Repurpose Old Denim

Denim Upcycling ideas

I don’t know about you, but I always find myself hanging onto all my old denim jeans. Jeans are my comfort blanket, I live in them.

The ones with holes in get stored in my craft room while I find ideas on how to re-purpose the fabric, while the ones that are still in good nick get delivered to the local charity stores.

Every so often I will find myself on Pinterest wondering what I can do with all the left over denim. We have several boards with ideas pinned ready to inspire our creative spark. You can find book cover ideas, up-cycle projects, interesting finds and quick sew projects all here.

Japanese folded patchwork bag

Just recently I revisited one of our early workshops with our Home educators sewing group. It was the Japanese folded patchwork project bag that was created for us by Craftier The Second Time Around. You can find the project printed in our book, Unravel & Unwind, here.

The bag is large enough for an A4 diary or even a laptop. I quite often use mine when I go on a workshop or a meeting as it is just the right size.





denim bag denim bag  denim bag




Above are just a few of the design ideas that the group, aged 8 to 12, came up with for their project bags. I particularly liked seeing them using the embellishment features of their jeans in the final design.

denim jeans
re-purpose old jeans

A few years back I went through the fashion phase of skinny jeans. I easily had a dozen pairs. More recently though I have gone back to straight leg and boot cut jeans because skinny ones were causing me pain and discomfort in the knees. That meant I was left with perfectly good jeans that still fitted around the waist. I didn’t want to just cut them up and use the fabric for something totally different. On this occasion I wanted to still be able to wear my denim. Another route around Pinterest gave me the spark to try something totally out of my comfort zone. I’m a yarn loving crochet addict – but just for one day last summer I became a seamstress extraordinaire!

Well, not quite! But I did manage to convert a pair of skinny jeans into a lovely knee length skirt. It was fairly simple really. You just break the seams of the inside legs, cut off the excess length and do some magic around the wedge seam that sits just below the zip. Okay, that was where I got stuck but I found this great tutorial to follow.

One BIG thing I learned that day, was to never use cheap shoddy machine needles that I picked up in a pound store. They bend, break, blunt and invariably waste several hours trying to fix the machine and repair the fabric. 

denim skirt
denim skirt

denim needle

So what ideas do you have for re-purposing denim? One future project I think I would like to try will involve using the old down cushion pads from my last leather sofa. We reclaimed the cushion backs and the leather. They are lovely and huge and will make great floor cushions.

Tuesday Tips

Crafty Tips and Hints

One of our followers found these amazing books on crochet and knitting – direct from Japan Click here. These are great if you are a chart follower, as charts uses a universal language unlike written patterns across the world.

Pomadour24’s Craft Cafe not only has a large range of knitting and crochet patterns, you can also find sewing and felting alongside beading, embroidery and patchwork. A great resource that needed to be shared.


Photo source: Pomadour24

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Crochet Symbols Photo source: DMC


Throwback Thursday

Keepsake Bears

April 2015











All these bears were handmade using memorable pieces of clothing or fabrics and were machine & hand sewn by Medway participants. For all of Unravel & Unwind’s classes visit our website or for shorter more general information sign up to our weekly newsletter.

Tuesday Tips

20150404_132620Crazy Quilting, Beading, embroidery and Silk Ribbon Embroidery

This time last year I came across some amazing looking embroidery blocks, they were beautiful, misshaped, full, busy and best of all just plain crazy. I fell in love with them instantly. I was then pointed in the direction of an amazing website with online classes where I could learn the techniques needed to create a crazy quilt block. The online class created by lasted about 8 weeks and was full of wonderful creative people from all over the world. During the class I completed 2 quilt blocks and have gone on to create 2 more.

IMG_20150405_173756 runs the classes throughout the year and runs follow up online workshops too. To find out more about crazy quilting and to register on the next round, 11-13 May 2016, visit the open registration page.

Faye’s class block
Terry Pratchett Inspired
Inspired by “My Golden Child” by Lyn Tidy
Alice in Wonderland

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Book Review


Introduction to making cloth dolls by Jan Horrox

Article written by our lovely volunteer, Bernice.

cloth doll book“My mother bought me this book in 2012 and it inspired me to start making dolls and I haven’t looked back since.  I had recently had an operation and this craft really made me feel like I was putting myself back together again.  Since then I have gone on to design my own dolls – here is a picture of a doll that I created to look like me!”  You can find out more about Bernice’s work as a fine artist here

bernice doll
Self-portrait doll of Bernice

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Supporters Spotlight – Nelly

Supporter Spotlight


Hello everyone!
For those of you who receive our newsletter, you might have noticed that Unravel and Unwind has a new volunteer: Nelly… That would be me, so I thought I would briefly introduce myself to you.
6 years ago, I left my job to look after my daughter, Chloé. The last couple of years (as Chloé started going to pre-school and then school) I have discovered my love for arts and crafts. I mean, my looooooooove for arts and crafts: drawing, painting, sewing, knitting, crochet-ing, papiermache-ing, you name it! I constantly seem to have several crafty projects going on. A friend of mine told me about Riven’s drawing class (which I highly recommend whatever your experience in drawing) and that’s how I discovered Unravel and Unwind: a place dedicated to arts and crafts! Yeah!! And here I am! I will be mainly helping with the admin/social media aspect but you’ll probably see me around playing with the sewing machines, the knitting needles, the yarn…. anything I can get my hands on, really.

Hope to meet you soon!
Random fact about me: I love hats, all kind of hats!

News from The Weekly Drop

Throwback Thursday

Throwback Thursday

Homemaker collage

The Future is NOW!!!


Last week we held a social evening for our volunteers to help us shape Unravel & Unwind CIC for the future. One of the questions we asked was “What would you like to see in the future?” and we wanted to share the results with you all (also it’s a way we can refer back to the ideas later on). Continue reading “The Future is NOW!!!”

Upcycled Memory Shirt tutorial


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How to make a shirt into a cushion cover

This will be my first tutorial, so do please bear with me. I was asked last week if I could turn some shirts into cushion covers. Of course I said yes, it can’t be hard to do. Then I was asked to ensure that the shirts stay intact. Continue reading “Upcycled Memory Shirt tutorial”