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Remember the jeans I refashioned into a pencil skirt for me a couple of days ago?  Well, here they are again!

All done!

I really liked the nice big hem on these jeans and knew as soon as I started the skirt refashion for me that I wanted to do a toddler skirt for Arden.  How handy that Homemade by Jill also had a tuturial for a baby skirt as a guest on another blog I’m following – Kojo Designs!  I wonder if she had leftover parts from her jean to maternity skirt refashion as well?  Her tutorial was for an infant, so here’s my stab at it with a few changes to resize to toddler:

So, here’s where I cut the bottoms off the jeans to make my pencil skirt.

Remember me?

Next, I had to sew the pieces together to get a tube of the appropriate width.  Arden has an 18″ waist, and I figured that the pleats would take up about 8″, so I wanted to start with a 26″ tube.  I used a ruler and rotary cutter to get a nice straight line.

Straight edges

I sewed the pieces together using heavy duty thread and a denim needle.  I finished the seams with an overcast stitch (you can zig zag or serge if you have a serger), and then sewed the finished seams down to prevent any rubbing.

Overcast edges

 I cut the height to 7½” and finished the top edge.

Finished tube

Next, I cut a tube of t-shirt material 5″ x 18″.  I did one piece instead of two in Jill’s instructions, but either way works.  I went with 18″, so the completed tube would be a little smaller than A’s waist and help it stay up.  I switched thread and put in a ball-point jersey needle.  Probably overkill on a simple seam but since I have the needles I should use them, right?

t-shirt tube

Then I pinned for the pleats.  I used a centered box pleat in the midlle like Jill, but since I had the seams from the jean legs in about the right spot I made the single pleats go to the outside to highlight this detail.  I pinched ½” of material for each pleat, and the single pleats are about 2″ out from the center pleat.  Repeat on the backside.

Pinned pleats

I sewed the pleats in place with a 1/4′ seam.  Finally, I folded my t-shirt tube in half with the seam inside.  With raw edges together, I pinned the tube to the skirt.  I sewed it on with an overcast stitch to finish the edges and allow it to stretch.

All done!

So, now for confession:  I adjusted all the measurements in my tutorial because somehow I had measured Arden’s waist as 21″ and completed this whole project based on that.  What’s that saying – measure twice, cut once?  I blame it on a toddler who won’t sit still for even a moment!  Anyways, it’s still cute on her and doesn’t fall off or anything.  It will just fit her for longer!  She’s wearing it to daycare today even if it is a little too big.

Extra roomy toddler skirt

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I have a pair of jeans I got in a post-baby attempt to be a little more current, but every time I wear them I spend the entire day hiking them up.  I’ve begun referring to them as my “just say no to crack” jeans.  So, into the refashion pile they went.  I’ve seen a few tutorials on how to refashion jeans into skirts, but most of them show where you can see the crotch and leg seams and inset the fabric from the bottom of the legs in the middle.  These are cute, but not quite what I was wanting.  Homemade by Jill has a tutorial for refashioned jeans to maternity skirt that is exactly what I was looking for, minus the maternity band.  So, here’s my version using Jill’s as inspiration:

"Just say no to crack" jeans

I started by using my handy-dandy seam ripper to rip out the inside seams.  For cheapo jeans, these were surprisingly well-constructed, and this took a while.

Inside seams opened

With right sides facing, I pinned the seams together and marked a line using a ruler and chalk to continue in a more or less straight line from the legs to the front and back seams.  I had to sew the butt three times to get a nice smooth transition without any lumpy butt.  I placed pins at the front and back where I planned to cut the skirt off, and stopped a few inches below the marker for a slit in the back.

Marking sewing line

I tried it on again to check the length I wanted to cut (this is where the lumpy butt corrections came in) and marked it.  Then using my quilting rulers to be sure I cut a line straight across, I cut the bottom off.  I have plans for the bottom of the legs – watch for a related post!

Cutting bottom of skirt

Then I finished all the raw edges with an overcast stitch.  You could zig zag the edges, or do a rolled hem to cover the edges.  If you have a serger that would be even better,  but until I get a serger, I like to overcast.  I also top stitched the slit opening, using the existing crease from the original seam.

Finished edges

On to the hem.  I wanted a hem nearly as wide as the jean’s orginal 2″ one, so I went with 1 ½”.  I pinned the hem and sewed ½” from the overcast edge.

Pinning hem

Lastly, I clipped all the stray threads, and ironed the hem.  I’ve been wearing it since I finished it, and I think it’s going to work tomorrow!  Final picture – I did have my husband snap one of the rear view, but I just couldn’t bring myself to post it.

Front

The jeans had a lot of stretch, so these are surprisingly comfortable for as narrow of a skirt it is.  I’m pleased with the final result, and I’m sure I’ll be wearing the skirt more than I wore the jeans, since I had to be very careful about choosing a top long enough to cover my rear.

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