Thursday, August 2, 2012


I just finished my latest upcycled jeans' project.....another skirt for granddaughter Hallie.....this one with two ruffles.  I have wanted to do one with ruffles for quite a while and I finally saw one at that inspired me. I didn't do it the same way they did, but did take the suggestion for the length of the ruffles.  I'm still trying to find granddaughter Sadie a pair of fancy jeans or shorts so I can make her one.  I owe her two actually.

Here is a picture of the shorts I used for this skirt.  I was really excited to find a pair that had fancy back pockets and also a fancy front.

I'll be honest with you, cutting off the shorts was the hardest part.  It wouldn't have been as hard if it hadn't been for the design on the front being so much lower than the back pocket. Normally you would just cut a couple of inches below the back pocket and continue around the front.  With these shorts though, I had to leave more so that I wouldn't mess up with the front design.

The first thing I did was cut across the crotch so that I could work better with the shorts.

I then laid the shorts down matching the side seams to see where I would end up cutting the shorts off.  

I started by cutting the hem off to get ride of some of the bulk that I had to work with.

And then I just started cutting a little bit at a time, until....


The back wasn't too difficult to deal with. 

The front though required a little bit more work--because the design was so low.
(1)  I tucked the left side under the stitched center and pinned it flat.
(2) shows how it looked on the inside.
(3)  Then I stitched close to the pink stitching up to the top of my tuck.
(4) shows how it looked on the inside.

Here is how it looked from the front.  I just did have enough of it so that when I sewed the ruffles on, I didn't run into the design. 

But the front laid flat and that was the other important thing.

Now I was ready to do the ruffles.  

I made both of the ruffles from the same piece of fabric.  You could make them from two coordinating fabric.
With the material folded down the center, I cut two strips the width of the 4 inches wide and the other one 6 inches.

After cutting off the selvage of each piece, I pinned these raw ends together with right sides facing to make two closed strips. 

The next thing to do was make the shirt-tail hem in each "ruffle".  To do this I first pressed a turned up 1/4 inch on one long side of each piece.  I normally would have just eyed the hem, but since the pieces are so narrow, I decided to be more precise.  It goes pretty fast.

At the machine, I folded the pressed over 1/4 of an inch (the amount you pressed) another 1/4 inch and sewed close to inside folded edge.

With the hem in, I made a small clip to divide the unhemmed edge into 4 equal parts.  With the seam on one end, I laid the piece down flat and clipped at the fold on the other end.  Then I refolded the strip so that the seam and this clip would match up, and laying it flat, I clipped both folded ends.  On the "jeans" I just matched the side seams, and laying it flat, I clipped the center front and back.  Remember the seams are the other quarters so you don't need to clip them.

Setting the machine to the longest stitch length and with extra thread pulled through from spool and bobbin, (this is so you can have a thread to pull to make gathers), I sewed all the way around 1/2 inch from the raw edge.  I always start and end at the seam of the ruffle strip.  Do this for both ruffles. 

I gently pulled one of the thread ends and work around making gathers.  I show this in more detail HERE.

You will start by sewing the 4 inch ruffle on the jeans first. Unlike the earlier skirt I made, for this ruffle, I sewed all the way around with the gathering stitch.  When I worked the piece, I pinned the ruffle to the jeans at the side seams first and after pulling some gathers, pinned at the center front/back.

Once I had the ruffle fitted to the jeans and pinned, I sewed the ruffle on with a 1/2  seam.  The easy way to do this is to have the ruffle on the inside of the jeans and sew with the ruffle on top. 

With the short ruffle on, I was now ready to "gather" the longer ruffle.  This ruffle is sewed over the short ruffle with the right side of the long ruffle to the wrong side of the sewed on short ruffle. 

I pinned it matching the notched points and sewed it on right over where I had sewed the short ruffle. 

After cutting the ends from the long threads, I pressed the ruffle on the top side with the seam under the jeans.  

To finish off the skirt and make sure the ruffles laid down flat, I top stitched close to the edge of the seam on the denim side.  (Just make sure the seam underneath is staying under the jeans.)

And I was finished.

Oh remember the back is how the skirt looks from the back.

I think it turned out so cute!

My dil, Sara, has found two pair of jeans that were Hallie's that will fit Sadie that I can use to make Sadie two skirts.  "Yay" as Sara would say! 
I think they will make cute ones.  Can't wait to get them in the mail. 

I will let you see how they turn out.


I just realized I never showed you the the skirts that I made from the pants for Sadie.  They turned out really pretty.  What do you think?

And the other one.  (I'm just showing the "fancy" backside of both.)

Here is a picture of a jean skirt I made for Sadie's older sister Hallie using a pair of corduroy jeans.  Instead of having two ruffles for the skirt, I decided to just  make a gathered skirt like I do for most of their t-shirt dresses. 

I made two changes when I made it.  1)  Because the jeans were corduroy, I took my seam ripper and took out the stitches in front for the crotch.  In the denim jeans I just worked the excess material under the seam and restitched it.  I think it made a really nice flat center front and back by opening up the seam and restitching the seam after flattening out the seam.  and 2) The flannel material I used for the skirt was 52 inches wide.  I decided to cut the skirt all the way across and so I only had one side seam.  This gave the skirt more gathers.  I think it turned out really pretty.

The center front of the jeans

And the back center seam of the jeans

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