Project Denim: The trials, tribulations & end results!

Okay, I have been banging on about this project for a couple of weeks now and all you’ve seen are a handbag and a cuff… Well now you get to see a lot more! The pair of jeans I used were a teenager’s – size 6/8, (UK size), one size smaller if you’re in the USA, and a 34-36 is the European equivalent, I believe…

*First I cut off the seat (bum) of the jeans, sewed it up and created a strap/handle for it from a length off one of the legs. There are lots of really good tutorials and videos about this type of bag-making, so don’t worry if it’s all new to you, I am no expert but there are many out there. I am just the crazy lady who decided to blog the entire pair of jeans!!!

I know the picture quality isn’t the best, but to show you what I did and how, I used my phone’s camera – and I don’t have an i-phone either!! So this pic shows the seat-bag (affectionately known as the bum-bag!).  Here’s the strap/handle in progress:

I cut a fairly wide strip (about 3-4″), folded over the edges and cut a strip of contrasting (scrap) fabric to stitch to it… pinning first to hold the two parts together, but you could pin and press if you like neat. As you probably know, I’m not really “neat”!

I used a zig-zag stitch to avoid seams and blue thread to co-ordinate, but also as a decorative feature.  Then I had to decide how it was going to attach to the bum-bag…

I chose to thread the strap through the back belt loops in this instance because it wasn’t very long and I like this no-fuss handle…

I then threaded it through 2 of the front loops, took it back to the machine and stitched the strap ends together a few times, to strengthen it. Kept it fairly neat and maintained the “shabby-chic” element, I think!

Looking good so far, and we have a reversible strap too… You could of course, use a pretty scarf for a strap, or very contrasting fabric, but in the spirit of using just one pair of jeans, I chose to do it like this! I just moved the seamed piece round to the double belt loop so that it was less obvious.

Looks a bit “butterfly” or loopy, doesn’t it? That’s another thing that makes it a bit different – more handmade and less manufactured… 😉

Handy pockets on the outside – if you need somewhere to put your linseed oil (just kidding, it was handy to fill a pocket!!)… Tip! Check that the pockets are away from the needle when you’re sewing the bottom seam, if you want them as more than a feature.

Cute and roomy, isn’t it? The possibilities are endless, aren’t they? If you get a very small pair of jeans, you could make them into a stuffie, or a cuddle-cushion, couldn’t you? I’d love to hear/see your ideas too! 🙂

So, the wrist-cuffs from side-seams…. Yes, the lumpy, inside leg seam that is usually serged or finished off and that you’d cut off and probably throw away, makes a really cool wrist-cuff, with a bit of sewing and a hot glue gun. Look!

I trimmed the seams, leaving the frayed edges, cut the entire seam into 4 (more or less) equal pieces and then stitched 2 together, using red thread and a wide zig-zag stitch. Once they were secure, I added the next two pieces in the same way.

In this pic, I have trimmed the sides of the cuff and found a wooden bead to use for closure. Here I am stitching a faux leather loop to one edge, at the back. I then trim this off and using a skinny piece of denim, I cover the edges using the hot glue gun to attach the denim to the cuff. I also used a skinny paint brush to hold things in place, avoiding being burned by the hot glue! (an experience you may not need to go through now…)

See how all the oversewn seams face the same direction (downwards)? Then I covered the other edge in the same way and went rummaging in my broken-jewellery box!

This was the fun part – choosing the bling! My DD wouldn’t have chosen this, but I like it – again attached with the hot glue gun (we are almost best mates now!):

I glued the wooden bead on last and it works so well. I have big old chunky fingers and I can’t bear fiddly clasps, so this was the ideal solution for me!

I am wearing the orange cuff at this very moment – with a beige and brown ensemble – fancy word for pants and shirt – to go shopping! Really, the sky’s the limit when it comes to blinging! Here are another couple of cuffs I made in the same way!

The little face is a saved RAK from a friend which I received over a year ago. Nice that it’s found a place on my wrist!! The backing is the frayed threads from cutting the jeans up – cool huh? Never waste anything!!!!

Right, that’s part 1 done. I still have a clutch bag, several headbands and some denim rings to show you. And, there’s a cut out denim bird upstairs waiting to be sewn up and blinged… Feedback would be great – do comment!! *waves* 🙂

Leave a comment


  1. Great that you show us the complete process! It turned out awesome!

  2. Lottie

     /  June 17, 2011

    These are just fantastic – I just adore the cuffs – and to have a bag, hairband and cuffs – so far – you’ll look really cool when you go out!

    • Ah, they’re all going in the Etsy shop Lottie! I have too many bags as it is, but thanks for the compliment!! xx


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