If you have an old pair of jeans lying around, this is a really quick way to refashion them for the summer. These ones are actually 2 sizes too big for me (hooray- my post baby slimming worked!) and they just skim my hips instead of my waist, but I think I can just about get away with that in a skirt, if I don’t put too many heavy things in my pockets! So, to the tutorial.
You will need:
Fairly lightweight fabric, I used light quilting cotton. Width is twice your waist measurement and the length will be from the bottom of your cut off jeans to the floor when you wear them, plus 3 inches for seams. You can cut it higher if you fancy (even knee length), it’s up to you.
Thread to coordinate with fabric, and jeans.
First you need to cut off your jeans. Draw a line on the front of your jeans from the leg, across the centre under the fly to the other side. Check it is straight by measuring from the pocket or rivet (or some other marker that is the same on each side) to the drawn line. This should be the same on each side. Make sure the line goes slightly above the crotch so that it goes straight all the way. Turn jeans and use the side marks as a starting point. Draw a line from one side to the other again, but DON’T mark on the pockets. Now cut carefully along the line and around the back pockets, making sure not to cut through front pockets. Sounds difficult but it isn’t, I promise.
Thread your machine and bobbin with your thread that coordinates with your fabric. Now take your fabric, fold it in half width ways and sew 3/4 way down the open edge with a 3/4 inch seam, back stitching at start and end to hold the thread. The part left unseen will become a ‘flap’ at the back of the skirt so it is easier to walk. Press seam open, then fold raw edges under to hide them, press again ALL the way to the bottom of the fabric, then sew each side. Now there will be no messy edges and your ‘flap’ looks smart.
Sew two basting lines along top edge of your fabric, that you will attach to jeans, one at 1/4 inch and one at 3/4 inch from the top. To do this set your stitch length to the longest possible. I tend to pull the fabric through the machine as I sew quite quickly to make my stitch even longer (not sure if you are meant to but it works for me!). Make sure you cut the thread long at each end. Pull on both rows of threads at one end to gather the fabric to the same width as the bottom of your jeans. Now pin fabric to the jeans, as shown below:
Place the jeans inside the fabric right sides facing with the top of the fabric (where gathering is) aligning with the bottom of jeans. Pin the fabric seam to the middle seam on the back of the jeans, then find the half way mark on your fabric and pin that to the middle front where the crotch is, continue to pin by finding the halfway marks between pins until you are happy. Sew with a 1/2 inch seam allowance so you sew BETWEEN the two gather lines. Take your time as you don’t want to cross over the bottom row of gathering.
Remove pins and bottom row of gathering stitch. Press seam up towards jeans. Now change your thread (but not the bobbin) to a blue that matches your jeans and top stitch very close to the bottom of your jeans and around the back pockets to join the pockets to the fabric and finish off your join.
Finally change back to your fabric thread colour and turn up the hem 1/2 inch and then a further inch. Try on the skirt to check the length and alter accordingly. Now sew around and press, you can add a further top stitch row for detail if you wish.