Redesigning Denim Part II : Making

Hi Sunshines!

We’re back for part two of our denim project. Click here to catch up on part I. When we left off all we had was some sketches, a glint in our eye and hope. Where are we now? A little closer to fabulous that is, admittedly, a combination of ideas. Here’s what the shorts looked like before I started hacking away at them:



If you’re following along here are some supplies to have on hand:

  • seam ripper
  • scissors
  • quilting pins
  • fabric, muslin works, denim pictured. This can also include other clothes or scraps you’ve had in the unfinished pile or bin. If you’re anything like me, anyway. I’m sayin, tho!]
  • embroidery floss this one is particularly thick
  • needles (the larger the floss, the bigger the eye)
  • heavy duty thread
  • sewing machine
  • iron
  • ironing board


Begin by ripping the seams. This always seems more painful than it really is. In my head I’m thinking ugh every single stitch but, yes, every single stitch. At most I might rip two stitches at  time, but I consider that loosey goosey. Pulling out one stitch at a time only took a few minutes. Then I pressed out the creases. So the general idea is to sweep lace between layers attached to the shorts. A little something like this:

4_General Idea

Next I removed most of the front panel of the shorts; basically cutting the front like extra hoochie daisy dukes. Be careful not to cut the pockets! Pin in the new fabric and sew down the sides first using the sewing machine. For the uppermost connection between fabric and shorts, I embroidered by hand chain stitches in a pattern emulating lace.



For the back I opted to keep things simple. I patched the gaping hole with a darker wash of denim. Where the seams connect, I made an overlapping fold so that as little hole was visible as possible then pinned and stitched that in place using the sewing machine.

11_Back_patch continued

Then lengths of lace were layered and embroidered down using the chain stitch. I chose the chain stitch because it’s pretty and very secure, which is especially important considering how hole-y lace can be. To keep each row from flaring upward (say if you sat down funny or something) I stitched an X in the center. That was Honeybee’s idea because he’s handy like that.


I can’t wait to share the finished product with you guys! I’ve been stitching my fingers to the bone. How’s your project coming along? Smooth sailing or struggle-fest? Leave in the comments below! And don’t forget to hit the Like button if you’re into seeing more projects like this around here.

2016_Sunshine Signature_grey burst

Author: Brianna Wray

I'm an artist in Seattle just living the dream.


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