Tuesday, 18 October 2011

How Tuesday: Refashion - Bell Bottom Jeans

When old jeans are done with their current owner in our house, they usually get tossed in my upcycle pile.

What to do with all this denim?

I can always find something!

This time, Terry didn't like the fit of his jeans.  He wore them for about a year and didn't wear them out as he normally does.  Woo hoo!  A whole pair of jeans intact.

So I decided mama needed a new pair of jeans.  

But I couldn't just have any old pair of jeans.  I needed to add my own style into them.

Want to refashion that old pair of jeans into some fun hippie bell bottom jeans?

You'll need:


An old pair of jeans and some fabric of your choice.  I used some of the patchwork fabric that I have been making to use in just such a project.

Time Needed:
It doesn't take much time at all.  It depends on if you're resizing the pair of jeans at the same time. If they fit already, it only takes about 20  minutes.

Skill Needed:
Some sewing machine work.  It gets a little tricky to sew up the top of the side, but with a little patience and calming vibes it'll be fine.

Step One:
I'm not including instructions for resizing, so if you're looking to do that, do it first.  Here's a good tutorial on resizing jeans.

First you need to take out both side seams all the way up to where the crotch is - or where the bottom of the back pockets sit.  This measurement need not be precise.  You can slit your jeans to wherever you feel comfortable and wherever you want the fabric inset to begin.  Just make sure the slit is the same on both sides!

Step Two:

Cut out the fabric you have chosen to look like the photo below.  Lots of fabric on the bottom (more so really big bell bottoms, less for smaller bell bottoms). Thinner at the top because it's going to taper to the top point of the slit we just made in the jeans.  Cut two of these (one for each side).

Step Three:

Pin the fabric to the slit on one side of the jeans.  You want right sides together but you'll be working from the wrong side of the jeans.  I know this sounds a little wonky but it's because you can't actually sew right through the jeans to get this fabric inlay together or else you'll sew the leg together. ACK!


Step Four:

Very carefully sew along both sides only catching the edge of the jeans and the edge of the fabric in your seam.  I say to do this carefully because you don't want to catch any other portion of the leg in your seam.  It works best to sew up one side, end the seam and then sew the other side.  If you try to pivot at the top (like I did ) you're asking for a whole lotta trouble and heartache.

As you can see, the sewing doesn't have to be perfect. You just trim away the parts that overhang a little.  I ended up not being able to get my machine to sew the very tops of inset piece.  So I closed the gap with hand stitching.

Repeat for the other leg.

 Step 5:

Hem around both legs.

Voila!  Cute Bell bottom Hippie Jeans.

 They are so comfy and since I did mine with patchwork, any shirt you pair them with works.  Yay!


Sharing this fun refashion with:
Too Cute Tuesday - Funky Polkadot Giraffe
Friday Fun Finds - KoJo Designs
Friday Favs - Nap Time Crafters


Periwinkle Dzyns said...

love them! and it makes me laugh how I recognize some of the patches from your other projects :)

Unknown said...

Oh yayyys!! So pretty momma! Now I *really* want to go sew. It's been so long since I've made anything. Thanks for making me smile. Brings back some fun memories as well. ::winks::