Sunday, February 23, 2014

Skinny Jeans From Old Jeans Tutorial

We’ve all had a pair (or two, or three. Let’s be honest here) of jeans that we never ever wear because either A) we have too many other jeans we like better, or B) because there’s something wrong with them- the fit, the cut, something. I have a pair like this that I recently turned into maternity jeans and here’s the main reason. My other maternity jeans were not skinny-jeans. They did not work with my boots and I was really missing all my cute boots this winter. So I found a pair and a solution right in my own closet. On the bottom of the stack. Because I never wore them anymore. Now they’re my favorite pair.

Here’s how to turn regular flares or bootcut jeans into skinny jeans in an easy afternoon.

1) Lay your jeans out flat and determine at what point they start flaring out again. Put a pin there to mark it. Mine was just below the knee- yours probably will be too.
(Please note that the rest of the instructions have us working with the inner seam of the jeans. I had pinned the outer seam for the picture, and ended up moving it to the inside seam.)

2) Next, (and there’s probably another way to do this, but this seemed easy enough, dorky as it may be) stick your foot into the end of the leg and pin the cuff around the widest part of your foot. See picture. This will ensure that you’re able to actually get the jeans over your foot once you’re finished. Pin it as tight or loose as you like – my jeans have a bit of stretch in the fabric, so I went ahead and made for zero ‘wiggle room’, but if you have regular denim you may want to add a finger-width in there just in case. Your call.

3) Measure the amount you want to keep (the part that was around your foot in the previous step). Mine was right at 6”. Easy to remember so I didn’t write it down.

4) Here you get kindof a visual of the area that will be taken away. Pin to pin, essentially.
Please note that this is not the actual piece that will be taken off, but is just to give you a visual.

5) Turn your jeans inside out. With a seam ripper, rip out the inner seams from the cuff all the way up to the pin at the knee. I chose the inside of the leg but you could do the outside instead if you want. It doesn’t make a whole lot of difference.

6) With jeans still inside out, lay out the part you want to keep, measured to the length you figured out in step 3. Mine was 6”. Mark it with a pin but don’t pin it together just yet.

7) Go ahead and, using your seam ripper, rip out the cuff  where you will be stitching it together. Now pin the two together.

8) Laying the jean leg as smoothly as you can, taper from the top of where it’s ripped out (at the knee) all the way to the cuff. It may not lay very smooth and that’s okay- just make sure that it’s a nice, even taper all the way down. The triangle sticking out (the part you’re cutting off) should lay fairly smooth. DO NOT CUT IT OFF YET.

9) Stitch along the previous stitching line. I got this wrong the first go-round and had to start over. In the below picture, I’m holding the pin where the correct stitching line was on mine. You can see my first attempt (light blue thread) over to the left just a little. I left it there till I stitched the correct one, then I ripped out the wrong one. No biggie. This was important to me, because as you’ll see in the next picture, nobody will be the wiser that these jeans have been altered, because the fading by the seams is all still there just like when I bought them. (Okay, maybe not just like. They’re likely a bit more faded now because I got them back in high school. But you know what I mean.)

10) Try them on. Make sure you like the way they fit before cutting off the extra triangle. If it’s too big or too small, rip out the new seam and start over, adjusting accordingly. You’ll be glad you did. When you’re satisfied, cut off the extra triangle piece.

11) Restitch the cuff. If you did the inside seam of the jeans like I did, restitch over the seam, in the same stitching line that the manufacturer used. I should probably have used Blue Jean Gold thread for the topstitching but didn’t want to run to the store, and the light blue blends in pretty well for this pair. Pick out any remaining gold threads.

Finished! Good job! Don your jeans and grab your boots.

 pin it

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