January 8, 2012

Skinny Jeans for Every Body

I love skinny jeans. I'm not going to lie to you good people.

What I do NOT love are the choices most of us have in finding skinny jeans that actually fit. I am a WOMAN, not an insect. I have curves and yes, my ass is larger than my waist.

I have only one official pair of skinny jeans, the Laguna Skinny from Hollister. I know, I know, please try not to barf in your mouths while you hear me out. I bought them because I was desperate to have a pair of jeans that would fit down inside of my boots without having to be folded over. However, true to Hollister's clientelle base, I couldn't really fit into the top area of the jeans. I bought a size too big so it would fit my ass and then belted it to fit my waist. Consequently, I didn't wear them very often. What in the hell was the point of these beloved jeans then, I ask you?

Pissed me off for a good long time, I'll tell you that.

And then I saw this little craft pic on Pinterest a couple of months back, wherein you use a pair of skinny jeans as a pattern to MAKE skinny jeans out of jeans that you love.

Say what?

The tutorial I loosely followed was from mmmcrafts.blogspot.com.

I am sorry to say that I squeezed in this skinny jeans overhaul on the morning of our Christmas party, while Bryon was out of the house and I could sprawl all over the floor half-clothed. Because that's what you do when you have to try on jeans 85 times. My point is that I did not take pictures of each step.

The idea is this:  First and most importantly, select a pair of jeans that you love, that you wear, and that are comfortable. These should be stretchy and not carpenter or wide-legged. Just your normal straight leg or boot cut jeans will do.

You also need to have a pair of skinny jeans to work from. (Keep reading even if you don't.)

Turn both pairs of jeans inside out. Lay the wider jeans on the floor, front side up. Zip and button them, and flatten them out. Then lay the skinny jeans on TOP also front side up, matching the photo above. I realize the photo has the jeans rightside out, just trust me on the inside out swap. Align the crotch first. Then identify which of your seams is topstitched, and align these seams on top of each other.

In my case, both pairs of jeans that I altered had a topstitched INNER seam, so I aligned the crotch and then the inside seams of each leg. I pinned the top pair of jeans in place TO the bottom pair of jeans to prevent wiggling.

Then, using my quilting straight edge, I used an ink pen and traced the outer edge of the skinny jean onto the wider pair of jeans below. I followed that all of the way up until the jean seams naturally matched up. You're going to have to eyeball this... you will see that just before the hip area, the seams are in just about the same spot. End there. I did this on both legs. Before removing the pins, I also measured the width of the ankle openings to be sure they matched. I also measured the distance from the WAIST down to where  the new seam was going to begin, to be sure that was the same.

Then I sewed, using dark blue thread. Before cutting anything, turn the new pair of skinny jeans right side out and try them on. Once you are sure they are even and they fit well, turn them back inside out. I don't have a serger, so I sewed a second straight stitch beside the first, and then a zigzag beside that. THEN I trimmed the excess with pinking shears to prevent fraying.

Uh... voila. It is seriously that easy.

Okay, so if you don't already own a pair of skinny jeans to use as a pattern, you really only need to add a couple of steps. The first of which is to put your good pair of jeans on inside out. Have a friend help you pin from the ankle up to the thigh - measure from the cuff at the bottom to be sure you match, and be sure to use the seam that is NOT topstitched. Do not pin the legs too tightly.

Then, take the jeans off with the pins still in. If you stabbed yourself to death in the process, you pinned too tight and you need to let out your pins a bit. I would say 1" from the width of your leg is a good place to start. Measure twice. Draw your line with your ruler and a pen, and you may even need to re-place your pins and try on and off again before you sew. You're going to sew along the line, not the pins.

Then sew, just like above. Try them on and fall in love. Trim, and you're done!


  1. Cool tutorial! That's easier than I expected - might just have to try it.


  2. Cool tip! Thanks! Being of the fluffy variety I have stayed clear of skinnies, but I think I'm gonna give this a try!