Friday, April 6, 2012

Upcycled Sewing: Blue Jean Apron

This is an easy sewing project and a great way to transform an old pair of blue jeans into something new and useful.  My son loves to reuse things so this is right up his alley.  I first made these when I had just started teaching art.  The kids loved wearing them.  The heaviness is great for working with really messy materials.  I made a whole slew of them for my students and hung them on peg racks on the wall of my classroom.  They were both decorative and functional! 
You can make two aprons from one pair of jeans.  The leg becomes the length of the apron and the back pocket becomes the bib.  I’ve tried lots of different things for straps and my favorite is gross grain ribbon.  Once the apron is put together kids can also enjoy turning this blank canvas into personalized apparel by painting their own unique design on the bib if they’d like. 
Old pair of blue jeans
A good pair of scissors
1” gross grain ribbon
sewing machine
fabric paints (optional)
1.       Cut off one leg of the jeans (as if you were making short cut off shorts.)
2.       Cut the seam between the two back pockets and the seam long the side of the hip for the bib.
3.       Cut along the seam down the pant leg you already cut off.
4.       Trim the panel from the pant leg from the top, raw edge so it is an appropriate length for the person who will be wearing the apron. (The hem that used to fall at the ankle will become the bottom edge of the apron.)
5.       Clean up the edges where the bib and apron will meet so they line up.
6.       Hem the top raw edge of the pant leg by foldint it twice and sew it into place. 
7.       Place the bib in the center of the top of the leg panel with the pant leg overlapping the bib by about an inch.  And sew straight across the layers.
8.       Cut a piece of ribbon to fit around the waist of the person who will be wearing the apron plus some for tying. To determine the length of ribbon for the waist I measure their waist and add 40 inches (20 for each side of the apron).  This leaves plenty of room to tie a bow and room to grow.  Sew this ribbon across the waist covering the seam you made between the bib and the length of the apron.
9.        Cut two ribbons for the top of the apron bib.  I use 26 inches of ribbon at each corner of the top of the bib and tie it to fit so I can loop the apron over my head and it fits nicely.  Then it can be hung when not in use and doesn’t need to be retied each time I wear it.  I cut 20 inches for a child’s apron.  Sew them in place.
10.   Cut the ends of your ribbons at an angle to prevent them from unraveling.
11.   Decorate your bib as you choose to make it uniquely yours!


  1. The thinking is great as she has used the wastage jeans and made apron. Why we should waste anything if it is used best. The method you describes here is also great.
    personalised bibs

  2. I have just come across this tutorial. I will certainly make a couple of these (one for hubby). Thank you so much for sharing.

  3. How did you make the adult sized apron? I'm a fairly small person and one pant leg, from a huge pair of jeans, just doesn't fit properly.