Make Jean Skirts (How to cut up your jeans and sew a skirt easily)

Make a beautiful jean skirt from an old pair of jeans and some fabric with this step by step DIY tutorial

jeans skirt tutorial

If you are like me and have growing girls at home, there is probably a space in your wardrobe for those ” flood jeans ” stacks ( referring to too short clothes or the way we put up our clothes if there is a flood). These jeans fit all right on the waist and hips, but it is too short to wear.

Or maybe you have jeans that looked alright when you bought them but do not look so right, right now. You do not want to throw it away, understandably. Denim is such – sturdy and good for use for many, many years. .

Why not refashion to something still wearable – like a jean skirt ?

You can easily make a tiered skirt with ruffles from your old jeans and some fabric scraps. A professional-looking waistband ready-made for you. You need jeans that fit alright at the waist and hips and which you would not regret cutting up later or which cannot be distressed and be in your favor again. 

Checkout these different ways you can distress your jeans if you have changed your mind.

Method 1. Make a mini skirt from old jeans

Find a way to make an easy DIY Mini skirt from jeans in this post on making mini skirts.

jeans skirt pattern

You can make a longer skirt like this in the same way.

make jeans skirts


how to make a skirt from jeans and fabric


Step 1 

jean skirt

For this skirt, you need to cut out the jeans just under the pockets.

jeans skirt

Keep the jeans so that the side seams are aligned as above. This way, you can cut the back and front differently. The jeans’ front is always a little lower cut than the back. 

Keep the top edge aligned against a straight edge. Measure from the top to 1/2 inch after the bottom end of the pocket. This is your cut line. Measure the distance. Measure the same distance on the other edge (front) too. Mark and cut straight ( not slanted like mine).

how to make a skirt from an old jeans

You will most probably still have the crotch seam joined. Straighten up the jeans so that the front is facing you. Cut out the crotch joining straight across.

jeans skirt tutorial

It is a pain cutting the beautifully sturdy jeans seams- You need really sharp scissors and possibly plastic handles.

Measure the bottom edge of the jeans cut edge.You need this for the next part.

Step 2

You also need 2 skirt pieces each for the skirts ( 4 total for back and front)  and 3 ruffle tiers ( 6 pieces for back and front).

Cut out the skirt pieces as per the pattern given below.

Jeans skirt

Take the measure of the bottom edge of the jeans you have at hand. ( the cut edge) from one side seam to the other. Divide this by 2. Consider this measure as X.

A-B = X + 3/4 inch

C-D = A-B + 1.5 inch

E-F = C-D 

G-H = C-D+1.5 inch

Measure of the width of the first piece A-C = 3.5 inch & E-G (second piece) = 4.5 inch.

Mark these measures on a folded piece of fabric which is folded again by the center. When you cut it out, you will get 4 pieces, like in the picture below.

How to make a skirt from a jeans

Cut out the ruffles – 3 pieces each for the front and back
Mark ruffles as per the measurement given below.

The long edge of the 1st ruffle (X-Y) should be 1.5 times the top edge of the first skirt pieces (A-B). The width of the 1st ruffle is 4 inch.

The long edge of the 2nd ruffle (S-R) should be 1.5 times the top edge of the Second  skirt piece (E-F).The width of the 2nd ruffle is 5 inches. 

The long edge of the 3rd ruffle (P-Q) should be 1.5 times the bottom  edge of the Second skirt piece (G-H).The width of the 3rd ruffle is 7 inches. 

Jeans skirt

You will get 6 pieces of ruffle pieces like this.

jean skirt

Step 3

Stitch a straight line  1/2 inch from one edge of the ruffle piece. Do so for all the ruffle piece . This is for making the fringes.

This stitching line will prevent the cloth from unraveling beyond this line. If you do not want fringes, you can make a turned under hem for all the ruffle pieces or an overcast stitch or rolled hem edge.

Stitch gathering stitches ( long stitches) along the top edge ( the other edge)  of all the ruffle pieces. You should make 2 such long stitches along the top edge ( 1/4 inch from the edge) so that you can gather this edge very smoothly.Checkout the post on how to gather.

Step 4

Join 2 tiers and the last ruffle one by one. Do the same for the back as well. Now you will have skirt pieces ( front as well as back) like this

jean skirt tiered skirt

Step 5

Keep the second ruffle along the joint of the second tier so that the ruffled edge is on top of the seam. Stitch these pieces’ right sides together.

jean skirt

Turn the ruffle down. You have the second ruffle in place.

jean skirt

Do the same for the back as well. You have two skirt pieces – front and back pieces.

Step 6

Join the side seams of the  two skirt pieces ( back and front pieces rightsides together) to form a tube

jean skirt tiered

Step 7

Join this skirt to the jeans yoke you have cut.

tiered skirt pattern


Keep the jeans yoke and the skirt right sides together ( I have inserted the rightiside out skirt to the wrong side out jeans skirt here). Stitch the seam together joining them

tiered jeans skirt

Step 8

Join the smaller ruffle- the 1st ruffle pieces  ( the two pieces left) together at both ends so that you have a circle. Keep the gathers intact

jean skirt

Step 9

Insert the skirt into this circle.

tiered skirt from old jeans

Flip it up so that the top edge is on top of the seam joining the skirt and the jeans yoke.You will be stitching the ruffle on top of the seam so that the seam will not be difficult to sew

how to stitch a skirt from an old jeans

Stitch in place. Flip it down. This will make sure that the seams are not thick. 

jean skirt diy

Step 10

Make the fringes. You have the stitching line which acts as a border. Remove the weft threads on the fabric – those are the horizontal threads from the stitching line to the cut edge. You need the vertical ones intact. I combed or rather scratched with my seam ripper (my pal) at first and then realized that I have to do the thread removal one by one.

jean skirt diy tutorial

Let me warn you. It takes a lot of time to do it neatly. You have 3 all-around ruffles to do this. So if you are lazy like that, you are better off with a rolled hem finish. But the fringed edge looks very pretty if it is any consolation.

jean skirt from old jeans

I cannot leave it alone without it touching a hand needle and embroidery thread and my blockprinting skills (with the back stub of a pencil) or my spare rhinestones. Skip this, if you like the minimal look or if you are using a printed fabric for the ruffles.


how to make a jean skirt

You can make a very easy skirt from your old jeans by adding a gathered fabric of the length you want on the cut edge

How to make this easy jeans skirt

Cut out the jeans just above the crotch line.

denim tote bag pattern

The front crotch seam is stitched curved in jeans – you will have to restitch this after opening the seams

Align the seam straight and stitch in place.

Measure the circumference of the jeans’ bottom edge. Cut out the fabric of your choice for the skirt at least 2 times the circumference of the bottom cut edge of the jeans.

Make this fabric into a tube shape by joining the short edges. Hem the bottom edge. Gather the top edge to fit the jeans bottom edge. Check out the post on gathering if you do not know how to easily gather.

Stitch the gathers in place and then join to the jeans’ edge right sides together.


To hide the seam line, you can add an appropriate trim above the seam line.

make jeans skirt from old jeans

Checkout the post on sewing with denim for more tips if you find difficulty sewing with the jeans or if you would rather shorten the jeans by doing the hem. More related posts of interest – history of jeans ; 10 jeans recycle ideas

reuse denim ideas


 bolero diy sewing pattern


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Author: Sarina Tariq

Hi, I love sewing, fabric, fashion, embroidery, doing easy DIY projects and then writing about them. Hope you have fun learning from sewguide as much as I do. If you find any mistakes here, please point it out in the comments.

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