Back in the stone age, when I was in high school, maxi skirts were the rage. And the coolest maxi you could have was one made from an old pair of blue jeans.
There was a cool girl at my school who had the best blue jean skirt ever. I coveted that skirt. Then, one day she left school - I can't remember if she graduated or if she moved to a different school but she left the skirt behind in the laundry room and I found it. Possession is 9/10th of the law, right??
I wore that skirt almost daily for a full semester. I loved that skirt with everything I had. Then, one day, she came back and saw me in it. The exchange went like this:
HER: Hey! That's my skirt!
ME: No it's not.
HER: Yes it is... look there's the [some identifying feature that made it hers]. Give it back!
HER: I'm telling. (she probably didn't actually say this but...)
So, I caved and returned the skirt and forever regretted no longer having the coolest jean maxi skirt ever.
The other day, I was cleaning out my chest of drawers and came across a pair of jeans that I never wear anymore. And I had an epiphany.
Because I'm a really generous person, unlike that b*tch from high school, I'm going to share my tutorial on how to make your very own, awesome jean maxi skirt. Enjoy.
- 2 pair of jeans (or one pair of jeans and fabric to fill in the “center” of the skirt)
- A seam ripper and/or a really good pair of sharp pointed scissors (snips)
- A spool of “jean thread” (it’s kind of orange and heavy)
- A denim needle for your sewing machine. DO NOT SKIP THIS. You need a heavy duty needle to get through the multiple layers of denim.
- An iron and ironing board
Step one: Open up the inseam on the pair of jeans that will serve as the skirt.
Step two: Clean up the remnants of the old thread.
Step three: Measure and cut the jeans that will be used to fill the center of the skirt.
a) Measure the inseam on your “skirt” and then measure the leg of your second pair of jeans from the hem up – allowing yourself at least four inches of extra fabric. It helps if your “inset” jeans are longer than the “skirt” jeans.
b) Mark the fabric at your cut line. Fold the jeans in half and cut across both legs.
Step four: Secure the “V” of the skirt in the front and back by folding the fabric over and sewing it down using a topstitch with the "jean thread". I used a ¼” seam allowance. See photos:
|Front pinned down|
Step five: Take one of the legs apart with a seam ripper, leaving you with two pieces of long fabric. The back of the leg will be wider and, probably, the one you’ll want to use for the front inset. However, you can use the narrower one if it fits and you prefer it. Iron flat any old seams that might be folded over.
Step six: Open the larger seam (the old inseam) on the other leg, leaving the smaller seam and creating a wider piece of fabric. This is the one you’ll use for the back inset.
a) When placing this fabric into the “V”, make sure you line up the seam so that it’s exactly in the middle or it will look askew.
Step seven: Pin the inset fabric into the front and back “V”’s of the skirt and then sew in place using a ¼” seam allowance topstitch.
NOTE: on the front of the skirt, the old inseam should still be folded under and you can just topstitch over that. In the back, you'll need to iron the fabric to create a finished edge for the topstitching.
Step eight: Turn your skirt inside out and trim off the excess fabric. Don't worry about the frayed edges. Pro-tip: If they bug you, use some Fray Stop.
|That's a lot of extra fabric.|
Step nine: Finish the hem in whatever way you prefer. I like a fringe so I just cut everything to the same length and start the fray with the pick end of the seam ripper. It will fringe up nicely with a couple of washings.
E voila! You’re done. Now you can be the coolest kid in school too.