How to make a graffiti denim skirt from a pair of jeans – easy sewing tutorial! And what’s best: the finished skirt looks like a denim skirt and not like a refashioned jeans!
There are a lot of jeans-to-skirt refashions out there. But this jeans-to-skirt refashion tutorial is different! Most denim skirts that are refashioned from jeans look like they were a jeans before. Because most refashion tutorials tell you to rip the seams and just sew the fabric pieces together again! What was the crotch of the jeans before makes a strange pattern piece at the front and back of most refashioned denim skirts.
But your new denim skirt doesn’t have to look like it’s refashioned from a jeans: Because there’s another (easier!) way to make a denim skirt from jeans: Simply treat the old jeans as a piece of fabric! Jeans legs are perfect to cut them into A-line panels or gores. Then sew these panels into a skirt. You can even use jeans that are too small like I did here. You get 8 panels out of a pair of jeans with almost no waste of fabric! You can even reuse the belt loops, pockets, labels and buttons for your refashioned skirt.
How To Refashion Jeans Into A Panel Skirt
- 1 pair of jeans
- strong scissors
- sewing thread
- sewing machine (or hand sewing needle if you want to hand sew the skirt)
1. Cut off waistband, pockets & belt loops
Cut off the waistband. Then use a seam ripper to remove the belt loops, labels and pockets. Keep it for later because you can reuse it for your refashioned denim skirt.
Because my jeans had a button closure I decided to keep that as well and use it as new closure at the side of my skirt. I simply cut off the button closure – the side with the buttons and the side with the buttonholes but not the fly because I wanted the buttons to be visible – making sure that there is enough seam allowance. But this step is optional: Instead, you can also make a new closure with jeans buttons, snaps or a zipper.
2. Cut jeans legs into 8 panels
Fold the jeans legs in half. Jeans are usually wider at the knee (this will become the hem of the refashioned skirt) and smaller at the top and hem (this will be the new waist of the skirt). Cut the folded jeans legs in A-line (trapezoid-shaped) panels (the dashed line in the picture above). You get 4 panels out of each jeans leg.
Try to cut the panels so that you can keep as much of the original jeans seams as possible. The original jeans seams count as seam allowance but don’t forget to add seam allowances on the sides without the original jeans seams.
Related: DIY Recycled Denim Corset Top
3. Assemble the skirt
Now assemble the panels: You probably only need 6 of the 8 panels. Measure the small side of the panels (minus the seam allowances), your waist and hips and decide whether you need 6 or 8 panels for your skirt.
Use 3 (or 4) panels for the front of the skirt and 3 (or 4) panels for the back of the skirt. Make sure that the panels with the pockets are at the sides of the front skirt panels.
4. Sew the skirt
Now sew the panels together. If there’s an original jeans seam, lay the panel with the original jeans seam on top of the seam allowance of the other panel – right sides of the panels are facing up. Then topstitch: simply stitch over the two original stitching lines.
Add the original button closure at the left side of the skirt. Or make a new closure with buttons, snaps or a zipper.
When all panels are sewn together, level the hem.
I left the top edge and hem of my skirt raw so that it frays over time: Because denim usually doesn’t fray much and I like the look of frayed edges. But you can finish the raw edges with bias binding or a facing if you want.
5. Make the skirt unique
Now add the original pockets, belt loops and labels if you want.
You can also add metal rivets, grommets & studs. Or decorative safety pins or zippers. Or machine or hand embroidery. Or paint the skirt with fabric paint.
I used a permanent white fabric marker to add writing and my blog logo to my denim skirt. I love how the refashioned skirt turned out!