Updated: Mar 23, 2020
When your favourite denim no longer serves you, why not transform it into something that does?
We've all been there: a favourite pair of jeans we've owned for years starts to fall a part. I am notorious for holding onto my favourite pieces until they are are ripped from side to side. For me, it's that pair of jeans that fit you PERFECTLY, they've been worn in all those years, and you just don't want to say goodbye. Well, you don't have to!
I had a beautiful pair of dark denim, no longer wearable as jeans, that I have been holding onto for a while now, waiting for a strike of inspiration to hit. I wanted to experiment with two of my favourite basic matierals, denim and plaid, and what better way to do so than a choker? My goal was to turn these two - what can very easily turn into something tacky - into something fun and chic, my own unique ode to the 90's. All it took was a small length of my old jeans, an old plaid shirt also filled with holes, and a couple scraps of hide I had.
As someone who isn't too capable with a sewing machine, this process was actually pretty simple! I measured and cut the shape of the choker I wanted with the denim, then sewed the plaid strip behind, sewed up the edges, and added the strings of hide for ties.
Since all I used was a tiny piece of the jeans, I wanted to keep going. I had a beautiful print shirt I got from Walking With Our Sisters, a national exhibit using mocassins to honour missing and murded Indigenous women, girls and trans folks. I had a plan for the print on the front, so I took the shirt and cut that out, and I ended up with this cool shape. I cropped everything a bit shorter, and in order to give the piece some flavour, I cut a little piece of denim and just sewed it on the top of the front.
Now for the print! One of my absolute favourite vintage finds was this jean beaded fringe jacket from a tiny shop in one of Toronto's markets. It had a kind of hand-painted lizard print on the back I wasn't too crazy about. So, I sewed the square-cut front of the t-shirt over top of it. The sewing and cut isn't perfect, but it feels a lot more like me, and the best part is I get to honour my sisters everywhere I go.
There you have it! With just two pieces of no longer wearable items, I was able to transform them into 3 beautiful DIY pieces, two of which I loved already, but now I love even more. And, I still have the majority of my old denim left... who knows how many other pieces I can create or revamp with it!
Tip: For old fabric you are cutting and sewing, ends tend to fray. Just take a lighter and gently run it along the ends to melt and fuse the fabric.
The full look:
Jacket: Vintage find with added patch
Pants: Dangerfield (Melbourne, AU)
Tank: Shy Natives
Boots: Dr.Martens 1460 smooth