The Busy Bean

Denim Skirt From Pants Tutorial

Or, the one in which I introduce my sister, and let her take over my blog.

Sister really makes me laugh. A lot. She is (aside from my husband) my very best friend. Just to give you an idea of how awesome she is, I recently asked her for some Mod Podge and the conversation went like this:

(I was supposed to leave out the part about her room being messy, but she has a good excuse. She just bought the house my mother grew up in and is fixing it up, so her life is in turmoil right now. Soon I can share vicarious house fixer-upper posts with you.) Anyway, if you laughed at the Remains of the Day lunchbox, you and I and sister can be really good friends (especially if you can quote other lines from the movie it’s from). Now, to turn it over to Steph for a project so easy, even she can do it. {I will fill in blanks where needed, noted with brackets.}

Up in heaven, when standing in line for various traits and talents for this earthly sojourn, I obviously missed the line for ‘sewing and crafting’. I stood twice in the line for ‘anxiety’, ‘germ-a-phobe’, and ‘OCD’, but the ‘sewing and crafting’ talent line eluded me. Incidentally I did swing by the ‘funny’ line three times, and ‘humility’ four. The sewing talent in our family stays with Mom and Bean, alas. Years ago a friend of mine helped me make a pair of denim pants into a super cute skirt. It lasted about 5 washes before it started falling apart. I told Bean I wanted to make another, always willing to learn, and asked her to help me figure it out. Please note, sewing actually gives me anxiety. Lines are not always straight, which is hard for the old OCD to handle. I am in awe of you people. You know, you people who not only can sew, but enjoy doing it.

It only took 5 months for our schedules to match up to play, and I travelled down to Egypt where Bean lives on a Sunday afternoon to make our pant skirts. Here is the tutorial on how to do it. Bean will magically fill in the details here on her blog in words that you fancy sewerers (it’s a word, look it up!) will understand. I, on the other hand, will fill in the rest of us uncrafty folk in simple terms!!

You know that pair of pants you LOVE and so you wear as often as you can? That pair that suddenly have holes in the bum, knee, or other places? That pair you hold on to and just cannot make yourself throw away, but are beyond repair? Grab those pants, and we are going to refurbish them into a seriously kickin skirt. The pair I chose to play with this time are relatively new. But I also miss the line in heaven for a woman’s bum, and apparently stood in the line for men’s bummies. I have a big, flat, man-
butt. (Too much information?) So this particular pair of pants hang down in the back and are seriously unattractive.

Step 1 – Choose your pants.

Step 2 – Choose a kicking music playlist that is peppy and includes “The Fresh Prince of Bell Air.” {It also includes some punk rock Christmas, a little ABBA, Broadway, and random songs that just make me happy. The playlist is called “Colleen Random.”}

Step 3 – Go shopping in your sister’s amazing basement stash of fabric. What? Your sister does not have stash of fabric? Mine does. They have these stores, where you can go and buy fabric, they are called fabric stores. Do not be intimidated. When choosing fabric for your skirt I suggest a plain pattern that will match cute fun top; OR a fun fabric that will match your plain top.

Step 4 – Turn on kicking music playlist.

Step 5 – Cut out the inseam of the pants. There is something about a notch in the remaining pant fabric that Bean will have to tell you about. I was lost. {After you cut up the inseam, just cut along the front and back seam about 2″. This will give your fabric room to overlap and not get all bunchy.}

Step 6 – Cut the bottom off your pants for a shorter skirt, or leave it long for ankle length. I like to fray the bottom so I cut off the seam.

Step 7 – Cut a triangle in the fabric you will be filling in your pants with. {To determine the size of the triangle, measure the length of the inseam and determine how much flare you want in your finished skirt. Cut two pieces of fabric the inseam length x amount needed for flare. Mine (for a short skirt) was cut at 14″ x 14″. Stephanie’s was 25″ x 19″. Find the center of the top and cut an angle from the bottom corners to the center top.}

Step 8 – Sew it all together. Please note that if you stick your tongue out at the side of your mouth, sewing is easier.

{Here’s where I step in with a few sub-steps to the “sew it all together” part.}

8a. Overlap the two inches you cut up the front and back seams, and sew (using a topstitch) together.

8b. Take one of your triangles and pin it to your former inseam, rights sides together, in the front of your skirt. Sew together, repeat with the other side, and then repeat with the back. Serge the edges to finish, or finish with a zig zag stitch.

8c. Topstitch. You can skip this but eventually your fabric will do that wavy thing where your seam doesn’t really know which way to go and it looks funny. So don’t skip this.

8d. Finish the bottom by sewing a zig zag stitch around the whole thing. This will let it fray a little, but not too much. Or you could do a proper hem by turning it under 1/4″ and then again, pressing, and sewing.

8 easy steps to making a super cute skirt out of the pants you love and cannot stomach throwing away. If you have holes that need patching, it would be super easy to add a patch with the fabric you have chosen to fill in the legs with.

{I hope this made sense. We did this quite a while ago, and I’m just now getting it on the blog! Let me know if anything is unclear, like why on earth a Remains of the Day lunchbox would be funny, or why such a thing even exists.}

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3 Thoughts on “Denim Skirt From Pants Tutorial

  1. No one likes to take their lunch to school, but if you have a Remains of the Day lunchbox, you’re a whole lot happier.

    Cute Skirt!!!

  2. People say I must have been the class clown. And I say, no I wasn’t but I sat next to the class clown and I studied him.

    I am converted to the topstitch! My skirt not on has stayed together (no seams coming apart here) but the skirt lays how I need it to lay so my crazy need for straight lines are in check. AND after a few washes that bottom is frayed so nicely!

  3. I’m totally going to call myself a sewerer from now on. “Sewist?” Pfft! SEWERER.

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