Reduce, Reuse, Recycle: Yesterday's Pants

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Many of you shared with me how much your enjoyed the RRR post I did several weeks back on clothing. So I'm bringing it back, but this time I'm gonna show you how to do a transformation yourself. Yup, DIY week continues...

1. jcrew 2. plus 3. jcrew

I love transforming old stuff I have laying around the house into something useful. It's especially great if I can make something that I would have otherwise spent money on. Last month I was perousing the pages of and decided I "needed" an army green skirt. This "need" unfortunately, did not fit into our budget. Humph! This was a bummer, but I was determined to not give up on my quest. Several days later while hanging some freshly laundered pants I spotted the answer to my problems... an old pair of army green cargo pants that had a paint spot on the knee. Score! I quickly took said pants and scissors to my cutting table (also known as the dining room table.) Snip. Snip. Stitch. Stitch. Voila! A new skirt. Here's how you can "do it yourself." *Please forgive the blurry photos - I was on my 2nd cup of strong coffee with no food in my tummy! Mistake.

Step 1 - select pants. (I am working with denim here because I forgot to take pictures while making my army green skirt. Geez - I need another cup of coffee!)

Step 2 - put pants on and mark the desired length of your "new" skirt.

(TIP: I highly recommend the clear ruler above for all sewing projects. It rocks and makes all projects go so much faster. Ditto on the roller blade vs. scissors.)

Step 3 - take pants off (I'm sure you know this; I'm just putting it all down.) and mark cutting line with ruler and fabric chalk. (TIP: to save time, just fold pant leg up to desired length, mark and cut. What can I say? I'm a hack. Don't act so surprised. I've confessed this before, shamelessly.)

Step 4 - rip crotch seam (front and back) with scissors or seam ripper until each pant panel lies smoothly over the other.

(Note: after panels are laid flat, you may have to cut your bottom edge so that it is straight.)

Step 5 - take leftover pant leg material and cut two pieces for the front and back panels of skirt opening (TIP: be sure to check your fabric grain here; you want the grains to match if possible.)

Step 6 - pin panels onto body of skirt. (front and back)

Step 7 - sew panels and crotch seams in place. (front and back)

Step 8 - trim any access fabric from the panels that you added above. (front and back)

Step 9 - hem if desired (I left my edges raw.)

Step 10 - wash (to fray edges if left raw) and wear!

(It's hard to take pictures of your own butt. I wish the hubby had been home to help me out.)

Hmmm... I'm starting to get the feeling that I like quick projects and simplicity.  I guess anymore than that right now would not fit my lifestyle! My skirt has been great. I can dress it up or down and I'm super excited to wear it in the Fall with tights and boots. How's that for a little practicality? xo


  1. The denim skirt is fine...but your first skirt? Now that is adorable!

  2. Nice Brooke! I'm behind on my reading, so I have to say that I like your new banner, too!

    If I wasn't hopelessly tomboyish, I would totally make this skirt - I think my rather meager sewing skills could even manage. Nice tutorial, and keep up the DIY! I love seeing how creative sewing can be, since it's something I hope to do more of one day.


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