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Back here I promised you a tutorial, so here we go with instructions for a DIY summer skirt with denim waist! You’re welcome!
Pic 1 – You will need:
- a pair of thrifted jeans
- an old curtain / tablecloth / piece of fabric
- a zipper (try and salvage the one from the jeans)
- a seam ripper
- a needle and some thread
- a sewing machine (an overlocker is a nice bonus, but not necessary)
Pic 2 – Cut a piece of the curtain or whatever fabric you are using, depending on how long you want your finished skirt to be. For the birch tree skirt I was using a long and wide curtain, so I cut it horizontally. You will need to be able to wrap it around you and have some extra for the crinkles. For this flower skirt I was using a short and narrow curtain, so I had to cut it vertically. If you want heavy crinkles below the waistband you need a longer piece. You can also sew two pieces together if you need more length.
Measure the part of your body where you want your finished skirt to rest on. For a high waist skirt measure your actual waist, for a low waist one you need to take the measurement lower around your hip. Make sure the waistband on your thrifted jeans matches this measurement!
Pic 3 – Use the seam ripper to remove the waistband from the rest of your jeans. If you happen to have some decorational pockets in them, like I did, you can either leave them on or take them apart. If you want to save them, make sure you will be able to sew the seam under the pocket as well.
Pic 4 – Serge the short ends of your fabric. If you don’t have an overlocker you can use the zig zag stitch on your sewing machine; these seams will not be visible in the finished skirt. Set the short ends on top of each other, wrong side out. Measure your zipper and mark its length to the fabric with a pin. Start sewing from the mark and sew all the way down to the hem. This will be your middle front seam.
Pic 5 – Open and iron press the middle front seam.
Pic 6 – Take more pins to mark both sides and the middle back on your waistband. Do the same to the waistline of the fabric you just pressed.
Pic 7 – Adjust the stitch length on your sewing machine to the longest possible. Sew 4 different seams (between all the side and middle marks) close to the edge of the fabric. Do not use back stitch, instead leave the threads long and loose. These will help you make the crinkles!
Pic 8 – Pin and sew the zipper (don’t forget to adjust the stitch length back to normal!) This is where you can use the needle and thread, to loosely attach the zipper to the fabric before sewing it. Personally I just sew right ahead. Check if your sewing machine has a special foot for zippers, it’s really helpful.
Pic 9 – If you’ve come this far, give yourself a good pat on the back! You are getting closer to finishing your skirt, just hang in there for a while longer. Next step is to attach the fabric to the inside piece of the waistband. Start in the middle front and line up the zipper with the button to make sure your skirt will be easy to open and that it won’t pull on either side. After the middle front is set, pin the fabric on the sides and the middle back.
Pic 10 – Remember those loose seams on the very edge of the fabric? Take one of the loose ends and pull to create crinkles, until the waistline settles exactly to the inside piece of the denim waistband. Use as many pins as you need to make it stay in place for sewing. When you’ve pinned around the entire waist just go ahead and sew it.
Pic 11 – Take a deep breath and enjoy the view for a while… You’re almost done!
Pic 12 – Sew the outside piece of the waistband – you can pin it first if it feels more comfortable. Try and sew exactly where the original seam used to be, that’s the easiest way to make sure you will attach it to the inside piece neatly at the same time.
Pic 13 – All you have left to do now is serge the hem, turn it, iron it, and sew the hem seam. If you don’t have an overlocker you can turn the hem twice and then sew it, for a nicer finish. And that’s it! You’re done!
I actually fell in love with this skirt so I’m not sure if I want to sell it at all… On the other hand, I still have that fabric left so I could just make another one. But I really love the waistband and I don’t think I’ll be able to find one exactly like this! Well, I’ll think about it for a while and let you know if I decide to list it in the shop.
Oh, and if you end up making a denim waist skirt of your own – I would love to see a picture!