Transforming old, outdated garments into lovely new and useful items
Sewing has always been one of my favourite hobbies. I’ve been quilting for many years, making my own patterns and “recycling” used materials, just as my mother did years ago.
With this in mind, I began to think about what could be done with used or outdated jeans. The first item I made was a cushion, and from there the project kept growing. I have now created more than 25 items out of used jeans.
Some of the most popular items I’ve come up with are handbags (above). The purses have colourful linings and Velcro closures. I then create a decorative belt to complement the look.
Another of my favourites is an activity train (below) that I made using the pockets of jeans; it’s perfect to hang on the wall of a child’s bedroom, as it’s both decorative and useful.
In the past, I’ve sold my items at craft fairs, but at the moment I’m just filling requests; it’s always interesting to hear from people who want their old jeans put to good use.
Next in my sewing adventures came velvet, and why not? Velvet is luxurious, durable and surprisingly easy to work with. Matched with lace, brocade or satin, it makes for a beautiful combination. Pieces practically create themselves!
Several years ago, I participated in a juried art show. I submitted a jean cushion as my entry, and to my surprise and delight I won a Blue Ribbon Work of Excellence Award. As a winner, I received an invitation to the B. C. Festival of the Arts in Campbell River. It was amazing to rub shoulders with all those talented participants. We enjoyed a full week of arts and demonstrations, as well as hearing talks from experts, who were very encouraging. It was a truly enjoyable and inspiring week for a crafter like me. ■