old jeans

Reinvent old jeans! Patchwork projects that don’t require a sewing machine

Patch up your old jeans into something better!

Just when your favorite jeans start wearing in and feeling just right – they also start to wear out. Rips and holes happen, but you don’t need to throw them out – instead, show them off.

Noelle Olpin shares how to get creative and let your personality run wild in repairing and upcycling your beloved denim. She shares unique ideas to not only repair, but reinvent your wardrobe.


When you repair what you’ve worked so hard to wear in, or even something you’ve picked up at the thrift store – it’s your time to show off and call attention to the broken or worn area. Make the fix obvious with colors, patterns, stitching and showcase your personal flair and imagination.

What Noelle loves about these projects, and patching in general, is that you don’t need a sewing machine. Patching can be easier and look better if you sew it by hand – a skill easy to master with a bit of practice. Make it a party – hand stitching with friends is a great way to hang out, share ideas, swap skills, and get the job done.

Noelle thinks the idea of perfection is overrated, especially with textiles. Perfect means something was mass produced a factory – boring. Imperfection in an item gives it personality and depth. It means something has been handmade or hand fixed and is so much more interesting. We’re all consumers, but this can be a step toward being a producer or a maker – doing our part for the planet.

See Noelle’s creations at @noelleodesigns and on Etsy.

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