I found these Seven for All Mankind jeans at a thrift store for less than $10. This brand doesn’t normally work for me because I have bigger muscular thighs (if they fit right in the legs then the waist is usually way too big) but I loved the general fit of these and the wash is perfection. The length was actually perfect for flats (I’m only 5’2” so most jeans need to be hemmed) but because of the wide leg, they kind of needed to be worn with heels. I wear skinny jeans almost every day so, after watching this tutorial, I decided to give these jeans an overhaul in order to get more use out of them.
My sister kindly let me take over her sewing machine for a couple of hours and I got to work.
what you’ll need:
- a pair of wide leg, flair or boot cut jeans (Note: works best with dark or colored denim without a lot of fading/distressing)
- something to mark the fabric, like a fabric marker or chalk
- a sewing machine
First, turn the jeans inside out and put them on. Laugh at how silly you look.
Start pinning the bottom portion of the jeans. You will want to pin along the seam that doesn’t have external stitching; this is usually the outer seam. Following the seam, pinch the fabric about one inch from your leg and pin. Pin them slightly looser than how you want them to fit as they will get a little smaller once they are turned around.
Once both legs are pinned, carefully take them off without drawing blood with a pinprick. At this point, I held them up to a different pair of skinny jeans to see how my pinning compared to the general shape of the legs of the other jeans. I made a few adjustments and then drew a line along the pins for a more even sewing guide. I knew I wasn’t keeping the original hem so I just cut it off (it was too frayed around the heels).
Time to start sewing! I just used standard navy thread but you could use something more heavy-duty if you’re concerned about strength. I removed the pins as I reached them with the sewing machine.
I sewed one leg and then flipped them around and tried them on to make sure the fit was okay. I then turned them inside out again and stitched a second seam right alongside the one I had just sewed to reinforce it. Repeat these steps with the other leg.
When you’re certain that you like where you placed the new seams, cut the excess fabric off about 1/4”-1/2” from the seam. My sister has a serger so we used that to finish off the edges but it’s not necessary. This took me probably 1 1/2 hours but I was taking pictures and chatting…you could definitely do it in under an hour, and maybe even under 30 minutes!
I left the bottom hem unfinished since I always roll my skinny jeans anyway…if I decide that I want to wear them down I’ll just put in a quick seam across the bottom. Mine definitely aren’t perfect but I think they turned out well for a first try! I’ll need to fix a few spots here and there but I’ll be able to do it with a needle and thread…nothing major! I’m loving my ‘new’ pair of jeans!
If you try it and want to share, take some before and after pictures and send them to me (ashleyaho at gmail dot com)…I can add them to this post! They don’t have to be headless… ;)