Upcycled jeans skirt from old jeans

I had a couple of pairs of old jeans that either don’t fit correctly post childbirth or have bleach spots on or both, so I took two pairs of the same brand and stuck them together in a Frankensteinish way to make a skirt. Here’s how I did it. My jeans before:

I took both pairs of jeans and my friend the seam ripper, and we spent some quality time together. This can take a LONG time, so doing this while watching educational television, listening to informative podcasts, supervising your children, or waiting for the dryer to buzz is recommended. You need to rip all the seams holding the legs to one another.

Sometimes, you’ll get impatient and find that you can rip them apart with your hands after making some progress with the seam ripper. But be careful! You are NOT being the incredible Hulk here, you’re trying to make yourself an awesome jeans skirt. If you rip too hard, this can happen

Sorry for the blurry photo, that is my finger poking through one of three holes I made in the seams with my super human strength. We just want to remove the threads, though, not make holes in the fabric that can be difficult to repair when we want to put these things together. All right, so here is the result of all your hard work

Cut off the legs of one of the pants. I chose the one with bleach stains at the top. Then, take one of the pant leg sections (you should have four) and piece it between the split you made in the non-cut-off pair of jeans like so

I matched up the bottom seams. I had ripped too far up the leg, but I simply sewed that section together again before I sewed in the new panel. You can’t see it all that well, but I have pinned in the new section. I attached it by sewing two lines up the edge of the sewing like you find on the seams of your jeans. One line followed very close to where the two pieces met, the other was about a 1/4 inch away from that (I just put the edge of the presser foot on my first line). When you’re done sewing the first panel in, it looks a little like this

You can’t tell this from the picture, but I sewed all the way up to the pocket line because I didn’t want my double row of stitches to end in an awkward place. If you do this, I beseech you to pin your pocket in place first or you will be doing some more seam ripping, and, really, haven’t we done enough of that today? Now, do the second side like the first. I found that placing a book or a cutting board between the two layers helped me to pin only the material that I wanted to be pinning.

Ah, before I forget. You can trim the extra material at any time. I did mine as I finished each panel. You also could use a zigzag stitch or a serger on the rough ends to make sure they don’t fray. I’m currently depending upon the double lines of stitches.

I did the side seams first because they were less intimidating to me. They didn’t have any of the extra material that we deal with in the front and back. I then moved to the front since I had only seen in many online tutorials (just google make denim skirt from jeans) one way to do the front. So, this is how I pinned the front in.

Here is a close up of the top of the front to help you figure out the pinning

Then, sew up the front seams. I ended up doing the back in the same manner as the front except there was a lot more fabric to fold under on the back. I not only folded about 5/8″ of the side seams in, but I also ended up folding back and cutting off about about an inch of the crotch seam. This may be different for you depending on how your jeans were originally constructed, but I think it’s pretty standard. In any case, here is a picture of the back all pinned up

Once it is pinned up, try it on and model it for someone (not your husband unless he is able to tell you if your butt looks bumpy or bulgy, most are not comfortable with these kind of questions) or just check yourself out in a mirror to make sure the seam is laying flat.  Once it is, sew it up. Then, all you need to do is cut off the remaining fabric flaps and threads. Here is a photo of the finished skirt on








Note to self: do hair and makeup before allowing oneself to be photographed. But hey, for someone who has been coughing and hacking for the last week and a half, I don’t look so terrible.  Second note to self: have the children create art to replace the sideways piece in the gallery.

Your finished skirt might be too long. I need to wear mine with heeled boots if I’m going out. If your skirt is longer than you like, just chop off the bottom and hem it up. I wanted mine long because I was tired of drafts during the winter, but you don’t have to be like me.

Let me know if this worked for you or if you have questions.

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