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Fashion Sewing

Project provided courtesy of:
Simplicity Pattern Co. ©

Tropical Jeans

Doing Denim Your Way

Designers have taken denim to whole new fashion heights, with premium lines that can cost hundreds of dollars. These boutique lines feature creative details and embellishment, making each pair of jeans an individual work of art. With a little creativity and basic sewing skills, you can create the luxury look for less!

Start with a new pair of jeans, or re-invent a pair of your broken-in favorites. Consider whether you’re willing to dry clean your newly decorated jeans; if so, your trimming options will be greater. If you prefer to machine launder them, remember that the care instructions for your embellishments should be the same.

Fabric Mixing

Add the latest trend of fabric-mixing to your wardrobe by fusing or sewing on different textures to your jeans. Try tweed, brocade or velvet shapes and trims on front pocket edges, waistbands, belt loops and back pockets. Cut shapes or individual motifs from prints and florals and place them up the front and sides of pants legs. See our red-hot Tropical Jean for basic instructions:

TIP: If you are using new jeans, pre-shrink them by machine washing and drying them before applying any trims or embellishments. Also, it’s a good idea to pre-shrink any washable ribbons or braids as well.


  • 1 – 2 yards of tropical print fabric
  • 1 yard of paper-backed fusing web
  • Sharp scissors


1. Cut motifs such as flowers, palm trees, surfboards, etc. from your tropical print fabric.

2. Iron paper-backed fusing web (exposed glue side) to wrong side of fabric.

3. Using sharp scissors, cut out details of your fabric motifs, as close to the motif outlines as possible.

4. Peel off paper from wrong side of motifs, exposing the other glue side of the fusing web.

5. Place as desired on your jeans, and press the motifs in place.

6. Be careful to hold the iron over the motifs completely, to ensure that they permanently fuse to the denim fabric. .


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