How to Repair a Jean Skirt

With proper care, a denim skirt can last years.

Photo: Digital Vision./Digital Vision/Getty Images

You've had it "forever" and you love it, love it, love it -- so much that you can't bear to part with it, even if it has a hole in it. A good jean skirt is a classic clothing item, popular now for several decades. Denim skirts usually last a long time, but sometimes one of the seams will have a weak thread that will come loose. The loose thread will make a hole in the seam of the skirt that keeps getting bigger if ignored -- making it time for a seam repair. If you're handy with a seam ripper and a sewing machine, you can fix it yourself.


Look at the bad seam on the skirt. Determine whether the seam to be repaired is a flat-felled seam or a seam with a serge edge. A flat-felled seam is bulky and looks like a folded stack of fabric on the outer surface of the jean skirt. It is a stitch commonly used on denim jeans. A flat-felled seam will have two lines of stitching that show on the outside, right on top of the folded fabric. A seam with a serge or zigzag edge will look like a regular seam. It will be sewn inside of the skirt with a finishing stitch running along the edge.


Cut frayed edges away -- up to 1/4 inch -- so you will have a clean edge on which to do the seam repair. If you cut in too deep, it will change the shape of the skirt.


Turn the skirt inside out before sewing the regular seam. Hold the fabric together and sew over the old seam line with a straight stitch.


Finish the seam by setting the machine on a zigzag stitch -- or any finishing stitch. Finish the edge of the seam by sewing it shut.


Look at the seam from the right side of the skirt. One side of the flat-felled seam will be smooth, and one side will have a folded-under edge.


Remove the thread -- on the folded edge only -- by slipping the seam ripper under the thread and pushing it forward to cut the thread. Repeat this process until you get the thread on the fold removed 3 inches away from each end of the rip in the flat-felled seam.


Open out the folds of the seam. The extra 3 inches at each end will give you room to get the foot of your sewing machine into the damaged area.


Sew the seam closed like a regular straight stitch seam. It will look like a regular seam except that you will sew it on the outside of the skirt, and one side will be shorter rather than lined up like a regular seam.


Fold the longer side of the seam around the shorter side. It should look like the rest of the original seam now -- except the outer line of stitching will be missing.


Place the seam back under the foot of the sewing machine. Line up the stitching of the old edge and overlap it by an inch. Sew the folded edge down while keeping the fabric folded and sewing on top of the original stitch line.

Things You'll Need


1.Damaged skirt

3.Sewing machine with denim needle installed

2.Seam ripper (optional)

4.Denim thread


Tips & Tricks


If all this sounds too complicated, seek out a professional seamstress to fix your treasured denim skirt. You can often find them through dry cleaners.


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