New Year, New Uses: Having fun with Upcycling Jeans

Who has Kids???  Who has kids that grow????  Who wants to scream and throw things when they put a practically new pair of pants on those growing kids and they are TOO SHORT????  Come on, my hand is still way up.  I hate waste, I hate not getting my money's worth, and I HATE floods (too short pants, not the natural disaster - although those are no good either!).

I love upcycling, it is actually what got me into blogging almost 4 years ago.  But when we  think of upcycling, we often think of making a smaller thing out of something larger.  But today, Jane has a great post for us about extending the life of something that has gotten too small.  Read on and you will be thanking her for all the fun new jeans in your girls closet rather than the hand me down pile!


Every year when my kids try on their jeans from the year before I think to myself….”what a bummer...they still fit if they just weren’t a little short.”  So, when I came across the Pink Fig “Darling Jeans” pattern I instantly fell in love.  I kept the pattern for a while before diving in because I thought the process of opening up the jeans legs would be tedious.  However, that part was actually quite quick.

 The pattern comes with two different style jeans...the Talia and Ellie...and they are both equally adorable.  One really nice thing about the pattern is that scraps will work for some of the pieces so you can finally use up some of those old scraps you’ve been hoarding.  The main retro floral print I used on the flower of this pair is Spa Floral by Michael Miller but the rest of the fabrics were random leftover scraps.  

The Talia jeans include a tall flower up one leg and rings of ruffles at the hem of the other.  Be careful when you open up the jeans leg to sew on the tall flower and make sure you unpick the side of the leg with a basic seam.  Although the directions didn’t say so, I did tie off the threads to keep that seam a little more secure when I sewed it back up.  Other than that it was just rolled hems and ruffling from there.  

I pinned my stem and flower to the jeans first since I knew the flower placement would need to stay put as I attached it.  I also sewed the button on for the center of the flower because it is almost impossible to do once the leg is sewn back up.  That whimsical flower up the leg of the jeans is to die for.  My daughter has gotten so many compliments on these jeans and I love that you can make them soft and sweet or a use bright bold colors for a bolder look.  

The Ellie jeans are a little more simple and contain a patch on a knee and ruffles at the hem.  The instructions use stripworks of fabric for the ruffles, but it could also be done in a single piece for a quicker more simple version.  This version is specifically great for those jeans that have really gotten too short because of the added ruffle length at the hem.  The good news is that now when my daughter has a growing spurt and her jeans are too short I get a little excited for a new upcycle instead a of a little frustrated that they are too short again!