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We’re seeing lots of fashion excitement with the creative recycling of jeans into ruffled skirts. Full and flouncy or short and sassy, these skirts are fun fashion statements that are simple to re-create! This look is equally fashionable for girls and misses’ alike – consider a casual mother/daughter duo, with matching or coordinating ruffles below the denim.
Just like your favorite jeans, ruffled jean skirts span the seasons effortlessly, depending on your choice of fabrics for the ruffles. A single ruffle of lace or eyelet is a great choice for romantic summer wear, while multi-layered versions done in crushed velvets and brocades are just right for a Bohemian-inspired look. Get ready to choose your fabrics, and stitch up the perfect balance of comfort and style!
1. Prepare Your Jeans Cut off the jeans legs, just above the crotch and just below the zipper. Be sure to push the pockets out of the way as you cut; they will still be usable if kept intact. Depending on the size and position of your jeans’ back pockets, you may have to cut off the bottoms of the pockets. Don’t worry about this, though – the pockets will get caught in a seam when the skirt is assembled. After cutting off the jeans legs you will be left with what look like a micro-micro-mini skirt, which will become the yoke of your ruffled skirt. Make note of the measurement around the lower edge of this yoke.
Tip: If you are a truly ambitious recycler, consider sewing up a matching handbag from the cut-off jeans legs!
2. Cutting Fabric Ruffles Try on the yoke to determine your desired final length, and the number of ruffles you will want. Cut each fabric ruffle width to 1 1/2 times the yoke’s lower edge measurement (for example, if the yoke measures 40 inches at the lower edge, the 1 1/2 times measurement will be 60 inches). Once you have determined the width measurement of each ruffle, divide this measurement in half, and add 1 1/4" to this measurement. Each ruffle will then have side seams, with 5/8" seam allowances. Cut each ruffle to the desired length, plus 1 1/2".
3. Assemble Fabric Ruffles Finish the lower edge of each ruffle with a narrow hem – turn up the edge 1/2" and press. Fold the raw edge under, until it meets the pressed-in crease. Machine-stitch close to the second folded edge; this will form a 1/4" wide top-stitched hem. Press.
Stack ruffles one on top of the other, matching raw upper edges and side seams. If you have ruffles of different lengths, be sure to stack shorter ruffles on top of longer ruffles, as you want them to appear on your finished skirt. Pin all ruffles together at upper edge. Using a long machine stitch, sew a row of gathering stitches 1/2" from upper edge.
Gently draw up the gathers, distributing the fullness evenly, so that the gathered edges measure the width of the lower edge of the yoke. Press gathers lightly to hold in place.
4. Finishing Your Skirt With RIGHT sides together and the side seams of the ruffles lining up with the side seams the jean yoke, pin the lower edge of the yoke to the upper edge of the gathered ruffles. Sew together in a 5/8” seam. Sew again 1/4” away from the seam, INSIDE the seam allowance. Turn the seam towards the jean yoke and press.
On the OUTSIDE, top-stitch close to the seam allowance, using a thread that matches the top-stitching of the jeans.