Hi Folks! It’s Mo and I am hijacking the Sew Crafty Houston blog today. I wanted to share my latest project with you, a recycled jeans tool belt.
I teach the knitting classes here at Sew Crafty Houston and I always seem to have knitting needles in my pockets, a ball of yarn under my armpit and the ability to lose scissors, crochet hooks and pens while working with my students. I had the need for some mobile organization and a pair of jeans that were no longer fit to be worn in public. After adding some ribbon and pockets a tool belt was born! The backside of the jeans was left intact so I could use the back pockets for my phone and lip balm and the inside of the pants turns into a giant pocket for large items.
For this project you’ll need:
• 1 pair of jeans
• Enough 1.5” wide ribbon to wrap around your waist twice with a few feet to spare
• 4 Heavy Duty Snaps (Tip!! Read the instructions on the package before you leave the store. Some snaps require the purchase of a separate setting tool.)
• ¼ Yard of fabric if you want to line the inside
• Standard sewing supplies (thread, needle, scissors, pins, sewing machine, seam ripper, etc…)
Disclaimer: I am not nor do I claim to be a professional seamstress. My sewing style could be described as Guerilla Tailoring at best. I’m assuming that anyone tackling this project has a basic understanding of sewing and will understand what I mean when I say, “...put the thingie over the thingie and sew them together…” Also, your measurements will vary from mine since you will probably use a different pant size so measure your tool belt and adjust accordingly.
Start off by ripping out the seam on the inside of the legs from ankle to ankle with a seam ripper or craft knife. Then rip out the seam from the center of the crotch up the front of the pants to where the zipper placket starts. Rip the seam from the center of the crotch up the back of the pants until you are even with the bottom of the back pockets.
You’ll notice that you can now lay the jeans completely flat on a table if you take one crotch flap and overlap the other crotch flap (giggle) on both the front and back of the jeans. I pinned the two crotch flaps on the front side of the jeans to lay flat and then ran a zigzag stitch over them on my machine. Repeat this for the backside.
Mark a horizontal line (hip to hip) about 1” down from the end of the zipper placket on the front of the pants. This is where the bottom of the tool belt will end up. Just be sure to check the back of the jeans to make sure you won’t be cutting off part of the back pockets.
Now, I like the frayed edges on cut off jeans. I’m short and don’t care to hem jeans. I just cut them off where I want to and let a couple of wash and dry cycles create that fabulous fringe. I sewed along the horizontal line and then cut off the legs about .5” down from the seam I just made. If you want to be fancy schmancy and turn your pieces inside out before sewing to hide rough edges, more power to ya. For those Guerilla Tailors out there just sew and move on.
To create the large pocket that goes across the front of the pants, measure your tool belt and determine the best height and width to cover the front of the pants and then cut a piece of denim from the discarded legs of your jeans. Before attaching this pocket I used about 6” of ribbon to create loops to hang tools. To create the ribbon loops I pinned the ribbon over some knitting needles and scissors, removed them and sewed where the pins were.
Attach the pocket to the front by pinning it in place and sewing around the bottom and two sides. I segmented the large pocket by sewing a couple of vertical seams about 4” apart. Be careful not to stitch over the existing front pockets. Pull the pocket liners out so you don’t accidentally sew them closed.
Install your snaps on the waistband of the jeans according to the manufacturer’s instructions. I placed mine between the edges and the belt loops and the button. The snaps will allow you to close up the large interior pocket and keep yarn and rulers from going AWOL.
If you want to line the inside of your tool belt measure the height from the bottom of the waistband to the bottom seam and then the width. Double up the height measurement and add 1” to that number and the width measurement for a seam allowance. Cut a piece of fabric to these measurements.
Fold the liner fabric along the width with the right sides facing each other and sew with a .5” seam allowance on the two sides. Take the top of the liner and fold it outward and down 1”. Insert the liner fabric into your tool belt with the wrong sides facing each other and pin in place with the edge of the liner just touching the bottom of the waistband. I found it easier to hand stitch the liner in place. I didn’t want the adventure of trying to sew over the zipper.
For the strap take the rest of your ribbon and thread it through the belt loops on the back of the jeans. With your sewing machine stitch a few vertical lines near the belt loops to lock it in place.
Now add some flair with iron on patches and pins and start stuffing your tool belt full of markers and scissors and get crafty!
Seriously you guys - Friday was so much fun! We hope you stopped in and enjoyed the fun that Etsy Houston was able to conjure up - if you weren’t, check out all you missed in this slideshow created by Grrfeisty herself, Roxy Rodriguez!
Hello crafty people! The Etsy craft party is happening soon and we are so excited that Etsy Houston has let us be a part of it! Here’s the info about what you need to bring plus an awesome look into the goodies that Etsy Houston is getting together for you!
I have to say that personally, I am so proud that Houston brought their A game and became the top Etsy city. We’re a diverse bunch of crafters that include folks from surrounding areas (like Sugar Land, Galveston, Clear Lake and Spring!) and from right here in the heart of H-Town. It really touches my heart that so many people love craft so much and that we get to sit together on June 18th and make something together - a community. Thank you all for being part of that!
Wooo hooo! I’m getting excited about this Etsy party - not only do we have some Saint Arnold deliciousness and lots of fun Houstonians, but we will have tons of fun activity stations for folks to enjoy! Check out the supply list at Etsy Houston’s blog and start gathering your supplies!
Happy Birthday to Esty! As part of a string of craft parties across the nation, Sew Crafty (along with Etsy Houston) is hosting a craft party on Friday June 18th from 8 - 11 p.m. The event is totally free and open to everyone - bring a friend and craft together!
Sold - How can I RSVP? Visit the Meetup site and click “I’m Interested!” so that Houston can stay in the Top 50 cities! Even if you’re not sure right now that you can go, but you’re still interested in attending, you can help Houston stay on top by clicking - if w’re a top 50 city Etsy will send us all kinds of goodies to give to attendees!
What can you expect:
**Food (yum!) and drinks (Thank You Saint Arnold - seriously peeps, have you tried their root beer? The best in the world. No joke - the best! They have it at Kroger - go grab a 6 pack, I’ll wait…)
**A variety of craft projects - check out all the details on what and what you need to bring, here!
**Lots of fun new people