This was too cool not to pass along. I'm going shopping at a few thrift stores tomorrow-- and definitely planning to look for something along the lines of "recycled jeans."
Need a new miniskirt? Making a skirt from jeans is incredibly easy to do and gives an aging pair of jeans another chance at being fashionable. Here’s how to recycle a pair of jeans into your new denim skirt.
- Find an old pair of jeans. As long as the top part of the jeans is still in great condition, the condition lower down isn’t of such concern. Jeans with holes in the knees and frayed leg ends are ideal.
- Measure a suitable skirt length from the waist down the outside hem. The chosen measurement will serve as your hem boundary; leave about an inch (2.5cm) for the hem. Mark this length with a pencil (or sewing chalk).
- Cut off the legs following your marked line.
- Or, for a more precise result, cut off the legs a few inches lower for now and finish them later. The overall shape will change as you let out previously bunched-up crotch seams. You could measure down evenly on each side and cut straight across on a tubular skirt, or down from the waistband evenly in several places for a more conical skirt so you don’t make the middle too short. (Laying a complex surface flat and measuring “straight across” can distort its ultimately three-dimensional form. Measure, chalk and wear in front of a mirror or friend, then cut.)
- Turn the jeans inside out. Using a seam ripper, undo the inside seam. This will open up the leg and crotch areas.
- Cut to straighten the curve of the crotch seams. Leave room for the new seam itself. Restitch the crotch seams into straight seams.
- The amount of inside-the-leg fabric you retain controls the extent to which the skirt flares out. You’ll probably want a longer skirt to flare out for more freedom of movement. Experiment by attaching points along where the seam would go with safety pins before cutting.
- Decide whether you want a neatly hemmed edge or a frayed edge. The neat edge requires a little more work as you’ll need to stitch a hem in place, while a frayed edge is still very fashionable and easier to achieve.
- Let the hemline naturally fray; or
- Sew the hemline in place neatly.
- Decorate the skirt with patches, beads or sequins. This step is optional but can be a lot of fun and can also improve the look of denim that’s looking a bit faded… or jaded.
- Buy jeans from a thrift shop for practice.
- If fabric is prone to fray, place a zig zag stitch along the edge of the fabric, prior to stitching a seam.
- For an even hemline, measure from the floor with a yardstick. Have a friend measure and mark the hemline with common pins while you are wearing the skirt.
Things You’ll Need
- Seam ripper
- Matching thread
- Sewing machine
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