16 February 2012

I Need More... Clothing [Skinny Jeans for All!]

So, we are just a few months away from welcoming our second little bundle of joy into the family (a boy this time - and unless I can ruffle everything he wears, sewing for him is going to be a BIG metal shift from his big sister's wardrobe...).  With a good five years between the pregnancies, I am finding that - no real surprise here - styles have changed!  [gasp]  "Boysley", as my daughter calls her new little brother, is going to be our last kiddo and I just couldn't bring myself to spend a fortune on maternity clothing that will only see the light of day for a few months.  Time to get creative.  Time to turn bootcut jeans into skinny jeans.  And it couldn't be easier, folks.  I actually did this technique back when I wasn't expecting, too.
 1. Find your bootcut jeans (to be skinny-ified) and a pair of already skinny jeans that you like the fit of.

 2. Turn your bootcut jeans inside-out and un-pick the inseam hem and about two inches into the hem on either side of the side seam (giving you a little room to unfold the hem and work more easily).

 3. Lay your existing skinny jeans on top of the now inside-out bootcut jeans and measure the difference in fabric.  Remember, you are working with the INSIDE seam of the pants here.  If you take a look at the seam on the outside of your leg, you'll notice that it is much more complicated, what with topstitching, etc.  Let's stick with the easy-to-hide-any-mistakes area of the inside seam, shall we?

 4. With a Mark-B-Gone or disappearing ink pen, mark your sewing line.  Using my existing skinny jeans as a guide, I add about an inch to an inch and a half to the skinny jeans which should leave plenty of seam allowance.  I would suggest that you try on your bootleg jeans before cutting to see where a natural spot would be to start tapering your pant leg.  For me, I started my tapering about 19 inches up the pant leg.

 5. Serge or sew along your marked sewing line.  Trim your new seam and discard any excess fabric to remove any unnecessary bulk.  These are skinny jeans not bulky, right?

 6. Flip those jeans right-side-out and try them on.  How does the taper look?  Does it look natural or like you're wearing riding pants at the pony show?  This is your chance to adjust.

After you are happy with the new seams, flip back to the inside and, with heavy-duty denim thread, stitch just inside your tapering seam.  This will not only reinforce the seam, but should your seam pull a little - as seams do - from the outside, all you will see is a hint the denim thread that matches all of the other thread on your jeans.  No one will know that you've been doctoring your pants!

 7.  Refold and iron into place the hem.  With heavy duty denim thread, re-sew the length of hem that you unpicked at the start of the project.

8. Flip to the right-side and give the new seams a quick press with the iron (maybe even a spin in the washing machine).  You did it!  Bootcut jeans to skinny in a snap.  Nice work, pal.  Wear them with pride and pray that the trend toward bootcut and flare jeans stays at bay just a little bit longer.

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