I wear jeans practically every day. Picking through old furniture—painting, sanding, and hauling—jeans are absolutely the way to go. And the pockets and belt loops are so practical. With my phone tucked into a pocket and my keys clipped to a belt loop I have both hands free to work. And nothing beats the dark blue indigo to wipe off dirty hands after handling rusty old junk.
But now that summer is here, jeans are not hot-weather friendly and it was time for me to alter my wardrobe.
I’ve been shopping the half-price clothes on Wednesdays at the Salvation Army Store from time to time. My primary goal is to find fabrics I like and the occasional vintage piece I can’t resist. I also had a couple of “prairie-style” dresses from several years ago. I really liked the fabrics and I couldn’t bring myself to discard them. Now they have a second life and I’m enjoying them all over again.
They had a shin length skirt attached to an empire waist so there was quite a lot of fabric to add to a skirt. The dresses buttoned down the front center, but I slid the buttons to the side when I put this together.
I cut the skirt away from the bodice just above the waist seam to take advantage of the gathers already sewn in place. Then I cut into the jeans.
I cut into the first pair about an inch below the zipper. Keeping the jeans flat I did my best to cut a straight line across the front. I folded them in half to mark a spot below the side pocket that would be even on both sides.
When I cut across the back, I detoured around the hip pockets.
When I matched the thrifted skirts with the jeans hip bands I started by pinning at the side seams and matched it up across the front. I laid it flat, with right sides together and pinning it all the way across the bottom of the pockets.
When I stitched the two pieces together I skipped stitching over the pockets. Next step I turned the skirt to the right side and pinned the skirt to the pocket doing my best to keep that unattached section from sagging. Then I picked a starting placed and top-stitched to flatten the seam allowance below.
With a snip to the corner of the denim pocket I left the raw edge on the outside of the skirt. I top-stitched again just below the pocket stitching and trimmed the raw edge to reduce future fraying.
Here’s a look at the inside if that helps any.
For the turquoise skirt, it matched up with the jeans less than an inch above the top ruffle. I cut about six inches on the top of the skirt.
The floral skirt had a wide flat band at the top with extra wide belt loops on each side. I removed about two inches from the top of this skirt to get it to fit. I snipped the belt loops off at the top and then reattached them into the seam when I stitched it to the jeans. I didn’t want to make a hole at the bottom of the belt loop and who knows, I might need a couple of extra belt loops one of these days.
These jeans had a floral lining to the pocket flap that didn’t match my skirt. I thought to cover it with the skirt fabric but didn’t want to worry with the button-hole.
I decided to edge the flap with a ruffle made from the fabric I removed from the waist.
I love my new skirts and can’t wait to make a few more!
The hard part has been finding jeans I’m OK with cutting up. I wear Talls and two of these jeans were regular length, but they cost me about two dollars at an end of year clearance so I bought them anyway. They fit beautifully and are so comfortable without the crotch in them. I found the other two pair at the Salvation Army. One pair of jeans fit perfectly and turned out to be Tall! But I cut them up anyway. The one with the pocket flaps was a pair of shorts.
You can top these off with a t-shirt, tank top, or whatever you’d wear with jeans. A pretty lacy camisole and sexy sandals take you out for a summer evening, while a simple t-shirt and tennis shoes gives you a work-around-the-house outfit. I won’t be painting in these, but I have more than once used the skirt-tail—as my grandmother would call it—to dry my hands.
I have a few red and white print skirts, a small stack of pink print skirts, and a couple of sun dresses with full gored skirts. They are all looking to hook up with a pair of jeans.
Where would you wear one of these, and what would you wear with it?