by Tammy Taylor
OK y’all, if you follow me on Facebook you already know that I can’t sew because I’ve complained about it for years. I know I must have been a bitter disappointment to my grandmother who sewed all her life (even homemade patchwork quilts for FUN??) and my mother who was a skilled seamstress herself. I could just never do it. I was gifted an old Singer sewing machine and I promised myself I’d learn to use it. But. I. Didn’t.
One of my New Year’s Goals (not resolutions) this year was to finally learn to use my sewing machine. My very first project was to make these cute small denim baskets with repurposed denim from RancherMan’s old worn jeans. Y’all know that I love all things denim & I think these baskets are ADORABLE! And if *I* can do it, anyone can. Check out how easy this is, y’all!
Denim Material To Repurpose
RancherMan is pretty tough on his jeans and it doesn’t take long before there are holes in the knees. I love denim so I like to make No-Sew Pocket Coasters out of the pockets, but there’s much more denim fabric that can be used. Several months ago I was perusing the internet looking for cute things to do with repurposed denim and I ran across a post on the Purple Hues and Me site – they made it look pretty easy so today I made cute little denim baskets that I’ll be using to hold our homemade Christmas gifts this year. Now before you get too amazed at my mad sewing skills, please know that this project only required sewing 3 straight lines but hey – I threaded the machine and that’s about 95% of my battle! LOL
Cutting The Material
I brought out a pair of RancherMan’s old Wranglers and cut from the bottom leg hem about a foot length of the leg straight across. Now I have a 1-foot length tube of denim that’s hemmed on one side. His Wrangler’s are boot-cut so a 1-foot section seemed about right, you might want to adjust if you’re using skinny jeans with a smaller leg opening.
Then I turned the fabric inside out since I’ll be sewing my seam on the underside of the fabric. After I smooth the denim I sew a straight seam across the cut end of the fabric
Now here comes the tricky part, or maybe that’s just me… I’m going to sew an angle straight across the straight seam that I just sewed to make a little triangle. This will give my denim basket a squared bottom so it can stand on its own. So I pulled each side of my seam apart as far as I could and marked 1.5″ from the edge across the seam I had just sewed. Then I used a ruler and a pencil to draw across forming a triangle out of this corner. To me it’s a little tricky because the seams that were originally along each side of the leg of the jeans can make it look like you don’t have a symmetrical triangle, but thankfully this is a rustic denim basket anyway so it’s very forgiving of sewing perfection. (can I get an *AMEN*??!!) So I drew a line across and sewed a straight seam along pencil mark.
Now all that’s left to do is turn the fabric rightside out again and with my fingers push the fabric at the bottom corner so that it forms a little box. Really – it truly is just that easy!
If the original leg seam is a little worn I love the look even more so I don’t try to trim the frayed threads – I love it!
Embellishing My Denim Baskets
There are about a kazillion ways to embellish these cute little baskets. Maybe I’ll cut the outside seam of RancherMan’s jeans and tack it to form a little denim handle for my basket. Or I may cut out the belt loop section and tack it to the top portion of my basket. Maybe a bandana would be cute? Maybe a raffia bow. Or I can decorate it with one of those over-sized brooches or pins? The possibilities are endless.
So when RancherMan & I present our homemade Christmas gifts this year many of them will be presented in these oh-so-cute denim baskets. Not only will they give our gifts a little extra visual pop, but the packaging is cute, inexpensive, repurposed and reusable – what’s not to love??
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