Hippie patchwork pants of the 1960s and 1970s were a combination of frugal necessity and creative design. Hippies thought nothing of combining wildly different fabrics in one garment, and often reveled in the contrast. Begin with a base of worn blue jeans and build your hippie garment. Making hippie clothing is not so much about following a pattern as it is using your imagination and letting the garment grow in an organic manner. Every piece will be different, but there is no right or wrong. You are finished when you say that you are.
Things You'll Need
- Blue jeans
- Fabric scraps
- Embroidered patches
- Embroidery thread
- Sewing thread
Cover most of the holes in your jeans with patches. Use commercial embroidered patches like peace signs or ecology symbols, or create your own patches by cutting out shapes in printed fabric. Use a hem stitch to securely fasten the patches to your jeans. Make the patch about 1-inch larger than the rip or hole in the pants, so that you thoroughly cover the hole without sewing into weakened jean fabric.
Add a flowered strip at the bottom of your jean legs. Cut a strip long enough to go around the the leg hem on each leg of the pants. Sew the strips to the bottom of the pant legs to decorate the legs and to make the legs longer. Hippie pants are very long and often drag on the ground without them ever sagging from below the waist.
Split the side hem of the pant legs from the bottom to a point about a foot above the hem. Insert a triangle of flowered or patterned material into each split. This will make the bell in your bell bottom pants larger while adding another festive decorative item on your pants.
Embroider flowers, feathers or other decorative stitches along the pocket edge, down the seams or on large expanses of otherwise undecorated pants leg. Use a variety of bright rainbow colors. Do not color coordinate any of this decoration.
Wash your newly decorated hippie jeans in the washer with a pair of tennis shoes or some tennis balls. Hang to dry or tumble dry with the same shoes. This will help to erase some of the newness of your decorations and make your pants look more worn.
Tips & Warnings
- For the most authentic hippie look, begin with used Levis or other classic-cut jeans. Never use modern jeans with baggy legs. Hip-cut jeans can be used beacause they were produced in the early 1970s.
- Photo Credit Jeans image by Francis Bourgouin from Fotolia.com