"I love my cats because I love my home, and little by little they become its visible soul." Jean Couteau

Monday, April 8, 2013

breathing new life into old pants

This is the story of how a pair of black boot-cut/flair pants became skinny pants.

Before                                                     After

I've had these black trousers from the Gap for a few years, at least. I probably wore them some at first, but then they became slightly too short (a common problem for a 6' tall girl). I'm sure they were still fine, but I didn't really like to wear them anymore. But I always thought that I might wear them, so they hung in my closet until I stumbled across this blog post: Wide Leg Trouser Refashion Tutorial. Since skinny pants can't hang quite as long as boot-cut pants, I thought my black pants would be a great trial for turning them from boot-cut to skinny.

I have never owned any skinny pants yet and have not been a huge fan of them for me, I think partly because I don't think I look good in the skin-tight pasted-on pants look and partly because I'm self-conscious of my big feet (even though for someone my height, they're really not that big). But I have a great pair of black pumps that I have often thought would look good with skinny pants, and if I made them myself, they wouldn't have to be super tight. Since I never wear these black pants anyway, I figured there wasn't really anything to lose by attempting this transformation.

I did this in little snatches of time I had Friday evening, Saturday morning, and Saturday evening, so I'm not quite sure how long it took, but I'd guess the total process took less than two hours. It was really simple. The only thing I was a bit confused about in the tutorial was the 'unpicking' in step 2. What I figured out was this: the key is pull out the seam about an inch long right at the top where your new seam is going to meet up with the original seam. You don't need to unpick the entire old seam, since it will mostly be cut off anyway, but you do want to pick out some of it at that transition point. It's probably a good idea to run your new seam over the end of the old seam (and back-stitch) to keep it from unraveling itself. Another little trick I used, which, personally, I thought was a pretty good idea, was to do one leg, cut off the extra fabric, and use that extra fabric as a sort of template to pin the other leg. I had a bit of a hard time pinning the leg while I was in the pants, and this was a lot easier; plus the idea was that then the two legs would be pretty much equal in skinniness and overall fit.

I'm pretty pleased with the final result. It was super easy, and I feel kind of hot and trendy in my new skinny pants.


  1. You need to bring that sewing machine and come live at my house. Just sayin'.

  2. I love this! Such a good idea. I am the exact same way as you (with the hesitancy towards skinny jeans for almost the same reasons). I have found that there are a few stores where I can pull off the straight leg pants (Banana Republic and Ann Taylor loft), but I never stray into the real "skinny jeans". I love the end result though and may have to try this with a few of my old pairs of pants. :)