How to Hack Your Jeans – and Live to Tell Another Day

Let’s just say that you have more than one pair of jeans that are almost identical. Yes, I understand the waist is 2 cm higher on one pair and the third is perfectly curved on your legs, but maybe, just maybe one day you’ll be in the mood to cut them. Hack them. Have fun with them:)

Turn this:

Into this:

Here I used a pair of skinny cut dark jeans and comic black and white fabric. I added a new pocket and comic strips on the sides. If you always need to wear a belt and you’d like to get rid of it, you’ll se how you can tighten the waist of your jeans. And the last part of this tutorial shows you how to sew a new hem for your new custom made have-fun pants.

Enjoy!
1. First, you’ll need to unseam the outside seams of your jeans. You can do that with a seam ripper or with a cutter.

2. Then get rid of the threads. Make a mess! 🙂

3. Iron the seams. Use steam. A lot!

4. Then cut strips of your fabric. I used a pair that fit me, but you can use this technique if you buy slim fit pants that are just a tad to slim (aka you can bend your knees and you consider it important to). Here my strips were 10 cm wide.

5. If you want to change a pocket of your jeans with a new one you have two options: either cover the old pocket with the new fabric or make a completely new one (if you trust your fabric – mine was not thick enough and I preferred to cover it.)

Anyway, first you should carefully unseam the pocket, iron it flat, copy the pattern on your new fabric.

6.  Sew you new pocket on.

7. Pin the fabric strips on your jeans. The right side of the comic fabric is kissing the right side of your jeans.

8. After you sew them on, press flat and topstitch. Press, steam.

9. Now pin the other seam of your jeans to the fabric strip (same way – right sides facing). Sew.

10. Turn on the right side. (And there you go, almost there: )

11. If you want to tighten the waist like I did, you will want to unseam the belt. Be patient here.

12. What I did was just to cut the belt and sew it back on – making it shorter: > I also added two small darts in the back, but you can’t see it in the pic here.

13.  Pin the belt back on. Sew.

14. For the hem of your pants, first try them on and mark where you’d want them to end. Now fold the fabric once. Press flat.

15. Now fold it again. Press. Your mark should be right there, where the hem ends.

16. Sew it.

17. And that was it!

Easy, huh? (How many needles do you think I broke? 😉

If you decide to hack your jeans drop me a comment and a link to see it: )
Feel free to write back if you need more details!

  • Mandolin

    Great post! Clever reconstruction 🙂
    and I LOVE that comic material, man I wish I had some of that kinda material. So many possibilities!

    • Sky

      I love the fabric too. I made bags for me and two friends and pencil pouches and now I only have like a 40/40 cm square left of it: (

      Thanks for your words:)

  • Pretty neat, not my style but you are definitely talented.

    • Sky

      I blushed: >

  • I hacked a pair of purple jeans once, they were slightly stretchy and just a bit too big around the waist. Instead of taking them in, I chopped them up and turned them into a handbag, complete with pockets, beading and a handle made from the braided strips of leg material. I’ll post a link when the photo uploaded decides it wants to work for me.

    Love the comic book fabric by the way! Looks fantastic on those jeans 🙂

  • http://zoemaclean.wordpress.com/2009/11/30/purple-jeans-bag/

    There, a link to the handbag I made from a pair of purple jeans!

    • Sky

      That’s cool! I love the handle!

  • Cool! i like it…

  • kaylynne50

    Love it! I still teach sewing in Jr. High and just wrote a tutorial on how to repurpose an old pair of jeans into a reusableable grocery bag….
    Where did you find the comic book fabric?

    • Sky

      I found the fabric in a flea-market in Barcelona, Spain (where I live).

      I’ve seen the same print but in color in another shop in Barcelona, here: http://www.ribescasals.com/index_english.html – but they don’t ship internationally.

      I will take a look and if I find it anywhere online, I will write you back.

  • Matt

    I really love the idea of this, but I don’t think I’m going to use strips. Instead, I’m going to just have random squares of white!
    Thanks for the idea!

    • Sky

      Hmm, that would be so cool!

  • Dee

    coool!

  • I love this. Thank you for the tutorial.

    http://anlimarey.wordpress.com/

    • Sky

      Hey, nice illustrations! Thanks for stopping by :>

  • Darth Eyeball

    Nice post! This is a very cool idea. Perhaps I’ll have to give it a try sometime. Nice write up; the pictures really help a lot!

    • Sky

      Thank you, thank you – tried to say smart things and deleted the reply two times 😀

      This kind of feedback is really important, as I am always wondering about stuff like: do I really need all those pictures? Are they not redundant?

  • Cool.. thanks…

  • Wow ! Quite interesting … Let me try it !

    • Sky

      Hope you do and hope you’ll share 🙂

  • Sky

    Wow, thank you for all the comments! I’m smitten 🙂

  • Awsome, this is genius

    • Sky

      I wouldn’t go that far: )

  • thanks for this! love the fabric 🙂

  • sharaya

    oh….so nice to have that……its really good….gonna make it…..

  • sharaya

    oh…..so…nice to have that….its really good…gonna make it…..

  • Rob

    Wonderful

  • flsquared

    great post! I’ve actually been thinking about doing something like this but need to get a sewing machine (haven’t sewn since home-ec). Any recommendations for an inexpensive, beginner machine to work with jeans? I’ve heard that all are not strong enough. thx!!

    jen
    http://familyliving4less.wordpress.com/

    • Sky

      It’s true that not all are the same. If I’d pick I’d buy a good Singer or a Brother, but I have a Hyunday (yes, they make sewing machines too:) and I’ve been sewing with it for 5-6 years now and it’s still working. 🙂

  • sharaya

    awesome.,…so nice to have that…its really good….gonna make it…..

  • hmmm, looks good.. I think i have to do something with my old jeans 😉

    • Sky

      Go, go! (Then share:)

  • Tingopop

    A most awesome post! I am gonna bookmark this and try it on my spare jeans. Thanks!

    • Sky

      Try it, try it. You can always write if you need help :>

  • You are amazingly talented! I did something (tried) similar with my favorite new artists imprints (Justin Blomgren) and ruined my favorite jeans 🙁 Guess I shouldn’t have used my favorite pair lol! I really believe that Justin’s music is going to revolutionize the industry like Wild Stallions in Bill and Ted’s excellent adventure. Justin C. Blomgren for president

  • omeeuq

    sick pants 🙂

    • Sky

      Hilarious comment: )

  • Pretty Project

    You should be on Project Runway for the reals! 😉

    http://www.theprettyproject.com

    • Sky

      Hehe, I am not that up-town :>

  • SallyK

    Great post – back in the day (OK, I admit it was the 70’s) we used to “hack” our jeans to make really big bell bottoms. Wish I still had them… North Coast Muse @ http://sally1029.wordpress.com

  • Sam

    What a cool idea! I have a ton of old jeans that are due for a makeover. I need to give that a try when I get the chance. Thanks for the post!

    • Sky

      Thank you for the comment 😀

  • That is pretty cool. I want to try it. There are so many possibilities!

  • brilliantmindbrokenbody

    I have had the WORST luck when trying to do things with jeans! I end up breaking tons of needles. But maybe a pair of pants that are lighter than denim…hmm…

    • Sky

      One tip when working with jeans is to go really slow over the bulky parts and always mind the zippers and the metal parts (try not to sew on them, but next to them). I “eat” needles too. So what? 🙂

  • Wow, so cool. I wish I were brave enough to attempt this. I’ve attempted transforming many pairs of old jeans…

    it never really works out.

  • Clever. You clearly have much more patience and talent than I do.

  • I luv the idea and the outcome of hacking. However, seems like alot of work…..I don’t think many people want to spend that time going thr all the pain.

    • Sky

      This took me two hours. And once you get the drill, it’s really easy. Anyway, another way to do it is just sew the strips of fabric on top of the jeans, without unseaming it.