How to Upcycle DIY Overalls From Old Jeans

Julie Willaert
by Julie Willaert
11 Materials
5 Hours

I’m going to show you how to make trendy, DIY overalls by thrift flipping old jeans.

I’ll give you the step-by-step instructions and easy-to-follow techniques so that you can do it yourself and get the same result. Let's start!

Tools and materials:

  • 2 or 3 old pairs of jeans
  • Pocket lining fabric
  • 1 inch (2.5 cm) wide elastic
  • 2 overall buckles and clasps
  • Fusible interfacing
  • Pins
  • Scissors
  • Measuring tape
  • Fabric marker
  • Leather machine needle
  • Sewing machine
Disassembling jeans

1. Disassemble the jeans

Cut out the right front leg from two pairs of jeans.

Trim one of the legs to about 4 inches (10 cm) wide or however much extra width you need.

Disassembling jeans

Cut the right back leg from the third pair of jeans.

Repeat for the left legs.

Front pockets

2. Front pockets

Redraw and cut the curved pocket front to the size you like.

Pin and sew the three leg pieces together, with the right sides facing and the top edges aligned.

Front pockets

Trace the pocket curve on to the wrong side of the lining fabric. Extend the straight edge to double its original length.

Front pockets

Draw a 10 inch (25 cm) vertical line from the end of the straight line and complete the rectangle by curving the corners. Cut two.

Front pockets

Cut pieces of the fabric to match the curved pocket edges and attach them to the top of the pocket linings.

Front pockets

Pin and sew the pocket linings to the jeans along the top and curved edges, with the right sides facing.

Flip the lining to the inside, press the seam and top stitch the curved edge.

Front pockets

Fold the lining in half lengthways and attach the top 2 inches to the side seam. Sew the pocket closed.

Side and crotch seams

3. Side and crotch seams

Fold each leg piece lengthways with the right sides together and sew the inner leg seams.

Pin and sew the crotch seams.

Side and crotch seams

Optionally, remove the belt loops from the original jeans and attach one end of each to the top edge of the pants.


4. Waistband

Measure the width of each section of the pants and add a seam allowance. Cut pieces of fabric to each width and double the height needed.

Sew the pieces together into a circle. 


Attach one edge of the waistband to the pants with the right sides facing, aligning each section carefully.


Elasticate the back of the waistband by stitching 1 inch (2.5 cm) wide elastic to the top edge with a zigzag stitch.

Fold the waistband to the inside and sew it in place.

The front bib

5. The front bib

Wear the pants and measure the length of the bib from the top of the waistband. Add a 1.25 inch (3 cm) seam allowance. 

Measure the width between your bra straps for the top edge of the bib and add the same seam allowance. 

The front bib

Draw half the width of the bib onto one piece of fabric and cut it out.

Flip it over and cut the second piece from contrasting fabric.

The front bib

Back each piece with fusible interfacing and sew them together in the center. Turn in and sew the top edge and two side edges.

The front bib

Make a mini version of the bib in the same way and sew it to the center of the bib as a pocket.

Sew the lower edge of the bib to the waistband, with the right sides together.

The back bib

6. The back bib

Make the back bib in the same way, without the pocket. The length of mine with seam allowance was 12 inches (31 cm) and the top width was 3 inches (8 cm).

Attach it to the back of the waistband.

The straps

7. The straps

Try the overalls on. Measure the distance between the front and back bibs over your shoulder and add 4 inches (10 cm).

The straps

Cut your fabric to this length and about 6 inches (16 cm) wide. Cut it in half lengthways to make two straps and add fusible interfacing to the wrong side.

Fold each strap in half lengthways with the right sides facing and sew as close to the edge as you can.

Turn the straps right side out and press. 

The straps

Pin one edge of each to the top of the back bib at an angle so they lie flat, and sew firmly in place.

The straps

Attach the metal buttons to the top corners of the front bib. 

Slide the flat buckles over the straps. Put the ends of the straps through the clasps and back through the buckles to secure them.

DIY overalls

DIY overalls

DIY overalls

I used jeans in three different shades of denim, but of course you can make them from similar shades if you prefer.

If your jeans are wider, you could well make these DIY overalls from two pairs of jeans instead of three.

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed the tutorial and I’d love to know what you think of the final result. Please drop me a comment below.

Next, learn How to Make a Cute Leather Purse: DIY Heart Bag.

Suggested materials:
  • 2 or 3 old pairs of jeans
  • Pocket lining fabric
  • 1 inch (2.5 cm) wide elastic
See all materials

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