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Cherry Beaded Dress From Old Jeans

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The exposed shoulder straps, mini length denim dress has  delicate hand beaded cherry embellishments all over the front. Upcycle old jeans into a cute beaded cherry mini dress for a brand new stylish summer look! 

If you loved the results from the Susan Alexandria inspired DIY beaded bag, then you will love this tutorial too! So let’s learn how to make a cherry beaded dress from old denim jeans.

Hand beading on a garment using seed beads is not as difficult as it may look. All you need is removable pen that works well on fabric, proper beading technique, and a bit of time so that you are able to fully decorate your new dress from old jeans. 

Pair your beaded dress with your bead bag to enjoy a summer look with head to toe DIY. Mix and match outfits with the best upcycle clothing ideas featuring fashion forward and trendy clothing.

For this refashion tutorial, I used medium weight jeans made with 100% cotton that had no stretch at all. Denim jeans are a great material to use for making upcycled clothing that is fashionable and everlasting. 

You will love this cherry beaded dress from old jeans because…

  • No sewing pattern is required to make the dress.
  • Learn how to hand bead with the right tools.
  • Free beaded cherry pattern for you to fill with seed beads. 
  • Transfer cherry motif into fabric by using disappearing pen. 
  • Add beading embellishment on the fabric before assembling the dress.
  • Perfect sewing project to create expensive looking dress you can wear for a date night or special occasion.
Cherry dress from old jeans before and after

The weight and thickness of the material was good enough to apply this hand beading method. I wouldn’t choose heavy denim since the needle we are using is size 10, which is very thin and it may not be strong enough to puncture a thick material. 

Test the beading technique on a separate piece of fabric beforehand. I’ve put together easy-to-follow step by step instructions and detailed pictures for you to transform your old denim jeans into cute dress with beading detail.

Back view of the cherry dress from old jeans

How do you make a beaded dress out of old jeans?

Beaded Cherry Dress From Old Jeans

In order to make this pretty beaded dress out of your old jeans, you need to start with the right measurements that fits you like a glove. It’s very important first step to take when you choose project from this website. 

Discover correct ways to take body measurements for clothing by yourself at home. With the correct sizing, you can easily add or subtract around waist, bust and hip width so that your dress from jeans fits you perfectly. 

Next, prepare any tools and gadgets you need to accomplish the upcycle project. I personally recommended building a basic sewing kit for you and pull out only what you need to accomplish this tutorial. 

Wash your old jeans, iron them to removes any creases or wrinkles, and then you are ready to go. Let’s get started!

DIY Cherry Beaded Dress From Old Jeans Materials:

Materials to make a cherry dress from old jeans
  • Old Jeans
  • Red & Green Seed Beads Size 10/0
  • John James Beading Needle Size 10
  • Coat & Clark All Purpose Thread
  • Disappearing Pen
  • Sewing Machine
  • Fabric Chalk
  • Measuring Tape
  • Ruler
  • Scissors
  • Seam Ripper
  • Straight Pins

To make a cherry beaded dress from old jeans, flip the denim jeans inside out.

Draw a straight line, and cut off both pant legs at the crotch. Cut along the inseam and out-seam of the pant legs to remove the overlock stitches. 

Use the legs from the old jeans to make the front center and front side pieces of the dress.

Use your body measurements to size the neckline, armhole, bust, waist and hemline.

Use the remaining leg from the old jeans to make the back bottom center and back bottom side pieces of the dress.

Use the hip area from the old jeans to make the top back center and top back side pieces of the dress.

Print out the free beaded cherry pattern. Use a water erasable marker to trace the design onto the front pieces of the dress.

Add beaded cherries to the front of the dress.

Each beaded cherry has two cherries, two stems and one leaf. Twenty-two beaded cherries were used on the front of the dress from old jeans.

Join the back side pieces to the back center pieces to make the back of the dress.

Remove the original zipper from the old jeans.

Add the zipper to the center back of the beaded cherry dress.

Fold ¼” and hem the top and bottom opening of the dress.

Use the hip area from the old jeans to cut four separate 1” x 11” straps to make shoulder straps for the dress.

Attach the shoulder straps to the dress to finish the cherry beaded dress from old jeans.

How to make beaded cherries on fabric

How To Sew Beads Onto Fabric

This upcycle jeans tutorial has one more step after making a dress, that is to add beading detail. Hand beading doesn’t have to be complicated! 

When done correctly, sewing beads onto fabric is super simple. No matter what motif you choose, the principle technique remains the same.

As always, wash and dry your fabric well before sewing beads. Give press if it needed to remove the wrinkles and give a flat surface to work on.

Next, print out the cherry design motif. It is actual size so that you don’t need to resize the drawings. If you want more challenge, you can make strawberry, lemon, or any other fruit design you desire. 

Cut out the cherry pattern and use a disappearing ink pen to draw the outline of the design. Adjust the layout on the fabric and play around with the different placements you like.

Find the center of cherry fruit on the back of the fabric, and pass your needle through from back to front. Once your needle is on the right side of your fabric, thread a bead through the needle and down onto the thread. 

Then insert the needle quite close to the original point and pull it to the back of the fabric. Again, make sure the bead is tightly secured.

Make a round circle with red seed beads. Make a straight backstitch with the green beads for the stem and leaf.

How to sew beads onto fabric

DIY Cherry Beaded Dress From Old Jeans Sewing Tips

Front view of the cherry dress from old jeans

Adding bead detail to the dress makes the whole garment extra special. Colorful beads are an alternate way to decorate your clothing.

Read through the tips or learn new tricks that I discovered along my journey to upcycle old clothes into brand new clothing. Use these hacks to make your experience even easier!

  • Sewing tips: Depending on the thickness of the denim jeans, you might want to change the stitch length from regular to long. If you have difficulty with stitches jumping over bulky seams such as side seams or helming, use the Jean-A-Ma-Jig to help your pressure foot.
  • Scissors: Sharpen your fabric scissors when deconstructing jeans. It’s best to have nice fabric scissors instead of a rotary cutter when working with bulky fabric and heavy weight material. 
  • Stitches: For this upcycle jeans project, I use straight stitch for the shoulder strap and hemming, and overlock stitch for the side seams. Adjust the stitch length to ⅛” long. Compare with the regular length, and evaluate the best stitches for the fabric you are using. 
  • Needle & Thread: Whether you use heavy or light denim, I recommend changing from a universal sewing needle to a denim jeans needle. They are much stronger and won’t break while sewing. For lighter denim, go with 90/14 size needle, and for heavy denim choose 100/16 or 100/18 size needle for better results. 
  • Beading: Use an erasable pen to draw the motif on a garment before starting to bead on fabric. Make a small double knots so the seed beads won’t fall off the thread, and finish up with good double knots. You don’t need an extra long piece of thread, so use less than your arm length thread. You may experience tangle if the thread is too long when you start to bead. 

This DIY cherry beaded dress from jeans tutorial will show you how to refashion and add embellishment beading to your summer wardrobe. 

If you have any question about the tutorial, or simply get stuck in the middle, feel free to ask in the comments on this post. I will be sure to help you accomplish this cute cherry beaded dress!

Sideview of the cherry dress from old jeans
Yield: 1 beaded dress

How To Refashion A Beaded Dress From Old Jeans

Prep Time: 45 minutes
Active Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
Beading Time: 5 hours
Total Time: 7 hours 30 minutes
Difficulty: Intermediate
Estimated Cost: $10.00

Refashion old jeans into a beaded dress is not as difficult as you think. Invest time to build your DIY wardrobe with specialty garments that are trendy and stylish. 

Here is the step-by-step tutorial to walk you through each detail within the upcycle project. 

Tools

  • Sewing Machine
  • Fabric Chalk
  • Measuring Tape
  • Ruler
  • Scissors
  • Seam Ripper
  • Straight Pins

Instructions

  1. For this cherry beaded dress from old jeans tutorial, start by flipping the denim jeans inside out.
    Old white denim jeans
    Draw a straight line across at the crotch, and cut off both pant legs.
    Draw a straight line across the pant leg at the crotch.
    Next, completely cut off the overlock stitches along the inseam and out-seam. 
    Cut off the overlock seams from the inseam and outseam of the pant leg.
  2. To make the front center of the dress, use the front leg from the old jeans.
    Fold the piece in half lengthwise.
  3. To make the front piece neckline, measure 3” away from the folded edge.
    Then, measure 3” down the side of the folded edge.
  4. To make the bust dart, measure 4” away from the folded edge.
    The bust of the front center dress piece
  5. To make the front piece waistline, measure 9” down the side of the folded edge.
    Then, measure 3½” away from the folded edge.
    The waistline of the front center dress piece
  6. To make the front piece hemline, measure 19” down from the waistline.
    The hemline of the front center dress piece
    Then, measure 5” away from the folded edge along the bottom opening.
    Draw a smooth line to connect the points of the front center dress piece;
    add ½" seam allowance,
    Add ½" seam allowance to the front center dress piece
    and cut along the line.
    Cut out the front center dress piece
  7. To make the front sides of the dress, invert the measurements of the front center piece.
  8. To make the side piece neckline, measure 1” away from the edge,
    and 3” down the side.
  9. To make the armhole, measure 6” along the top edge.
  10. To measure the side piece waistline, measure 9” down the side of the folded edge.
    Then, measure 1” away from the edge.
    The waist of the front side pieces of the dress
  11. To make the side piece hemline, measure 9” away from the seam line.
    Draw a smooth curved line around the bust to connect the neckline and armhole with the waistline.
    The bust of the front side pieces of the dress
    Draw a straight line down to the hemline. 
    The bust and waistline of the front side pieces of the dress
  12. Copy the front side piece onto another leg piece of the original old jeans.
    Copy the front side piece onto another pant leg piece from the old jeans
  13. To make the back bottom of the dress, use the remaining leg piece from the old jeans.
    Use a seam ripper to open up the hem.
    Use a seam ripper to open the seam on the bottom of the pant leg.
    Fold the leg piece in half, and cut along the folded line.
    Fold the pant leg in half to make the back bottom pieces of the dress.
  14. To make the bottom back center pieces of the dress, use the bottom piece of the pant leg.
    Use the bottom of the pant leg piece to make the back bottom sides of the dress
    Fold the piece in half lengthwise, and cut along the folded line.
    Two back bottom sides for the dress from old jeans
  15. To make the bottom back side pieces of the dress, use the top piece of the pant leg.
    Use the top of the pant leg to make the back bottom center of the dress from old jeans,
    Fold the piece in half lengthwise, trim off the excess, and cut along the folded line.
    Trim off the excess and cut along the folded line.
    Back bottom pieces of the dress from old jeans.
  16. To make the top back of the dress, use the hip area from the old jeans.
    Use the hip area from old jeans to make the back top piece of the dress.
  17. To make the top back center pieces of the dress, measure a piece that is 4” x 6½”.
    Draw the back top center pieces of the dress
    Add seam allowance to the back top center dress pieces.
    Cut out the back top center pieces.
  18. To make the top back side pieces of the dress, measure a piece that is 5½” x 7½”.
    Draw the back top side dress pieces.
    Cut out the back top side pieces of the dress.
  19. Copy the top back pieces onto the other hip of the old jeans.
    Copy the back top pieces onto the other side of the hip area.
  20. To add beaded cherries to the front of the dress, print and cut out the cherry pattern from my website.
    Print out the free beaded cherry pattern
    Use a water erasable marker to trace the cherry pattern onto the front dress pieces.
    Use a disappearing pen to trace the cherry pattern onto the front of the dress.
    Cut a 1 foot long piece of thread.
    Thread a needle and tie a knot at one end of the thread.
    Poke the needle through the center of the cherry from the backside of the fabric.
    Sew the beads onto the fabric. Follow the beaded cherry pattern.
    Pull the thread all the way through to the knot on the backside.
    Add a bead, and then return the needle through the fabric from the front to the back to lock the bead in place.
    Again, pass the needle from the back to the front of the fabric, add a bead and lock the bead in place by stitching to the backside.
    Double knot the thread to finish each beaded cherry design.
    Pro tip: Keep the beading close together by spiraling the beads in a tight circular pattern.
    Keep the beads close together by following a tight spiral pattern around the circle.
    Double knot the thread to complete each part of the beaded cherry.
    Each cherry design has two cherries, two stems and one leaf.
    Each beaded cherry has two cherries, two stems and one leaf.
    Twenty-two beaded cherries decorate the front of the dress from old jeans.
  21. To make the front of the dress, join the side pieces to the center piece with the right sides facing together.
    Attach the front center piece to the front side pieces of the dress from old jeans.
    Line up the front center seam line to join the front dress pieces together.
    Join the other side of the front to the center piece.
    Completed front dress with bust darts.
  22. To make the top back of the dress, join the top back side pieces to the top back center pieces with the right sides facing together.
    Attach the back top center pieces to the back top side pieces.
  23. To make the bottom back of the dress, join the bottom back side pieces to the bottom back center pieces with the right sides facing together.
    Attach the back bottom enter pieces to the back bottom side pieces.
  24. To make the back of the dress, join the bottom back pieces to the top back pieces with the right sides facing together.
    Attach the back top pieces to the back bottom pieces.
    Completed back pieces.
  25. To attach the front of the dress to the back of the dress, sew along the side seams with the right sides facing together. 
    Join the back pieces to the front pieces by sewing along the side seams.
  26. To add a zipper to the beaded cherry dress, use a seam ripper to remove the original zipper from the old jeans.
    Use a seam ripper to remove the original zipper
    Pin the zipper to the top center back opening of the dress.
    Pin the zipper to the back center opening.
    Use a zipper foot to sew both sides of the zipper in place.
    Use a zipper foot to sew the zipper in place.
  27. To hem the dress, fold ¼” and hem the top and bottom opening of the dress.
    Hem the top and bottom opening of the dress.
  28. To make shoulder straps for the dress, use the hip area from the old jeans.
    Make a shoulder straps on the other side of the hip area.
    Cut out the shoulder straps.
    Cut four separate 1” x 11” straps.
    Copy the shoulder strap.
    Make four shoulder strap pieces that are 1" x 11"
    Attach two straps together to make an extra long strap.
    Attach two shoulder strap pieces together to make an extra long shoulder strap.
    Fold the extra long straps in half lengthwise, and stitch along the edge.
    Fold the shoulder strap in half lengthwise.
    Use scissors to cut off the excess seam allowance,
    Trim off excess seam allowance from the straps.
    then flip the shoulder straps inside out with a loop turner.
    Use a loop turner to flip the shoulder straps inside out.
  29. To attach the shoulder straps to the dress, pin the straps to high point of the shoulder and also to the back piece.
    Add the should straps to the dress from old jeans.
    Sew the shoulder straps in place to finish the cherry beaded dress from old jeans.
    Join the shoulder strap to the high point on the shoulder.
    Finished beaded cherry dress from old jeans.

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How to make cherry beaded dress from old jeans

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