Faded, Tattered and Stained*

Blue denim jeans have a long life. Brand new, they get worn about town.  After awhile, showing some fading and fraying, those jeans don’t feel quite presentable enough to wear in public. However they are so comfortable they get worn around the house to do chores such as gardening,  painting, or binge-watching television. Eventually rips and tears happen. Those beloved jeans have become so decrepit that even the local charity shops won’t accept them. DH had a pair of jeans that were torn and stained and nobody could possibly want. (Except maybe Nordstrom shoppers. See * below) Instead of pitching those jeans, I decided to challenge myself to re-purpose them in as many ways as possible.

The first way:

A Shabby Vintage -Style Cuff


The first thing I did was remove the zipper using a seam ripper. Then I cut below the waistband all the way around leaving at least an  inch (2cm) of the jean attached to the waistband.

After measuring around my wrist and adding an inch (2.5cm), I cut that length from the waistband making sure to include the button/buttonhole, and a belt loop.


Next I undid the stitches at the bottom of the belt loop and then trimmed the attached jean part to even it up to just about 1 inch (2.5 cm):recycle,reduce,reuse-3

After undoing the button, the two cut ends were pinned together :


and then stitched with my sewing machine using a denim needle and 40 wt. black thread. It is important to use a denim needle, other ones will break. Of course this could be hand sewn.

I cut a scrap of  cotton fabric and a scrap of cotton lace twice the length of the denim cuff. Using a long machine stitch I first sewed the fabric to the jean part of the cuff gathering it as I went. Next, I did the same thing with the lace, layering it on top of the cotton.recycle,reduce,reuse-5

Using a crewel needle and ecru pearl cotton, I re-attached the bottom of the belt loop. (This was too thick for my machine to handle.) I decided to add a running stitch around the cuff with some of the pearl cotton as well.

Finally, the fun part! I rummaged through my craft stash and pulled out three safety pins (Tim Holtz collection) I threaded  a few odd charms and beads salvaged from old jewellery before pinning to the belt loop.


That’s it.

To be continued, at some point.

*I had to smile this morning hearing the news that Nordstrom is offering brand new mud stained jeans for $425 (US).


Every Day…

should be “Earth Day”.IMG_0774-globe

However, since there are those who don’t seem to agree, I make it the day to gather the litter that has been tossed into the ditches along our road.  For this “Earth Day” project, I got out the “grabber” tool and  the wheel barrow , and put on my rubberized garden gloves and waterproof boots. The road from Ivy Cottage to the end is approximately one kilometre long and it took the better part of the afternoon to pick up all the litter. (It was a beautiful day to be outside).

This is what I picked up: (not pretty!)recycle,reduce,reuse-8

I suppose the most discouraging thing is that most of the debris is recyclable or “returnable for refund”. We sorted those items from the garbage and filled two blue boxes:


Did you have a special “Earth Day” project?


Easter bunny-1

I don’t often dress up my furry children but I couldn’t resist this cute bunny costume for my little one. As you can see, she is not really impressed. I also photographed a broken shell from one of our hen’s eggs, then through the magic of Photoshop and OnOne software, created a vintage-style Easter card just for you.