I can’t get enough of recycling my old jeans! Every time I see a scrap of it, I try to think of ways I can re-use it into something fun. In the past, I’ve made a quilt and a bunch of water bottle holders out of the legs, but that left my scrap box piled high with back pockets that needed a home. My inspiration finally came — sew them onto an apron!
I have a tool belt I use in the garage or when doing handy work around the house, but when it comes to crafting, I need something a little softer and cleaner, and an apron with lots of pockets was just the ticket.
I started with a plain denim apron that I picked up in Hobby Lobby for about four bucks (if you can’t find one locally, try eBay). I wanted a waist apron, not one that went around my neck, so the first thing I did was to cut the top half off, just above the ties. I then folded the edge over and sewed it down about 1/2″ from the edge (Fig 1).
Then I arranged my trimmed pockets on the apron and pinned them in place. I decided to overlap them, which I thought made a nice effect. I then took some belt loops and pinned them along the top edge of the apron (Fig 2).
With everything in place, I turned to the trusty sewing machine, which can manage to sew together a few layers of denim as long as I properly equip it with super-strong blue jean top-stitching thread and a special denim needle. I sewed the two underlying pockets in place first, stitching around the sides and bottom. Then I put the third pocket on top and sewed it down.
The only problem with overlapping the pockets like this is that when you sew the top one down, you end up sewing through the pocket underneath, dividing the pocket area in two with your row of stitches. I realized pretty quickly that this was a benefit, though. The giant pockets were now divided into a medium-sized section and a narrow strip that turned out to be great for holding pencils or paintbrushes securely.
For the belt loops, I just ran a short row of stitches on either end of the loop (Fig 3). Boy, was that a tricky part to sew, because the denim was so thick there! But I stuck with it and in just a few minutes’ time, I was all done (Fig 4).
I love the finished result (Fig 5) so much that I ended up making one for Jo, too. The pockets are great for holding all sorts of things and the belt loops are perfect for clipping on pens, clips, carabiners, or whatever else you’ve got that can clip on.