Sewing Bee Fabrics Tutorial
How To Make A New Skirt From Old Jeans>
My favourite pair of jeans were no longer decent... A hole had appeared in the crotch and the legs were getting tatty at the bottom. Looking for a replacement pair I found another pair to condemn...one who's low waist was fine pre-baby but now was just was not flattering in any way. So I snuck off to the sewing machine and came up with this skirt. Excuse the creases in the picture - my clothes had been stuffed in a suitcase to go visiting family! Here's how to refashion your own jeans.
What you will need:
Bias binding (amount needed will depend on your size, so measure the bottom of the pattern once you have drafted it and add a little extra - at least 5cm - to allow for overlap and getting it in place correctly).
3 buttons that need never see the light of day again
Enough wide elastic to comfortably fit your waist.
2 pairs of old jeans
How to make it:
First you need to make your pattern. It needs to comfortably fit over your hips, so measure your hips, divide in half and add a couple of cm. That's the top of your pattern if your jeans were a bad fit. If they were a good fit, once you strip the fabric from them, just lay them on top and start drawing from the hip point.
Next, lay out the legs of your 2 pairs of jeans (or 1 pair cut open) flat side by side in a line. Measure across the 4. That's your bottom measurement. Put both centrally on the paper and join the dots.
How easy was that pattern?! You'll just be cutting 2 of these shapes in fabric.
To cut up your jeans, you want as much denim as possible to play with so very carefully cut out the seams/pockets and waistband. Cut out as many 3 inch wide lengths as you can (if you have skinny jeans you may need to do 2-2 1/2 inch to make use of more material.
Arrange half the strips over your pattern allowing slight overlap of edges for seams. Pin into place and roughly trim.
Sew your seams - I used a 1/4 inch seam allowance. Pin the piece onto your pattern and trim to the edges of the pattern.
Turn the pattern over and repeat the process on the other side. As I arranged the pieces on the second side, I matched the pattern by lifting the edges and arranging the second side to meet the original piece perfectly.
Once you have sewn and trimmed the second side, turn right sides together and sew the 2 side seams. I then sealed in all the raw edges with an over edge stitch using an over cast foot on my sewing machine.
I added 1 inch bias binding to the bottom of the skirt. I used a bias attaching sewing machine foot to make life quicker but you can feed it on manually too.
I took some wide elastic and made a loop to fit my waist comfortably. I closed the loop by overlapping the elastic slightly then doing a zigzag stitch over the end on each side to seal the edges in and secure. I aligned the elastic to the skirt by marking the loop and skirt into quarters. I did this by laying flat the skirt and elastic flat then folding and placing a pin on each fold. I then stretched the elastic to line up the pins to the skirt pins then secured in place to the outer side of the skirt. Stretching as I sewed, I overlapped the elastic by 2cm over the top of the skirt to hide the raw edge used a 3 step zigzag stitch to fix it permanently in place.
I could have finished there, but I decided to add a finishing touch - 3 little fabric flowers. I made them by finding a little bowl about 2 1/2 - 3 inches diameter. I traced round this 5 times per flower on to the denim. Taking a long piece of thread, I sewed a long running stitch around the outside of a circle then pulled tight like a drawstring. On the same piece of thread, I repeated this with the next 4 cirlces, pushing them tightly together. I stitched the 5th circle to the first, then reinforced the ring with more stitching. Bringing the thread up in the centre, I made a 6th slightly smaller circle out of flattened bias binding that was used to trim the skirt. Before pulling your drawstring closed, pop a button in. Sew a few stitches under the button to secure the fabric tightly over, then stitch around to join it to each petal. Pass the thread down to the underside of the flower and secure edges in at the back by sewing a running stich around the centre.
Repeat twice more and you have your 3 flowers.
Stitch the back of the flower to the skirt.
Repeat a couple more times and you have a cute embellished stripydenim skirt instead of old jeans that were never getting worn again!
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