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Refashion Denim Mini Dress From Old Jeans

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This DIY dress from jeans tutorial will show you how to refashion denim mini dress from old jeans so that you can exactly copy this adorable outfit.

This mini dress from old jeans features a cute bow detail in the front and elegant princess seams that’ll give you a nice fit. Once you have experience, creative juices will flow and you can upcycle old jeans into almost anything!

This Alexa Chung inspired dress from old jeans is an upcycled clothing tutorial to make new clothes from old clothes. The easy beginners sewing project is simple pants into dress upcycle because it includes detailed instructions, step-by-step photos and also an helpful video.

The original price of this Alexa Chung inspired dress is $380, and I made it for $5 with this DIY dress from jeans tutorial. You can wear as it is with a straw bag during the hot summer season or even with an embroidered t-shirt underneath for more coverage during the transitional fall season.

To make your capsule wardrobe up-to-date, you don’t need to break the bank. All you need is little bit of time to upcycle old jeans into this cute and classic Alexa Chung inspired denim mini dress.

Refashion denim mini dress from old jeans before and after

You will love this refashion denim mini dress from old jeans because…

  • Make a $380 Alexa Chung copycat denim dress using one pair of old jeans.
  • No sewing pattern is needed for this refashion project.
  • Learn how to sew a denim dress.
  • Copy clothes that fit your in order to make new garment.
  • Perfect sewing project for intermediate skill level.

Denim is a timeless fabric and must have essential for all seasons. The durable material easily makes a form fitted and structured garment. 

Whether you have dark or light washed denim, pick one that looks good on you. Grab an extra large jeans so you can place enough pieces to complete the dress without having to cut into another pair. 

This dress from jeans DIY tutorial, is not as difficult as you think. Follow the step by step upcycle tutorial that I put together. Learn how to reuse old jeans to make new clothes! 

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

Refashion Denim Mini Dress From Old Jeans (Alexa Chung Inspired) | $5 Fashion Challenge

There are so many fun and creative ways to transform old jeans into fashionable new garments. Discover different ways to reuse denim jeans to make new clothes starting with this mini dress tutorial.

Decide what the goal is, and then make a plan for how to execute the project. Be sure to take body measurements for clothing so that your DIY designs always fit you properly.

I’m super happy with how this DIY mini dress turned out, and the fabulous results truly speak for itself!

Wash the old jeans before getting started. Review the sewing kit and techniques to help guide you along so that you prevent any unnecessary mistakes. 

Let’s get started!

DIY Denim Dress From Old Jeans Materials: 

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

DIY Denim Dress From Old Jeans Sewing Tips

Make your own refashion denim mini dress from old jeans with these helpful tips and tricks. Read through this useful information, and adjust your sewing machine accordingly.

The old jeans that I used for this project were 100% denim and have no stretchy spandex blended into the material. If you haven’t sewn denim before, I recommend starting with non-stretchy denim jeans. It’s easier to sew and you will be able to avoid any puckering effect along the princess seam.

Test a couple of stitches on fabric scraps to learn and adjust the settings for the fabrication that you’ll be working on. 

  • Sewing tips: When dealing with denim material, switch to a longer stitch length when sewing through multiple layers of fabric. Also, use tools like the Jean-A-Ma-Jig to help your pressure foot jump over bulky seam allowances.
  • Cutting tips: Don’t use an old pair of scissors to cut. Also, cut one leg at time instead of doubling the left and right leg. 
  • Stitches: In general, I use stitches about ⅛” or 3mm length compared to regular stitches for other fabrication. 
  • Needle: The jeans needles are specifically designed to puncture through multiple layers of heavy fabric. So for lighter denim, use the smaller ones size 90/14 but for heavy denim choose 100/16 or 100/18 size needle. 
  • Thread: Choose jeans thread which is cotton-covered polyester that is very thick and long lasting. You can mimic jean topstitching detail as well. When threading the machines, use regular all-purpose thread in the bobbin and use top as denim thread.

If you have any questions about this DIY dress from jeans tutorial, feel free to ask in the comments. If you are stuck, I will be sure to help you out the best that I can!

Have fun and enjoy this sewing project for beginners! And don’t forget, please share your completed refashion denim mini dress from old jeans project with me!

Wearing a denim mini dress from old jeans with a red cardigan on top.
Yield: 1 Denim Mini Dress

Denim Mini Dress From Old Jeans Tutorial

Prep Time: 1 hour
Active Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 3 hours
Difficulty: Beginner
Estimated Cost: $5.00

Make your own old jeans new look with this easy beginners sewing project. Have fun today and let’s refashion denim mini dress from old jeans.

If you are looking to upgrade your wardrobe and make an old jeans new look for your classic essential wardrobe, grab a pair of old jeans and let’s get started!

There is a simple list of materials the I used to refashion old jeans into a DIY mini dress. This simple dress without a pattern was really fun to execute.

If you have any questions about the dress making pattern that I made from scratch, or the materials that I used, please leave a comment below and I'll be sure to respond.

Materials

  • Old Jeans

Tools

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

Instructions

  1. First, use a seam ripper to detach the top stitch of both leg hemlines. Then, remove the belt loops and the waistband from the pants. In addition, remove the back pockets and the zipper.Pro tip: I will show you how to use the waistband as tie straps later in this tutorial.
  2. The original dress has a long zipper in the center back. But I thought it created a bulky seam, so I decided to use a shorter zipper for this refashion version.
  3. Measure 24” from the end of the hemline and mark with fabric chalk. Make a straight line across the leg and cut along the chalk mark.
  4. Fold the pants in half and cut the same length for the other leg.
  5. Use both leg pieces to make the skirt bottom. Start by opening up the side seams with scissors and then remove the bulky inside seam. We are going to make the skirt with 8 separate panels.
    Pro tip: If you viewed my wrap dress tutorial, I covered these steps in more detail.
  6. For the front skirt pattern, mark the center of the leg piece with a straight line.
  7. The width for each front center skirt panel is 4” wide at the top and 5” at the bottom hemline.
  8. The front side skirt panels are 5” wide at the top and 7” wide at the bottom hemline.
  9. For the back skirt pattern, copy the same measurements as the front skirt. In total, you will have 8 pieces for the entire skirt.
  10. To make the front piece of the top bodice, open up the crotch seam, and cut along the center back seam. Fold this piece in half and make sure the bottom of the fabric is at least 7 ½” long.
  11. Grab your favorite cami top for a reference and fold it in half. Measure 8” down from the highest point and mark with a pin. Lay the cami on top of the fabric piece and trace the outline. Pin to secure and cut along the chalk mark.
  12. To make the back piece of the top bodice, fold another piece of fabric in half. Measure the side seam of the front piece and draw a straight line across with fabric chalk.
  13. Cut along the chalk line and also cut the folded center back. As a result, you will have 1 front piece and 2 back pieces of the top bodice.

How To Make A Denim Dress From Old Jeans

  1. Now, zigzag stitch the center of each back piece of the top bodice,.
  2. Individually zig zag stitch the sides of each front center skirt piece and then top stitch the skirt pieces together. Then, attach each front side skirt panel with zig zag stitch.
  3. Place the zipper at the top of the back center skirt panels and measure the end. This is where you start sewing.
  4. For the center skirt panels, open up the seam inside and double edge topstitch with orange or dark yellow colored thread to give a classic jeans look.
  5. For the side skirt panels, single edge topstitch.
  6. Lay the right side of the top piece and right side of the skirt piece together and pin to secure. Zigzag stitch and then finish with topstitch.
  7. Use contrast colored thread to finish the seam with edge topstitch. Place the right side of the back top piece and right side of the back skirt piece together and pin it to secure. Again, zigzag stitch and then finish with topstitch.
  8. To sew the zipper, attach to the center back with edge topstitch. Use contrast colored thread to finish the seam with double edge topstitch around the zipper and center back seam.
  9. Next, join the front and back dress together with zigzag stitch and then use contrast colored thread to finish with single edge topstitch.
  10. To make the keyhole, flip the dress inside out and measure to the center front. From the top, draw a U-shape keyhole with fabric chalk that is 1” x 2¾” and then cut it out with scissors.
  11. To bind the keyhole, place a 1” wide strap with the right sides facing each other and sew ¼” seam allowance.
    Fold the strap over the seam and finish edge topstitch.
  12. To make the binding for the bodice, I used 2 bodice tie straps that are 2” x 36”.
    Pro tip: I recommend ironing each strap in half and then double folding the edges to make a binding before attaching to the garment. This step makes it so much easier to sew.
  13. Start pinning the top binding from the center back and then sew ¼” seam allowance. Fold the binding over the seam and edge topstitch.
  14. To make the shoulder straps, I used the waistband of the pants to make 2 shoulder straps that are 2” x 13”. Pin the front and back shoulder straps to secure and sew single edge topstitch.
  15. To finish this DIY mini dress from old jeans tutorial, fold the hem about 1” and topstitch to finish.

Notes

For this DIY mini dress from old jeans tutorial, all you need is a pair of medium stretchy straight leg jeans. I got mine at the local thrift store for only $5.

I might add that this particular pair of jeans was huge. The size was 50" x 50". As a result, there was plenty of material for me to work with when reconstructing these jeans into a mini dress.

Did you make this project?

Share your upcycled clothing with me on Instagram!

How to make the bottom of the denim mini dress from old jeans
Transforming the old jeans into the dress bottom
How to make the top bodice of the denim mini dress from old jeans
Using fabric from the old jeans to make the top bodice
How to finish the denim mini dress from old jeans. The entire dress is made from a single old jeans
How to finish the denim mini dress from old jeans.

What are your favorite things to make with old jeans?
Have you ever made a dress from old jeans?
Share your favorite refashion ideas with me!
#UpcycleClothingDesigner
XOXO

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Scarlet

Tuesday 4th of August 2020

Well, now I need to go thrift store shopping. I just love that denim dress so I need a large old pair of jeans. Thanks for the jeans to dress tutorial!

Soonjoo

Tuesday 4th of August 2020

Thank you so much! This diy denim mini dress from old jeans was a very fun upcycle project, and it turned out super cute! Share your upcycled jeans with me when you finish, I would love to see how it turns out!