I’ve been shooting for writing a lot of helpful to other sewist types of posts lately. That’s where I want to go for Elizabeth Made This over time, but I thought you might be curious about what I’m sewing personally too occasionally. So here’s what I’m sewing in July 2019.
Sassy denim skirt refashion
I’m going to get to speak in Atlanta this month at the Sew Much Talent retreat. My talk is going to be on refashioning.
Naturally, I ramped up my refashion game. The first thing I made is this denim skirt. It started out life as a pair of J Crew jeans I thrifted for $2.50. I actually really love J Crew jeans. They’re one of the ready-to-wear brands that fit me reasonably well off the rack, so when I find them on the cheap, I do that whole look around the store to make sure no one else sees that I’m picking these things up kind of thing! But the highlighter yellow was less than great as jeans. Though I’m definitely saying yes to a yellow denim skirt!
Turning jeans into a skirt might be the most classic refashion there is. You can find everyone from Moms like me on up to high end designers doing this sort of thing. I’m currently working on my own version of this tutorial.
Since the heart of this site is to encourage you to sew something creative, I couldn’t leave the skirt as is. Enter some sassy fringe made over from the leftover scraps after cutting the skirt. I’m just leaving you with a sneak peek of the whole thing. 😉
Ice dyed denim jacket in progress
I’ve been on quite the ice dyeing spree of late. For my talk, I really wanted to look the part too, so of course, I decided to take on what’s become kind of a massive project of turning 2 pairs of jeans into a denim jacket.
I sewed my favorite sea glass denim jacket from yardage, but I’ve never made a denim jacket with upcycled denim.
First I thrifted 2 pairs of jeans–one orchid, one cream. The cream is no stretch, and there’s just a hair of stretch in the orchid. I ran them both through the ice dyeing process so that they look like they go together.
Next I proceeded to litter my sewing room with scraps of denim. I felt a little bit like a cat in a tornado afterwards. Sewing-wise I just need sleeves on this. The sleeves have a cool surprise I’m pretty proud of. This was a tough sew!
I’ll also have to add the tack buttons, and there’s a lot of them. The front bands come from the jeans’ waistbands, so the belt loops are going to get stitched back into place when the tack buttons are installed.
I can’t wait for this one to get done!! Did you notice how the collar stands up on it’s own. Thanks hair canvas. You gotta love how much gorgeous structure it adds to everything, and thankfully I had plenty left over from my husband’s 10th Doctor Suit cosplay.
And I also decided to make flowers from the leftovers of the leftover denim. There’s literally threads of the jeans left now. And I’m not sure what do do with my flowers yet…
Super easy sewing
Whenever I get towards the end of a really tough or a really long sew like this denim jacket, I start to feel my feet dragging. (Thus why my sleeves still haven’t made it on the jacket!).
Call it mental break sewing, or whatever you’d like, but when all your creative energy gets used up, I think it’s really helpful to grab for a couple super easy projects.
So I’m reaching into my stash of 7-minute DIY zipper bags. I always keep a stash of these cut and stacked with a zipper so I can sew up a few for my charity sewing efforts at any point. I do this periodically throughout the year, any time I need a brain refresh.
So that’s what I’m sewing right now. It’s a lot more works in progress than I’m used to, but sometimes that’s how things work.
What have you been making lately? And what do you think I should do with those denim flowers?
Elizabeth Farr is the writer behind the Elizabeth Made This blog where she shares helpful sewing tips, step by step sewing tutorials and videos to help you explore your creativity through sewing. She has written sewing Eguides and patterns, been a featured teacher at Rebecca Page’s Sewing Summit and Jennifer Maker’s Holiday Maker Fest and her work has appeared in Seamwork and Altered Couture magazines. She also created a line of refashioned garments for SEWN Denver. When her sewing machine isn’t humming, she’s playing and teaching violin, and hanging around a good strategic board game with her husband and 4 kids.
8 thoughts on “What I’m sewing July 2019: refashions and mental break sewing”
Love the skirt, and that jacket has inspired me to get a move on my denim jacket upcycle!
Thanks Carrie! Yes, you will totally love the process! I know you’ll do beautiful work of it!
It’s good to get a look at what’s been going on behind the scenes! I’d love to make a denim jacket from upcycled jeans sometime, it’s been on my mind for awhile.
You should totally go for it Becky! I think once you get through the cutting, it’s not too bad, but definitely figuring out that initial jigsaw puzzle takes a little time.
Two amazing refashion projects. The skirt is awesome with all the fringes. Wishing you good luck with your speak in Atalanta. I’ll hope you write something about your experience over there.
Thanks Sonja! Doesn’t fringe make so many things better?! I’ll likely save my stories for my email list subscribers. Mostly, I’ll have to remember to take pictures!!
That jacket is going to be gorgeous! I love the ice dye.
Thanks Caroline! There’s so many cool designs the ice makes–such a fun process!