Sunday, September 16, 2007

Hippy Chic

Back in the 70's my uber-crafty mother made my sister (desperate-to-be-a-hippy) and I (follower of-all-things-my-sister) a pair of jeans like these. If my memory serves me, mine were Holly-Hobby calico. I think my sister wore hers until they fell apart.

Here's a quick & dirty tutorial on this shabby patchworked blast from my past!

First you need an assortment of fabrics. I used quilting cottons, because woven cotton ravels well. Cut your fabrics into random shapes & sizes...you can always adjust later when placing. I like to use fabrics with a "motif" because those can be cut out and layered for a fun look!


Next, you need to remove the inseam stitching of your jeans.


Lay out your scraps and patches until you like the arrangment. I like to tack mine down with Sulky KK 2000 spray glue or a temp glue stick. You don't want to fuse the patches down because they won't ravel nicely (which is kinda the point.)


I work in "layers", one leg at a time. When my first layer is arranged nicely, I take the jeans to the sewing machine and sew down these patches. Since the KK2000 is repositionable (limitedly) you can lift your patchs & motifs to get the perfect arrangement!

You can use whatever stitch you like, but I like a zigzag or featherstitch...and a straight stitch for those little pieces. Leave about 1/4 inch outside of your stitching (to fray).


When your patches are stitched down, you can further embellish with all the little motifs from your fabric :


When both legs are all finished, you're ready to restitch the inseam. I chose to crop these jeans for Lu, so I featherstitched around the bottom of the jeans to prevent too much fraying at the hem.

After all the stitching is finished, throw them in the washing machine & dryer. And voila! Truly adorable one of a kind jeans!


Here's the back:


and a close up:


You could add machine embroidery, bits of lace & trim, pieces of vintage linens...Use your imagination and make your own hippy chic denim!

...this tutorial compliments of my mother. Thanks mom!

17 comments:

  1. [picking jaw up from floor] Must. Try. This.

    As if I didn't already have more sewing projects than I can reasonably accomplish in the next few weeks.

    I see so many possibilities...clothes for DD, Christmas gifts...wow.

    Thanks for the inspiration and the how-to!

    I think. ;)

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  2. LOL Lisa! I think I might want a pair for myself ;) Wonder if there's an age limit?

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  3. Oooo, love these! Showing my age here, but brings back memories of junior high and how my girlfriend and I patched and ripped and bleached and embroidered every pair of blue jeans we owned. Everybody wanted our jeans but they were one of a kind - just like this awesome hippy chic pair you posted. I'm with Lisa - I'm gonna use this tutorial on *something* - just don't know what it is yet :-)

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  4. Absolutely beautiful!
    I'm already thinking of making "clubbing" jeans with scraps of glam fabric and maybe some sequins.
    Thank you for a great idea!

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  5. oh so cute! and your fabric choices are wonderful. I think I need a pair of these for my birthday

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  6. Love them! What a fab idea.
    The cake on my site was a shop bought vanilla muffin which I sliced and added raspberry jam (jelly?) and whipped cream. Very naughty but sooo nice!

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  7. This is so cool! I gotta try this!

    Shannon F

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  8. hey Ang -- I was a REAL hippy in the 60's and we never did jeans like these. But we did embroider the bejeezus out of 'em:-)

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  9. LOL nina! I remember my sister doing that too!

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  10. WOW!! My daughter would just think she was the cat's meow in pants like these! Great. Another project. How will I ever get them all accomplished?!!

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  11. Those jeans rock!! Thanks for the tutorial! I must try that!

    Lisa~

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  12. awesome jeans! Must try! Thanks!

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  13. Wow! This is sooooo groovy! I now know what to do with a pair of ratty cords my brother gave me!!! yippeeeee!! Thanks for posting this!

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  15. I'm totally going to make these for my princess using Hannah Montana fabric, she'll flip out! Thanks so much for posting the tut, was the inseam hard to sew back together?

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  16. Oh, my goodness. I have embellished jeans before and I never ever thought to rip the inseam out. What a MUCH better way to do it. (I always try to do things the hard way- LOL!)

    Awesome tutorial! Thank you!

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