So officially the first day of spring was last week, but in my book, the official start of spring kicks off with another big event; opening day for Major League Baseball! I have been a St. Louis Cardinals fan since I can remember, and while I no longer live in the Show-Me state, I still love to show my support by rocking my vintage Cards gear anytime they play.
I wanted something besides jeans to pair with my vintage jersey (thrifted over 15 years ago!), and if you are following me over on Instagram, then you know I also promised a few readers that I would start sharing more DIY and thrifted style here on the blog. It seemed only appropriate to kick off my Thrifted Threads section of the blog with one of my favorite, and easiest DIYs when it comes to clothing: the denim mini. You don’t have to be a stellar seamstress to complete this project; if you can operate scissors and sew a couple seams then you are in business! You also don’t have to buy a ton of supplies- one pair of Goodwill jeans (I found mine for $1), thread, scissors, and a sewing machine is all it takes.
Ready to tackle your first apparel DIY? Read on for a step by step tutorial that will leave you with a cute denim mini to rock this weekend!
How to Transform $1 Jeans from Goodwill into a Denim Skirt
Step 1: Choose a pair of jeans that fit well in the waist. Also be sure to choose a pair in the wash and/or distress level that you like. In this case, I wanted a low rise, looser fit skirt so I went with a pair of men’s Dickies brand jeans from Goodwill.
I also wanted a pair with lots of distressing and a lighter stone wash (its my first step to accepting and embracing the fact that 90s fashion is making a comeback). This pair had some great holes in the pockets, and worn wear at the fly and pocket openings.
Step 2: Start by cutting off the jeans at the knee. No need to make a perfectly straight cut, as we will work on the hem in later steps. This just gets all that excess fabric out of the way as we start sewing the skirt.
Step 3: Cut open the inseam. I prefer to cut on the inside of the welted seam because it is less layers, and much easier to cut through.
Step 4: Cut half way up the rise seam of both the front and the back. Again, I choose to cut just inside of the welted seam because it is much easier to cut through. I also think keeping the welted seam in tact adds a nice detail to the skirt when finished.
Step 5: Once the rise seam has been cut, take the welted seam side and overlap it slightly so that it lays smooth and flat. Pin in place. You will do this for the back rise as well. Once pinned, I HIGHLY recommend slipping on the skirt to make sure you like the look. Ensure the seams are lying flat and smooth, with no puckers or gathering. My in house photographer (aka my husband) was working the day I completed this project so I don’t have a photo to share of my try on process.
Step 6: Okay, so you pinned, tried it on, and everything looks good, then its time to sew! If you are new to sewing, or just a compulsive pinner like myself, add a few more pins before sewing to ensure all fabric and overlaps stay in place as you sew. I make my first seam 1/8″ from the edge, following the angle and curve of the welted seam.
Step 7: Try it on again! Once you have the first seam in the front and back, try it on again and ensure you like the fit. If all is okay, then sew a second seam, 1/4″ inside from the seam you just sewed. I always prefer two seams for added durability and longer wear.
Step 8: Check the hem length. Again, doesn’t have to be perfect, but roughly pin up the skirt to the length you think you want and try it on again. Make a small mark with a pin once you decide on a length.
Step 9: Cut to desired length. I’ll admit I’m a bit careless in the hem cutting process; I place one pin then eyeball my cutting. If its uneven, I just trim it up to even. This is NOT the best way to do it. I recommend using a straight edge, marking desired length, then cut. The last thing you want is to put in all the work, then have a too short hem! I speak from experience…
Step 10: Once skirt is cut to desired length, sew a seam 1/8″ from the bottom edge. This will ensure that as you wash and dry over time, the skirt won’t fray so far that it affects the length or wearability.
Thats it! A few cuts, a couple seams, and you now have a super cute denim skirt for spring!
Now that I’ve worn mine a bit, I think I maybe want it a little shorter, but I’m giving it a couple more wears before I chop it again.
So what do you all think? Are my instructions clear enough? Are you ready to tackle your first apparel DIY? I would love to hear your comments and what other re-purposed apparel projects you would like to see here on the blog!