DIY skinny jeans
Do you live off one or two pairs of jeans? I do. I own 9 pairs, but only rotate through two pairs. Makes me feel self conscious sometimes for wearing the same pants to work all the time. But I just don’t like a lot of the other pairs because they’re not skinnies. Last week I decided I should do something about that. I decided to convert a pair of bootcut jeans to skinny jeans.
I upcycled my first pair of Citizens. Even though I hadn’t worn them in over a year, I didn’t want to give them away. They’re my first pair of designer jeans (bought them in 2006), and I paid full price for them, hence the attachment.
DIY Skinny Jeans
-bootleg or flare jeans
-sewing machine (or you can hand sew this, it will just take longer)
Take your jeans and turn them inside out. Put them on (button the fly) and then sit down with your legs straight in front of you.
Begin pinning from the outside seam of the jeans (outer thigh area), starting where the cloth starts to get baggy at the upper thigh or knee (where this starting point is depends on the fit of your jeans). You want to pin the extra fabric in a straight line towards the ankle. Pull the jeans so they are snug to your leg after you’re done pinning. Just make sure you don’t pin the jeans too tight (i.e. make sure you can still slip them off after you’re done pinning). And make sure you’ve left yourself some room at the knee for when you bend your legs or sit. Repeat the pinning process on the other pant leg.
Once you’re done pinning, slip the jeans off (being careful not to prick yourself!) and lay them flat on the ground. The pins should form a straight line from thigh to ankle. Take your Sharpie and your ruler and draw a dotted line connecting all your pin points on each pant leg. This will be your guide line for sewing. Pin the hem of the pants, in place, making sure that the hem lines up.
It’s time to sew! Using your denim/canvas needle on your sewing machine, sew in a straight line on your Sharpie guide. Do this on both pant legs.
Now it’s time to try your pants on. Turn them inside out and put them on to make sure they fit like you want. The jeans should be comfortable on, even with the extra fabric. Also make sure there’s a smooth transition (i.e. no puckering) at the upper thigh where you started sewing. If there is, sew it up till it looks right.
Once you’re happy with the fit and the look of the jeans, turn them inside out again. Trim the excess fabric off, leaving 1/2-inch outside your stitch line.
Part the 1/2-inch of fabric. Using your zig zag stitch, sew up each seam on each leg (you will be doing the zig zag 4 times total). This will keep the ends from unraveling in the wash. When you’re sewing, make sure your zig zag stitch goes over the edge of the raw fabric.
Iron the seam flat, then stitch the seams to the bottom of the jeans with a couple stitches by hand (where the red arrows are on the image below). This will keep the seam attached to the jeans so they don’t fold up when you’re wearing them.
And you’re done! Here are the finished legs on my jeans:
Anyways…this is a good project to undertake if you’ve got a closet full of unworn jeans. Or, go thrifting for some cheap ones and go to town on your sewing machine. Have fun!