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leftover legs

sewnew | Posted in General Discussion on

Hi everyone – I’m NEW!  I’ve just started sewing.  I decided to cut off my daughter’s pants that are too short and make her some shorts.  Now I’ve got quite a bit of “legs”!  I’ve got a few in khakis and a few in denim.  Does anyone know what I can do with these?  I’m sure there are some REALLY cute ideas, but I don’t have ANY idea where to begin to look.  HELP!!!


  1. suesew | | #1

    Sew them together until you have paatchwork fabric piece. You could make a tote bag, shoe bags, gift bags, a short skirt!, place mats, anything you can think of.... I just made a skirt out of men's ties for a young woman and I couldn't bring myself to throw away the narrow ends so I made a little purse out of scraps and used 6 pointy ends for the flippy overlap. Really cute.

  2. HeartFire | | #2

    I made a 'quilt' for my teenage son with left over jeans legs - I cut them into squares (5"?) sewed then WRONG sides together with a good 1/2" seam and threw it in the wash - frayed ends, its very heavy, no lining, no batting, just the jeans. Its very durable and has taken quite a beating as kids will do. He is bringing it home from college this weekend as some of the seams are falling apart and needs repairs. I have also had to lengthen it with a few more rows when he suddenly grew an extra 6 inches or more! He is now 6'1" and in his 3rd yr in college! and loves this 'blankey' more than the very carefully quilted log cabin quilt I made him when he was 10!

    1. sewnew | | #3

      Judy - that's PERFECT!!  I love that idea!  Thanks!  I just might have to do that for my daughter!


    2. marijke | | #4

      I have seen this done also with the denim backed with another fabric.  Edges are left to fray, same as what you describe, but the back can be flannel or something like that (old workshirts?) and their colors peaks through in the frayed edges.

  3. Teaf | | #5

    Leftover legs are the greatest--I never throw them away!  If you stitch across the bottom and make a casing across the top, within five minutes, you'll have a drawstring bag that is perfect for long, skinny objects like tent pegs, kite sticks, knitting needles, some tools for your car, bats & balls, or all kinds of toys.  Recycled shoestrings make great cords for these bags, which can be labelled with a marker for easy reference-- I made one for each soccer team's banner, poles and pegs and hammer--very fast on early game days.  I reclaim the legs from any pair of jeans my family has worn out in the seat or pocket area, and my dh's 36" inseams make bags long enough for table legs, sail battens, and outdoor umbrellas!

    You can open up the outside seam (the simple one that isn't flat-felled) very quickly with a seam ripper, and the resulting fabric is great for a picnic blanket or a flannel-backed throw for outside or casual use--the edges can be left raw to fray in the wash.  You can square off the patches or invert every other one if the angles match; either way, it's a good sized piece of very durable fabric; I once made a free patchwork jeans jacket that way.  If you stitch it wrong-sides-together, leaving the seam allowances on top, the raw edges will give a good chenille effect after laundering.

    It's also nice to have a few of the leftover legs on hand for patching other jeans and pants.  The prewashed, worn-in denim matches other jeans much better than new denim does, and the khaki is much more likely to match other khakis your family wears.  If your daughter is old enough, maybe ask her for some ideas....


  4. LorettaK | | #6

    Dear Sewnew:

    If the scraps are large enough, you can cut out collars, or you can draw shapes on them to attach to fusible webbing to cut out and iron on to tee shirts to make a new ensemble.  You can also sew rosettes or fabric sculptures onto plain shirts.

    Happy sewing.



  5. mimi | | #7

    When I was a teenager, we used to do the same things with our jeans.  The leftover legs we made into purses (sew a seam across the bottom, make the back leg slightly longer to fold over for a flap, use the flat fell seam from the other leg for a shoulder strap).

    To make book bags, you open the unfelled seam on two legs and make them about 12 inches high for the front and back.  The sides and bottom are made out of a leg that has not been opened, for extra strength.  The handle can be made like above or use the waistband of an old pair that no longer.


    1. SherryG | | #8

      I save the legs from my husbands worn out jeans to make utility quilts with.  I use a very simple 9 block pattern to piece them together, arranging the various shades of denium into a pleasing shape.  I have used a lightweight cotton or poly for the batting and did simple quilting by machine.  The results are pretty good and I never have to worry about the quilt getting messed up.  Believe it or not the denium was not that difficult to sew.  The hardest part was guilding the fabric through the machine.  The machine had no difficulty with sewing the layers.  For backing I used a cotton flannel.  Next time I think I will use a summer quilt concept and leave out the batting, since I don't really need the weight of a traditional quilt in South Texas.



      1. user-950984 | | #10

        SHERRY, The quilt idea went one step farther for me.  I came across a large piece of water resistant fabric and decided to make a "Beach Blanket: with a quilted leftover jeans as a top.  I designed it with many jean colors and left many of the rear pockets to be used as  places to hide sun tan lotion, sun glasses etc. while on the beach just keeping the sun at bay.  My daughter has two children and the beach is their favorite spot, so the water resistant fabric resists not only water from dripping little ones, but also the sand.  It's used for socker practices, picknicks and many other " damp ground" outings....  It's the rave of everyone that sits on it as it does not pick up grass moisture or moisture from the wet sand......

        Edited 8/2/2005 1:08 pm ET by Sweet1

        Edited 8/2/2005 1:08 pm ET by Sweet1

        Edited 8/2/2005 1:09 pm ET by Sweet1

        Edited 8/2/2005 1:12 pm ET by Sweet1

        1. SherryG | | #11

          That sounds like a great idea to me.  I love my utility quilt and so has everyone who has seen it.  And for worn out jeans, they are lasting very well.  I have one that is 8 years old and another one that is 6.  So far, I plan to repair any worn places by darning over the area to reinforce it.  I will use either the 3-step zig-zag or the darning stitch that I have on my machine.  I expect the darning stitch will be entirely too small, but the 3-step zig-zag will be perfect.



          1. mimi | | #12

            Sherry, why not just cover the worn spots with jean back pockets?  Your quilt sounds really neat!


          2. user-950984 | | #13

            Yes, Mimi, the pockets work great....  It's amazing what they store....  shovels, little cars and even little books.....  I used my Serger when doing the quilting and then pressed the seams to one side.....  no freying, and everything holding together for 3 years now.....  Laundry is no problem as long as all the sand is out of the jean fabric and pockets.....  that's the only catch...(hard on the machine)

          3. SherryG | | #14

            That's a thought!  But I will have to wait.  Most of the pockets I had from the past jeans went to make hot pads for the kitchen.  I would put two back to back with enough scraps between for a nice filler.  Filler could also be felt, flannel or leftover batting. 



          4. user-950984 | | #15

            Now there's a thought for pockets.....  Would work great handling "muffin tins"


          5. CCDIANE | | #16

            Hi, This sounds SO Great.. but I'm pretty thick.. when you say back to back.. do you mean you sew this together so that you wind up with a pocket on each side of the oven mit and there is some type of filler sandwiched in between them?  just checking because I'm definitely going to try this one.. THANKS!!!!!

          6. SherryG | | #17

            Yes, I would take two pockets and put them back to back.  Since you have the hems going around the edges that creates a space in the center.  Just cut whatever scrapes you have to fill the center.  Then I would sew around the edges and a X across the center.  Then you're done.  The denium lasts a long time too.

  6. FrancesC | | #9

    What creative people you all are - not to mention thrifty! I thought that thrift had gone the way of the dodobird and I am very pleased to find that I was wrong. Take a bow, everyone.

    But, you know, every time I see the heading "leftover legs" in the topic listings, I conjure up discarded shins and feet, all piled up every which way; actually, they seem more like a pile of those very old-fashioned laceup boots that city people used to wear when roughing it and it makes me smile. And no, I never think of them in more sinister ways.


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