How to Convert Jeans Into a Skirt

A denim skirt made from worn in jeans
Katja Kircher / Getty Images

Materials and Supplies List

How to convert jeans in to a denim skirt
Debbie Colgrove
  • A pair of well-pressed jeans (This is a great project to use those jeans with tattered hems). Two pairs of jeans will be required for a long jeans skirt. Two pairs may also be needed if you want to add wedges to the side seams to flare the finished skirt.
  • A ​​​seam ripper
  • A sewing machine
  • Thread -- You can sew the seams in a thread that matches the denim, but you may prefer Coats Dual Duty Plus - Extra Strong For Jeans thread.

Ripping out and Cutting

Ripping out and cutting
Debbie Colgrove

To transform jeans into a jeans skirt, you will need to remove stitching without ripping or tearing the fabric.

  • Lay the jeans flat on a table. Smooth from the waist until you run ​into a spot where the crotch seam will no longer lay flat. Mark this spot with a pin. Turn the jeans over and do the same thing for the back seam, marking with a pin where the seam begins to curve.
  • Carefully remove the inseam stitching.
  • Remove the stitching from the crotch to the pin on the front and the back of the jeans.
  • Trim the legs off of the jeans leaving ample length for a hem.
  • Lay the jeans flat and lay the crotch seam flat on the skirt, pinning it in place with the seam allowances turned under.

The Wedge

The wedge
Debbie Colgrove
  • With the jeans still flat, use a piece of the leg to "fill in" the wedge opening. Rough cut this wedge of fabric to start.
  • Pay attention to the wedge fabric grain. In most denim, you can see the threads of the fabric. You want the threads to run vertical or perpendicular to the waistband.
  • Turn under the edge of the wedge on the underneath wedge edge so that the edge of the wedge matches the original seam line on the "leg."
  • Pin the wedge in place with the original seam allowances turned under.

Start Sewing the Wedge

Start sewing the wedge
Debbie Colgrove
  • Leaving the pins in place but removing them as you come to them, stitch the edge of the under neither (the side the crotch seam is facing) seam that will attach the wedge.
  • Reach under the upper layer as you sew the edge.​ Remove pins if you need to but lay the garment flat to replace the pins.
  • Never sew over pins! Remove them as you come to them.

The Seam Allowance

Seam allowance
Debbie Colgrove
  • Go to the inside of the skirt and trim the seam so that it is just wide enough to be caught in the second row of stitching you will add to create a mock flat felled seam. (Check the spacing between the rows of stitching on the original seams.) On all of the jeans that I tried it required a 3/8" seam allowance.
  • Apply a seam finish to the trimmed seam.

Create the Mock Flat Felled Seam

Create the mock flat felled seam
Debbie Colgrove
  • Stitch the seam allowance in place by topstitching the second row of stitching to create the mock flat felled seam. Use a guide on the presser foot to keep your stitching straight and an even distance from the first row of stitching.

The Curved and Long Seams

The curved and long seams
Debbie Colgrove
  • Make sure that all the seams are laying flat and raw edges are turned under.
  • Stitch along the edge of the curved seam and the remaining flat seam.

Seam Allowance

Seam allowance
Debbie Colgrove

Working on the inside of the skirt, trim the seam allowance as you did for the first seam.

Finish the Seam

Finish the seam
Debbie Colgrove
  • Be sure all seam allowances are pressed flat.
  • From the right side sew a second row of stitching to create a mock flat felled seam as you did on the first seam.
  • Repeat the wedge seaming process on the opposite side of the skirt. If desired, open the side seams and add a wedge to the seam to create more flare on the skirt.

Hem the Skirt

Hem the skirt
Debbie Colgrove
  • Try on the skirt and straighten the skirt hem edge.
  • Apply a seam finish such as zigzagging or serging the fabric edge. Many manufactured skirts have nothing more than a seam finish for the hem edge.
  • Optional: Turn the hem edge to the inside if desired, and press well. Sew two rows of straight stitching to match the seam stitching.
  • Press the skirt well and wear with pride!