Sewing Projects


I was so happy when Portia asked me to participate in The Refashioners challenge this year; my contribution is on the Makery blog now. It really brought me back to my sewing roots since modifying thrift store finds was one of the early ways I learned to sew. My favourite thing to do when I was 14 and in my deep hippie 90s revival period (it happened, I regret it, let’s move on) was to buy old Levi 501s and make them bigger (and baggier) by sewing in strips of brightly coloured fabric to the side seams. Basically I did that again, but with tone one tone denim and a little more skill, minus the bongos and patchouli essential oil (I said let’s move on!)

Deconstructed Jeans // Vintage Levi 501s // Closet Case Files Deconstructed Jeans // Vintage Levi 501s // Closet Case Files

Since I had a stack of too tight Levi 501s in my research bin, I decided to make one of them actually  fit me. I wanted 501 butt but without the dated straight leg. I also wanted to experiment with some of the beautiful jeans deconstructions techniques I’ve been collecting on Pinterest lately.

Deconstructed Jeans // Vintage Levi 501s // Closet Case Files Deconstructed Jeans // Vintage Levi 501s // Closet Case FilesDeconstructed Jeans // Vintage Levi 501s // Closet Case Files Deconstructed Jeans // Vintage Levi 501s // Closet Case Files

It was a super fun project and I’m delighted to add these beauties to my denim wardrobe. You can get all the construction details (and a lot more photos) over on the Makery.

Have you ever deconstructed jeans? Are you participating in the Refashioners challenge this year?


  • Clare Szabo

    So so great!

  • Aggh, I love them. Sooo Vetements! Especially the coin pocket/waistband situation. I’m going to go secondhand store diving for some 501s now to copy you.

    • I really really love them. I could totally see you pulling this off!

  • sconesandstones

    J’adore! Excellent idea! 🙂

  • Straight legged 501’s will NEVER be dated! I do love your refashion though. I’m very impressed with how well everything get stitched together at the side seam.

    • Thanks Grace! The sizes were similar so most of the seam lines lined up on tehir own – not necessarily any magic on my part 😉

  • Benjamin Itter

    Hello to Canada from Berlin/Germany,

    we are an organic fabric shop and have feautured your beautiful patterns (especially for the Denims) in our blog.

    It´s in German but you are in good company with pattern makers from France, Germany & England.

    Keep up your nice work and again best regards 😉

    – Lebenskleidung –

  • These look great, but if straight legs are wrong I don’t want to be right. Straight legs for evah!

    I also did that “insert a strip of fabric into the side seam” thing on a pair of somehow too-tight jean shorts when I was in uni. Those things were awesome. Oh, and I was too poor to buy a decent pair of jeans and work clothes, so I bought some crushed velvet in blue, green, and purple (It was the 90s, what can I say) and patched the heck out of my one pair. By hand. By the end I think there was more velvet than denim in those things. I should have hung on to them, if only for the lols. Currently, I have three pairs of unwearable jeans that I’d like to turn into a jacket, but I’m not sure if that will happen by the deadline.

  • I love these! I also added strips of fabric to the side seams of my jeans in the 90s. My mom would insist that I could buy new ones but I thought the patched ones were sooo much cooler. I think it took at least a decade for my fashion-self to recover from the hippie 90s.