Waste Not, Want Not - Design x Stitch Collaboration

Waste Not, Want Not - Design x Stitch Collaboration


This week we are looking at upcycling, and how we can bring new life or add personality to our wardrobe. But what is upcycling?

Upcycling is simply reusing or transforming an item into something new or of better quality – ‘upping’ its value. Whether it’s giving your old jeans a new lease of life or customising a new pair to suit your personality, upcycling reduces the need for new raw materials and encourages creativity. Sometimes your clothes just need a little TLC – so before you bid adieu to your unworn or unwanted jeans, try your hand at a new skill!

This month we’ve collaborated with Rebecca Torres-Sherrington, founder of @designxstitch, who has been working her magic on our Libby jeans!



“I love colour and with the style of denim I wanted to add something that fitted in with that relaxed 90’s vibe. I’ve never embroidered on denim before, really enjoyed the process and defo will add that fabric to my list of things to stitch on.” – Instagram - @designxstitch


 Design x Stitch

I’m a designer by day and a thread embroidery junkie by night!  I took up my childhood hobby of cross stitching and embroidery last year and I haven’t looked back since.

My love of colour, shapes and a love for creativity has given me the bug to make beautiful bespoke pieces for friends, family and soon to be customers through my Etsy shop (which is coming soon!)

I was asked by the lovely folk at Monkee Genes if I would have a go at up-cycling their ‘Libby’ Jean, which of course I jumped at.

Below is a brief step by step guide of how I created this design on Monkee Genes Libby style, but first you need to consider the overall look you’re going for.  Does your design require it to be thick and chunky threads or yarns or are you going for a delicate, minimal look and what fabric are you stitching on?

  • Dig out your denim!
Have a dig around your wardrobe, you’re bound to find something unloved ready for a second chance, or maybe visit a local charity shop and upcycle someone else’s old jeans.
Want to treat yourself to something new and like the look of my jeans? The rigid denim of the Libby jean gave a great vintage feel and the perfect base for stitching. Check out the Libby online now!

  •  Get creative!
I drew out my design on paper first to give me an idea of what I wanted to do and then if you’re feeling a little brave (as I was that day!) then you can draw straight on the denim with fabric pencils that will easily wash off if you make any mistakes.
If you’re not feeling so bold, then you can use embroidery transfer paper or fusible (just don’t iron the fusible down too hard – so you can easily take it off).
This simple design added a contrast pop of colour to the light wash denim which is perfect for a summer update.


  • Grab the needle and thread
I opted to for the more traditional standard cotton thread from @dmc_embriodery, they have an amazing selection of colours and it’s my go to place for picking up threads. I take 3 strands from the yarn (within every yarn there are 6 strands) which helps create the overall look I’m going for.
When choosing your thread, it’s best to choose something durable and washable to keep up with the adventures of your denim.
The type of thread you use will then determine the size of needle you will need. For this project I used a standard embroidery needle as pictured below. My rule of thumb is the bigger the needle and eye; the thicker the yarn!
Remember that denim can be a thick and stubborn fabric so you need a suitably strong needle.
  • Start Stitching
Time to get creative and get sewing! The beauty of cross stitching and embroidery is that you can do it anywhere at any time – while watching TV, on the morning commute or in my case, on the beach!
Not only can you learn a new skill, but you’ll have your own unique pair of jeans for as little as the cost of a needle and thread.

To check out more of @designxstitch head to her Instagram page (Etsy shop coming soon!), and don’t forget to tag us in any of your own upcycling creations!

This is the first of a few collaborations that we have lined up this summer, in the hope to encourage and inspire our customers to reduce your waste and make your wardrobe your own!

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