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Re-purposing: Twirly Jean Skirt


Have some old jeans hanging around?


Turn them into a sweet little skirt.


I have a little 2 1/2 year old who grows out of things like crazy. Darn tall genes……..they sure cause us grief sometimes. So I have tried to make good use out of the pants she has grown out of. The waist still fits but the pants become too short. (If you’re interested, I have altered other pants here and here.) So a little effort………and we have a new
Twirly Jean Skirt.


Don’t you just want to cut off the good jeans too and make 4 or 5 new skirts for your little girl/niece/granddaughter/etc.? Don’t tempt me……..


How to make them?
(Remember to click on the images to view larger.)


First, cut off an old pair of jeans about 1/2 inch below the zipper.


Then zig-sag around the bottom edge.


Now, you’re going to cut out 2 pieces to make the skirt, a front and a back piece. Measure the width across the bottom of the skirt and then double the amount and add an inch for a seam allowance. For example, my pants were 12 inches across so I knew I needed to cut out fabric that was 25 inches wide.


Then decide how long you’d like your skirt to be. I decided to make mine 12 inches long, from top to bottom. And since my newly cut jeans were about 6 inches from to bottom…….I needed about 6 more inches. But then I added another inch to the top for a seam allowance and a 1/2 inch to the bottom for a seam allowance. (I added more to the top because later on it will overlap the denim, causing it to lose some height.) So I needed to cut the pieces 7 1/5 inches tall.


So the dimensions of my 2 skirts pieces were 25 x 7 1/2 inches. Use the same technique to measure and cut yours.


Then, I placed the two pieces right sides together and sewed along the short ends with a 1/2 inch seam allowance. (Then either zig-zag or sew again to secure your seams.)


Now you’re going to finish off the top and bottom of this skirt section. Fold down the upper edge a 1/4 inch…….


………and then 1/4 inch again.


Sew into place and do the same thing to the bottom edge.


Now you’re going to gather the fabric to make the ruffle. Using your largest stitch length, sew one seam across the top front of the skirt section. (3/8 inch from the edge) Leave the ends of your thread at least 6 inches long. Now make another seam across the top back…..leaving your ends long as well.


Now place pins at the sides, the center front, and the center back of your skirt section.


And place pins at the sides, the center front, and the center back of your jeans.


Now, pull the top thread on each end of the seam to gather the skirt section in. Slide the fabric along the thread to gather it up.


Match the pins on the skirt to the pins on the jeans. Alter and scrunch up the fabric until it is nicely (and evenly) lined up with the jeans.


Pin into place.


Sew into place.


Clip all of your loose threads and let your little lady jump right in.


So darling.


Enjoy your weekend!

Ashley Johnston
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Ashley Johnston

Owner at Make It & Love It
Ashley Johnston is a professional DIY costume maker, sewist, crafter, and owner of Make It & Love It. She is a mom of 5 and a wife to a very patient (with my craft clutter) husband. In case you’re wondering, she always chooses crafting/sewing/designing over mopping/dusting/wiping base boards……but bathrooms/laundry/full bellies are always attended to. Whew!
Re-purposing: twirly jean skirt
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  1. Michelle says:

    This is adorable!

  2. Melanie says:

    I can't wait to do this…my daughter is at the age where she wants to wear dresses all the time and pants 'make her feel like a boy'! (consequences of being the only girl and having 3 brothers I think) Anyway, this would be a GREAT way to use those stacks of jeans upstairs that she isn't wearing anymore! Thanks for the GREAT idea…I love browsing your website!

  3. Joy says:

    I was browsing around your site and realized I never came back and thanked you for this idea!

    I made this skirt to go along with a shirt I had made for my daughter to wear at Disney World. It was SO easy for this nonprofessional sewer.

    here's a link to how mine turned out!

  4. Paige says:

    OH MY…this is GREAT!!!! I used my son's old jeans with holes in the knee for my daughter! Then I just threw some fabric scraps I had around the bottom with some lace! so, so flippin' cute and EASY! Thanks for the ideas!!!

  5. SamiJoe says:

    oooh i love this! as will another….

  6. Brandon and Camille Smithson says:

    I just made this for my daughter and she is in 7th heaven. :o) Thanks for the tutorial.

  7. Miss Auburn L. Jones says:

    This is SO cute! I found your blog this afternoon, and right then and there, I made the skirt. I think I know what my little sister is wearing tomorrow!! Thanks for the tutorials!!

  8. Jennifer says:

    I know I'm a bit late to the party but I've made these, too! I'm a beginner and these directions were SO easy! Thank you for posting them. I linked back from my site to here… https://jaycoxcircus.blogspot.comm

  9. Harmony says:

    I've re-purposed my daughter's old pants many times – into shorts, capri's, skirts. She also grows like crazy because of those "darn tall genes!" :D As a matter of fact, I have a pair of her pants sitting in my sewing room right now waiting for me to cut them off.

  10. Katie says:

    I have officially copy and pasted this into a word document for future reference when my daughter is older and starts growing out of something besides preemie baby clothes. :) So cute! Thank you!

  11. Tundra Mom says:

    I made it! I used my son's old shorts and an old dress that was too short. I used the entire skirt part and sewed it right on. Thanks for the great idea

  12. Ashley says:

    I love this. Now I just need some jeans….my daughter only has one pair here in the desert. Maybe I'll use an old jean skirt!

    I added this link to my Lil Blue Boo "To Do" column!


  13. Ashley says:

    Thanks Summer, I'll have to go check it out!

  14. Summer says:

    I left you something on my blog!

  15. Ashley says:

    Brenda……Hmmmm, those sweet boys are hard to come up with projects for. My little guy always gets shafted. (Good thing he's only one and has no idea.) I'll have to think about that one though. :)

    Oooh, Kari, let me see some pictures. i would love to see how it turned out!

  16. Brenda says:

    I am going to have to make a few of these for my daughter! Do you have any ideas on using boys jeans with holes in the knees? Cutting into cutoff shorts seems so boring! Some of them still fit lenghtwise, just look trashy… HELP!

  17. Jacylann Nix says:

    oh my gosh! how cute!! LOVE IT!

  18. Teresa @ Grammy Girlfriend says:

    this is too cute…Love your blog

  19. Kari @ Ucreate says:

    Just want you to know I am almost finished making this! I will email you some pics of the finished product!

  20. Ashley says:

    Hahaha….thanks Shae! I have done it that way many times. So no, I won't erase your comment!! :) Either way works but I should have explained it the other way for those who have never gathered before. Thanks for commenting……love it!

  21. Shae says:

    K…this is SO freakin' cute! I will totally be making this…I am racking my brain right now, wondering which pants need a new purpose! :) I was looking through your tutorial, and when you gather your ruffle…if you mark the middles of each piece (the ruffle and the bottom of the skirt)–meaning you should have 4 pins placed equally apart…then you can pin them in place before you gather. Once they are connected, then you know how much ruffle you need for each segment. Anyway, I have found that much easier to do as I have been making TONS of ruffle skirts lately for my girls. :)

    If you are confused as to these directions, you can let me know. If you want to just delete my comment and ignore it, I won't be offended…this is YOUR blog and YOUR tutorial…you are the expert. :)

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Hi, I'm Ashley

Hi, I’m Ashley—the DIY-enthusiast behind this crazy blog!

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