from boot-cut to straight-leg

1:08:00 PM

Has anyone else out there tried on the skinny jean, but as soon as you looked in the mirror, you realized that you failed miserably at looking semi-attractive in the style? Very few people can pull it off. I'm not one of them.

However, I'm really digging the streamlined thinner on the bottom and more volumious on the to look. I have a pair of straight-leg pants (the skinny is a version of this more flattering and classic pant) that my sister wore in high school. I've worn them so much, they are a different color and have shrunk so they are just barely too short. Time to get a new pair of pants.

I went to DI (a wonderful go-to thrift store) and got a pair of beautiful boot-cut pants. I determined that although I like the boot-cut look, I needed to replace my suffering straight-legs, so I fixed 'em up.

Here is the ever so subtle boot-cut.
How can you tell? Fold the pant leg so the hem matches up with the knee. If the hem is wider, they are boot-leg, flare or... bell-bottoms pants. If the hem matches the knee, the pants are straight leg. If the hem is more narrow than the knee, they are the skinny or tapered.

First, check your side seams and the grain.

On my pants, the outside side seam had yellow top-stitching, the inside side seam didn't have any top-stitching. This is what you want.

The grainline (see those little white lines on the jeans from the thread) on the outside was pretty much parallel to the side seam. The grainline on the inside of the jeans was not. This is also what you want.

Now I know that I can sew the line on the inside of the pant leg. I won't have to worry about trying to continue the top-stitching.

(I know it's hard to tell from the pictures, but maybe this next one will help.)

Can you see when it's inside out that the inside of the pant leg is where the slight flare is? The seam is not parallel to the thread lines going down the pant leg.

Second, pin and sew the inside seam line. Follow the grainline (verticals threads) or draw a guide making sure the hemline matches the width of the knee. Use the same color of thread as what is there. Be careful at the hem. Make sure the ends match up. You don't want people to notice that you changed something.

Third, turn your jeans inside out and chances are it will look a little off. This is beacause most manufactured jeans have gone through a specific type of wash to create a more weathered look. You can't perfectly mimic the look, but you can at least blend. Take some sandpaper and gently rub down the side seam until you think pants blend pretty well (as pictured above). As you wash your jeans, the new seam will blend more and more with the old seam.

Voila! Your new hip and flattering straight-leg jeans are ready to go!

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  1. Awesome! I personally think the skinny jeans will evolve by next year to a more flattering jean. It's like leggings made of jean fabric are not so comfortable.

  2. I love skinny jeans, but I just wish that some stores sold them in higher rises. My skinny jeans expose way too much if I bend over. So, I just always pair my skinny jeans with a super long flowy shirt. But this is a great idea! Thank you for sharing it rachel!

  3. Love it! I just made my first sewing project in years, so this is so fun to look at and think, "I could actually do this!" Thanks for the tutorial and great job with the pictures and instructions.

  4. I just found your blog! It's amazing! Tons of great tips! Looking forward to more posts. Hope you and yours are well xxx


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