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Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Give Your Old Jeans a Skinny Jean Makeover! Tutorial

I have this pair of pants that I have owned since high school. They are the most comfortable pants in the whole entire world, but they are a very loose flare fit, and after the weight loss that has been going on around here post-baby, they were basically falling off. My favorite jeans were in serious need of a refashion!

I had a similar pair of pants that I ended up chopping off into shorts last summer (which was awesome--I love them so much), but I was thinking of something a little different for this particular pair. I have been thinking about turning them into skinny jeans for months now, and I decided it was finally time to do it! I have a really hard time finding pants that fit me right. I am on the short end of average, height wise, but I have pretty long legs and a short torso for my size. The skinny jean craze that has been sweeping the nation over the last little while has been leaving me a little frustrated. I would go jeans shopping and end up finding a million pairs that fit well in all ways but length. They always fell an inch or two short of the ankle. If I went a size or two up to get the length right, they didn't fit well everywhere else. Since capris are only acceptable during the summer, I usually bought a pair or two of the high-water fit then ended up sacrificing perfect fit for a little extra length and wore a belt the rest of the time. Point being, it's been something I have struggled with for quite a while.

The pair of jeans shown below was stretchy enough to accommodate a pretty narrow leg, and the legs would definitely be long enough! So I thought it was the perfect chance to make some skinny jeans that actually fit!

I have done this to pants once or twice before, and I have seen dozens of pins on Pinterest and various tutorials about doing so, but the main tutorial I followed to refresh my memory was this tutorial from Maybe Matilda. I did things a little differently, but the idea is the same.

Anyway, here's how to to give your old jeans a skinny jean makeover!

You will need:
An old pair of pants, preferably with a little bit of stretch.
Sewing machine and thread
Scissors
Pins
Serger (optional)

Put your pants on inside out and pin along the outside of one (or both) leg(s). My initial plan was to just sew one then use it as a guide on the second one, but I ended up just pinning and sewing for both sides. :) After you're done pinning, sew, sew, sew!


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Check the fit of your pants (still inside out). If there aren't any spots that are too tight, go ahead and trim off the excess fabric, leaving half an inch or so of seam allowance. You may spot a few places where you want to take it in a little more at this point, but if you don't, flip your pants right side out and see what you think.

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I had a few spots where the seam wouldn't lay flat (see the wavy spots on my calf?), so I marked the problem spots with pins and turned the pants inside out again.

This was my problem. This isn't a very good picture, but you can see how the seam isn't very smooth--it kind of juts out. I took a pen and marked a smoother curve and sewed away.


Try on one more time. Once you are satisfied with the fit of the jeans, simply serge or zigzag stitch the seam allowance to keep it from fraying. (Don't skip this step--jeans tend to fray pretty easily.)


My old hem was torn up in the back, so I decided to chop it off and make a new one. They were long enough to do so, thank goodness. To hem the bottom, turn up the edge 1/2 inch, then about 3/4 inch. Pin in place and sew 1/2 inch from the bottom. Pick a thread that will match the original stitching on the jeans.


And there you have it! An easy refashion that will make your old jeans as good as new again.

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I am in love with finally having some skinny jeans that are long enough to be worn with wedges...



...heels...



...sandals...



...anything! Normally I have to hide my skinnies inside boots since they are barely too short, so this is a wonderful change.

But, if I'm being totally honest with you, I think I love them most of all with my Converse. They didn't make it into my pictures for this post, but I snapped a quick pic on my way out the door the other day. Love.


These pants are such a great fit, and they are even comfy. I would highly recommend tailoring your own pair to give your old pants a second chance. :)

Linking up to Artsy Corner Thursday.


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