Recycled Denim

Why Recycle Denim


I have worked with denim as a fabric in dressmaking. I have also used denim as a material to recycle, by which I literally take garments made from denim and remake them.

I great example of this is when I split 2 or more pairs of jeans down the front and back of each leg and then swop the pieces over.

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I have taken denim jackets and used the same approach. Simply cutting two packets in half and swop the left of jacket 1 for the left side of jacket 2. Simply two jackets makes two jackets and all you loose is the seam allowance down the back (approx. 1 inch if that).

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Denim is an easy and great fabric to recycle. It is robust and easy to cut. seams can be left raw and it will fray with great effect but still be wearable. Foe example simply cutting an old pair of jeans into a city short (knee length) or a classic beach short can be done with some sharp scissors and no sewing. The raw edge will fray for up to an inch but after that it will maintain its shape and stop fraying.

A little added information about denim - Named after Nímes in France. It is a hard wearing, twill weave fabric with a coloured warp and white weft, usually as we know made into jeans. Available in various weights, which when recycled only gets better and softer with age. Denim is known for being blue as its original origin but also can come in other colours. Denim take dye well and can bleached. 💙


The One Great Thing To Know About Recycling


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The simple rule that I find about ‘recycling’ is that any goes. Recycling and up-cycling are easy if you don’t start off with rules.

With this denim jacket I simply knew that I wanted to see what would happen, if I combined a denim jacket and an old military band jacket. The band jacket was passed its best but I loved the details. The denim jacket was in great condition and as denim is pretty much indestructible I wanted to use it as a base and add details from the band jacket.

The left overs form the band jacket have not been waisted or thrown away. Instead I bag up everything that is left over - fabric, buttons etc so that I can use them on another project.


Here's Why Denim Is So Awesome To Recycle


Jeans - East London Style (Home made), Trainers - Fila Disruptor II

Jeans - East London Style (Home made), Trainers - Fila Disruptor II

I love working and recycling with denim. The main reason is that pretty much denim is indestructible. You can sew and re-sew and un-do and re-sew again pretty much on the same spot and the fabric will not give way and rip.

When and if you do get rips, patch it! Or leave it as a rip and incorporate this into what you are doing.

Recycling jeans is great, there are so many ways that I can’t wait to show you on this blog.

You can bleach, dye, over dye after bleaching, cutting, sewing, making into - dresses, skirts, shorts, new jeans, bags, pretty much anything and the great thing - yep - it’s pretty much indestructible.

With the jeans in these photographs, I have incorporated a pair of cargo pants (another very tough fabric that is great to work with), I have also added ribbons and tape.

And just for fun I didn’t bother having a plan or making them symmetrical in design - sewing is so enjoyable! and there are no rules as to what you can and can’t do.

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Milkshake, Shorts & Sunshine 👓


Crazy Shake T-shirt - Black Tap NYC, Shorts - East London Style (Home-made), Trainers - Adidas.

Crazy Shake T-shirt - Black Tap NYC, Shorts - East London Style (Home-made), Trainers - Adidas.

Taking the time to make the most of a few moments of the sun, whilst also re-living our recent trip to New York where we are the greatest fortune to find Black Tap

If your ever in NYC and fancy a burger and a 'crazy shake'... yes, thats the milk shake below! 

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Or even just a milk shake then this is the place to go. 

Quick link to 'how to alter your shorts' like the ones above can be found here

Now off to enjoy the sun 😎 x


Distressed Half And Half Jacket


Denim jacket - East London Style (Home-made), Joggers - MM6, Trainers - Onitsuka.

Denim jacket - East London Style (Home-made), Joggers - MM6, Trainers - Onitsuka.

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I have been cutting jackets in half down the centre back and re sewing them together in different ways for a while. Its a cool and easy thing to do. Many other designers are also looking to do a very similar thing, for example SJYP have made this fantastic jacket...

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I love the contrast of the blue and white denim - white denim being actually very hard to get second hand or in a vintage form. So a little light bulb 💡went off in my head - why not try bleaching... Design Project to follow shortly but for now I couldn't help showing it off!