For the longest time I resisted the skinny jean trend – but once I took the plunge I was totally hooked! Now I love them with flats, but especially in the winter tucked into boots – such a cute look, don’t you think?
Well, now that I am 26 weeks along and fully in the “I can only fit into maternity pants” phase of my pregnancy, I’ve been especially smitten with skinny jeans. Their tailored silhouette makes me feel less shapeless, and that makes me happy. :)
The problem is that almost all of the maternity pants that fit me well happen to have flared or bootcut legs – which doesn’t work with my whole goal of trying to balance a growing belly by throwing people off with my skinny ankles. So I decided to turn my maternity jeans into skinny jeans!
I turned to Pinterest for inspiration (of course) and came up with two great tutorials – this one from Lucky Design, and this one from Holy Craft. My favorite was the one from Lucky Design, so I used that tutorial as a jumping off point for my own sewing extravaganza.
Here’s how it all went down:
- pair of jeans or pants that you want to skinny-fy
- pair of skinny jeans that you like the way they fit
- 2 colors of chalk (if your pants are dark), fabric pen, marker, whatever floats your boat
- sewing machine
- thread in a color that matches your pants
Step 1: Turn both pairs of jeans inside out, then lay the skinny pair on top of the regular pair. Line up the two pairs of pants at the inside seam like in the photo below (this assumes that the outside seam is thinner than the inside seam on your pair of jeans). Make sure that all of your fabric is flat and that there aren’t any weird wrinkles.
Step 2: Take your chalk and mark a line at the edge of your skinny jeans – the chalk line should be made on your regular jeans. Do this with both legs.
Step 3: Use a ruler to make sure that the chalk lines are in the same place on both legs. First measure the distance from the chalk line to the outside edge of your pants, then measure the length of the chalk line, then measure the distance from the bottom of the outside seam to where the chalk meets the outside seam. (That sounds kind of confusing, so let me know in the Comments if you need clarification.) These measurements should be the same on both legs, and this will ensure that one leg doesn’t turn out totally different from the other leg.
Step 4: Use a new color of chalk to make any necessary adjustments to your chalk line. Your ruler may come in handy as a straight edge.
Step 5: Use your pins to pin the two sides of the pant leg together along the new chalk line. Make sure that you don’t pull the fabric when you’re doing this!
Step 6: Use your sewing machine to sew a straight stitch along the new chalk line. You can reinforce the beginning and end of each new seam by either using the “reverse” button on your machine or by picking up your needle and sewing over the beginning/end of the seam again.
Step 7: Try on your jeans to make sure they’re fitting how you want them to! Make any adjustments now – this is a “do as I say, not as I do” moment because I had a little wonky wrinkle at each knee where the new seam met the old seam but I told myself that it was fine and moved on. :)
Step 8: Cut off the extra fabric on the outside of your new seam, leaving some excess. You will need enough excess fabric for a zigzag stitch to fit comfortably without sewing past your seam and onto the pant leg. I cut it a bit too close on my first pair so I left more excess on the second pair and I was much happier. I would err on the side of leaving on too much excess (but no more than 1/2 inch) – you won’t notice it when you’re wearing the jeans.
Step 9: Practice your zigzag stitch on a scrap piece of fabric. Most of you can probably skip this step but I had never used a zigzag stitch so I wanted to practice a little bit before I started sewing away on my pants. I chose a triple zigzag stitch instead of a regular zigzag stitch because I thought it would be better for the thread to pass through the fabric three times per stitch instead of just one (I don’t know if that’s really true, it just seemed to make sense).
I drew a chalk line on my scrap fabric so that I could see exactly where the zigzag stitches would fall in relation to my seam.
By the way, I haven’t washed and dried my new skinny jeans yet so I can’t swear that this zigzag stitch trick is 100% foolproof. You could also serge the seam or use a fray check on the raw edge instead.
Step 9: Sew a zigzag stitch along the entire length of your new seam.
Step 10: Try on your new skinny jeans!!! I’m just warning you – you will probably want to wear them for the next 6 days straight. Not that I’m doing that or anything. :)
I did this with a pair of black maternity jeans as well as a pair of dark gray corduroy maternity jeans – I didn’t have any problems with the corduroy, and the fact that they were maternity pants didn’t seem to make any difference either.
I have plans to do this with at least 3 other pairs of pants (once I fit back into my regular clothes) – I’m so excited!! And I have to know – are any of you other preggos finding that skinny jeans make you feel a little more at ease with your growing belly?
Now go forth and skinny-fy!!