DIY Jeans and Dress Pants Upcycle: Part V

Part V: Another Fun Skirt Yes, there's more! There wasn't going to be, but then I saw th...

Part V: Another Fun Skirt

Yes, there's more! There wasn't going to be, but then I saw these cool skirts on Pinterest that had the top half from jeans and the bottom was a normal skirt. It was a link to some that were being sold, but not to a tutorial so I'll try to explain my process to you so you can make one too.

Ideally, you could start with your own pair of jeans so you don't need to alter the waist, but my jeans are still intact and I wanted to use the leftovers from the rest of these posts. They were Daddy B's pants so I needed to take them in a bit.

I found a tutorial on taking in jeans on the side here and followed the instructions. I tried my pants on inside out to figure out how much to take it in and pinned. I will skip the gruesome details on that and let you read those tutorials. I wasn't particularly careful when I did mine so they're not perfect, but I got the basic idea and they fit now. The drawback to doing this to men's jeans is that they don't come out looking as nice and feminine as they could. I didn't think of that beforehand... oh well. Daddy B says it's not as flattering from the back, if you know what I mean- wink wink. Next time I definitely need to use my own jeans to make one of these!

If you check out the finish picture of the skirt, you'll note that my skirt looks a little different from the ones she sells because I kept the original zipper. I think hers looks really nice, but I liked not having to mess with the zipper or get rid of the pockets. Also, I was a little afraid my jersey might be too shear so it's nice that the jean covers all the "important parts" while the jersey covers my legs. You could definitely tweak your skirt however you want!

Now for the fun part. I believe the bottom of the skirt I saw was sewn on top of the jeans with a raw edge exposed, but I wanted a clean edge. I had some jersey fabric to use that I got from the remnants bin so I decided to use this... I like it because it doesn't fray.





I pinned the jersey to the bottom of my jeans right sides together, and sewed them together with a straight stitch. Make sure not to hit any of the fun metal pieces on the jeans. Also make sure not to sew your pockets up either. When I got about 4" from where I started, I stopped (see the gap in the picture). I wanted to sew up the long side of the jersey fabric before finishing. It makes sense to do this beforehand, but I need to visualize quite a bit so it's easier for me when I do it this way.











Ok so right here you just figure out how much fabric extra you have on your end once you get around the whole skirt. Face the jersey right sides together and use that amount as your "seam allowance." Sew a straight stitch. Cut off the excess, but keep it for later. If you are using a fraying fabric, you need to finish the edge with a zigzag. Now you can finish sewing the jersey to the jean, right sides together.








Cut off excess fabric.
ZigZag edges to prevent fraying.
Jean can fray a little so this is a good thing to do.
Flip fabrics right sides out. Topstitch.
Figure out your desire length (if you didn't do this beforehand).
Then you can hem your skirt to the desire length. I had Daddy B
pin the fabric where it hit the floor because it's really hard to do this to myself.
Then I measured how much extra fabric was past the pin and cut off that much all around my skirt. As I'm using jersey, I decided not to hem the skirt, but to make a ruffly edge, similar to what the tutorial suggested for shirts #3 and 4 on my tshirt upcycle post. 

Here are my settings for my machine- zigzag, 3/2.5. 
I'm using a zigzag here while pulling the fabric tight (gently) as I sew.
This is the pretty ruffle that you're left with (and you have a finished edge too!)

Pocket Ruffles


My skirt was complete, but I wanted to add some pretty ruffles to my pockets. I cut two pieces of the jersey fabric, and ruffled the bottom long edge of each like I did with the bottom of the skirt. 




I folded over the top edge with the wrong sides together and then sewed a straight stitch with the tension set to 1 and the stitch length set to be pretty long. You will leave some thread hanging loose on each end of the fabric, then pull one of the pieces of thread to ruffle up the fabric. Fun huh? I love doing these. You need to be careful while pulling it so that the thread doesn't break. Just tweak until you have the ruffles like you want them.

Here's some pictures of this process:



Settings that I used... I set my tension to 1 because a
0 tension really messes with my machine.


Now set the ruffle where you want to place it on the pocket. I folded over each end a little so there's no raw edge showing and sewed it down with a straight stitch on each end. Then I sewed the rest of the ruffle across the top of the pocket, making sure to sew just the top WITHOUT hitting the little metal pieces on the jeans. Important detail there- breaking needles sucks. I also made sure not to catch my pocket because I wanted them to be usable (much to my excitement at this discovery, men's jeans have awesome huge pockets!). And you're done! Very pretty skirt using upcycled materials.



Keep in mind that your choice of materials will effect whether or not you need to finish the edges with a serger or zigzag to prevent fraying.

Final Product

One perk to this skirt that I didn't anticipate was that it's SUPER comfortable. I love the solid jean waist and the big pockets, but the jersey fabric is really soft and cool against my legs. So wonderful.


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DIY Danielle: DIY Jeans and Dress Pants Upcycle: Part V
DIY Jeans and Dress Pants Upcycle: Part V
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DIY Danielle
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