Flirty Denim Skirt Makeover with Craftaholics Anonymous

Hi there! I’m Linda, the craft addict behind Craftaholics Anonymous. And I love sharing my tutorials with others! So I’m excited to be here on Somewhat Simple to share with you one of my fav tutorials, my Flirty Denim Skirt makeover.
I’m going to show you how I took this .blah. denim skirt and turned it into a Fab Flirty Skirt! {don’t ya love a good refashion?}
I am going to apologize right now for the bad lighting in a couple pics. I redid this skirt over several days in different lighting, so it’s going to magically change colors from step to step.haha.
First, I removed the 2 side pockets. I kept the pockets to use later
 Then I cut right above the pockets, again, keep all fabric that you cut off. We’ll use them in a minute.
Then from the bottom section that you cut off, cut a 4 inch strip and sew the strip to the bottom of the skirt. I used heavy duty thread with the denim. 
Be sure to finish your seam with a serger or a zig zag stitch. And don’t forget to iron! Ironing is very important to make the skirt look finished. 
Next, cut off the old hem line from the skirt so that you have a 4.5 inch strip. You will use this to be the hem of your updated skirt. {yay! no hemming!!}I also cut off the tops of my pockets {they’re hemmed exactly the same as the bottom} and sewed them together and then onto this bottom strip so that I had extra length for the bottom ruffle.
Sew a basting stitch across the top and gather.  Definitely use a heavy duty thread here or you’ll just break your thread trying to gather the denim!
Then sew the ruffled strip to the bottom of your skirt.
Next, you’ll cut 2″ by 36″ strips from your remaining fabric. Sew wrong sides together to create a tube using a basting stitch. you’ll gather this strip as well in a minute.
Iron flat the now 1″ tube. 
Now gather the 1″ tube.
Next, you’ll pin the gathered tube onto your skirt starting with the outer circle. Use plenty of pins!
You’ll want to sew one circle (or layer) of the flower at a time. After you sew one layer, then pin the next, and sew that layer, etc. Overlap the layers to cover the seam of the previous layer. Just to warn you, the center will be very thick. Go slow when you get to it. Your machine may not like you very much :o)
Should look something like this. 
(I later removed the white thread you see in the center)
Now for the fun part! 
Distressing your Denim
I read several articles on how to distress denim. I combined several ideas, tweaked a few, and basically, just did my own thing. Here’s what I did….
I put the skirt on and then grabbed course grit sand paper (all the articles say to use a fine grit, I’m too impatient.) and then started sanding away. 
  • I sat in a chair and sanded the folds to create the “cat’s whiskers” look. 
  • I then stood up and standing down the top of my thighs to create the “thigh lines”. 
  • To create a hole, all you need to do is sand down so the denim is thin and you see a few strings.
  • Be careful not to get carried away. You’re going to wash the skirt in a second and it’s going to amplify all the sanding and holes that you did. a 1/4″ hole right now, will equate to a 1″ hole after washing and drying. So be careful!
  • I roughed up the hem and the edges of the flower with the sand paper.
  • I decided I wanted an overall lighter denim skirt. So I lightly sanded over the entire skirt. (warning, this takes a long time even for a small item like this skirt)
 This was my floor after I was done sanding. Gross! If the weather had been warmer, I would have done this outside. But don’t worry, the denim fuzzies vacuum up very well. Oh and just a little fyi, your boogers are going to be blue for the next 2 days!! ;o)
This is what my skirt looked like after all the sanding. Take careful note how much it changes in a second. 
After I was done sanding, this is what I did:
  • I then soaked the skirt in fabric softener. Seriously, coat the thing. 
  • Lots of articles say to wash the denim with a pair of tennis shoes. I just washed my skirt with some towels….. Hey, come on. I needed some clean towels.hehehe.
  • Dry on high heat.
  • None of the articles tell you this, but washing your skirt soaked in fabric softener, makes it smell very strongly of fabric softener. As in, you walk into a room and burn everyone’s noses with the smell of fabric softener. I’m not kidding.
  • So I washed my skirt a second time to get out some of the fabric softener smell (sans softener this time around). This helped, but it still smells pretty flowery….
Ok, now for the reveal that I’m sure you’ve never seen before… oh wait…..
ta-da!! SO cute, huh?
The more you wear and wash your skirt, the more natural distressing you’ll get.

I hope you enjoyed my tutorial! Please stop by and check out some of my other tutorials on Craftaholics Anonymous. This was fun. Thanks Steph!

happy crafting!
post signature

Wife, mom of 5, and creator of Somewhat Simple, Stephanie has a passion to create and inspire. She is an Orange County transplant who is now enjoying life in Phoenix, AZ. She enjoys traveling, shopping, organizing, cooking and creating simple projects for her home and family.
Recipe for Easy Chicken Pizzaiola - 2 hours ago

Latest posts by Stephanie (see all)



  1. Patricia Torres says

    Lovely idea.. Love the new look .. and you've made it sound really easy to do as well.. :-)

  2. lucy says

    I actually love refashioning old clothes, and what you did really inspire me! I also love the added flower. I might try to make that and use it in making some hair accessories. Thanks for the wonderful idea! =)

  3. Mariska says

    That is adorable – have to start digging through my closet for something I can use. It's good that I don't have heavy duty thread here, otherwise I would probably start on it right now, and don't really have time :)
    Thanks for a great tutorial!

  4. Staci at Craftify It ! says

    I have a long jean skirt in my closet that I haven't worn in years…I think it is time to pull it out and give it a makeover! THANKS:)

  5. inthepoplargrove says

    That skirt is just too cute! I don't have any skirts laying around but now I'm going to be on a mission at the thrift stores! Thanks for the great tutorial!

  6. MommaMindy says

    Wow! I loved how your tutorial made this look SO simple. I had never heard the distressing tips, it is amazing how it updates the look. Great skirt and great blog!

  7. Ann says

    That is so cute! The before picture looks so boring and the after picture is amazing! Great job!

  8. Hannah says

    Gosh, I have a khaki skirt that needs to be remade…I'm wondering if it would work to do this to it? Probably wouldn't look as cute as the denim one, but may be worth at try!

  9. Diana says

    HINT when you make lots of fabric dust – you warned us – wear a face mask so you don’t inhale that fibre. Fibres inside aren’t good for you. Love the skirt. Nice Job.

  10. Kayleigh says

    Super cute! But I don’t think I’d be able to make this skirt – Just reading through the instructions it doesn’t seem clear to me. :/