Monday, May 18, 2009
How to turn a pair of jeans into a skirt
The first step is to find a pair of jeans or other pants to use. When I am looking for pants to make into a skirt I look for pants that are slightly snug around the waist and have straight or slightly flaired leg. These styles make a nicer skirt. You also need a large piece of denim fabric, an old skirt, or another pair of jeans to fill in the jeans with. Here I am using another pair of jeans that I cut the legs off of to get a large enough piece of fabric to use. It is fine to sew together pieces of fabric, or make one long seam down the center. As long as you like the look, go with it!
Next you rip out the inner leg and crotch seam. This step is rather tedious, especially if the jeans you have chosen have a lot of top stitching. I don;t pick out every stitch. Usually I'll pick out a few, the rip as far as it will go, then pick out a few more, and so on. That makes it go a little faster. After you have this seam completely torn out, rip out a little of the center front and back seams. The goal here is to make the fabric lie flat. When you have first ripped out the inner leg seam, you will see, when you lay the jeans out, that the crotch still curves up. Keep ripping until it lays flat. Do this in the front and back.
Now that you have everything ripped out, lap one crotch piece over the other. Pin it down, and try it on. If it fits, proceed to the next paragraph. If not, try to determine what the problem is. If you have a "bubble" under the lap over, you probably need rip the seam a bit higher, and lap it farther. If the skirt feels too tight, re pin the lap not quite as far as before. This is a difficult part of making these kinds of skirts. Because just about every pair of jeans is cut a little differently, there is not one way to do this. You just have to keep pinning and trying on until you have the look and feel you want.
Now lay your skirt on the floor or a large table. Spread the legs out so that there is a V shaped opening between them. Take the fabric you are going to use, and lay it inside and under the V. Pin the fabric in. You may need to iron under a seam allowance. Or leave it to fray. Pin the fabric in the front and back, and try the skirt on again. Once again, if the skirt seems to bubble, you have spread the lags too far apart. Re pin the seam with the legs closer together. If the skirt is too narrow, spread the legs a little farther apart. Keep repinning and trying on until you are comfortable with your skirt.
You can see here that I spread the legs way too far apart. They need to be re pinned closer together.
Correctly pinned front
Now you can sew. I usually sew a double seam. One right next to the edge, and again 1/4 inch away. Sew all the way from the bottom up the lap over. Be sure to sew up into the original topstitching, and back stitch to prevent it from coming apart.
All that is left is to hem your skirt. Trim off any excess fabric. I usually press under 1/4 inch, then 3/8 inch, and sew the hem twice. Once right along the edge of the hem, and again 1/4 inch away. Or you could run two rows of stitching around, and leave the edge to fray.
Enjoy your new skirt!
Some other projects I've done.
You can use overalls, too.