Easy Upcycled Denim Skirt Tutorial

Julie Willaert
by Julie Willaert
8 Materials
3 Hours

Someone (actually it was my boyfriend) gifted me an old pair of jeans that were a little too big for me and had a rip in the crotch.

I decided to turn them into an upcycled denim skirt, as those are so trendy at the moment.

So here's my tutorial on making a DIY long denim skirt from jeans, using a different method from those you usually see.

Tools and materials:

  • Old, preferably stretch, jeans
  • Scissors
  • Pins
  • Measuring tape
  • Ruler
  • Tailor's chalk
  • Jeans or leather needles
  • Sewing machine
Trying jeans on

1. Try them on

For this denim upcycling to work, the jeans need to fit you comfortably and preferably be a little large on you.

If they're too small, it will be very difficult to make a skirt from them.

Cutting jeans

2. Open the jeans

Cut the inside leg seams open completely, including around the crotch seam.

Cutting jeans

Cut open the seam under the zipper, right up to the end of the zipper stitching.

Most people who upcycle jeans into a skirt stitch down the small triangle that forms when you do this and leave it visible, but I don't like that look. I wanted to do something different.

Center front seam

3. Center front seam

Turn the jeans inside out and pin the seam together from under the zipper, so the extra fabric is on the inside. 

Sew or baste along the pin line. I'd advise using needles specially made to sew denim or even leather, as they'll be less likely to break, and to sew slowly.

Center front seam

Mark the top of the split on the center front seam. I chose to put mine 20 inches (50 cm) from the top of the waistband.

Center front seam

Pin the front seam into a straight line from this mark to the base of the zipper.

Sew the seam and trim the excess fabric.

Center back seam

4. Center back seam

Cut the center back seam open. I needed to make the skirt smaller, so I cut right through the waistband as well and removed the belt loop.

Wrap the jeans around you and pin the center back seam to fit.

Center back seam

Sew the center back seam from the waistband to the original crotch seam.

Pin the back seam into a straight line from the point before the curve to taper into the original seam.

Sew the seam together down to the bottom of the legs.

Cut off the excess fabric and reattach the belt loop. I did this by hand.

Hem edge

5. Hem edge

If you prefer the finished look, you can skip this step.

I wanted the edge of the skirt to be raw and unfinished, so I cut off the original hem and washed the skirt to encourage the hem to unravel. 

Back split

6. Back split

I decided to choose comfort over fashion and opened the bottom of the back seam for about 8 inches (20 cm).

Turn the raw edges to the wrong side and sew them down.

Upcycled denim skirt

Upcycled denim skirt

Upcycled denim skirt

I love this skirt. It fits me really well and is so comfortable to wear. I definitely advise doing this with stretch denim if you can.

Do you prefer the straight front seam over the usual triangular seam that you see?

I have to admit, I do like my version better but I'd love to know what you think.

Next, Check Out My Upcycled Button-up Dress.

Suggested materials:
  • Old, preferably stretch, jeans
  • Scissors
  • Pins
See all materials

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