i was only able to sew on the front side of my skirt, due to a loss of thread, although I wanted for the "scales" to go all around the skirt.
You can apply this technique to any piece of clothing and with any fabric! My friend wants me to make her a tank top with triangle "tulle" scales all over the front, so be creative with the shapes as well!
Cut off the legs of your jeans and put the rest away (save the top part for a pair of cute cut offs!)
Turn the legs inside out.
Cut each of the legs open along one of the side seams.
Put the jeans legs to the side.
Pull out your cardboard and sketch out a circle with your marking tool to the size you want. Cut the circle out with an Xacto knife or a pair of scissors.
This will be your "scale" template.
Take your circle and place it on your jeans. Trace the circle onto the WRONG side of the jeans until there is no space left.
Repeat for all the jean legs.
You should have a ton of little jean circles (I had a pair of size 12 girls jeans from 6th grade and had about 100 circles).
Pin the circles onto your skirt in order to get an idea of how you want the scales to look when you wear the skirt. I had all of my scales overlapping the other from each circle's right side.
Sew each of the circles on one at a time at the top, with small but strong stitches. Make sure that each circle's stitch is covered by the circle above it.
If you want to, for the top of the skirt, you can cut some of your circles in half and sew them onto the waistband so as the cover up the top circles' stitches.