05 April 2012

Denim Jumper Tutorial

Jack had a pair of jeans that were about three inches too short and a tad too tight on him so I bought him a new pair and took the old ones out of rotation.  To keep him from walking out the door with the fashion faux pas on, I chopped them up into useable pieces and decided to turn them into a cute, easy denim jumper for Claire.

What You'll Need:
1 pair jeans or about a 1/2 yard of denim
Overall buckles (available in the sewing section of most craft stores for a couple bucks)
Thread, scissors, marking pen, measuring tape, iron and ironing board, ruler, etc


1.  Measure child's chest circumference (add about two inches for seams and space for movement) and length from the center of the chest to just below the knee.
2.  Cut the jeans into large pieces along the seams.  Trim denim into two large squares (the length of the child's chest to below knee) and two long rectangles for shoulder straps.
3.  To make the shoulder straps, fold rectangles in half and iron.  Open rectangles and fold denim in halfway.  Iron and fold again, pressing the rectangle into 1/4ths.
4.  Sew along both edges of the straps.
5.  Finish one end of the strap by folding a small hem over, stitching the end.
6.  Attach the buckles at the end of the straps, looping the finished end through the buckle, pulling it back through and sewing it securely to the strap.
7.  To make the bodice, sew the first seam of the two pieces together (I removed the large inseam from the jeans but kept the outside seam--less seams for me to sew!)
8.  Measure the width of the bodice at the top center, including the additional few inches for seam allowance.  Mark the edges.
 9.  Taper each edge evenly to the bottom of the skirt (cut from the top marks to the bottom corners--it should be an A-line shape when finished).
10.  Sew the back seam together.  Zigzag stitch along the seams to prevent fraying and press open.
11.  Measure under arms and cut out notches (the section for the chest should be higher than under the arms and around the back).
12.  Hem top and bottom of garment.
 13.  Measure, arrange and attach straps, sewing them securely to the inside back of the outfit.
14.  Add any additional embellishments desired--denim flowers, buttons, lace, etc.
Wear!  (I love denim for its durability--no need to worry if kids get dirty or play rough in them!  They'll still look adorable!).

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