What's Upcycle

An exploration in which fashion meets upcycling.

I wasn’t sure what to expect when I decided to make a pillow out of denim jeans. When I think of denim, I imagine stiff, durable, or rugged textures so there was no way to know how comfortable and plush this pillow turned out. The chevron pattern is an immediate draw, making the pillow easy on the eyes. I especially love the way the mismatched denim textures leave a gentle, alluring impression to the touch. The build video for this project can be seen above and a brief overview of this project can be found below.

02-Rip

Believe it or not, deconstructing the denim jeans was the hardest task of this project. Although I was keen on ripping them by hand, I used a pocket knife and scissors to keep large “panels” of denim intact. With the denim panels prepped, I traced 60 parallelogram shapes.

03-Slice

Armed with a rotary cutter, I quickly trimmed the shapes as marked. I have to thank Susan for the tip, because cutting these with scissors would have been hell. Once 30 black and 30 blue parallelograms were cut, I could start the tedious task of sewing them into columns for the chevron pattern.

04-Sew

Sewing pieces into columns and columns into panels was tedious, but it was over well before I knew it. In all fairness, anything would be quicker than sewing 240+ pieces for my fabric sample jacket. Once the chevron panels were intact, I trimmed the excess fabric to create 16″ x 16″ squares.

05-Stuff

The rest was easy from this point forward. I sewed the square panels together, added a zipper, and stuffed the pillow using a polyfill pillow insert. I would have preferred a pillow insert containing upcycled/recycled/reclaimed materials, but I’m still sourcing options that are feasible and comfortable. Please let me know if anyone knows of any products, methods, or techniques! My end goal would be to create products containing 85-100% upcycled, recycled, reclaimed materials.

06-Rest

One Response to “Denim Throw Pillow || Upcycled Denim”

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