Upcycling Stretch Denim – Face your Fears!

This post is all about how I faced my fear of upcycling stretch denim by making these cute drawstring bags by Sotak Patterns. I’ve included the top tips I learned along the way for working with stretch denim.

Tip 1: Plan your Cutting

The only complication with doing this with upcycled jeans is you have to find the spots where you can find a single piece that is long enough and wide enough for what you want.

Tip 2: Pattern Weights

If I had used pattern weights I could have moved my ruler around to cut all 4 sides without having to handle the actual denim as much.

Tip 3: Separate Rotary Cutter or Scissors

Either do your cutting with an old blade that is reaching the end of it’s life cycle anyway or assign yourself a separate rotary cutter or pair of scissors for working with denim fabric – stretch or otherwise!

Tip 4: Interfacing

I applied this to both the stretch denim pieces and the fabric remnant I was using for the upper pannel of my bag. I think using this interfacing made a huge difference.

Tip 5: Use a Denim Needle

Denim needles are inexpensive and you’ll have the peace of mind that you won’t be breaking a needle in the middle of your sewing project.

Tip 6: Use a Higher Tension

Even though my old stretch jeans were relatively thin, not much thicker than a thick canvas cotton, I still put that tension up just to be on the safe side.

Tip 7: Don’t Skip the Top Stitching

This is more of a finishing tip that is true of any bag making or sewing project – top stitching just always makes it look nicer.

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