Chevron Jeans Skirt – the cutting

It all started with my decision to declutter my life. This is not a new thing, every couple of years or so I realize I own too many things. Clutter and I don’t jive.

On the other hand, I loathe to throw out perfectly good things, or, in this particular case, a few pairs of jeans that were no longer fit for public outings. For some reason, I always find it really hard to let go of my ripped up jeans. T-shirts, pullovers, even jackets don’t cause me this kind trepidation. Maybe it’s because I practically live in jeans, and despite heavy usage, they’ve been with me for years. As a matter of fact, two of the three jeans I cut up for this skirt I have brought with me from Germany, in a move that was one station wagon full of stuff.

So, yeah, they were kinda special to me.

Zippers

However, they were past their due date, they were taking up space in my wardrobe and something had to happen. So the chevron jeans skirt idea was born. After searching (half-heartedly, I will admit) for a pattern that looked somehow like what I had in mind, and not finding anything, I decided to wing it. What can go wrong, huh?

So I started by cutting off the legs of my jeans. After I’d cut them up, I decided to keep and harvest the zippers. Actually, I thought I might use one for the skirt, but that was not to be (to be fair, only because I couldn’t face spending an hour to free one of them from their fabric). I contemplated keeping the back pockets, too, but for the life of me couldn’t come up with a good use for them, so I threw them out.

Jeans – legs

I then removed the seams, and measured. It appeared that I would be able to cut 4 chevrons from each half leg. To accommodate that, I cut the legs in half again, so each jeans would provide me 8 pieces of fabric to be cut up further.

Halving the legs

Actually, I left one of them as is, because I figured I could use that for the waistband. Smart, huh?

Raw material

This is what I had when I was done deconstructing my jeans. Each of these would provide 2 chevrons, which would give me something around 44 chevrons (considering I had kept one half leg intact).

Cutting the chevrons

To cut the actual chevrons, I used a paper pattern and a ruler, and cut them on my self-healing mat with my rotary cutter (which, in case I haven’t stressed it enough before, I JUST LOVE.) To speed things up a bit, I folded each piece of fabric in half. That would also guarantee that I’d cut one chevron and one mirror image at the same time, which was necessary for the later alignment.

A couple of hours later I had this:

44 chevrons

A pile of neat chevrons, waiting to be put together. My rough guess careful calculations indicated I’d need 9 strips pro panel.

So I laid them out, and then shuffled them around a bit to make sure that the different colours and level of distress were evenly distributed. That left me with this:

4 piles of chevrons

All of this took roughly 3 hours, maybe a bit more or less, I didn’t keep track of the time. At this point, all preparation was done and the actual sewing could begin.

Which I’ll tell you about in my next post, as this one is rather long already! If you’ve made it to here, please do tell – do you have the same hoarding issues when it comes to your favorite jeans? What do YOU do with them?

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8 thoughts on “Chevron Jeans Skirt – the cutting

  1. I am also a jeans freak. I’ve gotten better at parting with them but I find it tough! I love them all. I also have a weakness for denim skirts and jackets!!

    • Oh, a jacket … that’s one of the things on my sewing list, and I’d love to have (again) have a denim (or corduroy, I’m partial to that, too) jacket, but I haven’t found quite the right pattern yet.

  2. Cant wait to see this come together!
    I have similar issues with jeans, although now i got rid of the ones that dont fit anymore I regret it! lol

    • Hehe, well, sometimes it’s just time to say good-bye :D One of them was actually a pair of jeans I couldn’t fit into for 2 years, and when I tried it on (final decision time, you know … ) it actually fit me again. But it’s zipper was such a botched job, and the cut didn’t really flatter me (guess I’m now spoiled), so it was cut up.

  3. With two daughters, the jeans are just laying around collecting dust. Therefore I have put together a “heavyduty” picnic blanket. It’s wonderful and they haven’t miss a pair yet! Yes they have commented on how useful this item is….and I just smile!

  4. I don’t have any type of clothes that I hoard. I get that spring cleaning vibe pretty regularly so if something isn’t worn it’s donated pretty quick.

    I’m impressed by how fast you’ve whipped those jeans into strips! Will stay tuned for the sewing process.

    • Except for jeans, I’m usually pretty good at giving unworn clothes away … for years, every 6 months I’d just go through my shelves and pull out all bottom 5 things coz that’s where the unworns end, lol.
      And the cutting was fast because of my beloved rotary cutter. I can’t praise it enough for small cuts and delicate work!

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