Top tips for converting jeans into a skirt

For a ridiculously long time I have been meaning to try my hand at converting jeans into a skirt. You may wonder how this fits with one of my New Years goals to slim my wardrobe down. One of my christmas gifts was the book “The life changing magic of tidying” by Marie Kondo.

So far I have parted with two bin bags of clothes – rather a shocking quantity. My wardrobe really does feel liberated. When I open the door I am no longer overwhelmed with uninspiring clothes, instead I am greeted with a few clothes I enjoy wearing. I feel as though I have gained a whole new wardrobe!! As part of this process I have identified a few key wardrobe staples I am short of – one being a denim skirt.

I did struggle to part with some clothes which are a little small.  Then their were clothes that I have been meaning to repair.  One pair of jeans had stitching gone in the crutch area – this was just too tricky to try and restitch.

worn stitching in old jeans


Time to convert the jeans into a skirt. I started with reading a few tutorials on line – find some here on my recycled denim pinterest board.

Transform your jeans into a skirt - quick and easy to do

These are my top tips for converting jeans into a skirt:

  • Change the needle on your sewing machine to denim
  • Lengthen the stitch length
  • Fit the walking foot (if you have one). These three tips encourage your sewing machine to cope with the thickness of denim fabric.
  • Use an existing skirt for width and length guides
  • Slim the hem by turning up once and securing with sewing tape or bias binding

Its really simple to do, so much so I can’t quite believe I hadn’t made one years ago! Start with unpicking the inside leg seams. Use an existing skirt to work out the suitable length – don’t forget to allow seam allowance for turning up.

unpick seams in former trousers

Piece in some of the discarded leg to create a great A line shape.

piece in using spare fabric from trouser leg

Lastly hem – I used bias binding as my machine would have thrown a hissing fit at being asked to sew through three layers of denim, particularly the french seams!

Bias binding to hem denim skirt

It really took hardly any time at all:)

Transform jeans into a skirt

Do you have a favorite denim recreation?




10 thoughts on “Top tips for converting jeans into a skirt”

  1. I love upcycles/recycles and this is fabulous! I love the skirt and it looks store bought actually! Nice instructions too! I’d love to invite you to submit your post to DIY Crush. I pin/share everything!


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