Sewing With Cinnamon - Upcycling With Denim and More!

This week we are continuing with our celebration of National Sewing Month with a look at upcycling! This is one of my favorite ways to shop for fabrics and embellishments. The authentic look and feel of the finished pieces come together so well when you can use the right types of materials. Depending on the recipient, you can look for the upcycle pieces almost anywhere. If you are making items for your own collection or as gifts, you can comfortably use items you may already have or gently used things you pick up at thrift stores or yard sales. If you are making items to sell, you'll want to be on the lookout for those clearance racks or the extra savings days at discount stores. You may begin to feel like a bit of a treasure hunter!

Since we're on the topic of sewing the Sew Powerful Purse, I have a step by step walkthrough of how I used a great pair of vibrant green skinny jeans that I found on clearance for just a few dollars to strategically cut out the purse to incorporate the back pocket on the back of the purse! 

Brand new jeans - just $2.00! I got the biggest size I could find.

 Step 1: Cut apart the pants along the side seam so I could open the leg flat.



Step 2: Look at the pocket placement and fabric grain. Position the pattern piece so that the pants back pocket is centered on the pattern piece. Pin into place and cut it out.

Step 3: Just below the back pocket area, I can place the Purse Front piece on the leg. The first image shows it flat and the second image shows it folded back to cut out.

Step 4: On the Pants Front, of the same leg. I am able to cut the Purse Back Top and the Purse Front Flap. All of these pieces are cut one, so I have done them all on the single layer.

Here I have all the main pieces cut from the green denim. Now I will find a coordinating cotton lining and cut out the remainder of the lining pieces. I am going to use 1" wide webbing for the purse strap.

I will continue to make the purse following the pattern instructions :)

Look! I have so much fabric leftover! I can cut out a second purse, or use this denim to make a variety of doll-size items. This is perfect for Skinny Jeans, Mini Skirts, Jumpers, Backpacks, and more!


Interested in upcycling with other types of fabrics - check out these examples!

I also have a few videos that explain the upcycling idea in more detail as it relates to creating doll scale fashions. 


The first video - Upcycled Examples and Tips -  is a look at some pieces I've picked up and the garments I've turned them into. There are so many different types of garments to be on the lookout for!


In the second video - Upcycling From Start To Finish - I'm going to walk you through a project from start to finish using a beautiful fuschia sweater and the 123 Mulberry St Trendy Slouch Cardigan. Follow along and watch my process!




Week Two Task:

  • It's the final week of September! Be sure to look back over the techniques taught and take the time to practice or brush up on them!
  • Reminder to enter the giveaway!!
  • I'd love to see something you've created from an upcycled garment!
  • Jump over the SWC Facebook Group for conversation and project sharing.

Download the Sew Powerful Purse pattern. The beginner level pattern is in the SWC Bonuses section. You can also find the Intermediate level pattern on the Sew Powerful website.







September 25, 2019

LOVE this tutorial using the back jeans pocket! I sew jeans pockets on the back, but I topstitch them on. I often upcycle jeans when making Sew Powerful purses and have lots of back pockets. I’ll have to try this method next time. THANKS, Cinnamon!


September 25, 2019

Some reviewers suggest making the ribbing around the edge of the sweater longer. Would that not make it a little smoother?

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