Monday, August 8, 2016

Paisley and Denim Jeanius Dress

The Refashioners is back! Remember all those shirts I refashioned during contest last year? That was great fun! This year's theme? Jeanius. Yep, the goal is to refashion old jeans, luckily I have no shortage of those around here.

Months ago, I looked at my two bins of worn out jeans and decided that this year I needed to do something with them. I can't bear to throw away potentially usable fabric, which is what I classify old jeans as, so over the past several years my stash of old jeans has really built up.

 I started looking up jeans refashions, but there were very few I was actually inspired by. I started thinking how awesome it would be if The Refashioners this year was all about jeans. More inspirational jeans refashions were definitely needed! Even without many jeans refashions on the internet I did come up with a few ideas of things I could use old jeans for.

image source
On Pinterest I found this Anthropologie dress and decided it would be just the thing to recreate from my stash of jeans. Then I didn't have time to make it, and didn't have time to make it, and didn't have time to make it, but I really wanted to make it! Finally at the beginning of June, right before I left on my trip, The Refashioners 2016 was announced, and I was thrilled to discover it was all about Jeans! I knew I would finally get my jean dress made so I put the entire project on hold until the contest began a week ago, on August 1st. 

The Refashioners began and out came my supplies; Simplicity 1103, picked up at a pattern sale last year just because I liked it, a small remnant of blue and green paisley sateen upholstery fabric I picked up for $1 back in April to use for. . . something (I decided recently that this dress was that something), and 4 pairs of old jeans, two light wash and two medium/dark wash. The chopping up of the jeans began. I used the bodice pattern from Simplicity 1103 and drafted my own skirt sections.

The paisley became the center front panel.

I wanted to use the original jean pockets for my dress pockets, so the dark pair of Silvers with a hole in the knee became my side front skirt panels (and my side back bodice panels). There was a specific reason I picked this pair of jeans for the pockets. When I picked up the jeans, for everyday wear, at a thrift store the pockets were way to small. So, I'd extended them. Now they were the perfect size for my dress pockets!

The lightest, very stretchy, most torn up, pair of jeans became the front side bodice panels and the center back bodice panels.

The light pair of Silvers became the side back skirt panels and back bodice yoke, and the second pair of darker jeans  became the center back skirt panels. 

To tie in with my paisley front panel I cut a paisley to go on each skirt panel from the opposite colored denim.

Ok, confession time. My center back skirt panels aren't cut from the darkest pair of jeans shown in my materials picture. That pair of jeans was in really good shape, they just didn't fit me well. I couldn't justify cutting up a perfectly good pair of jeans when I had so many torn up pairs in my arsonal. So I gave that pair to a friend and chose instead to cut my panels from another dark wash, extremely torn up, pair of jeans in my stash (which I forgot to take a picture of.) Unfortunately, that pair did not have enough untorn fabric for two entire skirt panels so one of the panels has a tear at the bottom, which I mended with a scrap of muslin on the inside and a zigzag stitch. Once that was done I started appliqueing on the paisleys.

I threaded my machine with rainbow embroidery thread (I wanted a blue and green ombre thread, but that didn't exist at Joann's so rainbow it was) and took advantage of all the seldom used fancy stitches my machine can make to attach and decorate the paisleys. Once those were done the dress went together easily. Or at least it would have if I had thought through how I was attaching the facing before I attached it. That led to some frustration and the dress being thrown across the room. Finally, after a bit of seam ripping and resewing, my dress was done!

While the dropped waist was what had first interested me in this pattern, I found it not so flattering when worn. So I decided to pair this dress with the belt I made to go with my green wrap dress in order to give me a visual waistline. That made this dress perfect! (also, jeans with a belt? could there be a better pairing?)

There you go, approximately 3.5 pairs of jeans, in dress form, all ready to be worn to church!

I believe I can safely say this is the most pairs of jeans I have ever worn all at one time.

I especially love the light and dark denim color blocking in this dress. (Yes, I used a turquoise zipper as that was the closest to the correct color that I had in my stash and I didn't want to buy anything new for this make.)

The dress is very comfortable, just like an old pair of jeans should be! Though I really could have made it a size smaller that I did. I cut this dress out in the size I always wear in Simplicity patterns, but it would up a bit too big. I took in each side seam by another 1/4 inch but the arm holes still need some work. I'll get those fixed soon.

So there you go, 4 pairs of jeans down in this #jeanius dress, now how many do I have left? A lot, still an awful lot. Time to get started on my next jeanius project!


  1. fantastic, I had that pin saved too! love that dress you made, and brilliant you kept the pockets. so well finished too!

    1. Thanks! My dress turned out rather different than the insperation, but I love it!

  2. This is impressive, I love it. Clever you!

  3. This dress is a great make. The paisley print goes well with the denim and I also like the way you used the jeans pockets on the skirt panel. Looks like an excellent fit too. Good luck with your refashioners entry.

  4. This is a great refashion...very professional looking!

  5. Replies
    1. Thanks! I'm pleased with how it turned out :)