Mar 20, 2011

How to make a skirt out of old jeans/reconstruction tutorial

How to
  make a  
skirt out of
  old jeans  

Finally its getting warmer outside again and my
skirt season has started!
As my favorite pair of black jeans were dying a slow death
(certain areas were getting rather see-through from all that riding around on my bike )
I decided to turn them into an A-line skirt and while doing so
make a tutorial about how to accomplish this.
Here goes, have fun.

skirt out of old jeans/reconstruction part 1

 You'll need 
  • a pair of jeans (I guess every pair of pants will do, I'll stick to jeans here)
  • tailoring scissors
  • a seam ripper (I used really thin nail scissors)
  • sewing pins
  • thick yarn (although I used just normal yarn I had lying around  it is recommended to use really sturdy yarn for denim)
  • a meassuring tape
  • an iron
  • a sewing machine.

1. Lay your pair of jeans flat out on a big surface.

2. Fold the legs upwards at about knee hight. 
The upfolded parts of the legs should almost come up to where the zipper ends, you will need the length of  that material to cover the "free triangle part" of the jeans 
(see picture, I have no idea how to explain this better :p )

3. Cut off the legs at the folds.

skirt out of old jeans/reconstruction part 2

  4. With your seam ripper, open up the inner and 
     side seams of the jeans.  

 5. Here is a close up of how to rip the seams. 

 6. Turn the pants inside out.
( in this picture the side seams are not opened up yet,
  its a bit confusing but the next picture lets you see how it should be with all seams opened up!)

skirt out of old jeans/reconstruction part 3

7. Fold the pants so that the sides are on top of each other (pocket on top of pocket kind of).

8. Cut off the material that is not really in line with the rest.
    In the back cut off  to about half way up the back pockets, 
    in the front cut off  a good way below where the zipper ends (ca. 5 cm).
   (Don't cut off too much, refere to picture 10 for a better idea of where to stop cutting.)

9. Fold over the cut edges and iron them so you have neat seams.

10. You should have something like this now.

11. Take the cut off parts of the legs now.
      Cut the legs open along the seams
      (you can rip open the seams too but I found this not to be nescessary).

12. Half way done, two more seams to go!

skirt out of old jeans/reconstruction part 4

13. Now all the seams of the cut off material are open,
      you should have four panels like this now.

14. Take your pants, turn them the right way around and
      lay them down, the back side facing you.
      Take one of the fourn leg panels and 
      place it over the free triangle part.

15. Push the leg panel to the inside and secure with pins
      (don't pin the back to the front by accident, I tend to do that ;)
      Do this with all the open sides of the pants,
      your skirt will start taking shape now 8D
      The crotch area might be a bit tricky, if so then cut a bit higher
      and overlap the material a bit to get an even, flat result. 

16.  Cut an even line around the skirt.
       Some of the panels might be shorter then the free triangle part, 
         this can't be helped really.  You just have to cut off enough  so
       that you have an even line all the way around 
       and no material is standing over anymore.

17. With your sewing machine and a sturdy yarn sew along all the seams.

18. Now you will determin the length of your skirt.   
         Note that this skirt will always be on the short side, 
         there just isn't enough material to work with here to make this a long skirt. 
       For the best result, take a measuring tape, 
       start measuring the front of the skirt,
       measure the length that you want your skirt to be and
       add 2 cm/ca.1 inch for the seam allowance 
       (which will make a neat edge around the skirt.
       If you want your skirt to fray then ignore the seam allowance
       and just leave it like it is now!).
       Use your pins and mark the length+seam allowance all the way 
       around the skirt by folding the seams to the inside 
       at the required length.
       Try on your skirt and check if the front and back are 
       about the same length.
        I needed to add about 2 cm of length in the back, 
         the more curves the more material is needed in the back ;)
       Adjust accordingly
       (leave the skirt a bit longer in the back than in the front
       if needed).
       Now sew along the bottom seam. 

       You are done and should have a nice
       A-line demin skirt now!


  1. Thank you! I tried this after your tutorial, and my skirt turned out great!

  2. I love this pattern! I can't wait until it's finished! How far up do I cut up the side seam?