Tuesday, 26 December 2017

Hand Embroidered Jeans


Now the Christmas presents have been opened I can share this gift I customised for my friend Mel. When I visited her in August we saw a fab pair of embroidered jeans in a store in San Francisco. It immediately gave me an idea rather than buy them I would embellish an existing pair of jeans that Mel already owned (more eco-friendly too).

Fast forward to November and I rediscovered the jeans and realised I had only a month to decorate them. I immediately created a Pintrest board to research ideas for the embroidery. One of the features of the original jeans Mel liked was the use of existing machine-embroidered patches. I ordered a set of these iron-on patches from Amazon and set about creating designs for the jeans.

I used a range of hand embroidery stitches including; back stitch, chain stitch, seed stitches, satin stitch, hand couching and french knots. The embroidery threads I used are dozens left over from my Textile Degree days over 20 years ago which consisted of DMC, Anchor, Moulin, MTM and Madeira Threads.













I started the design by laying out the iron-on patches grouping them into themes of junk food, fruits, flowers, and then I free-styled the hand-embroidery around the patches.
I thoroughly enjoyed the slow meditative process of creating the designs over the Christmas break. In terms of time I think there is about 25+ hours worth of stitching in the jeans which I sewed in bursts of 2 - 4 hours at a time. Mel really loves them which I am very happy about. Hopefully they will be worn a lot to get maximum enjoyment out of them!

22 comments:

  1. Oh my, what a gift! Looks amazing and what a lucky friend. I particularly like the banana patch and the stars, and of course the up cycling angle ;-)

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    1. Thanks Kate! I had a blast embroidering them.

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  2. What an amazing present and a great way to upcycle a pair of jeans. Such a clever idea to use embroidered patches with your own hand embroidery.

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    1. Thank you Rosemary. It made me consider embroidering some of my own jeans.

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  3. Wow, these look fantastic Caroline, what an amazing gift! I'm sure Mel will get lots of compliments when wearing these. Was it hard going doing the embroidery on a tough fabric like denim? X

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    1. Hi Alex, the denim is a little harder to embroider compared with regular cottons / felts - my fingers were a little sore after a couple of hours embroidering at a time.

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  4. Oh wow! This must have been so much work! I can't believe you did this masterpiece in only 20 hours. You have such a great eye for colors and coordination, it looks like everything is exactly at the right place and everything is do balanced. Also your embroidery is super neat! I'm truly impressed!

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    1. Thanks Kat. I had a lot of fun sewing the different images.

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  5. An incredible amount of work to put in for a present - great work

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  6. wow! I want a pair! I did promise myself I would do something on the collar of my denim jacket that is looking worn after 20 years. What an inspiration. Jo x

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    1. Thanks so much Jo. Your denim jacket collar sounds like a great idea!

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  7. You turned that pair of jeans into something fun and fantastic. Well done.
    Amalia
    xo

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    1. Thank you Amalia. I really enjoyed sewing them too!

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  8. They look stunning and so much better than plain. Mind you this shows my age we used to wear jeans like this but with large flares, lol

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    1. I bet those were really cool jeans Caroline!

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  9. Beautiful embroidery. You have made something completely unique.

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    1. That's a lovely thing to say Ginx

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  10. Wowza, they are stunning. I'm sure I have some sad and unloved jeans somewhere that NEED this kind of treatment.

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    1. Thanks Julie. You should definitely embroider some of your own jeans too!

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