Outfit Post: 4/1/12 and How To: Skinnify Jeans

Top: Goodwill — Jeans: Hand-me-down from Tia [altered by me] — Cami: Old Navy — Boots: Duo (Ashburn) — Necklace: Hand-me-down — Belt: Thrifted — Bracelet: World Market

Ah, the weekend seems so far away now. I was so young, so innocent, so trendily dressed. I got out of my requisite homebound knockarounds to go have lunch with a bunch of old college friends as a late celebration of Zoe’s birthday, she who was sick nearly a month ago on her actual birthday. It was much fun! We had Szechuan food (including “green bean cake,” which turned out to be gelatinous lozenges, presumably made from green beans, in a messy but delicious chili sauce) and talked about jellyfish and New Zealand, and in general had a jolly old time.

One of us may also have gotten hot tea spilled down her pantleg by a certain person’s boyfriend, but one of us is, luckily, a very forgiving sort. (It didn’t stain or scald, anyway.)

As a bonus–partially because I’m impatient and don’t want to take the time to make it a separate post–here is a tutorial on how to skinnify jeans! Lucky you!

Well, I say “tutorial,” but my method is pretty hamfisted. Play along if you don’t mind some trial and error!

Items you will need:

*A pair of jeans you want to skinnify

*Some pins

*A sewing machine (I suppose you could also hand-sew, but personally, my hand-sewing is even wretcheder than my machine sewing, so do what works best for you)

1) Okay, so you get your pants! I am demonstrating with these wrinkly gray jeans because, in all honesty, I only need one pair of skinny jeans and I’ve already skinnified them, so this is like when TV chefs make half a recipe and then pull the second, completed dish out of the oven so you get to see it in all its cooked, delicious glory.

Anyway. Ideally, they should fit pretty well in the waist and hips to begin with; I’m not here to help you entirely alter a pair of pants, just to trim down the calf area so the pants are trendy/can fit into a pair of boots.

2) Put the pants on inside-out. Wacky, I know! Bear with me.

3) Take a bunch of pins, and roughly pin along the sides of your calves where you want to put your new seams. Don’t go super-tight at first–you want to make sure that you can still bend your leg and get circulation and all that good stuff. You can go tighter later on, if you have to.

A close-up of the enpinnening. See how there’s some wiggle room between the pins and your leg? Yeah, you still want to be able to get your leg out of the pants after you pin them. You can probably go a little tighter if the jeans you’re skinnifying have some stretch, but even so–give yourself room to work. Taper the pins up at your knee, too, because you probably don’t have roomy-enough jeans to keep pinning straight up until you hit Crotch Country.

4 and beyond) Take off your pants (oh yeah!) and get thee to the sewing machine! Sew those pin lines up (removing the pins as you go, obviously), make sure that the new seams blend tolerably well with the original seams so you don’t have weird bunching, and try those suckers on! If it’s too loose or you have any odd spots, take ’em off again (oh yeah!) and do any necessary editing. Once you’ve got them like you like, cut off any extra fabric that’s now on the inside of the leg and go about your merry day:

Ta-derr! Perfect for tucking into my awesome boots, and even not-so-bad for running around on weekends. This worked really well for me because I had previously been unable to find a pair of skinny jeans that actually FIT my body type–if they were of an appropriate waist size, I couldn’t get them over my calves or thighs, and if I could actually pull them up all the way, there was mad gapping in the back. So what’s a chick to do but make some herowndamnself?

Nowww, I know that some readers out there who are actual seamsters and seamstresses might snarfle at my loosey-goosey instructions, but what can I say! Even after six or seven years of making costumes for conventions, my sewing abilities and knowledge are pretty horrible, and patterns that require me to think in three-dimensional space reduce me to tears of frustration. (Not good at spatial conception, I.) There are probably loads of other tutorials out there if you care to have a look; some of the other tutorials I’ve seen include using a pair of skinny jeans you already have to help measure, which is a great idea if you already have a pair. Otherwise, just dig in and do your best, and they’ll probably be at least bootworthy once you’re done!

And if you fuck up–hey, you’ve got yourself a new pair of jean shorts.


4 thoughts on “Outfit Post: 4/1/12 and How To: Skinnify Jeans

  1. Hooray skinny-ifyin’ jeans! Your instructions look great to me, but what do I know? You’ve reminded me that I have two pairs of too-wide legg’d pants languishing in the mending pile, because ugh, alterations. Way less entertaining than making new stuff.

    Loving the new pink hair! Mad props to your workplace for being so cool about it, too!

  2. This seems so “duh!” to me now that you’ve explained it. I’ve tried on numerous pairs of straight leg and skinny jeans and pants, with none of them fitting the way I like. However! I’ve got an extra pair of bootcut black slacks that I don’t wear too much since I found a better pair. What a perfect excuse to try making something myself!

  3. For all your gumming about how this isn’t a good tutorial, it actually looks so easy to follow.

    Also, dang, that outfit is cute. Urban-punk-cowgirl is what it reads for me, and it’s too fab. Also, I’m still not over seeing your hair beautiful pink again! :3

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