An easy, free place, to explore and resource all things related to maintaining, renewing and re-cycling, old, worn jeans with tender loving care.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

How to turn your wide-legged jeans into to skinny-jeans

Guest post by the wonderful Mudnessa
(it was first spotted at the Greenists, an awesome place for all things green.)
Mudnessa writes:
I recently took an older pair of wide-legged jeans and made them into skinny jeans. Let me first state that I am a novice sewer, so if you have a sewing machine and have ever successfully used it, you should be able to accomplish this yourself. I did this for numerous reasons, mostly because I hate shopping for jeans. I also hate spending a ton of money on a pair and having to go home and basically deconstruct them to make them fit to my liking.

Step one: Turn the pair of jeans inside out and put them on.
Step two: Pin the inside seam to desired skinniness. When you do this, make sure the outside seam is on the outside of your leg evenly. Don’t make them too tight; you will need to be able to get your foot through the skinniest part. You will also probably want a bit of wiggle room so you can breathe and function in them. You may want to elicit the help of a friend with the pinning. I had to do this step twice because I was alone and the first time the pins turned out very crooked and there was no way I could sew a functioning seam.
Step three: Take the jeans off while still pinned to make sure you can get your feet out and they aren’t too tight; be careful not to stick yourself. I was still not comfortable with the pin line I had and was unsure I could sew a good seam. I put the jeans back on and to make it easier to sew a straight seam, I grabbed some tailors chalk and marked a line as straight as I could just inside the pin line, closer to my leg than the pin line.
Step four: Take the jeans to your sewing machine and sew them up. I sewed outside the chalk like, closer to the original inside seam, making them looser than the chalk line since I made the chalk line inside the pins. I started my seam on top of the existing seam a bit higher than my marked line so I wouldn’t end up with an odd bunch or dart, starting with a backstitch of course so it wouldn’t unravel. I continued the seam at an angle, meeting up with my chalk line and used it as an outside guide all the way to the bottom and ended it with a backstitch as well.
Step five: Cut off excess material. You may want to try them on first and make sure they fit to your liking before you cut them. I then needed to hem the bottoms since I usually wear heels; they were quite long and gathering a bit too much around my ankles.
Enjoy your new skinny jeans. It’s like having a new pair of jeans without the hassle of hours of trying on pants, only to be disappointed, and also without the dent in your wallet.


casserole said...

This brings back memories!! Back when I was in jr. high (the mid 80s) and skinny jeans were in style, my mother used this method to make our cheap-o Wal-Mart jeans look like the expensive ones that all of the other kids wore. We called it "pegging the legs".

I linked to your tutorial over on Craft Gossip Sewing:


PS - I made the mistake of trying this technique with a pair of vinyl pants. (Needed some tight vinyl pants for an 80s hair band costume party...) All I gotta say is that when you put the vinyl pants on inside out, the slick side is next to your skin. And of course it doens't breathe. So it takes about 5 minutes for sweat to start forming all down your legs. And then just try to get those pants peeled off... There was a now-hilarious-but-not-at-the-time scene with me and my husband both tugging at those stupid vinyl pants!!

Nancy said...

ohh, what wonderful thoughts, ideas and experiences. I wish I had been there when your mom was re-making the Wal-mart jeans. It is all so funny. The how, why and what is so special, even when diaster strikes like when your husband helped save the day!
What I am spotting all over Portland and Seattle is chopping jeans off, very hap-hazardly above the knee. It's like -- I don't care, I didn't look I just got hot, grabbed some scissors and chopped, and then jumped on my bike and sped off! Wow!