Crafty Cana­di­ans

Trans­form­ing old, out­dated gar­ments into lovely new and use­ful items

More of Our Canada - - Content - by Jeanne Fournier, Kiti­mat, B. C.

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. ■

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