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Hippie Jeans February 4, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — stephres @ 7:22 pm

There are some thing you make and you step back and think, well, that was easy and fun, and you don’t think much of it. That’s how I felt when I first made regular jeans into “hippie” jeans. I think I must have seen something on ebay or etsy and thought that I could do it. I think it was more that I really, really wanted to learn how to make yo-yos and once I did that, I wanted something quick and easy to go with the little shirt I put them on. Honestly, the yo-yos were much harder than these jeans!

So I really can’t believe the comments we get when Megan wears these jeans. We get stopped all the time and told how cute they are; I guess retro is really in!

Side note: no one notices the yo-yos. I think they are something only another sewer would get. Oh well!

Start with some jeans (preferebly cheap). Cut them off just below the knee.


Do try to cut them off straight, but don’t stress out if they are a little wonky. What to do with the legs? Make skirts for your American Dolls, of course!


Now we are going to do some math: don’t freak out! It is really easy. Start with the length. I cut off 12 inches off the jeans (yes, make it easy on yourself and try for round numbers), and I need to add seam allowance and hem allowance. I am going to add 0.5 inches for each. That makes 0.5 inch seam allowance at the top and 2 tiny, 0.25 inch, folds for the hem. That gives me a length of 13 inches. Now for the width: measure the width of the jeans where you cut them off. Mine were 5.5 across (folded), which I multiplied by 2 to get a total width of each leg of 11. I am going to have 6 panels, so 11 divided by 6 is 1.83. We need to add seam allowance, 0.5 twice for each side. 1.83 plus 1 is 2.83. You can do smaller seam allowances if you want, I like the simplicity of half inch allowances. Now I am ready to draw!

Take some paper, whatever you like to make patterns out of, and draw two marks, your final width, apart. Mine was 2.83.


Now draw two lines up from those marks, the length of your panel (mine was 13 inches). Then draw a line across.  You should have a nice rectangle.


Now make two marks one inch on the outside from your starting marks on the bottom.


Now draw a line from those marks to the top corners of your rectangle, making an A-shape.


Cut it out. You’ve finished the hard part! This is a good time to take a break if someone is asking you to check her homework.


Cut out your panels. I want six for each leg, so I am going to cut out six panels (even numbers are your friend here). I like to spread them out and see how they look.



Sew the panels together, right side together, being mindful of  the seam allowance you chose (that’s why I like to keep everything to a half an inch). Serge or zig zag stitch the inside seams. I iron the seams all one way to make things easier, inside out and then right side out.  Sew the hem and any embellishments to the bottom. Ruffles are cute, but remember to add them into your figuring so your jeans don’t end up too long. With these, I am only going to add a ribbon to the bottom, which I will have to do after Megan’s riding lesson.


Hmm, it does not seem that my hem is 0.25 inches like it is supposed to be, but these jeans were a little long to begin with so I am not going to worry about it.

Now you are ready to attach to the jeans. Turn your panels inside out and line up with the cut part of your jeans, right sides together. Do NOT freak out if your math skills failed you and you have more panel than jeans, just make a tuck in the back. No one will ever notice, I promise!


Sew around and then serge or zig zag stitch around. That’s it! You can embellish as you like, I tend to think a little ric rac hides a lot of flaws!


Thanks for reading! Please let me know if you try them and what you think.


8 Responses to “Hippie Jeans”

  1. Susan Says:

    Very cute! Thanks for the great tute! You explained everything so well!

  2. Teresajoy Says:

    Thanks Steph!!! These are so cute, I need to try them!! I think Lydia would look adorable in these!

  3. Kelli Says:

    okay, um seriously…now I know why I don’t sew…it’s the MATH! As soon as I read two math figures in, that was it. I was drowning in my own stupidity. So I just scrolled down to see the finished product. If I tried such a thing I’d end up sewing the jeans to my leg or something…or to the dog’s ear…that’s how bit a disaster it would be!

    SUPER cute finished product!! Was that outfit for the DisMeet? Are y’all getting geared up to do it up Disney Style?! SO jealous…but hey, the JUNE DisMeet is going to rock…all by itself…

    it WILL. I swear.


    hope y’all have fun!!!

    and I wasn’t kidding…you are so going to put Megan through college with all the clothes I am going to commission from you for my little girl! 🙂

  4. Heather Says:

    Tessa is wearing some really cute hippie jeans and matching yoyo shirt today! I wonder where she got them? 😉 I just love this style. I’m going to have to convert some of her jeans because they’re all getting short, but still fit on the waist!

  5. stephres Says:

    Hee, you don’t need to learn how to do it cause I’ll just send you Megan’s when she outgrows them! Seriously, I am sure yours will be super cute!

  6. Bernadete Says:

    Holy cow! This is way too cute. And I know why I stick to writing. I don’t have the brain for all that measuring and math…haha. You are extremely creative.

  7. stephres Says:

    Well as long as I measure twice and cut one I am *usually* ok…thanks for commenting!

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