Monday, April 16, 2012

Jeans and a t-shirt makeover!

       It's official, "spring break" is officially over for us. We had lots of fun spending time with friends. We've had three visitors come visit us in the span of a month and it's fun, but exhausting! Now that my pile of projects has stacked's time to get busy!

      First clothes. It's finally getting warm here in NY and the kids are needing new clothes. For the first time ever, I didn't buy and make ahead of season leaving us little to start with. This weekend I bought each of the kids a good amount to start with, with plans to make the rest.

      One of the things I have been wanting to do forever is recycle many of the items they already have. So I went through the too small bin and their closets to see what I could salvage. So I've been chopping and sewing all day. My first project today, turning jeans and a plain t-shirts into fabulous summer outfits!


Man why didn't I take a before pic?!?!? Hard to belive these old jeans and white t-shirts are now my kiddos favorite new clothes. Oh and did I mention I each set in 30 minutes? ;)

Ready to turn plain into awesome in 30 minutes?

Here's what your going to need:
premade ruffles (or your choice of fabric)
old jeans
sewing machine


I found these premade ruffles at Joannes. They are kind of pricey so make sure to take in a 50% coupon! They are different lengths and have finished edges for the easiest ruffle ever! Of course you can always make your own ruffle out of scrap fabric to make this a totaly free project. Here's a tutorial for ruffles, or course you will have to hem one side then serge or zig zag the top edge.

Thankfully, my kids get too tall for their jeans before the waist gets too small. So we have lots of jeans that can be changed into capris, shorts, and skirts! I picked these jeans because the waist fits great but they are a little short and have a hole in them.


Step 1: First pull the pockets up and pin them so you don't cut them. See how the pockets are sticking out...I had a close call! OK hold your breath....and cut! I cut right across the jeans just above the crotch. If your less of a risk taker like me, draw a line across first. I was a little worried about it being too short but the ruffles added just enough length. If you would like it to be longer...just cut below the crotch. Then you will have to seperate and sew it flat to the front.


Step 2: Sew a zig zag along the cut edge.

Step 3: Fold over the end of your ruffle and sew a top seam rembering to backstitch. Do this to your second ruffle as well, using the same end.

Step 4: Pin your ruffle just slightly above your jean edge, starting at the back pants seam. Once your all the way around cut your ruffle slightly longer then it needs to be. Now you can tuck the cut edge under the edge you sewed and pin together.

Step 5:  Sew around the skirt along the edge of your ruffle. I used my machine foot as my guide.

Step 6: Repeat pinning and sewing for the second layer of ruffle. I sewed mine right about the first layer, sincce these awesome premade ruffles were different sizes it worked out perfect. So if your making your own....I reccomend making the top ruffle slightly smaller.


One pair of jeans salvaged, and a new favorite skirt for the  diva.


She liked it so much, I had to make another one. And with a pile of old jeans and only 20 minutes a skirt...why not!?

But why stop there? I had to do something with my left over ruffle pieces.
Here's how I did the first one.

Step 1: Cut left over ruffles into different widths, make sure to leave the finished side so it won't fray. I wanted it to look a little messy and frayed so I left the other side raw. If you want to make sure it's a little neater you can zig zag on the cut side.

Step 2: Knot a needle and thread then using the cut side gather the fabric weaving the needle in and out. 
I keep it on the needle like this

Step 3: Pull the thread all the way through then knot it tight. Then you can seperate it into a circle and sew the edged together with a few stiches.

Step 4: Pin the fabric flowers where you would like them. 

Step 5: To attach the flower I first made a few stitches in the center tieing off after each one. Then u will want to tac dow the flowers by adding a few stitches in matching colors around the edges. I added about 4-8 stiched on each flower.

Now for the second shirt. This one was super easy and quick. I used a regular tank top, because I liked the look best. But you can use a regular cut or even a v-neck.

Step 1: Start by folding and top stitching one end of each ruffle, just like you did for the skirt.

Step 2: Pin your ruffle around the shirt starting in the back middle leaving a small amount over lapping. If your going to put on a second ruffle remember to leave a little room near the collar. Sew on the first ruffle. I did not cut the ruffle lengh first. I found if I pin on the ruffle then cut off excess at the end it's a fool proof way of doing this.

Step 3: Repeat for the second layer.

There you go! Turn a plain tank top, into an adorable ruffled tank.

Here they are in action :)

I love how much she loves these! She is slowly making the switch from mommy picked cutesy toddler outfits to stylish items she wants...all too soon. Don't you think these would work for older girls....even teenagers? 

Heck I think I'm going to be sprucing some of my old shirts up!
But I REALLY love that they were cheap, easy, and quick! Ready to try it?