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The Green Jean Project

The Green Jean Project
By Erin Loomis 07/31/2008

Choosing to buy vintage can help you go green. Track down an old pair of jeans and follow these easy steps to make them into a great summer skirt.

What you will need: old jeans, a sewing machine or heavy-duty embroidery needle, a seam ripper, strong thread, chalk, scissors or shears (all available at Joann??™s Fabrics, 550 N. Lake Ave., Pasadena).

1) Put on your pre-loved pants to figure out how long you want your skirt to be and mark them with chalk. We like to add an inch or so of ???mistake space??? just in case.

2) Take them off, make sure they are buttoned or zipped and cut across at your mark. You now have a pair of cut-offs. If you like shorts, or if you??™re just lazy, stop here.

3) Use a seam ripper to rip out the inside leg seams up to the crotch. Then move on to the crotch seam, stopping at the fly. Next, rip the back center seam to where it stops curving (about five inches from the crotch).

4) Lay the back right seam (or left, if you prefer) over the other side and pin in place. The goal is to keep everything as flat as possible. Repeat with front seams.

5) Cut the excess denim off the front to make your skirt straight. Do the same in the back, remembering you have a behind that needs space, so it should be a bit longer than the front. Keeping that extra mistake inch in mind is also a great idea.

6) Sew it up. This can be done by hand or machine. Using denim thread is recommended because it is sturdier.

7) No need for extra bulk in your skirt. Trim off that excess seam allowance on the inside.

8) Try it on! If you look great, well done. If it??™s a bit long, you can cut it off some more (or hem
it if you are feeling saucy). If it??™s too short, give it to your kid sister, because there isn??™t much you can do unless you want to buy some very cute underpants.
Or email us; we can give you some more advice on how to fix this faux pas.

Many thanks go out to Rising Sun & Co. Pasadena??™s new luxury denim line, as well as its custom denim tailors at 107 S. Fair Oaks Ave., Pasadena, for donating a great pair of vintage women??™s Lee riders for the project.

(In the spirit of full disclosure, Karol Ann works at Rising Sun.)

If you have any trouble, questions, comments, concerns, or want ideas on how to revamp other items you have hiding in the back of your closet, shoot us an email.

Otherwise, good luck going green and until next time, Adios!

Contact Erin Loomis and Karol Ann Bergman at

Posted Aug 03 2008 in Uncategorized

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« I’m Superfine–are you Superfine?       08.03.08: Pressed Denim. »
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