her "new" shorts with the 
"Pink Sparkle" button and monogrammed pockets!

No comments :

Post a Comment