Transform old jeans into a cute ra-ra skirt with some fabric strips and pretty buttons
Recycle, recycle, recycle! There is no need to throw away old jeans any more - with a couple of strips of fabric and some decorative buttons you can transform them into a sweet little ra-ra skirt.
● Pair of denim jeans
● 45 x 4in. (115 x 10cm) piece of floral fabric
● 45 x 6in. (115 x 15cm) piece of coordinating floral fabric
● 48in. (120cm) of gingham ribbon
● Selection of buttons and sequins
● Embroidery floss
1. Cut the legs off the denim jeans just under the back pockets and open up the inner leg seam around the crotch area. Cut away any excess fabric around the crotch so the skirt lies flat. Measure the gaps left at the base of the skirt at front and back and cut two triangles to match from the trouser legs, allowing 1⁄4in. (5mm) extra along both sides for seams.
2. Place one of the triangles under the gap at the front to fill it, turning under the raw edges of the upper layer and pinning in place. Machine stitch around the sides of the triangle and press flat. Repeat with the other triangle to fill the gap at the back.
3. The two lengths of floral fabric will form the ruffles (frills). Hem along one long edge of each by turning under by 1⁄4in. (5mm) and then by 1⁄2in. (12mm) and topstitching in place on the machine.
4. To gather the ruffles (frills) set the sewing machine to the longest stitch length and machine stitch along the unhemmed long edge of each of the lengths of fabric. Do not back stitch at the seam ends and leave excess thread at each end for gathering.
5. Knot the two threads at one end together. Hold one of the threads at the other end and ease the fabric along its entire length to gather until it will fit around the base of the denim skirt. Knot the threads at the other end to keep the gathers in place and then even them out along the ruffle (frill). Repeat for the other floral ruffle (frill).
6. Fold each ruffle (frill) in half with wrong sides together and stitch across the short ends with a 1⁄4in. (5mm) seam to make each into a circle. Press the seam open, turn right side out. Pin the wider ruffle (frill) onto the bottom of the skirt and machine stitch in place. Pin on the narrower ruffle (frill) so it overlaps the top of the lower frill. Machine stitch, and then trim any excess fabric away above the stitching line.
7. For the gingham ribbon ruffle (frill), cut a 36in. (90cm) length of ribbon. Set the machine to its longest stitch again and machine stitch along the center of the ribbon. Gather as explained in step 5. Pin the gathered gingham ribbon onto the skirt to cover the raw edge at the top of the upper frill, turning the ends of the ribbon under to neaten them, and then hand stitch in place.
8. For the final decoration make a bow with the remaining gingham ribbon and stitch in place. Sew on a selection of buttons and sequins around the pocket area and onto the ribbon ruffle (frill) with a length of embroidery floss, using the photograph as a guide.
This project is taken from 'Cute and Easy Quilting and Stitching' by Charlotte Liddle, photography by Penny Wincer (CICO Books, £12.99). Buy the book from our online bookshop, with free P&P