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How To Turn Jeans Into a Skirt

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Let me just get something out of the way here…..I hate low-rider pants. I do NOT understand them. Why on earth would someone want their pants to ride low? Really. I was given two pairs of jeans that were of the low rider variety….and I wore them because that’s what I had. I do not wear jeans often, instead opting for skirts most of the time. It just makes me feel girly and pretty – and Barry likes me in skirts. I like making him happy…and I like feeling girly. End of discussion. BUT, I had these jeans and I wore them occasionally…..let me clue you in on something – if you bend over to pick up a toy and you feel a breeze of air on your rear, YOUR PANTS ARE RIDING TOO LOW.

I shouldn’t be wearing low riders….and quite frankly neither should most people. If you bend over to get a can off the bottom shelf at Food City and I wonder if you’re a plumber – YOUR PANTS ARE RIDING TOO LOW.  I couldn’t stand the occasional breeze I was getting out back. I was going to get rid of my jeans, and then I bought this skirt for Annie at Wee-Cycle It….and my wheels started turning.

I thought; I can do that with my jeans instead of getting rid of them! Then I can pull my skirt up as high as I want. Problem solved. Wait – another problem….I can’t sew. Yes, I have TWO sewing machines, but who’s counting? This is exactly the project for my awesome Mama. So, I asked her to help me…meaning Mama did it while I took photos. *Cough*

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First, you need to take the seams out of the jeans. Do it up the entire length of the leg, like so. It might take a million years. You might think your fingers are about to fall off. You might reconsider this whole silly project….and then you’ll watch a video online that just tells you to cut down the seam instead….and you won’t see that video until you’re done ripping seams. So, moral of the story is….cut down the seams in both legs – all the way up to the zipper.

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Arrange the crotch (it’s weird to say crotch) so that it lays flat like so, on the front and back of the jeans. Pin it down. If you forget this part, you’ll have a weird pooch in the front and we’re not even going to go there.

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Take it over to your trusty sewing machine and sew along the hem, so that this section is now flat and you don’t have to worry about it anymore. Take out the pin and stick yourself. Yelp.

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Now, you’re going to have to adjust the length. Taking out the seams is going to make it really long. We just measured my favorite skirt to get the right length for this one and them mom cut off the bottom of both pant legs….and I took photos. I’m super helpful like that.

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Pick a piece of material that you like and that you think would match a wide variety of tops. You need enough fabric to have the center covered on the front and the back. Lay the material under the skirt and trace out the triangular center. This is actually part of a dress that I can no longer wear….I had a baby and my upper body suddenly got a bit larger and my clothes didn’t fit….if you catch my drift. But we’re repurposing that material so it doesn’t go to waste! Waste not, want not.  Make sure you also do this same tracing on material for the back of the skirt.

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Cut out both of your pieces – front and back – leaving a 1 inch allowance around the outside edges for the seam. I always forget this part….nice to have my Mama to get things done right.

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Put the fabric in place on the front and back and pin it. Those pins are sharp. Those pins draw blood…I’m a klutz.

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Sew the fabric into place. My mom did a double seam, but that’s up to you. She’s also an over-achiever.  😀

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When your fabric panels are sewed in the front and back, you’ll need to make a bottom hem. I think mom usually does a ½ inch hem. Pin and sew.

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TA DA!!! No more breezes out back! And I have to admit, it’s very pretty. Mom did a great job…and I’m a stellar helper.

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I just wanted to share with you all the only thing I’ve ever sewed….a bunch of squiggly lines on an old scrap of material. It’s beautiful. I’m an artist. Ahem. I was practicing….so, give me a break. I WILL learn to use that sewing machine…..eventually.

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Here I am, in all my modeling glory. What do you think? About the skirt, not about my modeling glory.

If you need something more in depth because my WIDE KNOWLEDGE of sewing just didn’t cut it for you (ha, ha! Cut it…get it?), then I have some links for you.

Here’s a link with in depth instructions from All Free Sewing.

If you’re more into the video thing, we watched this one like four times….and I laughed every time I saw the misspelled words – bless her heart. And if you don’t like music while you think, you might want to turn off the speakers.

*This post is linked at Frugal Days Sustainable Ways at Frugally Sustainable, at Homestead Barn Hop at The Prairie Homestead, at Think Pink Sunday on Flamingo Toes, and at Works for Me Wednesday on We Are That Family.

Comment Policy: I love hearing your thoughts and input on what I write. Since I write about what works at my house, what pleases my handsome hubby and darling children; I'm sure we'll disagree sometimes. In those cases, do what's right for you and yours. As with any form of communication, please only post comments that move the discussion in a positive direction.

About Stacy

Stacy is the author of Crock On: A Semi-Whole Foods Slow Cooker Cookbook and Keep Crockin': A Poorganic Slow Cooker Cookbook, and a stay-at-home and homeschooling mom to her three children, Annie (June 2009), Andy (August 2012) and Eli (September 2014). After an “awakening” in March 2011, her family switched to a more natural, whole foods diet. She likes to blog about how to live on less than you make and how to eat good food while doing it. Her passion is teaching others how to save money and she tag teams with her husband in this endeavor. At Stacy Makes Cents you’ll find information on how to save money in the kitchen, how to have fun with your kids, and how to be thrifty in all areas of life. Her passion is teaching others how to live debt free. Make sure to follow her on Facebook, Youtube, Pinterest and more to keep up with her daily antics.


  1. I have seen similar tutorials on other blogs, and I want to try this! Although I am afraid I’m going to totally ruin it, since I tried one of those tutorials to turn a man’s dress shirt into a skirt. Didn’t quite turn out the way I thought. Sewing is just too darn precise for me.

  2. I love the jean-skirt look!I’m no good as a seamstress either, but these are really easy.
    In theory, I turn any pair of jeans that doesn’t fit right into a skirt. In reality, I have a small stack of jeans that don’t fit right 😛

  3. I’m so glad someone is finally speaking out about low riders. I’ve never seen anyone that I thought looked good in them. If you’re slim you look like you don’t have a waist and if you’re heavy you always have a muffin top which looks disgusting. The thing I dislike most is the fact that the button or hook and zipper is right in the front where most women don’t need any more bulk. If you have any tummy at all, it just emphasizes it. And another thing, they’re uncomfortable and like you said breezy. This skirt is a great idea for their use.

  4. That is really cute! And yes, way better than the breeze in the back! I agree that most people shouldn’t be wearing them but that is about all that can be found! I can find the ones that go clear above the belly button and the ones that go way below the crack but never any in between. I am a seamstress and I HATE (maybe a strong word) making pants for myself or anything else since I had kids and someone put their mushy skin on my body! I will make this for my girls because you can’t find any pants for little girls that don’t show the tiny hiny! Good luck with your skirts ladies.

  5. I just love making these but I tend to get mixed up when it comes to putting the other fabric in place. Since I am a self taught seamstress (if I can even call myself that)it never occurred to me to simply trace the jean onto the fabric for a perfect fit…duh! I will be so excited to do that next time around, THANKS!!!

  6. I not only cut out the inside seams but I also slit the outer seam right up to the edge of the pocket and add 4 panels of fabric instead of just one in the front and one in the back.

  7. I like to cut at knees and use the leg pieces for the insert, by opening up seams on each leg, and attaching one piece of the same leg on top of the other, if needed for length. I am short, so it isn’t needed. I lay it in the open triangle, cut into triangle where necessary, then insert by sewing two seams. Then I use the other leg for the back.


  8. I love the step by step photos and directions. I wear skirts all the time and it is so hard to find them to fit the right way and be the right length it is so weird you can find mini skirts everywhere but nothing to keep you modest. Also for my daughter it is hard to find the right skirts. Thanks again and I am going to try this!! I need lots of prayer….

  9. Love the tutorial! Been thinking about this since I started wearing skirts everyday. Need to do something with those jeans I used to wear. Only need one or two pairs for camping where my hubby insists I not wear skirts every day. Thanks! Look forward to trying this after I complete the cloth diapers I am sewing for my sister.

  10. I Loved the commentary! And I understand and agree with ‘low rider’ jeans–not on someone who is 47–no matter how well toned I am!

    I have several pair of jeans looking forward to volunteer for the experiment! Thanks for the inspiration~Janice

  11. Heather Woodyard says:

    You have possibly the best instructions I have found on making my jeans into a skirt so far! I also love your humour! These are just what I was looking for and I know exactly know what to do thanks to you. Thanks again for your wonderful instructions! :) You are also one of the only people that hasn’t pulled the front together and only inserted fabric at the back (so not an option for a girl with large quads!).

  12. Enjoyed your tutorial very much.. I love that you made somethingthat makes me nervous (anything new lol) into something that made me laugh.. I will be trying this project later today …

  13. I made one for my daughter with ruffled fabric inside. Hobby lobby also has a pretty fabric with tiers already sewn on it that I would love to try with another pair.

  14. I shall definitely have to attempt this…as soon as my finger heals from being sewn to the pillow I was making *sighs deeply*
    I think everyone does the squiggly lines thing(I know I do. Always good to see what your sewing machine can actually do.)

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