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How to Make Modest Jean Skirt out of pants

I’ve been toying with the blog post for almost a decade now. As a United Pentecostal, it is always difficult to find comfortable, practical, modest skirts especially if you’re like me and need pockets!

I’ve been making skirts like this since I was a teenager and, while I’ve seen many variations on the idea I’ve never seen anyone make their skirts exactly the way I make mine, so here’s my process!

You will need:
2 pairs of jeans.
– Pick on pair that fits you in the waist, and one pair that is two or three sizes wider and longer. You want plenty of room on the second pair to make the triangle inserts (gores) as wide as possible.
– I prefer that the jeans match, so I typically buy the same brand/style for both pairs, but you can feel free to mix and match
Seam ripper
Measuring Tape
Sewing Machine
Chalk (optional)

Step 1:
Turn the jeans inside out and tear out the inside seam. Remove the hems of each pant leg. It’s also convenient if you take the time now to remove the butt pockets on the bigger pair of jeans.

Remove the in-seams and the cuff hem

You’ll notice that the crotch seam comes to a point. We’re going to remove that triangle and make it a straight seam. Spread the legs out as wide as they will go and put a pin just above where the wrinkles stop. Go to the sewing machine and stitch back and forth perpendicular to that seam line. This will stop the seam from tearing out.

Put a pin just above where the wrinkles stop.

Once you have that line of stitches put in, take the seam ripper and remove the crotch stitches.

Remove the crotch seam up to your stitch line.

Lay the pants out flat and spread the legs out as far as they will go. Fold the little triangle under until the seam lays flat. It will be difficult to get perfect due to the memory of the fabric, but once you have it sewn down and washed a few times, it will look fine.

Pin your new seam flat.

Go back to the machine and make one seam from the triangle up toward the crotch zipper.

Make one seam, from the triangle up toward the crotch zipper.

Turn the pants inside out, trim the excess fabric to a straight edge. Turn the pants right way out, fold the excess material in toward the first line of stiches, and make another seam parallel to the first, catching the excess material to hold it flat.

Now that your crotch seam is in place, lay the pants out flat and measure the length you want your skirt to be. I find these skirts tend to mysteriously become longer in the back than in the front. It’s very annoying, and I haven’t figured out why this happens, but here’s my work around: measure down the side seam to your desired length and mark with a pin. Lay the pants flat, face up, measure to your desired length and put in a pin. Turn the pants over and on the back, measure to your desired length then add 1 inch and mark with a pin. Once you’ve found your desired length, add another pin two inches below each pin. This will be our two-inch hem once we’re finished.

I use straight pins for this process, but you can also mark the hem with safety pins.

Once you’ve found your hem, it’s time to start adding the gores. Lay the pants flat, with the front facing up. Spread the legs out as wide as you can get them. Take the second (larger) pair, flatten out one leg, and tuck it up inside the top pants as far as it will go. You want the widest part of the leg to be roughly even with the lowest pin marker on your top pants. Take care to line up the outside seam of the bottom pants with the crotch seam of your top pants. It’s not absolutely necessary, but it makes the difference between your skirt looking home-made or professional.

Pin each side of the triangle together, making sure both pants are flat and smooth.

Cut the bottom pants off, leaving as much extra to the leg as possible. You cut from the tip of the crotch seam, across the front pocket, across about half of the butt pocket, and out to the back of the crotch. Take the skirt to the machine, and stich up each side of the triangle on the inside of the original stitch line, removing the pins as you go. Take the skirt off the machine and turn it inside out.

Cut the excess fabric off, leaving about an inch all the way around the triangle. Go back to the machine and fold the excess fabric in towards the first stich line. You’ll have to fold it as you sew, so be careful and go slow. The goal is to catch as much of the excess fabric as possible with your second line of stitching.

Once it’s finished, it will look like this. Some raw edges are ok. They will fray, but it won’t actually hurt anything. If you want, you can hand finish the inside with a needle and thread at the end.

Once we have the front finished, we’ll move to the back. The back crotch is fixed just the same as the front, but you’ll start up a little higher. Lay the pants flat and pull the legs out as far as they will go. Put a pin just above where the wrinkles stop and stitch perpendicular to the crotch seam. Rip out the crotch seam, and fold the top layer over until it lays flat. The back is MUCH more difficult than the front, so don’t get too frustrated. If it’s not perfect, that’s ok.

Sew up the seam line from the triangle up toward the waistband. Turn the pants inside out, trim the excess, and fold under and sew just like the front.

Insert the second pants leg just like the front. Make sure the seams line up, smooth flat, pin, and trim the excess off. The back will not have the obvious fold and stitch lines that the front did. Fold and tuck until the legs of the triangle are flat, and sew in straight lines and best as you can.

Once you have the front and back done you could simply trim the excess, hem, and be done but I like to add two more gores on the side for more freedom of movement. Measure down the side of your leg from your hip to an inch above your knee. Using that measurement, lay the skirt flat on its side and measure from the waistband to the desired measurement. Put in a pin.

Mark one inch above your knee

You’ll want to move your hem markers off of the outer seam. I recommend two sets of pins on the front and two sets of pins on the back of the pants legs. For convenience, you can trim the excess pants away until you skirt is roughly the same length all the way around.

Go back to the machine, sew a line across the seam at your pin and then rip out the outer seam up to your new stitch line. Lay the skirt flat on its side and stretch out the sides of the seam as far as they will go. Take the excess fabric left over from making the large triangles and tuck it up into the skirt to make the side gore. Follow the same process as the front and back. Pin flat, stitch the first seams. Trim excess, fold and sew again.

Once you have your new triangle pinned, measure a straight line from the waistband to your hem length and put the two marker pins in. Make sure your side panels are long enough!

Repeat the process for the knee panel on the other side.

Once you have all four panels sewn up, all that’s left is to hem the bottom. Lay the skirt flat, front facing up. The waistband will naturally curve down in the front. This is fine. Leave it like that, and pin the waistband together so it doesn’t move. Starting from the front middle, work your way around with the tape measure to make sure all your pins are at the correct length. The best way I have found to get the skirt to be the right length all the way around is to make your front panel the length you want, and gradually grade that measurement to a half inch longer at the sides, and a full inch longer in the back. For example, if your skirt is 33″ long, the front panel will be 33″, the sides will gradually curve to 33.5″ and the back seam will be 34″ in the middle. Take tailors chalk (or just pins if you don’t have chalk) and connect all the seam markers to make a continuous line around the hem.

Draw the hem line

Trim the excess off to match your bottom line. If you have an iron, you can fold the hem and iron it to get helpful creases to follow. Basically, you’re going to fold the part between the lines in half, and then fold that up again until the top line is the bottom edge of the skirt.

Pin in place as you go. Before you sew anything, lay the skirt on the floor and make sure the hem is the same length all the way around! Adjust the hem as necessary, and then sew all the way around, keeping the foot about 3/4inch away from the bottom of the skirt, removing the pins as you go. Sew a second line around the hem, half and inch above and parallel to the first seam.

Wash and dry just as you would regular jeans. These skirts are very sturdy, comfortable, and long-lasting.

The End of Summer 2022

Places Visited:
Omaha, NE
San Antonio, Tx
Austin, Tx
Deming, NM
Santa Fe, NM
Alexandria, LA

In August, we stayed in Omaha, Nebraska just a few blocks from where dad spent a few of his childhood years. We also made our first trip to an Aldi’s and bought an embarrassing amount of chocolate, because how can you turn down $2 chocolate bars?

Cute little historical street in Middle of Nowhwhere, Nebraska

From there we drove home and spent a week at home with the family. Michael thought we would have a nice, relaxing week off. Wrong! We would up on two cabling projects and running service calls all over San Antonio!

Cutest cabling partner ever

After that, we spent a week teaching at the University of Texas in Austin, and then drove out to Deming, New Mexico. I very rarely travel through El Paso but it really makes you understand just how BIG Texas really is. In Deming, we got an extra day with nothing to do we went out bowling. Michael, having grown up in the 90s, has a lot more bowling experience than I do!!

We spent our Labor Day weekend in Las Cruces, NM and visited the White Sands National Park together. The weather was in the low 90s, and the breeze off the mountains made it actually pretty nice to be in the middle of the desert.

Unearthly view

From the plains of southern New Mexico we traveled up into the mountains above Santa Fe for a week in the Jemez River valley, and then out across the flatlands of northern Texas to land in Louisiana. You wouldn’t believe it, but the mornings are cool now. Winter is definitely on its way.

Good view of the trains going by

New Mexico to New Jersey

Mike and I finally did something “tourist-y”. We visited Carlsbad Caverns on our way out of New Mexico. I had been to the caverns twice before with my family, but this was Mike’s first time in a cave of any kind. It took about 2 hours to hike down the natural entrance and around the inside of the cave.

Inside the Big Room of Carlsbad Caverns

After we hiked the cave, we got back in the van and drove out to San Antonio.

We were lucky enough to be able to stay with the family and be with mom for her birthday. The family hadn’t seen Mike since the marriage in April, so it was a really nice treat for us to be with them for an entire week. Of course, the first thing we did on Monday morning was go out and work at Raising Cane’s!

We left San Antonio and drove up through Arkansas, heading toward Kentucky. We’ve spent a lot of time driving through Arkansas so it’s almost starting to feel like home.

You’ll never be as cool as him

We spent the week in Ft. Campbell, KY. Mike got to see fireworks for the first time in almost ten years. No pictures (because nobody wants to see your fireworks pictures), but it was lots of fun.

Thursday we packed up and drove toward New Jersey. We took a different route home, going up through West Virginia and Maryland instead of Virginia. This week we’ve worked in Brooklyn. It’s close enough to home that we’ve been driving in every day instead of staying in a hotel. The school here is on Coney Island, right along Sheepshead bay, so the views are excellent.

View from the Verrazano Bridge

This weekend we’ll pack up and drive in to Long Island for a three-day class, and then on to Tennessee.

On The Road Again…

Well, I know it’s been a while but I think I have a good excuse:

I got married!

Better pictures coming soon.

Mike (the new husband), travels for a living so we have been living in Holiday Inns all across the country. This past week we moved from St. Louis, MO to Alamogordo, NM. It’s amazing how quickly the landscape changes.

We have been through New Mexico several times, but this trip we did our first “tourist” thing. We stopped at PistachioLand! This is basically a large gift shop in front of a pistachio farm but it has one especially distinguishing feature: The world’s largest pistachio!

The world’s largest pistachio

Tomorrow we’re packing up and heading back East. We have some time off, so we’re going to visit Carlsbad Caverns and then go home and see my parents!

Next stop: Kentucky

I’m baaacckk!

Weekly Stats:
Tickets: 10
Miles: 591
Listening to: Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar
Reading: Death and Life of Great American Cities – Jane Jacobs

Well, I’m finally back to the Texas Hills! The kid brother and I made the long drive from Auburn, Alabama on Sunday, September 12th. I rolled straight from there into a week of Certified Fiber Optic Technician training up in Cedar Park (far north Austin). But, I’m back in the saddle and in the thick of the action once again.

Does this mean I know what I’m doing now?

This week started with me and dad at a Care Now up in Austin. Tuesday I worked at an apartment complex and a payday loan place. Wednesday I battled two gigantic spiders to hang up a security camera at a pawn shop.

Thursday was the most exciting. I started in a Raising Canes, spent the afternoon in jail (The Hays County Jail, working on a commissary kiosk if you must know), then ended the day in the office of a cybersecurity defense contractor.

Never thought I’d end up here….

Friday was quiet, and Saturday started slow then ended in a bank in Fredericksburg, tearing out old equipment for three and a half hours.

Here are some more pictures of the week. My Auburn patch made it to my suitcase, I took my sister to get CPR certified, saw My Fair Lady at the Majestic Theater, and got to crawl through this attic!

12-hr shifts are technically half-days.

Weekly Stats:
Tickets: 1
Miles: 439
Listening to: Moving Pictures – Terry Prarchett
Reading: The backs of my eyelids….

There are pros and cons to making 30 hours of overtime 5 weeks in a row. The pros, of course, include making enormous amounts of money in a very short period. The cons, on the other hand, are that you have no time to spend your money on anything and no energy to spend the money even if you had the time.

Yes, you worked til 9pm. But, at least you got to see the stadium lights

After much wailing and gnashing of teeth, we successfully completed our main scope on time. We had a great team come in from New York, and their new energy and phenomenal depth of experience helped pull us out of the hole we’d been sinking ever more deeply into. In fact, they were so successful that the team we were supposed to hand off to got complacent and WE actually caught THEM flat-footed. So, in the end, no harm, no foul.

Since I posted last, I have lived through tropical storm Fred (which mainly consisted of 20 minutes of wind and rain and not much else) and I’m currently watching Ida roll by on her way to Louisiana. I have packed all my worldly goods into the car and moved residences three times. I’ve also come to an important, yet hither-to unconsidered conclusion about sinks. They should be BELOW the cabinets, not ON TOP.

Someone actually CHOSE to install this travesty in their master bedroom

Auburn is just about the quietest college town I’ve ever visited. The pedestrians are quiet and respectful. Rarely do you hear the tooth-rattling hum of the college boy’s tricked out car speakers. We even braved the Friday night dinner crowd and didn’t even have to look for parking. When there’s a restaurant that serves gourmet bacon in a Southern college town, you’d think there’d be a line around the corner.

First place I’ve ever seen try to make bacon *fancy*

We’re moving out of 12hr days and 7 day weeks and back to 8-4s. The riggers are really the only ones doing any really hard work. You occasionally have a glimpse of one of them hard at work 60ft above your head.

Spider-maAaAn, spider-man….

Wait. We’re staying wHeRe!?

Weekly Stats:
Tickets: 1
Miles: 400
Listening to: The Last Continent – Terry Prarchett
Reading: 30,000 On The Hoof – Zane Grey

Man, it’s amazing how a two-week project has turned into a month of work. Dad and were on site from 7am to 7 or 8pm every day this week, Monday to Sunday. We spent most of the last four days testing and repairing the problems with our cheap little fiber pigtails. It continues to frustrate me that the designers didn’t put the zones in order in a logical way. On the plus side, I got a LOT of exercise! Nothing like walking all the way around the football stadium every time you need to find a new zone!

Same, little dude

So, Friday night Auburn held their big 2021 commencement and the entire world descended upon the sleepy town of Auburn. The crowds drove us from our safe, familiar Candlewood Suites and we found ourselves sleeping in the…..

Motel 6. Duh duh duuuuhhhh.

Think of the sound of an insane asylum and you can hear this picture

I don’t know if you’ve ever stayed in a Motel 6, but all the stories you’ve ever heard. One of our boys was solicited for a cigarette in the parking lot. When he replied that he doesn’t smoke the lady offered him to come up to her room and “share a big bowl of sketti” with her. Let’s just say I felt safer with the cockroaches that lived in my room than with the clientele that lived across the hallway. Happily we only stayed two nights there and have been returned to our happy homes with the free washing machine.

We did make some good progress this week. We had some new cables dropped off, and all but the last 7 or 8 locations have been run. There might actually be light at the end of the tunnel.

You’re not afraid of heights, are you?

Is it legal to have this much fun at work?

Weekly Stats:
Tickets: 1
Miles: Basically none, except for a trip to Atlanta
Listening to: Dead Ringer – Louis L’Amour
Reading: The instructions in these fiber cable enclosures…

So, if you work an 80hr week and then a 60 hour week without a day off in between, is that a 140hr week?

Dad flew in Monday evening, so I drove the hour and a half to Atlanta to pick him up. I’ve been to the Atlanta airport in the middle of the night twice now and both times it has rained so hard I thought we had a hurricane blow in!

Look what the cat dragged in

With the Hammer Team up to full strength, we made some good progress this week. Most of the rack splicing is finished, leaving me with either 100s of splices to do all at once or nothing to do for entire days at a time.

You know you’re working with Yankees when…

Alabama is beginning to grow on me. Auburn is a quite town with pretty little neighborhoods almost buried under mountains of astonishingly green trees. I particularly like the red brick and white accents that are popular red dirt/pine tree country like Alabama, Georgia, and South Carolina. The people here are friendly and unpretentious, and the gasoline is under $3/gal.

I mean, who NEEDS trees to be THIS tall?

The walk up is a bit arduous, but you can’t beat this view in the early morning:

The view from atop the jumbotron

Dad and I decided that, after working no less than 10 hours a day, 6 days in a row, we deserved a steak, so we went to “Big Mike’s Steakhouse”. We mentioned to the waitress that we were working at the football stadium and she said “Oh, we have lots of guys who are working there.” She agreed that they were all sweet guys. Dad and I are going to go back to work and tell them that the waitresses said they were loud and rude, just like typical Yankees (not really, but it would be funny.) Honestly, I haven’t had this much fun since Kids Camp when I was twelve. The best place to be is the only girl on an all-male crew.

Aww yeah

Wait – You mean it rains EVERY DAY?

Weekly Stats:
Tickets: 1
Miles: 1,110
Listening to: The Rider of Lost Creek – Louis L’Amour
Reading: The Life and Death of Great American Cities – Jane Jacobs (and also 30,000 on the Hoof – Zane Grey)

At the end of a 70 hour work week, last weekend seems like it happened two years ago, but this is how I remember it:

This week I’m working as the roving fiber splicer at the Auburn University football stadium in Auburn, Alabama. We are installing a DAS (distributed antenna system) at the stadium to increase the cell-signal capacity, and let me be the first to tell you — This is a BIG project. Here was my office for the first three days:

A table, a chair, a breeze, and a view

Alabama is beautiful – but oh, so humid. It has rained every. single. day. since I’ve been here. I mean, just look at all this greenery.

We don’t know what this building is for, but it looks cool

Some of the construction guys have been here for so long that the company rented apartments for them. I’m staying in an extended-stay hotel. And I’m here to work. I don’t know what this guy is here for, but it’s probably very exciting.

How do you even get a truck to look like that?

We’re working alongside a group of riggers — lean, lythe, brave men who go up on ropes and hang 120lb antennas while hanging in harnesses. This was one of their hardhats.

Same, bro. Same

I’ve been in a few stadiums before, but have never lived in a stadium for weeks at a time. I’ve certainly never been in the announcer’s box!

Best seats in the house

I’ve still never seen Charlotte in the Daytime

Weekly Stats:
Tickets: 2
Miles: 2,726
Listening to: Shadow on the Trail – Zane Grey
Reading: The Life and Death of Great American Cities – Jane Jacobs (and also Kilrone – Louis L’Amour)

Well, things went pretty well this time, right up to the time we were leaving for the airport. The flight that was due to leave SA at 5:30 was rescheduled to leave at 6:45. Guess what that did to my 45 minute layover in Charlotte? Yup. Nothing good.

American Airlines very kindly gave me a hotel room and a grand total of $12 for a meal and sent me on my way. Awesome! No airport floor for me tonight! So, I stroll through TSA to my gate, board the plane at 6:20 and land in Charlotte at 10:10. Turns out I would have had almost thirty minutes to make a five minute walk. Oh well.

I had actually never LEFT the Charlotte airport before

So, after standing on the curb for an hour and a half in the company of two Army Reserve boys (who honestly made the whole thing worthwhile), we finally made it to the hotel by midnight. Thus it was that we got four hours of sleep in a cheap (free) hotel before going back to the airport by 5:00am. I’m not sure if that was actually an improvement over the floor.

But, once you get to the airport at 5:00 your troubles are over, right? Not so much. I arrived at the Evans airport at 8:25 and went to the baggage office to retrieve my suitcase. The office was empty. Twenty minutes later, it was still empty. Then an elderly gentleman in a security officer’s uniform appeared to inform me that American Airlines actually keeps their overnight baggage behind the ticket counter. Oh, ok. So, over to the ticket counter I went. And the ticket counter was empty too! Forty minutes later it was still empty! So, I went to the rental car counter. “Your car should be ready in an hour.” Oh boy. Back to the baggage counter where a TSA agent had knocked on the back door and interrupted the ticket lady’s quiet smoke and chat break.

So BACK to the rental counter I went and by this time there was a thirty minute long line at the counter, but through patient endurance I attained an audience with the lady at the desk. So, we walk through the paperwork, get the car picked out, discuss the return arrangements…and my California crew still had my rental out in San Francisco so Avis couldn’t give me a car in Evans that morning.


I did finally get to work at 11:30am, and after work I did succeed in getting a rental from the airport, so it all worked out in the end.

Same, Vivian. Same.

Tuesday I enjoyed a long, quiet wander through South Carolina and arrived in Myrtle Beach around 5:00. Wednesday was another site survey and a long drive down Surfside Ave and dinner at the Gulfstream Cafe.

Talk about GREEN!

It doesn’t seem right to eat and sight-see without Big Kerry. 😦 How are you supposed to justify eating the entire roll of sourdough bread when it’s just you at the table???

Gotta have hushpuppies in South Carolina.

And, fear not. I DID get to see the beach at Myrtle Beach. Astonishingly, it was hot and sandy, very much like every other beach I’ve ever been too.

Yep, definitely a beach.

I got home early Thursday afternoon and had just enough time to unpack my suitcase before packing up again to leave for Alabama. Dad and I will have just long enough to wave at each other tomorrow; he comes in in the morning and I ship out in the afternoon. Won’t the boys in Alabama be surprised to see “Kerry/i” come back so soon!