Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Upcycled Jeans Patchwork Quilt (part 1)

Debenhams are celebrating the launch of a brand new jeans page on their website by challenging crafty bloggers to come up with ideas for upcycling their old jeans.

Well as I have recently lost rather a lot of weight (hurrah, finally starting to shift the mumtum!) I have a pile of old, worn out jeans just ripe for upcycling so this challenge was perfectly timed.

I even had the perfect project in mind...

 One pile of old jeans

 equals 56 x 15cm squares

equals one cute patchwork quilt top!

It really is very easy...

First deconstruct your jeans by cutting along the inside or outside leg seams and removing the zip, waistband and front pocket section. Open out the legs and, using a square template (mine was a 15cm square plastic template but you could make one any size you like using sturdy cardboard ) mark out and cut out as many squares as you can from your jeans.

Once you have a pile of squares take a little time to lay them all out on the floor and move them around to make a pleasing arrangement (sorry, I didn't get a photo of this step *bad blogger* ). I got 56 squares out of my three pairs of jeans so my layout is 8 rows of 7 squares.  Once you are happy gather the squares up in piles for each row ready to stitch.

Stitch your squares together a row at a time (in my case 7 squares to a row) by placing the first and second square right sides together and stitching along one side. Open out, then place square three face down on square two and stitch along the opposite side to the first seam and so on to create a long strip. Work each pile the same way.

Now press your seams flat - this makes it easier to join the strips together.

Pin and stitch the first and second strips, right sides together, paying special attention to the seams - make sure they line up and also, as you are sewing them make sure they do not get caught up in the stitches! I do this by pinning each side of the seam down through both layers.

Continue in this way, adding each strip to the one before, pressing the seams open as you go.

And there you have it - one gorgeous patchwork quilt top made from my old jeans.

If you want to have a go, here a few tips that may help you along
  •  deconstruct your jeans first - it's much easier to cut out the squares
  •  try and incorporate rips, tears, pockets and stitch details into your squares if you can but do remember that you will have to stitch through all the layers!
  • if your jeans are very worn, or very stretchy, take extra care when drawing around the template as it's very easy to drag the fabric out of shape
  • use your machine foot as a guide for getting an even seam allowance - if all the seams are the same width then they should all line up when you join the strips together
  • Press all the seams as you go, turning the quilt top over and pressing on the right side too, to ensure everything is lining up right and sitting flat.
I will be adding some batting, backing fabric and binding at a later date (ie: when the small boy is back at school after Easter) so I will add part 2 of my Upcycled Jeans Patchwork Quilt make then.

Have you ever tried to upcycle your jeans?

What crafty things have you done with your old denim?

I'd love to hear about your upcycled jeans projects!


  1. thanks for sharing the tutorial! how funny though just 2/3 weeks ago I spent a weekend cutting up jeans to make into a throw! mine is not nearly as neat as yours as i was going for a haphazard/organic/i-can't-be-bothered-measuring-squares look :p yours looks really splendid :) jenny xx

    1. thanks Jenny! I would love to go for the 'crazy quilt' option but I am not confident enough in my quilt skills and also my slightly OCD brain just cannot work that way lol!
      Would love to see yours when it's done :-)


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