We all have garments in our wardrobe that we no longer wear, but with a little bit of creative upcycling they can be given a whole new lease of life.
This project is perfect for old jeans than have worn at the hem or between the legs. Or if they have become stained or torn.
The key with any upcycle is to make the most of any features in the original and just let your creativity flow.
- Jeans that fit on the waist
- Matching thread
- Jeans Needle 100/16
- Sewing machine
- If you are making a longer skirt, you will need extra fabric too, either a second pair of jeans or something contrasting.
Raid your wardrobe or find some bargains in charity shops.
1. To get the most from your upcycled project, creatively use the existing features of the item to be upcycled. Such as pockets, contrasting fabrics and trims etc.
2. Unpick anything you want to save for later or move, eg pockets.
3. Cut up the inside leg seam, if this seam is a welt seam (traditional jeans seam) cut just behind it.
4. Cut up the front crotch seam to just below the fly.
5. Cut up the back crotch seam to where the curve goes straight.
6. Working on the front first and then repeating on the back, lay one side of the crotch over the other so that it lays flat. Pin and stitch around the top layer from below the fly (or the top of the curve on the back. Either use any existing stitch lines as a guide or keep the edge of the foot level with the edge of the seam/raw edge of the fabric.
7. Turn inside out and trim off the excess flap of fabric.
8. Decide how long you want to make your skirt.
9. Mini – If you are making a mini skirt, you will not need to add any additional fabric. Trim to length, remembering to include an allowance for a hem. You can either hem as desired or you can leave the hem raw to fray. See point 12 onwards.
10. Midi – If you are making a midi skirt, cut the legs to the required length, allowing for any hem. With the excess leg pieces you have cut off, starting with the front and repeating with the back, insert behind the triangle between the legs, adjust to sit well and create as much flare as you want in the skirt. Use the existing hem to create the hem on this middle panel of skirt. Pin in place and then stitch along the edges, turn to the inside and trim off any excess. See point 12 onwards.
11. Maxi – If you are making a maxi skirt, you will need some extra fabric to insert into the triangles between the legs, you can either use another pair of jeans to cut up or a contrasting piece of fabric. Using these fabric pieces, insert behind the triangle between the legs, adjust to sit well and create as much flare as you want in the skirt. You can use any existing hem on your pieces to create the hem on this middle panel of skirt. Pin in place and then stitch along the edges, turn to the inside and trim off any excess. See point 12 onwards.
12. You can choose to leave you hems as raw edges, which will create a frayed edge over time. Denim without any Lycra content will fray better than stretch denim. To stop it from fraying excessively, sew a double of straight stitches at the depth you would like your hem to fray to.
13. If you decide to finish your hems, zigzag around the raw edge to stop it from fraying and then fold up once and stitch.
14. If you removed any features to use later, now is the time to use them. Replace any pockets.
15. As always, press neatly and wear with pride.
I hope you enjoy this upcycling project and it sparks ideas of other ways you can get creative with upcycling.