Sewing the back of your upcycled denim skirt
Next, flip the skirt over to the back side. Slip the extra fabric in place under your overlapped crotch seam and pin it in place just like you did on the front.
At this point, try on the skirt. There will be a natural point that the skirt wants to sit flat, but that spot might poof out right at that center back where you added the fabric.
I personally like that because I like the built in walking ease that provides. If you are not into that, take off your skirt and take out the pins. Move the back legs closer together so there’s less of a gap.
When you’re happy with that back fit, pin everything into place. Topstitch the legs to the added denim in place along the original stitching lines on the legs and the crotch piece. Again, don’t backstitch here. Overlap the stitches by a few stitches past where you stopped cutting open the seam.
Cut off the extra fabric behind the back, leaving that extra 1/2″ around the stitching. Serge or zigzag that raw edge to finish it.
Cut the extra fabric
To finish off the front and back, cut away the extra fabric so that it’s even with the bottoms of the legs.
Hemming your upcycled denim skirt
If you’re doing a double turned hem, press up 1/2″, then press another 1/2″. It’s not a bad idea to hammer the hem flat because denim, she’s a sturdy thing.
Then stitch your hem into place from the right side, close to that inner pressed edge.
Raw denim hem
If instead, you want to go the raw denim hem route here’s how to do it.
First run two rows of straight stopstitching in your denim thread. Keep the rows 1/4″ apart. Start stitching at least 1/2″ away from the raw edge so there’s plenty of room for fringe.
It’s not necessary, but I rather like to run a zigzag stitch between the straight topstitched rows whenever I do raw hems.
How to fringe the denim
Next grab your darning needle or other big needle with a sharp end. Stick it into the fabric past your stitching and pull out the cross grain threads.
This is the point that you pull out a movie and keep at it. It’s going to take a little while to go all the way around your hem.
Sometimes you can tease one thread out and pull it all the way along the length so that you fringe a whole lot in one go. This is really fun, but just be careful you don’t accidentally go past your stitching line. The needle is slower, but it will give you ultimate control of where that fringe is forming.
At some point your hem is going to have that hot mess look with scraggly bits all hanging down. That’s why you have scissors, friend. Just cut off that nonsense so that it’s even with the rest of the fringed hem.
Keep fringing until you’re within a scant 1/8″ of your stitching line. Finish the hem by applying Fray Block or Fray Check right along the top edge of the fringing.
Your upcycled denim skirt is done! But if you want to make it extra fabulous here’s what else you can do.
So that is how you make jeans into a jean skirt. Enjoy wearing your new skirt!
More embellishment ideas and more refashioning projects!
- 66 Easy Embellishment Ideas for your Sewing Projects
- Refashion a maxi dress into an asymmetric top
- Refashioned sweater shrug tutorial
- Turn a skirt into an apron
Elizabeth Farr is the writer behind the Elizabeth Made This blog where she shares helpful sewing tips, step by step sewing tutorials and videos to help you explore your creativity through sewing. She has written sewing Eguides and patterns, been a featured teacher at Rebecca Page’s Sewing Summit and Jennifer Maker’s Holiday Maker Fest and her work has appeared in Seamwork and Altered Couture magazines. She also created a line of refashioned garments for SEWN Denver. When her sewing machine isn’t humming, she’s playing and teaching violin, and hanging around a good strategic board game with her husband and 4 kids.