Tuesday, January 14, 2014

DIY Knee-Length Denim Maternity Skirt

I've made a LOT of skirts in the past few years, but lately it seems like when I go to make a skirt something goes wrong. This skirt was one of the ‘problem skirts’ I’ve had recently. Fortunately I was able to get it in working order and once it was finished I wore it all the time. This maternity skirt was a life saver and really gave me a lot more outfit options throughout pregnancy. PLUS it was super comfortable!

Here are some other denim skirt tutorial options for you if you're not prego, but are wanting to make a denim skirt: DIY Knee-Length Denim Skirt w/Ruffle, Long Denim Skirt, Long Denim Skirt w/Ruffled Middle Piece.

A Note About Picking Out Maternity Pants
I found my jeans for this skirt project at a local Goodwill. They were about $4 and totally worth the buy! Since being pregnant I wear anywhere from 13-16 in non-maternity clothes so I could never tell just from reading the size label if the jeans would fit.

When you’re shopping for maternity pants (especially at second hand stores) ALWAYS try on the jeans before you get them. Maternity jeans fit different than regular jeans. I also suggest trying them on before you get them since not all maternity jeans have the same type of stretchy band to hold them up/fit comfortably over your belly. I prefer ones that go over the top  of my baby bump vs. ones that run under it. You just have to figure out what is most comfortable for you.

A Note About The Tutorial
There are plenty of other ways to put together a denim skirt. This tutorial shows a way I started using recently and really like because it’s quite a bit easier than ripping out all the seams to make a skirt. If you’d rather a seam-ripped tutorial check out my Knee-Length Denim Skirt w/Ruffle Tutorial.

{click here to see the full outfit in this photo}

Let’s Begin!

The jeans I used for this project.

ONE. Pick out your maternity pants! Make sure the band on the pants is comfortable so you don’t waste your time with an uncomfortable skirt.

Cutting along the seam.

TWO. Cut open your jeans. You’ll want to cut the inside part of the jeans as close to the original seam as possible. Make sure to cut under the ‘top flap’ where the original stitching is located if you can so that there won’t be fraying of raw edge of the denim which is on the underside of the original seam.

THREE. On the front of the jeans were the zipper would be you’ll need to make a cut along the seam. You won’t go all the way up to the bottom of the ‘zipper’ part. Make sure you’re jeans are laying completely flat and the two sides are out where they’ll be in the end. Where the fabric stops bunching (in the middle where the zipper part is) is where you stop cutting.

FOUR. Pin the flap down where you just made the cut under the zipper section. You’ll want to make sure to get the piece of fabric that's on the underside of the overlap so there won't be a hole in the front of your finished skirt.

Finding where to make the cut at for the length of the skirt.

FIVE. Continuing work on the front of the skirt: Make sure the legs are lined up evenly. Fold the bottom of the pant leg up to where you finished pinning in step four. Mark where the bend in the pant leg is. Make sure the pant leg is even and then cut straight across.

SIX. Fold the jeans/skirt in half so the cut leg is on top of the uncut leg. Make sure everything is lined up evenly and cut the second pant leg off.

SEVEN. Now that your skirt is cut to length open it back up so the front is facing up for you to work with. Take one of the pant legs you just cut off and lay it under the front part of the skirt. Pin it in place along the bottom and then make sure it’s smooth all the way up to the middle overlap area. You can go ahead and trim off any excess fabric at the bottom of the skirt if you want, or you can do that later.

EIGHT. Pin along the edges of the middle insert for the front of the skirt. Make sure that the insert piece stays smooth as you work with it.

NINE. Now that the front is completely pieced and pinned take it to the sewing machine. Start sewing on the part that overlaps on top (so the piece that flows from the zipper area). Do the first line of stitching following the original stitching and then go to the other piece and do the first line of stitching there. Once all the pins are removed go back and add the second row of stitching to both sides. I usually put the edge of the presser foot on the edge of the fabric and then push the needle to the left or right depending on what side I’m sewing (so if you’re sewing the side coming out of the zipper area you’ll want to have your presser foot lined up with the edge of the jeans –to the left- and then have the needle all the way to the right. Do the opposite for the other part of the jeans.). On the inside if the skirt you’ll need to cut out the excess fabric once the stitching is completed.

TEN. Unfortunately I forgot that you’ll need to do a little seam ripping, but not a lot! Rip the seam in the butt of the jeans all the way up to the top. Turn the jeans inside out. You will want to line up the seams so that the one that typically runs down the middle of the butt is closest to you. Cut the jeans into a slight curve for the butt and then straighten back out when you get closer to the end. Pin the fabric in place.

**If you have a bigger bum, you’ll want to leave enough space for it. However don’t cut an obvious curve since it will gap funny and then you’ll have to go back a few times until you get it to be smooth.**

The stitching on the inside of the skirt.

ELEVEN. Working with the area you just pinned, sew a straight line and then go back over the extra with a close zigzag stitch (or use a surger if you have one). Trim off any excess fabric that is leftover once you finish stitching it together.

TWELVE. Take a piece of leftover denim from one of the legs and fill in the gap in the back of your skirt. It shouldn't be a big gap to work with. Fold under the raw edge of the skirt and pin the fabric in place. Sew the piece in place with a straight stitch. On the inside of the skirt remove the excess fabric.

THIRTEEN. Try on your skirt and make sure everything looks right.

FOURTEEN. Hemming time! This part is personally my least favorite. If you sew often and have a preferred method go ahead and use it. If not, just fold under the raw edge, stitch in place, fold again and stitch one last time so there is no raw edge showing. You don’t have to have a big hem; something small and simple will work perfectly.

Your skirt should be done now! If you have questions about the tutorial feel free to ask away in the comments and I’ll do my best to answer. I always try to write detailed tutorials so they’re easy to follow. Good luck on your sewing adventure!

I thought I'd share a few links of the different outfits I used this skirt for with you. Other than the outfits linked below, I also found this skirt super comfy with just a regular loose t-shirt! These are all Prego With Style outfit posts, of course! :)

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