Sewing Machine Hack for Distressing Jeans




When you hem your jeans, you get that "new" edge that looks out of place. I turned an unused sewing machine into a belt sander so that I can distress denim hems, etc.

Step 1: Don't Be Afraid

To unscrew things and peek inside, especially if it is sacrificial. I used to take stuff apart when I was a little girl. I would put it all back together, just wanted to see the mechanical guts of things. In most cases. screws are overrated. :D

  1. This is what a sewing machine looks like on the inside. This one is all metal. It's an older, heavy duty White. I never use it because I have much better ones that I prefer instead, so I decided to turn it into a belt sander to distress fabric. I also wanted to turn the needle clamp into a mini jig saw, but the shank holder is very small and tubular, so kinda hard to clamp anything besides needles in there.
  2. I cut a strip of sandpaper(80 or 120 grit works) the width and length of the circumference of the handwheel, about 1 5/8" x 9". I then cut a piece of gorilla tape the same with a little added length for connecting the ends, to make the circle you see here. It needs to fit on the wheel snugly.I laid the sticky part of the gorrilla onto the back of the sandpaper strip, then fit it over the wheel for testing, and connected the ends.
  3. I slipped it over the wheel and, voila, a belt sander! You don't really have to take your machine apart to do this; you could certainly just add it to your existing machine that you currently use. You could even just put a 300 grit for when you get a snag in your nails! :D
  4. Here is a pair of jeans that I hemmed and distressed. It is part of another instructable:

Step 2: Here Is a Video of My Sewing Machine Turned Belt Sander.

It works great! Take it slow so that you don't initially remove more than you want. It does create a little dust, so be sure to put the top back on if you took it off. This one piece of sandpaper will probably last quite a while, maybe just de-lint it with some masking tape scraps.



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    3 Discussions


    Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

    Maybe I'll add some. I did 2 other accompanying instructables with pics and text. Thanks!!