Bluejeans are standard attire for me; tough and servicable. When my jeans wear out, it's usually due to a "blowout" in one or both knees. While these jeans are still fine for wearing around the garden, I prefer something a little nicer for church, shopping, etc.
I came across this idea and thought it was great-using the "yoke" of an otherwise worn pair of jeans as the top for a new skirt. The jeans are cut straight across just below the zipper (save the legs for patching or other projects). This cutoff piece will include the waistband, zipper and both front and back pockets.
Lengths of fabric are then patched together-I use eight pieces about 9"x 26"-by sewing pieces together along the long side of each fabric, using 1/2" seams. Or one piece of fabric approximately 26" x 64" can be used.
New or used fabric can be used for this purpose-pieces from the backs of worn out dress shirts work well. Cotton calicoes also look great. Sew the side (26") seams together to make a tube. The pieced fabric is then gathered along the top of the tube until it is the same diameter as the bottom edge of the cutoff jeans. With right sides together, sew the gathered edge to the cut edge of the jeans. Hem as desired. I sometimes press the seam allowances toward the jeans, and then topstitch through the bluejean section, to further strengthen the skirt.
The length of the panels can be adjusted to suit your height (I'm 5'6") and the desired length of the skirt. The width of the panels can also be adjusted to accommodate your size requirements. (The pieced section should be roughly double the bottom edge of the cutoff jeans.)
Your finished skirt has a waistband, pockets and a zipper, all courtesy of the recycled jeans. I sometimes will piece together a belt using the patchwork fabrics (or useable sections of dress shirt sleeves!) which further gives a coordinated look.
These instructions assume a fundamental knowledge of sewing skills. Consult a basic sewing guide for clarification. This is really a pretty easy beginner's project. With a bit of creative reuse, it can yield a "new" garment for little or no cost.
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