A Hippie Patchwork Jean Skirt Tutorial

My new jean skirt: oh so hippielicious!
Once upon a time, I had this awesome pair of jeans. They were my favorite jeans before I got pregnant. They made all my curves look gorgeous and I felt like a million dollars wearing them. 

Then I got pregnant (hallelujah!!!) and gained a lot of weight. I held on to my jeans, thinking I'd be able to wear them again (eventually) and for one brief two week period after a very bad flu, I could. But eep. My face looked gaunt and hallow and that would not do. I gained a little weight back (and then that turned into a little more weight, a story for another day) and no longer fit my fantastic jeans. (Or the purple Tripp pants I bought myself for that birthday. Sigh.)

I still didn't want to loose my favorite jeans, though. So, three years ago, I had one of my friends turn them into bell bottoms, by adding strips of fabric along the sides. Awesomesauce!

They no longer hugged my curves (so I found other jeans that did) and weren't my favorite jeans anymore (and they kept ripping, so I'd have to put them in my *ahem* massive *ahem* mending pile) but they were definitely different and made me smile. Plus, I could wear them with leggings underneath when it really got cold for me in this winter.

But, alas, fabric is fragile. And these jeans (which were not new when I was given them ten or so years ago) have started becoming threadbare in places where it's not really feasible to patch. 

Yowzers! Holy threadbare crotch shot!

And so, it was time for my jeans to undergo a new transition. I decided to make them into a long jean skirt. I had this floral pillowcase that seemed perfect. Orange, pink, white. Yes! The strips of fabric up the sides was a more vibrant rainbow pattern, but they go together, in a very Hippie kind of way. 

I am not a great seamstress by any means. I don't cut straight lines, I am still practicing to be able to sew straight lines ("I can't even sew straight!" I might say. And yes, it's true, I do not in any way, shape or form identify with being straight.)

Anyhow, this is a wabi sabi, grunge, DIY tutorial. My jeans aren't gonna look professional. If you want to sew your jean-skirt "right" click here (though that's a short, unflared skirt). 

The underside, after pinning.
I just took my pants, cut the inside seam out, then pinned the triangular fabric of the pillowcase in place til it looked right, then sewed it in.

I cut two identical triangles out of the pillowcase by folding it and guesstimating what kind of triangular shape I wanted. You could use a pattern. I'm not a pattern-using kind of person. You could also iron everything before you sew it together or cut it. Again, not an ironing type person. 

(My mom says that's because I'm a Tiger. Um, maybe? I know people born the same year as me that are careful sewers. I'd just rather get it done than fuss with it. I think that's just impatience -- and I am OK with owning my impatience here!)

Making sure the seams look ok on the outside, after pinning. I didn't like the way the top looked and repinned it, actually. And it still looked a little funky. Huh. Maybe I shoulda googled for sewing tips first!
I sewed the fabric together with my sewing machine, but you could easily do it by hand, too.  

In any case, I ended up having to sew the very top of the back gore by hand, anyway, because it still didn't look completely right, but I didn't take any pictures of it. Just make sure YOU are happy with how your new skirt looks  and remember: you can always rip out the seams if they don't look right! (I ripped out half of the first side of this skirt!)

Before I fixed that weird spot on the top. It still looks OK, but I wanted it to be a little nicer.

And there you have it! My new, floor length Hippie Patchwork Jean Skirt. (You can alter the length as you will. I like it long, but I also might have another pair of jeans to make into a shorter summery skirt...)