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what to do with outgrown jeans?

BellaGabriella | Posted in General Discussion on

My teenage son now outgrows them before he wears them out. Usually I donate them but would like to recycle into something other than handbags or quilts.

Any ideas?


I just thought of one – shopping totes! Any other ideas?


  1. Gloriasews | | #1

    Jackets or vests.  You can creatively patch them together if they are different colours, as you will need a few pairs to make a jacket. The pockets could be anywhere you want them, & use the seams as a design feature.  If the jacket is small, you can use the waistband as the waistband on the jacket, as well, by turning the jeans upside down & going from there with your piecing.  The jackets are really cosy if lined with fleece or flannelette.    The jackets can also be pieced with other fabrics, or embroider them, stud them,  or add quilting or lace as a trim.  You can also make aprons & add pockets where you want them.  For children, use the back of the jeans with the pockets attached, cut below the pockets for a hem & add ties.  For an adult apron, use the legs.  You can also make patchwork cushions, hats, hot bags that you heat in the microwaves, hot water bottle covers, or a little girl's jumper, etc.  Whatever your creativity comes up with :)


  2. Pattiann42 | | #2

    I made one of these.  http://www.patchwork-and-quilting.com/rag-quilt.html

    I added some embroidery and bright colors on some of the blocks.

    No backing or batting needed.


    Edited 6/25/2008 9:08 pm ET by spicegirl1

    1. designsbysue | | #4

      Your quilt is fantastic!  Great job and great creativity.  Thanks for sharing.

  3. meg | | #3

    I made myself a jeans jacket from many pairs of worn jeans. I'd wanted to make the (Vogue Sandra Betzina) jeans jacket pattern for a while, but with a boucle type of fabric. I am SO glad I chose to test the pattern first; the boucle fabric would've been quite awful in that style. I'm also cutting 5-1/2" squares of salvageable denim to make a quilt (not with the raw edges, though). My son likes to sleep under a great weight of blankets. I figure the denim will do the trick if it doesn't kill me first in the making of it!

  4. sewfar | | #5

    mybrydhouse.blogspot.com has a neat tutorial where she opens the unfelled seam on a jeans's leg and proceeds to make a cobblers style apron. granted, depending on the size of the jean leg, the apron maybe a bit narrow but I can see it as wonderful apron for a child or teen or for adults more narrow than I am.

  5. BellaGabriella | | #6

    Gloriasews - yes, that is an idea. It sounds like you have made a few yourself! I like the lining idea as well.

    Spicegirl - very nice! I would have to start smaller, but I would like to try that.

    Meg - hmmm, my son has become too tall since I made him his first quilt. I wonder if he would like a denim one?

    Sewfar - an apron. Possibly, for the barbeque, or a carpenters apron. hmmm...

    Thanks everyone!


  6. Susan -homedecsewing | | #7

    just a funny, but one time I sewed the hems shut, just for giggles. My son was always pulling tricks on me. we cracked up, from the other room !

    1. User avater
      Sue_Bleiweiss | | #8

      You'll find a ton of free sewing projects on the http://www.fibreandstitch.com website :)

      1. Gloriasews | | #9

        Thanks so much for that website - I printed several of the projects.  I have never seen the Fiber & Stitch magazine before, so I didn't know about the website.  Again, thanks.


  7. cmccord | | #10

    Indygo Junction has a couple cool recycle options..check out their patterns.  I'm hoping to use some of my pre-baby jeans and some tapestry fabric this fall to make myself a new coat.

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