Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Summer Sewing, Upcycled Jean Skirt

Sometimes I just want to sew, not for Paganoonoo (my upcycle sewing company), just for myself.  A few days ago I did just that, and made a summer skirt.

My motivation for the project?  I have a pair of very stained vintage overalls that I'd cut off to shorts length.  SO comfortable.  Not the most attractive look, probably limited to gardening and working around the house.

I had a desire to make something shorts-like (and fit for public viewing) for the hot summer here in the SF Bay Area.   I'm not that fond of shorts or trying to fit pants, so I thought a skirt might be easier and more comfortable. 

Starting with a pair of jeans purchased from a customer, I set about making a 60's/70's style hippie skirt only at knee length.  The jeans arrived with wear and holes that were come by honestly by her husband working in the pants (l like that!).

I cut the inseam open, leaving a 1/3" wide strip of fabric on the side of the seam to use for sewing down the piece.  I cut up halfway up the front and back seams using the same methods. 
The rest was all overlaying, pinning, trying on, re-overlay, re-pin, try on, and repeat literally 15+ times. I was able to conform the skirt to my figure using this method.  I left the hem raw, being very careful not to cut it too short.  It took 5 tries cutting off a bit at a time to get the length I wanted.  To determine where to cut, I marked in while I had it on so I liked where it fell.  After seeing these photos I think I can go a bit shorter in the back. 

I may also do a "Boro" mending on the holes.

The one glitch left is that the bottom of the fly will not sit flush to the body and makes a bit of a 3-D crease. It may not be that visible to others, but I know it is there.

I thought about cutting underneath it and just overlap and topstitch. - a bit tricky though as that would put a smile right at my crotch. LOL.

For now I'm not doing anything.

I have worn the skirt out in public.  It is much more fitted than what I typically wear so is taking some getting used to.

I think they will be a good "shorts" substitute.

What summer sewing are you doing?

If you are intrigued by the notion of upcycle sewing (using existing clothing rather than flat fold cloth to make new styles) check out my business site:

We sell instructions for upcycle sewing that walk you through each step of deconstruction and reconstruction resulting in a custom fit. We've worked out the kinks so you don't have to.

Here are a couple examples of summer friendly garments:

Easy to size! This skirt can be scaled to any size as it is build from individual panels taken from dress shirts. The closure is made from a shirt placket from a dress shirt - so you do not need to sew on a button or make a button hole, they are already there! 

More info on sizing upcycled Paganoonoo garments here.

Alter your unisex t-shirt into the most flattering t-shirt you will ever own.  instructions walk you though step-by-step.  Works for all sizes that have a t-shirt that fits the bust, shoulders, arms. Hips too tight? We solve that!
Upcycled t-shirt, added hip room w/inserted back
panel #Paganoonoo upcycle sewing instructions
Upcycled t-shirt, added hip room w/inserted back
panel #Paganoonoo upcycle sewing instructions

More info about using Paganoonoo upcycle sewing instructions:

Find out which Paganoonoo styles are most flattering for your figure type.

Happy upcycling!   


  1. I love this look! And I think you are right about the length in the back. Be brave! You'll look great in it.

    1. I did cut it shorter! Thanks. Will do a Boro treatment on it soon and repost.

  2. I think the issue with the zipper is common. If you make the skirt more flaired, the flair takes care of that, but it is a common thing with strait skirts. If you figure out a solution, let us know.