Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Make a Skirt from a Pair of Jeans (a Tutorial):

If you’re like me you probably have a ton of jeans in your closet that don’t fit right but that you can’t bear to part with...what to do? How about turn them into a skirt? I know skirts of this style have been around for ages now (heck, I made my first one almost 10 years ago...well, maybe not that long, but probably in 1999!) This is also one of the easiest sewing projects to do, especially because you don’t need a pattern and you don’t need to know how to sew in zippers....so, here goes:
You will need:
-old jeans (that still fit around the waist/hips)
-scissors that will cut denim
-sewing machine with denim/heavy needle
-thread
-pins
First, grab your denim jeans and determine how long you’d like the skirt to be. (You can do this by trying them on, by using another skirt you have as a guide, or just guessing...guessing doesn’t always work too well for me).
Next, cut the legs at the right point, straight across as if you were making jean shorts (or capris). I like to leave my finished skirt a bit frayed but if you’d like a hem (or even to add a ribbon) be sure to leave extra fabric as a seam allowance (1”-2”). It also helps to be sure (by measuring) that what’s left of the jeans leg will be enough fabric to finish the skirt (to fill in the “triangle” in the center—more on that later).
Then, take your fabric scissors and cut along the inner leg seam. (You may find it easier to turn your jeans inside-out to do this. You could also use a seam ripper, but I find cutting with some sturdy sharp scissors works well.
Once you have the jeans cut all the way along the inner seam from leg to leg, you can make a slight slit up the seam where the zipper is. (See picture). This just makes the denim lay flat and makes sewing easier.

Now, set this “skirt” part of your jeans aside and grab the rest of the denim leg. Once again, cut along the inner seam to create a flat piece of denim.
Cut this piece in half (or down to size that will fit inside the “triangle” now formed below the zipper of the soon-to-be skirt.

Pin these pieces of denim together so that they lay flat. Your pins will be along what is left of the original inner seam of the jeans, around the triangle that had formed between the legs of the jeans.

Turn the skirt over and do the same to the back of the skirt. Please note that since the inner seam is already cut, all you will need to do on the back is make a slight slit up the middle toward the yolk of the jeans so that the fabric will lay flat. Then, insert and pin the denim remnant and pin it into the triangle.


Here comes the real fun (I only say that because I have made skirts like this before and didn’t use denim weight needles, and, lets just say that’s very dangerous. When moving needles break, they can really fly)! So, following the pins you have along the “triangle” you are ready to sew up the seams. You can use what is left from the jeans’ inner seam as a guide. I usually double (or even triple) stitch this, just o safe.
Once you have sewn up the front and back, you may want to turn your new skirt inside out and trim the excess fabric from inside.
And, there you go, the easiest skirt you can ever make! Now you can add ribbon or lace, or use a razor to fray it up nicely! You can see in one of the skirts I made, I used a white-on-white floral fabric for the center and white lace because I wanted it too have a layered look, as if a slip was showing.
Have fun with this, there are a million possibilities!