Extreme sewing makeover: the upcycled jean

I was the kind of girl who enjoy making room in her closet by throwing away half of its content. I was giving everything that I didn’t like and I was buying something new instead. Until I find myself one day regretting a red sweater that I had in high school or a wool skirt in my 20 years. After all those years spent in sorting out my dressing, too many beautiful pieces had definitively left my wardrobe. And since then, I only give what is ragged and almost dead. I save time, money and regrets.

This pair of Levis narrowly escaped one of my ultimate seasonal cleaning. Too wide, too straight, too blue. A little voice told me it was not about to make a simple refashioning such as skirt or shorts but that probably deserved more ingenuity. And it patiently waited its turn until I discovered the Extreme Sewing Makeover contest on Thread and Needles blog (in French).

And I returned my copy this morning. Upside down pants become a blouse, the half legs become sleeves and another half leg becomes a front panel. Zero waste fashion. The result in pictures:










To achieve this, I undid the inner leg seams and cut in the pants at the knees.


I unpick the outer leg seams to a height of 15 cm for the armholes.


I cut the sleeves in the remaining parts and shrink the pattern at the elbows for an 80s look.


For the front panel in front, I used a half-leg from another jeans. As the colour was different, I placed it on the wrong side. For more effect, I superpose the lateral seam of the leg with the centre seam of my new blouse.


No closure needed, I pull it on like a T-Shirt. It’s very nice to wear next to the skin. In combination with other jeans, the mirror effect of the pockets is troubling.

I had lots of fun with this transformation and I think a re-fashionista was born inside of me. Just look at my Pinterest board to discover other up-cycling ideas, made with humour and talent. We enter the era of re-new, re-make, re-cycle, re-invent, re-create and retrieve.


16 thoughts on “Extreme sewing makeover: the upcycled jean”

  1. I just hopped over from Refashion Coop. I just had to see more of your fantastic refashion! It turned out amazing and looks just awesome on you. I’m sure you received many compliments while wearing it.

  2. that is awesome! One of the best denim/jean refashions yet! Thanks for sharing.

  3. thank you all! your messages are so motivating! I go back right now to my sewing machine 🙂

  4. Very clever and the jacket looks so fashion forward with lots of interesting details.

  5. My brother suggested I might like this blog. He was once totally right.
    This post truly made my day. You cann’t imagine just how a lot
    time I had spent for this information! Thanks!

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