DIY Upcycled Pants to Skirt Basic Sewing Tutorial

Upcycled Pants to Skirt Basic Sewing Tutorial

OK – this is The.Perfect.Afternoon.Project !! 🙂 You don’t have to be a great seamstress . . . you just need to know how to use a pair of scissors and how to use the basics of a sewing machine.

So the first step is to grab literally any pair of pants. I got some the other day for 25 cents at a thrift store (hip hip hooray! :-), but you could use old hand-me-downs that are too short, or even brand new ones. The options are endless . . . I love finding jeans that have cute stitching or buttons to make the skirt totally unique. Or an awesome color. (BC colored denim skirts can be really pricey $$ lately) And you know how when a store has a cute skirt, everyone buys it . . . and then you walk into church thinking you have this a great skirt . . . and 3 other people are wearing the same exact one!?! 🙂 lol Well that’s not going to happen when you wear your own one-of-a-kind handmade skirt 🙂

So – go out thrifting or dig in the closet for a pair of jeans that fit well around the waist, and you’ve got Step 1 down!! See how easy already?!? 😉

Lay them out on a flat surface and use some fabric scissors like these ones to cut up the leg seams just like in the pic below . . . up one leg and down the other. Try to stay as close to the ridged seam as you can.

pants to skirt tutorial

Cut right around the crotch area. Keep on cutting right up against that ridged seam.


Now cut up the center, all the way up to the zipper – like in the pics below.


Do the same in the back . . . you won’t have the zipper to tell you when to stop, but try to cut about the same in the back as you did in the front.


Now lay that curved area on the right over the left. See the raw edge in the first picture? We don’t want that to be seen in the finished skirt, so turn it under like I did in the next picture.


Next use some straight pins to hold those 2 layers together. You’ll really want to make sure everything is laying evenly and that there are no “bumps.”

You’re all ready to sew that 1st seam. Machine sew, being careful to use a good matching thread (it doesn’t HAVE to be the same color i.e. if you’re doing a denim pair that has yellow stitching, you’d want to use yellow thread).


Using those same steps, connect the back, once again making sure there won’t be any awkward bumps. Nice and smooth and flat is the goal.


Next you’ll need to decide how long you want the skirt to be so that you can cut off the bottoms of the legs. You will just need to make sure you cut off enough to fill the “gap” between the legs . . . to check that, just fold up the bottom of the leg (see pic below) and measure! So that measurement is the minimum you can cut off. To make a shorter skirt, just add x more inches to that minimum measurement.

(Sorry for the sudden change in coloring in these next pictures; don’t let it throw you off 🙂



Chop chop.2016-05-12_0011

Now just to fill in those gaps! You’ll need to get those leg pieces and cut them down the seam. Those will be the missing pieces to your halfway done skirt.


Take that now-flattened leg piece and slide it into the gap. Pin it together all around that V-shaped area. (You’ll have to watch and make sure you’re not catching the back of the pants while you’re pinning – a little tricky, but you can do it! 🙂

Once it’s layered, you’ll want to fold under the raw edge of the top layer. See in the pic how the left side is frayed, and the right side is turned around and crisp and smooth? Make yours look like the right side.


Then pin it and sew it! (Be careful not to catch the back in your seam.)


Same to the back.


LAST step! Hem all around the bottom of the skirt. Sometimes I’ll just zig-zag around the raw edge and fold it up once, but if it’s a material that frays, you’ll definitely want to fold it up twice.


And there you have it! Caution: This is addicting. From now on, every pair of pants you see, you will envision in skirt form. 😉


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One Comment

  1. Pingback: Turn your favorite jeans into a skirt

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