Tuesday, April 13, 2010
Wide legged jeans into "skinny" jeans.
I was looking through patterns and sewing ideas and random things I had bookmarked recently. I have no idea where I read this but I read about making a regular pair of jeans into a pair of skinny jeans and it sounded pretty straightforward. I believe it was from a site that offers patterns and things but I can't find it in my bookmarks and I probably got there by clicking link after link after link.
Why would I do this? I hate shopping for clothes I actually have to try on especially pants. The proportions between my waist, ass, and thighs make jeans a REAL pain in the ass to find a good fit. Not to mention I can't afford much and jeans are so f'ing expensive. Price aside if they look like they will fit my waist I can't get them past my ass to even find out if they actually fit my waist. If they fit my ass the waist is WAY too big or has that stupid huge gap at the back. If I find a pair that I can live with the waist and the ass is ok when I walk the tightness of the thighs just starts to work the pants down to below my ass crack because the waist is actually too big and they are basically being held up by my thighs and due to them being a stiff material.
It's all just too much for me, let's not even talk about the fact that I'm five feet tall and I can take about 2 to 3 feet off each pant leg. Ok let's talk about that. It's not such a big deal now that I have a sewing machine but I've only had it for about a year and a half and had given up on buying jeans many years ago. Also it's kinda difficult to self measure pant legs for hemming, I had a bit of issues with the skinny jeans I made and the legs are off a bit but I made them long enough it's unnoticeable especially since they are skinny jeans and just gather at the top of my feet not "dangling" loosely down my heels like wider legged pant would.
Being short makes skinny jeans pretty impossible to shop for because my legs just aren't long enough for the proportions of the pants to work. They taper way too slowly to fit my legs properly. Even now that I can tailor the legs of pants all I want with my sweet sewing skills (holy shit did I really just write sweet sewing skills, LOL!) there is still the fact that I pay WAY too much for a pair of pants to go home and have to deconstruct them to make them actually fit. I feel if I am going to pay that much for a pair of pants they should be able to pretty much be wearable as is. Please tell me that isn't totally unreasonable and I'm not the only one who feels that way.
I gave up shopping for jean quite a few years ago, I don't think I have bought a new pair in close to 3 years. I have a pair of capri jeans that have holes and worn out parts all over the place (ok just mostly the ass area, pants just can't contain my ass, ha!) that I have patched to no end. They look pretty normal while I'm wearing them because apparently I did a pretty good job even though I totally winged it patching them up. That's pretty much how I sew, by picking up things and try them and teaching myself and reading tutorials and blog posts here and there.
I attempted the skinny jeans after just reading the how to once, it was literally just a written guide kinda like this will be, but they are much better than me and just wrote the directions minus all the blabbering. Hey I like to blab deal with it. ;) I am pretty amazed it actually worked and I managed to make them look good and damn proud actually. Here we are finally to the good part, thanks for reading all my blabbering.
I used a pair of pretty wide legged pants that I have had for years and they are quite stretchy, stretchy really is the way to go for making skinny jeans so they give and don't get too tight, especially around the ankles, you want to make sure you can get your feet through them, your feet might need more room than you think.
Turn your desired pair of pants inside out and put them on.
Make sure the outside seam is pretty much on the outside of you leg evenly as you gather them to desired "skinniness" on the inside of your leg and pin them at desired "skinniness" all the way down your leg. Don't make them too tight we aren't going for the liquid latex look here.
You may need some help from a friend to keep the pinning even and get a good straight line. I had a very uneven line once I took the pants off and was pretty much unable to do anything with them at this point. My pins were crooked and well one of them ended up in the side of my calf for a bit as I was trying to get them off. Still not sure how I achieved that great feeling, I hate getting poked with pins. Yea I know I have tattoos how can I hate getting poked with pins, PINS are my problem, not needles. Things that are suppose to poke me are fine by me. (That's what she said! LOL!)
I had to put the pants back on and re-pin them, still didn't do a very good job but I got out a piece of tailors chalk and actually traced a line on the inside of the pin line while I was still wearing them to have a more straight/even line. It still wasn't very straight but it gave me a good starting point.
I took the pants to the sewing machine and sewed OUTSIDE the chalk line, closer to the original inside seam, making them LOOSER than the chalk line since I made the chalk line inside the pins. I didn't want to make them too tight because that just would just ruin them and then I would be minus a pair of pants and would be forced to buy a new pair, I only have 3 pairs of non work pants. I tried to start my seam on top of the already existing one a bit higher than where I marked them so I wouldn't end up with an odd bunch or dart looking thing on my pant leg and continued the seam at an angle using the chalk line as an outside guide.
I tried them back on and they fit nicely. I cut off all the excess material and hemmed the bottoms and I love my "new" pants. Hope this is understandable and will help anyone who may want to give this a try. It's nice to have a pair of jeans that didn't cost me a thing and aren't actually new but sure do feel like a new pair of pants.
Here is a before and after picture of my jeans. Came out pretty good, no? :)
I know I am happy with them and I have worn them multiple times and washed them too and they haven't unraveled on me. I had images in my head of wearing them out and a seam popping and they start unraveling on me. Weezer's Undone The Sweater Song came to mind actually, hehe.
So Just for the fun of it have a listen, cause who doesn't love Weezer? (that's rhetorical, I really don't wanna know if you don't like Weezer, it's great sewing music too so just don't tell me.)
Weezer's Undone The Sweater Song from their official youtube page.
*I'm not so sure skinny jeans are something I should wear all that often, make my thighs look huge, comparatively of course, I realize they aren't actually huge at all.
*Yes I am pigeon toed, always have been and it is so obvious in so many pictures.
*I love the fact that our plastic lizard toy door stop is in the background of the after picture. Had a few people come over and see it and ask if it was real. Yeah I have a live lizard loose in my house and I let it stand right in front of my door! Really people I'm crazy and I'm a reptile freak but that's just irresponsible. No one messes with my animals, NO ONE. Plus the coloring is quite off for an actual lizard.