Makeover Old Jeans! No Pattern Needed!

by Koetiquemade
10 Materials
4 Hours

I found some denim pants at the thrift store a few weeks ago for $1.99. They were quite short and the elastic in the waist was worn out. You could tell they had once been well loved. I immediately had an idea. What if I buy them and completely give them a makeover? For $1.99 I was willing to give them a shot.

I envisioned a cute little overall dress; knee length with a little pocket on the bib, brass buttons and a flat front waist. It was simple enough and I wouldn’t need a pattern to do it.

First I got one of my skirts that fit me well. I used that for the length. I cut the legs and put those aside for later. They would be used for the bib, pocket, straps and flat front waist.

To cut out the bib piece I made a kind of rectangle pattern piece that was bigger on one end than the other. The smaller end was the top, the wider end was the part that would attach to the waist. I placed it on the fold/seam of the pants leg and cut it out. I used the rest of the pant leg to cut 3 inch wide strips for the straps. Then I used the other pant leg to cut the pocket and the flat front waist piece.

The stitching on the bib needed to match the stitching that was on the pants already. I didn’t have any thick denim thread so I just threaded two matching threads through my machine and denim needle. It worked out great and matched near perfectly. Here’s a video that shows you how to do it.

Now to assemble it all. I sewed the strips of fabric together to make two straps. Then I folded those in half, long ways and stitched down the side leaving both ends open. I did some stitching on the straps to add to the whole look.

I folded the pocket edges under and pressed them in place. Then I stitched across the top of the pocket. Before I attached it to the bib I stitched down the center front seam of the bib. I ironed the top and side edges of the bib under ½ inch and pinned the pocket in place.

Once the pocket was sewed on I stitched around the bib edges and attached the flat front piece to the bottom of the bib.

To turn the bottom into a skirt I cut along the inside seam of the pant leg. I layed it flat open so the backs faced each other and the fronts faced each other. Then I made a seam straight down the front and back. I did this gradually and tried it on as I went so that I could get the desired shape and fit. Once you are satisfied, cut off the excess fabric.

Since the elastic in the waistband was worn out I needed to fix that. To do this I opened up a small opening on each side seam inside the waistband and inserted some 1/2 inch elastic just across the back portion. Then I stitched the openings closed and secured the elastic in place.

After that I attached the bib to the skirt. I pinned the straps to the bib and then tried it on to decide where to pin the straps to the back of the skirt. Once I had them right I attached them, sewed the button to the straps and made the buttonholes on the bib.

The last thing I did was hem the skirt 1 inch. I decided I wanted two small side slits on either side of the skirt. I really like the outcome as it gives this worn out pair of jeans a whole new life.

What would you make with an old pair of jeans? Let me know in the comments!

Happy Sewing,


Suggested materials:
  • Old elastic waist jeans   (Thrift store)
  • 1/2 inch elastic   (Joann)
  • Denim sewing machine needle   (Joann)
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