The Refashioners 2016: Sally

THE REFASHIONERS 2016 - SALLY - CHARITY SHOP CHIC

This year’s challenge for “The Refashioners” refashion series is to remake a pair of jeans into something, with the majority of the finished project coming from the source garment, that is, it should be a mainly denim item.

Personally, I rarely work with denim as I do worry that I’d get carried away and end up with something like this, that is, something very obviously having been made from a pair of old jeans. It looks a bit strange because there are very few garment types that are typically made from the same heavy denim as jeans are – even denim jackets use lighter weight denim.

So, my target garment for this fabric had to be another pair of jeans. Cut up jeans to make more jeans, you ask? What is the point?

Well, the look I’m hoping to emulate is a designer pair of jeans which is made from… old jeans. These Vetements Fall 2015 jeans originally retailed at $1450 (here they are on Net a Porter) and they came in several different styles. The label basically bought up loads of vintage Levi 501s (!!) and cut them up using their own pattern to make an interesting new style.

Key to the look is the ‘pocket within a pocket’ shapes on the back (no actual back pockets), seams down the front and back legs, and uneven, unfinished hems.

These were absolutely everywhere at one time… like you could barely read a fashion blog without seeing them at some fashion week or other.

I actually read quite a few articles praising these jeans before coming across one that mentioned they use TWO pairs of vintage Levis for each finished pair. Two! Pairs! Of vintage, wearable jeans!

Of course, I’m going to emulate these using something ugly and turning it into something… interesting, if not 100% beautiful.

I started with a pair of ordinary jeans.

THE REFASHIONERS 2016 - SALLY - CHARITY SHOP CHIC

 

These particular jeans are bog standard Marks and Spencer dad-jeans of absolutely no fashion merit of any kind (no vintage Levis were harmed in the making of this project). The only criteria for selection were that they were a little big on me (but not massively outsized) and they are a fairly light wash (so the pocket shapes will show up once the pockets are removed).

THE REFASHIONERS 2016 - SALLY - CHARITY SHOP CHIC

I picked these up in my local Cancer Research shop for £2. Bargain!

First step obviously was to remove the back pockets and remove the lint (urgh). Note the lovely colour difference between the washed areas and the original denim (this is key to getting the look).

THE REFASHIONERS 2016 - SALLY - CHARITY SHOP CHIC

I unpicked the waistband everywhere except the centre front section (that would be hard to sew back on).

THE REFASHIONERS 2016 - SALLY - CHARITY SHOP CHIC THE REFASHIONERS 2016 - SALLY - CHARITY SHOP CHIC

I also unpicked the back seam.

I merrily cut up the back legs and at ninety degrees into the centre back seam.

THE REFASHIONERS 2016 - SALLY - CHARITY SHOP CHIC

Sewing the back sections in gave me the look I wanted for the pocket sections, but my overenthusiastic seam allowance left me with a bit of a gap at centre back, as it turns out.

THE REFASHIONERS 2016 - SALLY - CHARITY SHOP CHIC

Trying them on, I made a new centre back seam.

THE REFASHIONERS 2016 - SALLY - CHARITY SHOP CHIC

Because of the aforementioned gap, I ended up with a dark blue stripe in the middle. No big deal.

THE REFASHIONERS 2016 - SALLY - CHARITY SHOP CHIC

I cut up the front legs, making sure to cut far enough away from any rivets that I could sew it back together without having to sew over any.

THE REFASHIONERS 2016 - SALLY - CHARITY SHOP CHIC

I included the pocket bags in the seams, so the front pockets still work.

THE REFASHIONERS 2016 - SALLY - CHARITY SHOP CHIC

The slight colour variations in the wash help emphasise the new style lines, I think.

THE REFASHIONERS 2016 - SALLY - CHARITY SHOP CHIC

I made some fitting adjustments on the back seams to make them a bit tighter, but overall the fit was OK.

THE REFASHIONERS 2016 - SALLY - CHARITY SHOP CHIC

The only issue was to shorten the waistband accordingly.

I cut it and reattached it in two places (to avoid bulk from seam allowances at the join between the centre back seam and the waistband). I actually ended up sewing the belt loop back on by hand as it was more than my machine could take!

THE REFASHIONERS 2016 - SALLY - CHARITY SHOP CHIC THE REFASHIONERS 2016 - SALLY - CHARITY SHOP CHIC

And here are the finished jeans!

THE REFASHIONERS 2016 - SALLY - CHARITY SHOP CHIC

There is room for my phone in the front pockets, just about.

I left the hems uneven and unfinished. To get them to unravel a bit, I just ran them through the washing machine.

THE REFASHIONERS 2016 - SALLY - CHARITY SHOP CHIC

The back pocket pattern I think looks great!

THE REFASHIONERS 2016 - SALLY - CHARITY SHOP CHIC THE REFASHIONERS 2016 - SALLY - CHARITY SHOP CHIC

Thank you Portia for asking me to be part of this series again!

 

Yep, been seeing these everywhere too! Such a subtle change that completely transforms a pair of jeans from shapeless and styless to fitted and edgy. Not only does this process provide really interesting style details but it also fixes the issue of a too big pair of jeans. Win win I’d say! Thank you so much Sally!!

You can find Sally 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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3 Comments

  1. Helen S August 24, 2016

    I am a huge fan of your work and was eagerly anticipating your post. Whilst understanding what you say about the weight of denim not lending itself to garments other than jeans, the softer jeans with stretch content are surely more versatile. When I look around at what people are wearing in London it almost seems like there is a ‘refashioned chic’ look around atm. I am referring to t-shirts and trousers with contrast side panels inserts, tops and dresses with various contrast panels, doily type embellishments and I would even include frayed and ripped jeans, so there is no need to not have pride in wearing something obviously refashioned. What I think we have all learned with this project is that it’s quite difficult to make something from only one pair of jeans, and have gasped in shock sometimes to see 4 or more pairs of jeans going under the knife to create one other garment. You were probably all glad to be able to chose your own starting garment(s) this year and I salute you for taking lower merit denim and making them stylish, in keeping with your normal philosophy. Dare I say they do look rather like ‘something very obviously having been made from a pair of old jeans’?

    Reply
    • Portia Lawrie August 24, 2016

      As you say, no shame these days in looking like something’s been made from an old pair of jeans. In fact celebrating and referencing a garment’s previous incarnation is part of the fun and uniqueness that can be achieved with refashioning, and often it’s kinda the whole point. Although not everyone’s bag of course. As with anything 🙂 In terms of the number of jeans needed to make one garment. I hear what you’re saying and I’ve heard it said before. For me it’s a moot point. Since the aim is to take the unwearable (whether that be for issues of fit, style, damage, whatever) and turn it into the wearable. For me the number is irrelevant. 4 x unwearable = 1 x wearable is an equation that works. IMHO it’s always better to use what you have rather than leave it languishing unworn in a drawer. Whether that’s 1 or 4 pairs of jeans. If they’re not getting worn then they are going to waste. Yeah you could go buy 2m of denim instead and make it from scratch. But now you’ve consumed even more fabric. And your 4 pairs of jeans are still going to waste. Just another way of looking at it. 🙂

      Reply
  2. Wouter August 26, 2016

    Very nicely done. I like the look, although it’s insane to me that someone would pay $1400+ for them. Your take on it is much better; something unused becomes something stylish.

    Reply

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