Free Tutorial Upcycled Jean Skirt for Toddlers

I have a lot of jeans that are not the right length anymore for my daughters, so I thought it would be fun to turn some jeans into skirts to get a little more use out of them!  I did a google search but I actually had a hard time finding "how to's" for upcycled toddler jean skirts.  I am by no mean's the "first" person to do this, but this how I made my jean skirts.

I cut just below the crotch area first so they looked like shorts.  Then I opened up the crotch area cutting along the seam line in the middle.

I wanted the jeans to be more of the "band" part, and not a entire jean skirt, so I folded the skirt in half, making sure to line the crotch area together and used the back part of the jeans as a straight edge.   I cut across about 1/2" under the pockets to make sure I would have enough room for the seam allowance and followed the line on the mat to make sure I was cutting straight across.

The next step was to open up the jeans and check the length, which was 7" and the width was 12". I wanted an 11" skirt for my 3 year old so 11"desired length - subtract 7" that I already have = 4" needed, and I added 2" to that for the seam allowance, so that makes the length of the ruffles 6" length x 24 width_( I used double the width of the jeans).  CUT 2.  Why 2" more to the ruffles length?  Because you will loose an inch when you sew the jeans to the ruffles where they join, and you will loose an inch when you make your bottom hem for your skirt.  And yes, I did cut the bottom off my pockets, you can probably pin them up out of the way to avoid cutting them...I forgot about them actually...oops, it's an easy fix though.

Press the bottom width of the ruffles 1/2" towards the wrong side, then another 1/2" on both pieces.  Put the ruffles on top of each other, right sides together and sew one of the lengths (short sides) together. Finish with your favorite finishing stitch, I used a wide zigzag. Press.

Baste stitch across the top width of the ruffles (long side that is not pressed), tie the stings together and knot on one end, then pull your bottom bobbin thread as you push your ruffle down to "ruffle" it.  You want to even your ruffles out and make sure they are about the same width as your jeans.  The picture below shows the ruffles folded in half along the seam line and when you do this, make sure you leave about 1/2" extra for each ruffle on the open end because you will need that for your seam allowance when you sew them together.

Pin the ruffles right sides together and sew the other side lengths (short sides) together.
The jeans should be right side out and the ruffles should be inside out, and positioned as you see in the picture below.  Slide the ruffles onto the jeans and place the raw sides together and pin, making a tube with both pieces. Make sure the seam lines all line up.  Sew around the tube using a 1/2" seam allowance, back stitch when beginning and ending.  Finish along the edge with a wide zigzag.  See my pockets are sewn once again. ;)   Sew the bottom hem and you are done!

Here are the best pics I could get of my 3 year old wearing her skirt.  She does not like taking pictures for me and she thought it would be funny to leap over her chair for these pictures!  My 16 month old however doesn't run from me...yet!


  1. I SOOOO cannot sew!! LOL Following from the hop! Follow back if you have time! :)

  2. I love this tutorial you should enter it in my August tutorial contest. The girls a darling. The tutorial contest winner gets $90 value prize package.

    Patricia aka Mamaw

  3. What a great idea! That is very cute.
    I am now following you as well!:) Have a great weekend!

  4. Too cute! I really need to get into sewing some stuff for my munchkin.. I keep saying I'm going to and never do. The shame!

    Thanks for following us, we are now following back!

    -Brandi from Three Fabulous Mommies

  5. What a great idea - I might actually (have my mother) try this!
    Thanks for stopping by - following you back.

  6. Hi! I just wanted to stop by and thank you for joining us again this week for some Super Stalking!! Hope to see you again next weekend!

    Happy Stalking,
    Kortney's Krazy Life

  7. Following you back from the stalk..... Looking forward to getting to know you. LOVE LOVE LOVE this skirt. I will have to see if my almost 4 year old granddaughter has any jeans I can take apart. :o)

    Keep stopping by A Creative Spirit as I will be unveiling a new monthly giveaway for all comments.....

  8. Cute stuff- can't wait to make this for my daughter. Found you from blogaholic! Come visit...

  9. OMG what a great idea, I definitely want to give this a try!!

    We're your newest GFC followers!!

  10. I don't sew, but this seems like it might be doable. Love the result and a great tutorial. Thanks! I am pinning this!

    I am a new follower form the Wild Wednesday Blog Hop. Would love a follow back at

  11. Super cute idea! I'm going to have to try that with my daughter's jeans! Hers are always too long on her anyway and she'd rather have a skirt than pants! Sweet!

    New follower from Wednesday's blog hop!


Comments are always welcome, thank you!