The Refashioners 2016: Jenna



Yay! Refashioners time again!  (I can’t wear my refashion, so you’ll have to make do with this pic of me that Portia inserted into this post without telling me instead :))  I was so happy when Portia asked me to take part again this year and extremely excited by the theme.  Jeans are so ubiquitous and so easy to get hold of which is perfect for refashioning.

I had so many ideas to start with (my initial reaction was to make a dungaree dress, which sadly would not have been practical for pregnancy so has been shelved for a while!) but I soon settled on making something I will need soon, and something I know will be used a lot – a travel changing mat.


I had one of these when my daughter was a baby which was a freebie from a magazine and it didn’t last but it was so useful for carrying a small changing kit around, and meant that any bag could become a changing bag.


I haven’t actually done a lot of sewing since I found out I was pregnant so this was also the perfect project to get me back into the swing of things, unfortunately my brain wasn’t in gear while I was sewing and I forgot to take any before or during pictures – sorry!

I started with a pair of jeans which I probably bought about 8-10 years ago and which were still a lovely dark indigo colour which was what I was looking for.  They also have some stretch in which isn’t ideal but hasn’t affected the end result.

Before starting, I looked at a tutorial to get a basic idea of construction and also borrowed a friend’s changing mat to get a rough idea of size.  I was obviously constrained by the width of the leg of the jeans but luckily I managed to cut the mat out whilst avoiding the leg shaping in these jeans.  Obviously this would have been easier if I had used a pair of men’s, non-stretch and unshaped jeans but these were sitting unloved in my cupboard!

I cut my jeans up the outside leg seam, leaving the inner seam intact, and lay the fabric out flat. I then made a quilt sandwich of denim, batting and soft furry plush fabric before quilting all three layers together in a diamond pattern, using basting spray and a walking foot to stop the layers shifting around while quilting.



To make the pockets, I cut two rectangular pieces of denim from the remaining leg and two pieces of flannel fabric half as wide again as the main pocket pieces.  I gathered the bottom of the flannel to fit on the pocket, and sewed a channel for elastic along the top.


I wanted bigger, roomier pockets than my last version as I am intending to use cloth nappies again which take up more space than disposables, but they will also be useful to put a spare change of clothes in too.

Using a faux leather bias binding I bound the pockets first before attaching them to the mat then bound the whole way around the mat.  The binding was really quite tricky to work with so I kept the walking foot on my machine and took it really slowly.  It isn’t perfect but I am happy with the outcome.  The last thing to do was to stitch the buckle on the front, which has a magnetic closure, and done!


The only thing I had to buy to make this changing mat was the binding, everything else I had in my cupboard.  The plush and flannel were left over from making new baby gifts, I can’t even remember why I bought the buckle but I am so pleased it has been put to good use and obviously the jeans were taking up space and feeling unloved so I am delighted to have turned them into something which I know will be so useful to me in a few months’ time.  Thank you so much Portia for organising such a brilliant event.  I love seeing everyone’s projects popping up and how other people interpret the theme.  Good luck to all taking part in the community challenge!

I would have loved one of these when Elliott was a baby. So so handy. Love the way it looks like a grown up clutch form the inside and then BAM! Baby style on the inside! I can attest to how soft that plush fabric is on the inside and I suspect Jenna’s impending “mini me” is gonna love that next to his/her skin!  You could adapt this idea to make a pencil, crochet hook or knitting needle roll. Or make a smaller version as a mini sewing kit or needle case. Denim is perfect for all manner of accessories. Bags, pot holders, oven gloves, cushions, quilts, upholstery, purses, zipper pouches….the list is endless. So go change your unloved jeans into something you do love. Like, now!!

You can find Jenna here or here. And if you’re inspired to get your refashion on and enter the Community Challenge and be in with a chance of winning some epic prizes…DO IT! Deadline for entries is 30th Sept. Midnight GMT.

The Refashioners 2016 - Huge Prize Package

….I think you’ve got the idea now right? Essentially we want you to refashion some jeans! (You can find the full details/small print of the brief here). BUT, if you want to be in with a chance of winning one of these amazing prize packages you need to SHARE that refashion with us in one of the following ways:

  • On Instagram: Share a pic using the hashtags #therefashioners2016  and #jeanius
  • On Pinterest: There is a community board here where you can pin your makes. (You will need to request an invite to join)
  • On Facebook: There is a community board here where you can post your makes (You will need to request an invite to join)

Only entries shared via the above 3 methods will be entered into the competition. Closing date for entries is 30th September 2016 Midnight GMT. Good luck!!

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