My friend asked me if I could sew denim bag to her out of her old jeans which were low cut and tight, not in fashion any more ;) Project sounded fun so I agreed and she sent me her jeans. Both jeans were the same color; same tone of dye so my first idea to sew a bag with different sizes and colors of denim stripes was not going to work because of the “flat” color hues on the denim. So I looked up from my special japanese quilting technique books and found this pattern which builds up almost in 3d when put together. Quilting it is!
I carefully planned out this bag and measured the right amount of parts also thinking about the dark and light parts of the denim trousers so I could make the most of the pattern. It took some time sewing the parts together and ironing every seam but the end result was worth it.
She also wished for a pocket inside and outside and that the handles were so long that she can carry the bag easily on her shoulder.
Jeans old leather back labels I used upside down on the front of the bag. This cause I do not want anyone to be able to easily read what it says on the labels (small artsy point) but there are there visible to all to remind that reusing and refashioning is the only way to save this planet from textile waste.
The “back” of the bag or reverse side I made out of different sized denim parts, those which were left over from after my first cut. She wished a pocket on the outside so this one is hidden near your body when the “front” of the bag is visible while carrying it on the shoulder.
And just before shipping this bag to her I took it with me on my own photoshoot.
This oversized denim jacket I got from a friend to be used as material for my designed denim bags. Instead I felt like doing something extra bold with it; I decided to sew small pieces of vintage scarfs to make the jacket “float” and “puffy”.
I used vintage scarfs that were a little bit damaged beyond repairing and cut same sized rectangular pieces which I then sew on the jacket. Sleeves I had to take apart otherwise I could not been able to fasten the scarfs.
By separating the colors and sewing matching ones side by side the surface is more interesting and lively. And the number of vintage scarf pieces I used to this jacket… 583 pieces.
Buttons I attached by hand and each one is carefully placed so the colors again flows easily and makes interesting surface.
Intercoiffure Finland spring&summer 2015. Style Indigo tribe, hair Päivi Päivärinta (Shaggy Head), fashion photoshoot Luiza Lehtinen, make-up Ara Koivula (Bang by Ara).
Styling Susanna Kaunisto.
My favourite material denim! The most outstanding piece of this outfit is the necklace. It is made out of denim which I starched with homemade recipe (sugar+water+time) and pieces from second hand jewellery. The process of the dyed vest is in my earlier post. Pattern for the denim trousers is self made, as a base I used a pair of old trousers. It took two pairs of old denim jeans to cut the new pattern out. Shoes are brown men´s shoes which I painted black and decorated with leather pieces from another pair of shoes.
Lempimateriaalini denim! Kaulakorusta halusin asukokonaisuuden näyttävimmän osan, korun runko on tukeva metalliverkko jonka päälle kokosin denimistä ja nahasta korallimaiseen muotoon leikattuja osia. Tärkkäsin denimin jotta sen muoto olisi jäykkä. Liimasin koruun vanhasta hopenvärisestä vyöstä yksityiskohtia ja kokosin turkoosinvärisistä helmistä koristeita. Liivin tekovaiheet olen jo kertonut aiemmassa postauksessa. Löysät haaremihousut kaavoitin vanhoista housuista, lisäten väljyyttä enemmän vyötärölle. Housut on tehty kahdesta parista farkkuja. Kengät ovat miesten ruskeat kävelykengät (kierrätyskeskus) jotka maalasin mustaksi ja vanhoista korkokengistä (hopeiset tanssikengät) irrotin somisteet kengän kärkiin. Pitsipusero on second hand jolle en tehnyt muutoksia. Denimtyyliin inspiraatiota hain tulevan kesän haute couture ja ready to wear lempisuunnittelijoiden mallistoista.
For this denim jacket refashioning I used one old mens denim shirt (labeled James) and one worn out denim skirt. Shirt I used was size L so I was able to play with the size by gathering some of the excess fabric to the back.
How I did it
Original sleeve cuffs I cut off and attached denim pleats instead.
As usual when I am into these refashioning pieces I do not follow any plans. My way is to go step by step, feeling the fabric and trying the piece on often between different stages just to see how it acts when on you.
my work flow
Adding the belt done with light/dark colored denim pieces gives the jacket more feminine figure. Cotton lace was a last minute fix to hide the masculine front piece.
I am super satisfied how this denim refashioning piece turned out; modest flamboyant with contemporary twist.
I made my clothes! Referring to the global Fashion Revolution that challenges people to be more aware where the clothes are coming from that we are buying and raising the knowledge how the clothes are made…and check her out.
Back to my recycled denim jacket. Three jeans, one skirt and one old Ikea bed linen…the materials of which the jacket is made from. All materials, including zippers and other small parts are recycled and adding all together total cost for the materials was about 20€. From a finnish fashion magazine dated 1991 I found a raglan sleeve jacket pattern that I used as a base.
From the old jeans I removed the back pockets and ripped open the hems on the bottom of the legs so I could reveal some lovely fades and washes. The whole idea was to use miss-matched pieces and let the outcome and the colors to feel relaxed and easy. I did not plan to line the jacket but it is more wearable and easier to maintain when it has a lining.
I am pleased of the whole outcome of this jacket and the best of all it is one of a kind! The photoshoot took place in Dusseldorf, in front of a cool graffiti wall. Peace!
These two pairs of tassel earrings I made out of quality yarns that I always buy second hand from charity/flea markets. Here I combined other elements with the tassel earrings such as old jewelry parts and fake leather from one old belt.
I love old clip earrings and some of my handmade earrings I design in a way that it is easy to slide it into the clip earring. In this way you can change the look of the pair of earrings easily.
The red tassel earrings metal part is from old metal bracelet which I formed into a circle to fit a red bead in.
Handpainted leather earrings and starched denim earrings.
Denim starched with sugar and hot water gives endless possibilities to form whatever you can imagine after the fabric is soaked with the mix. Even 3D is possible if you have patience to form it first and then wait for 2 or 3 days until the piece is totally dry.
When the starched denim piece is dry you can for example paint, punch or glue the pieces how ever you want. Easy and fun.
Bought Susan Briscoes book Japanese quilt blocks to mix & match from a craft fair in Finland few years ago and the amount of inspiration it`s given me! This denim bag started from the idea to have just one big quilt block instead of several small ones and the pattern is called Kurume kasuri goku masu- five squares.
Struggled a bit with the scale but finally got it right!
Super happy with the end result! All denim used are from old jeans, shoulder strap is old leather belt and the lining is made out of old skirt. So again 100% recycled!
Striped denim fabric I found from Netherlands Delft from a second hand store. There is total 5 meters of this fabric so I have plenty over for something cool in the future.
I wanted to try out a pair of high-waisted culottes. I cropped the waist so that it fits tightly and added a zipper in the side. I also made a belt from the fabric to give the trousers finished and chic-easy look.
A pair of culottes and one top with denim patches. Culottes is the trousers to have at the moment but being more difficult to style than skinny trousers culottes have not been seen so much on the many…you really need your moment in front of the mirror with the lenght and to get it right. Get some tips here.
Of course my culottes are recycled from old jeans. I found nice fitting jeans that became the base of my culottes and the widening panels are from old denim leftover pieces. First I decided visually where I wanted my jeans to begin widening and after that I ripped the side seams open and inserted a panel that made the jeans as wide from the starting point as in the hem. With culottes it is important to keep the proportions right; the pant has to hit above the ankle.
The top is a patchwork of old denim leftover pieces, cool denim blue hues…and matching these two denim clothes together is a base – by adding colors and layers and accessory it will bring out the personality and style.
Simple denim shirt that I turned into a vest. Metal rings round the neck are thrifted, bag with 30 pieces for 2€. I sew the rings loosely so it is possible to decorate the neckpiece with for example a scarf or more metal accessories. By turning the hem to the sides in the front I created handy pockets.
Denimpusero muuntui jakuksi. Kauluksen tilalle ompelin kaulasomisteen johon pujotin metallilenkit ja kiinnitin ne paikoilleen. Metallilenkkien alta voi vielä pujottaa lisää denimiä tai vaikka värikkään, ohuen huivin. Denim on aina kuulunut suosikkeihini, kangasta voi työstää monella tapaa ja reunoja ei tarvitse huolitella, raakareunat denimissä antavat asuun kerroksellisuutta ja elävöittävät kankaan pintaa. Etutaskut käänsin puseron helmasta.
I often take pictures of my designs by the waterside.
I am so into stripes at the moment. Black and white can not ever go wrong, timeless color combination and easy to mix and match with a variety of other colors and styles. Material for this bag is cut from second hand leather jacket and trousers…the white jacket is already several years old. Stripes are 3mm wide and I joined the pieces together by zig zag stitch.
Lining for the bag is denim that also supports bags structure. Shoulder strap is taken from another bag and the studs and other metal pieces are also recycled from old bags. Pattern and placement of the studs are irregular…it needs to feel like the deco just “rain” on the bag.
Thrifted the skirt already while ago and did not really know what do with it. Animal print; black spots on turqoise, glittering base is not really my type of fabric but this crazy combo could work on some smaller surface. Inspiration for the shape I got from a round leather bag and I wanted to experiment the shape on this fabric. Adding some support inside to keep the form as round as possible was necessary and using foamy placemat cut into shape worked out perfectly. The shoulder strap and zipper are both thrifted, it is amazing how much accessories for sewing you can find second hand for only few euros…these things usually build up the price on a bag but in this case the total cost for the bag was 5€. Oh and the denim jacket is also second hand…just adding a lot of different fabric patches to make it fab!
I do find the Finnish Red Cross Kontti second hand department stores very exiting and worth a visit every time. They have a special deal for all the craft items they sell…it is priced by weight. So these fabric sofa samples (at least over 20 pieces in one bag) were all together 2€.
My first try out from the samples is this bag. I used five of the samples and the lining and handles are made out of old jeans.
I added the chain which is an old necklace and the decoration parts in the handles and on the both sides of the bag are actually from various old bags.
And a bag is not finished until the tassel is there! Inspiration picture for statement bag, click!
I have always been a fan for all things miniature. These small denim cubes started out as a test to do something three dimensional out of denim but soon I noticed that I had done already few in a row…and really enjoying hand stitching the sides together. Some of the cubes got beads as numbers on the sides- small soft dices and one cube got really attitude after adding studs!
For carrying mobile phone cross-body. All pouches are made from recycled materials; denim, leather and all the metal parts are from thrifted bags or jewellery. Lining is made out of old scarves, as long as they have silky and smooth surface to easily slide in and take out the phone. I used various type of cords for the strap…from shoe laces to self made ones.
Some of the pouches I painted and stamped with lines and circles and the swiss cross symbol was just perfect for the more simplified and sharp look. Love to use also washing instructions from old garments as decoration.
Now I just need to find homes for these unique pouches…
Free hand painting on denim. Bought this denim fabric for 2€ from local thrift shop…it is a large piece of denim, almost three meters so this bag will be the first one of a bigger wave-family.
I lined the bag with the same denim fabric so the bag both looks and feels sturdy…easy to also carry heavy items and the bag keeps its shape even when half empty. Shoulder straps I padded to add extra comfort and fastened them to the bag with gold colored badges (which I found on a flee market in Ghent…30 pieces for 2€).
And the tassel…cause what would a bag be without a matching tassel? Painted some black leather with the same gold color and finalized the tassel with twisted metal wire (done from an old bracelet). Now waves and vibes for good times!
The gored skirt is made of several triangular pieces of fabric, known as “gores.” The gores of a skirt are smaller at the top of the waist and wider toward the bottom of the hemline. When these gores are stitched together, the skirt takes on an A-line shape that works well for most body types. This design allows for a flattering fit at the hips and ease of movement while walking.
I bought second hand two pairs of dark denim jeans (5€) and re used them for my denim wrap skirt. I left the hem raw…in time being the hem will soften nicely and create a perfect worn look. I used my old, favourite leather skirt as a base when drawing the pattern. The back pocket from the jeans serves now as a handy front pocket in which my phone or other important stuff easily fits.
The silk top is made out of an old vintage Hermès silk scarf…yes it felt wrong to cut it but I use more the top now, the scarf I used mostly as a hairband.This way I can enjoy more of the beautiful motifs on the scarf; wearing a piece of artwork and true craftmanship.
I want to share with you one interesting fact about Hermès scarfs (source Wikipedia)
“Contemporary Hermès scarves measure 90 cm × 90 cm, weigh 65 grams and are woven from the silk of 250 mulberry moth cocoons. All of the hems are hand-stitched. Scarf motifs are wide-ranging, two silk-scarf collections per year are released, along with some reprints of older designs and limited editions.”
More small craft projects from denim. A pendant and a bracelet…both are easy to pair with any clothing and colors. The good thing is, these bracelets stands alone well, or can serve as a foundation to any arm bracelet setup you feel up to.
Black cord bracelet has a collection of old, various glass and metal beads. The clever, small magnetic closure for the bracelets is more neater than just using the clasp…and much more easier to put on your wrist.
Denim jacket is an old project, soaked in bleach from its arms and hem so that the outcome of the bleached parts is uneven and dramatic.
Jersey fabric from the golden 90´s with some bold statements on. The words were so cool and graffitilike so I cut them out and sew them on denim. I have a pro camerabag for my Canon but it is quite big and boring and often I just want to carry with me only the camera when I go on a photoshoot- so why not carry it in a cool and funny bag! I padded the bag with foam to secure the camera from getting any hits. Shoulderstrap is long enough to carry the bag across shoulder to hip and it is made from an old canvasbelt. The denim tassel was originally created for another project but by adding a wooden pearl to it tassel was a perfect match with my new bag.
Levi’s, the blue jeans. When I am figuring out how to reuse old jeans I often turn them inside out. When jeans are crafted with finess also from the inside it is a pitty not to show it. Levi’s jeans pockets are one good example of “art” inside the garment. How clever to print the info about the jeans in a pocket! Nowadays it is more and more often for example that the washing instructions are printed on the garment instead of sewing an extra, itchy label.
The pockets I carefully unpicked and then sewed together with a same size denim and installed a zipper. Lining inside the purse makes it easy to use and hides the uneven seam allowances.
Purse with the denim handle; the black triangle edges is handpainted. I gave my friend one of these and she is using it as an mobile pouch. Old Levi’s jeans pocket now travelling around the world as pouch- filled with facebook, twitter, apps and more…what a nice thought!
“Moonlight drowns out all but the brightest stars.” J.R.R. Tolkien, The lord of the Rings
This was just another of my denim clothes refashioning projects. Crafting with old denim clothes is thrifty and you will have a unique garment; here I sew together a pair of jeans and an old denim dress which was outdated in style and shape. The jeans are added to the dress horizontally from the waist and they make a nice fishtail shape to the front. Stars are added for that final, signature touch.
Out of the remaining denim pieces of the dress, I made a clutch with quilting technique, adding a metal handle and a lobster clasp for funky detail. I love to work with denim, you can simply take some of the scraps from your stash and get creative!
Dyed duvet cover with indigo blue washing machine color. To make an abstract ring pattern, I bunched up a small wad of fabric and placed a plastic ball inside and a rubber band around. The areas covered by the rubber bands created small, abstract rings of white.
Read more about the techniques called shibori dyeing.
Denim bed spread…there’s about 3 whole pairs of jeans in this one, and all sorts of odds and ends. This model was super easy to put together, no demanding quilt patterns just sewing big squares together. Done-in-a-Day!
This jacket is a mix and match from other denim clothes. Back of the jacket is made out of denim quilts and the front out of jeans. Putting together different elements was quite tricky, mostly I had the jacket on me and pinned the parts together without any patterns. I choose not to do a lining in the jacket cause I wanted the seams and different techniques to be visible.
Pitkän, tumman denimtakin uusi elämä. Vanhasta takista on jäljellä vain yläosa, keskiosa ja alaosa takin edustasta on vanhoista farkuista ja takaosa tilkkutyönä tehtyä pintaa denimkankaista. Kauluksen ja rintataskun läpät takkiin irroitin vaaleasta denimtakista. Kaavoitin ja yhdistelin kaikki takin elementit päälläni ja myös mallinukkea apua käyttäen. Takkiin taakse ompelin palan kuminauhaa jotta takin siluetti päälle puettaessa olisi myötäilevä. Jätin kaikki saumat huolittelematta takin sisältä, haluan että kankaan saumat elävät ja kuluvat yksilöllisen näköisiksi.
Sewing together suede and leather. Same color brown and black but different surfaces makes together interesting combo. This bag I wanted to carry only in my hand so the handles are made shorter. Lining is made out of rigid denim so the bag keeps the form even when you are not carrying so much stuff in it. Leather material recycled and second hand jackets.
Kädessä kannettava nahka/denimlaukku. Laukun idea lähti tilkkutyöskentelystä, olin jo ajatellut pitkään tehdä laukun yhdistämällä samaa väriä eri pinnoilla. Leikkasin laukkuun mustasta ja ruskeasta nahasta ja mokasta kolmionmallisia tilkkuja jotka yhdistin vuorotellen pinnan elävöittämiseksi. Laukun materiaali löytyi taas kirpputoreja kierrellessä, vanhoja nahkahousuja ja takkeja. Laukun takaosa on tehty mustasta denimistä ja laukku on vuoritettu tukevalla paksulla vuorikankaalla. Laukku on siis ryhdikäs vaikka mukana kannettaisiin vain vähäistä määrää tavaraa ja rennompi vaihtoehto asukokonaisuuteen kun et halua kantaa olkalaukkua.
Old nicely worn denim jacket that I turned into a vest. After considering few options what kind of extra decoration to add in it I came up with the idea about tattoos. The pattern is Maori tattoo, copy paste from a tattoo book. Here you can read more about the art of Maori tattoo. I placed my copy of tattoo in the front on the shoulders. Vest looks great with black shirt under, making the tattoo pop out even more.
Vanha farkkutakki herätetty henkiin. Takin väri oli monessa pesussa jo haalistunut ja pinta oli ajan myötä kulunut hienosti. Hieman hiekkapaperia ja saksia käyttäen takista alkoi vähitellen muotoutua monikäyttöinen denimliivi. Halusin liiviin myös persoonallisen elementin ja sain idean jonkinlaiseen tatuointikuvioon. Tatuointi itsessään on ikuinen mutta ajatus riisuttavasta tatuoinnista tuntui täydentävältä elementiltä tälle vaatekappaleelle. Maori tatuointi tunnetaan nimella “Moko” ja se kuvastaa kantajansa alkuperää ja henkisyyttä. Luonnostelun jälkeen piirsin kangastussilla symmetriset kuviot molempiin olkapäihin. Etupuolen rikotut taskut ja napit olivat itsessään hienot joten olkapäät tuntuivat luonnolliselta paikalta riisuttavalle tatuoinnille.
Recycling and zero waste! This bag was a made to order to a friend who wanted to carry her working clothes in a stylish bag instead of a plastic one. It is made out of second hand denim with quilting technique and lining is a leftover IKEA fabric from older project.
Vanhoista denim kankaista tilkkutekniikalla yhdistelemällä syntyi monikäyttöinen kassi. Aina ei tarvitse mennä kangaskauppaan etsiäkseen materiaaleja; tälläkin kertaa kaikki materiaalit löytyivät omasta kaapista. Parit vanhat farkut ja ylijäämäpala kangasta vanhasta tuunausprojektista saivat uuden elämän kauppa- tai salikassina, sisustuselementtinä tai vaikka vaan muovikassin korvikkeena. Kassin koko määrätyi tällä kertaa lähinnä kankaiden mukaan ja kädessä kannettavana kassina hihnan pituus on hyvä mitata sellaiseksi että kassi ei kosketa maata kun sitä kantaa.
This denim bag is the first one I did in really big size from second hand jeans. Bottom part is round to give the bag kind of a “hiking” feeling…like a sleeping bag. Lining is made out of checkered linen fabric, pretty white and red checks. Handles are removable so it is also possible to change the look of the bag…maybe a pair of nice looking belts to carry the bag from?