Upcycle Jeans and Make an Apron B

Previously we made an apron from the legs of your jeans and now we will use the front, top. Existing pockets will be used, and embellishments added to personalise.

Upcycling is such a brilliant way of getting use out of something that doesn’t work for you anymore, not to mention keeping them out of the landfills.

Whether you have an old pair of jeans at home that doesn’t fit or you spotted a fantastic jumper in a charity shop these are the crafts for you. So keep an eye out for our next posts.

(Note –‘yellow stitching’ refers to the existing stitches which your jeans come with.)

If you prefer a neater finish, you can use bias binding on any or all of the raw edges. RS = right side of the fabric -ie the outside, patterned or darker sideWS = wrong side of the fabric –iethe inside, unpatterned, or more faded side. The ‘yellow stitching’ referred to, is the original stitching usually used in making jeans & other denim clothing. In some cases, this stitching may not be yellow.

This apron uses the bottom of the 2 legs of a pair of jeans. Either the 2 fronts or the 2 backs can be used.

Place the 2 pieces together, right sides facing & sew up the length of them on one side( I used the 2 inner leg seams to go up the centre of my apron, but the students may choose the have the yellow stitching up the centre of theirs –just ensure they realise this would mean they have a plainer finish to the outer edge of their apron, with no yellow stitching). Fold over the outer edges & sew to create a neat edge. (You can add a loop at the side, by making a loop out of ribbon, & sewing on, approx. 8cm from the top, as they sew up the sides),


MDF Heart

Step 1

Cut front of legs off above the knees –(allow 1.5 cm at far side of side seams)-Tip: Don’t cut the back of the legs, so that denim can be used for another project-

Step 2

Cut up the sides –cut at the far side of the yellow seams, allowing 1.5 cm for hemming. At the waistband, allow an extra 6cm & if possible, include one of the belt loops-Use a seam ripper to unpick yellow stitches on the waistband by approximately 1.5cm, top and bottom. (this leaves room to slip in the waistband fabric)

Step 3

At the crotch, on the other side from the zip flap, cut up to level with the bottom of the zip –approx. .5cm outside the existing stitching. On the other side, leave a piece of denim attached to this side, as this is needed to cover the gap between the two sides.-Where you cut up to level with the bottom of the zip –bring the 2 sides together, so they lay flat ( this may mean you have a slight overlap, which is fine) -hand stitch from here to the bottom. (If using a sewing machine, you can zig-zag here)

Step 4

For the belt-cut 2 strips of your chosen fabric, approx. 80 x 10 cm.

Fold in half lengthways & sew down the long edge.

Tip: to turn this long tube the right side out-attach a safety pin to one end & feed it down inside –this gives something firm to be able to push down –when the pin gets to the far end, you can gently pull it through & the whole strip will be the right side out. (Be gentle here, & only pull a little fabric along at a time –they can sometimes be a bit over zealous at this point!)

Tuck in approx .5cm at one of the short ends & sew to hem outer end of the strap. Iron the strap and insert the raw end of the strap into the unpicked 1.5cm of the waistband & sew. Turn in the raw edge of denim up the two sides of the apron & sew to neaten the edges. Cut a piece of lace, the length of the pocket opening. Sew in place along the top edge of the pocket


Use felt as it doesn’t fray at edges. Draw the design onto the felt (you can use tailors chalks, or vanishing fabric markers),  you can simply cut out shapes to sew onto the denim, or embroider onto the felt. Cut out the shapes & sew onto the denim –using blanket stitch around the edges.


You can come up with their own designs. Among the simplest stitches are running; back; chain; & French knots. Bear in mind that an upcycled project is likely to look less ‘neat’ than one using new materials, due to the nature of ‘undoing’ the original. But this can add to the unique feel of the project.

Buy The Items

  • Satin Ribbon

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  • Gütermann 100% Cotton Thread

    Gütermann 100% Cotton Thread

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  • Hemline Dressmaking Shears

    Hemline Dressmaking Shears

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