Corduroy skirt from an old jacket

While cleaning a closet last weekend, I found an old, unlined corduroy jacket that I’ve had for well over a decade–definitely since college and possibly since high school. The jacket was navy blue with two front pockets and a metal zipper up the front. Since it was definitely not my style anymore and had some paint on the sleeves and on the front (most likely dating to my studio art days in college), I thought maybe I could make something from the fabric. Unfortunately, I didn’t think to take a photograph of the jacket before I cut it up.

After playing around with a few ideas, I decided that the best and easiest course of action would be to make the bottom half of the jacket into a skirt. I cut a straight line just under the armpits, which went through the pockets–it would have been better to go under the pockets, but that would have resulted in a very short skirt. I tried it on and marked my waist, then took the whole thing in a few inches, tapering it into an a-line shape. I wanted a waistband with a button, which would both make the skirt look more finished and keep the zipper in place (I cut right through the zipper, so there was nothing to stop the pull from coming off the teeth).

To make the band, I recycled the button and buttonhole on one of the cuffs; I cut strips twice as wide as the cuffs from the sleeves, folded them in half, and pieced everything together to create a waistband. Before I sewed on the waistband, I removed the pocket remnants (now I realize that it would have been better to take off the pockets before cutting so I could reuse them). The corduroy under the pockets is lighter and softer than the rest of the material, but I’m hoping they will start to match better after a few washings. I sewed on the waistband, and that was it.

Okay, that wasn’t quite it–I had to take it in a bit more around the waist to make it fit better. But it was a pretty quick and easy project overall and I am happy with the result. I will probably add some patch pockets to disguise the area where the previous pockets were (the flash makes them much more noticeable in the photograph than they are in real life) as well as some paint on the front.

Not only was the skirt free, I didn’t even have to make a hem. Yay!


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