Monday, August 24, 2009

Turn Old Jeans Into A Skirt Tutorial

This past weekend I turned a pair of jeans into a skirt for my 10 year old daughter for school. Now this is by no means a new idea or even my own idea. It's been around for years, but it's still new to a lot of people, so I thought I'd put together a little tutorial on one way to make a pair of old jeans into an almost new skirt.

The old pair of jeans.......

...and the new jean skirt!

Here's how......

First try on the jeans and decide how long you would like your skirt to be. I would suggest adding about 2 inches to this measurement and then mark with a pin or pencil mark.

Find a good work space and lay out the old pair of jeans.

Measuring from the bottom up find your mark and then measure across the jeans leg marking with a light pencil mark or disappearing marking pen. This will become your cutting line.

Using either a rotary cutter or a pair of scissors, follow your cutting line and cut jean legs off.

There you go.

Set these aside for later.

Next find that handy dandy seam ripper and rip out the inner seams of each leg, stopping at about 1 inch below the zipper in the front and about 2 inches from the waistband on the back or if your jeans have a yolk, then rip just up the yoke. Pull out all of the extra threads. Neatness counts!

Your jeans should look something like this.

Now lay left front leg flap over the right front leg flap like pictured here. The crotch points will overlap. Pin in place just down to the top of where the triangle starts to form. Make sure NOT to pin the front to the back by accident. It's my favorite wrong thing to do!

Next pin the back overlapping the left over the right as seen above.

Stitch just the pinned areas of the front and the back. For this skirt I chose a nice gray shade of thread for all of the stitching, because it blended nicely with the denim color, however you can also use contrasting colors if you'd like.

Turn inside out and cut out the excess fabric that has been created trimming a quarter inch or so from the stitching line. Repeat for both front and back. Turn skirt right side out again.

Take one of the leftover legs and lay it out flat.....

...and cut along either side of the seam. This will become the part that fills in the triangle. NOTE: You may also use scraps of fabric instead of the jeans leg for a bit of color.

Lay one piece of the jean leg underneath the open triangle area. You can lay it so the grain is going up down like this photo.......

..or where it is on the diagonal like this photo. We chose the diagonal. I also laid it out so that the hem area of the leg was at the top. This part will be trimmed off later.

After you have decided which way you'd like your leg piece to go in--making sure to have it longer than the skirt as seen in the photo then pin into place. I like to make it big then trim it to size later.

Repeat this for the back side also.

Stitch along the old seams. (For both front and back triangles).

Turn skirt inside out and trim away all of the excess fabric just along the newly sewn areas for both front and back pieces. Turn skirt right side out again.

You will most likely have a lovely uneven hemline now, but that's ok. Using your rotary cutter or pair of scissors trim both layers straight across.

You may now hem the skirt or leave it as is and let it fray naturally. I chose to let it fray naturally, however I did stitch a row of stitching just above the bottom edge, so that it won't fray past my stitching. I used a machine featherstitch, but zigzag works great too. You might even want to use a contrasting thread if you want the stitching to show.

You may also chose to embellish your skirt. Maybe with some rick rack along the hem or along the triangle seam lines. Other trim ideas: pompom trim, ribbon, buttons, zippers, applique, add lace fabric over the legs before sewing them into the triangles for a more feminine look. The ideas are endless. Just use your imagination or leave it plain as we did. But have fun!

This is the finished skirt front.

And the finished skirt back.

If you have any questions please feel free to email me and if you revamp your own jeans into a skirt I'd love to see your photos.

Happy Stitching!