Monday, April 2, 2012

TUTORIAL: How to "take in" the waist of cotton pants that are too big!

Last year I bought this extremely comfortable pair of cotton capri's. This year they are way too big. I'm not big on removing a million seams to make pants smaller, but I have read blogs where it can be done. I wanted an EASIER and FASTER way to make the waist smaller on these capri's. I need them for our trip to Disney.

This is how big they were on me:
First, I removed the threads from the tops of all the belt loops:
Then I put the capri's on and please forgive me if I don't explain this correctly, I'm certainly going to try. So I put them on and take my ELASTIC and pin it about two inches from the button on the INSIDE of the pants. This is where I want the elastic to start.

Pull the elastic around your waist so that it's snug but comfortable. Pin it to the inside band of the capri's about two inches from the button hole.

Then remove your pants (I put another pair on because I really don't need my neighbors to see me thru the dining room window sewing in my undies... ha), find the center of your elastic and pin that to the center of your capri's:
Now, I am no expert at sewing elastic, I ripped my threads twice before I got the elastic all the way around so that it stretched right when they were on me. The first time I used settings that were completely wrong and somehow the elastic stayed in it's stretched state, not helpful for keeping the pants on me.

Here are the settings I wound up using with the zig-zag stitch, I do not have any fancy needles or anything:
Here is a great article about sewing elastic, which is what I read before trying it myself. Again, let me point out, I did not use any fancy thread, needle or elastic, I just used what I already had laying around.

After you sew your elastic in, you have to reattach your belt loops, which goes pretty quickly. And then your capri's that were once too big now FIT!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

TUTORIAL: A skirt from old ripped jeans.

Usually when I made a skirt from jeans I just cut straight across right at the crotch and add some fabric below that. But the other day at my Girl Scout meeting one of my Girl Scouts was wearing a jean skirt she made from a pair of jeans. Hers were made completely out of the jeans and no extra fabric but I wanted to use pink fabric for Hannah because she's a huge fan of pink.
So I started with these:
I cut them here:
Then I cut around the inside pant seams, and cut a little extra off the crotch to make it lay flat:
Side note: my Girl Scouts jeans were cut along the seam, she did not completely remove the seam.

Then I cut the inside seam and the bottom hem of the pant leg I had cut off, leaving me with a rectangle of fabric:
Then I simply slide that rectangle of fabric underneath the upside down V shape on one side of the pants, pin and sew:
Then cut the extra:
Side note: this is pretty much where the Girl Scouts completely jeans skirt ends. She did not remove any seams and she did not remove the leg hems. Her skirt came out so cute and was below knee length.

Then cut a a piece of fabric 1 1/2 times larger than the bottom of your pant skirt and as long as you want your skirt to be (maybe try on the jean skirt and figure out how much longer you want it to be, Hannah's skirt goes to her mid-shin):
Pin your fabric tube and skirt, right sides together, creatively overlapping in some areas so it fits (or ruffle it on your machine first):
Side note: here's how I do it, first I pin the side seams, then the front and back, making sure I use the center of the fabric, then pin between each of the pins center to center, if that makes sense.

Hem the bottom of your skirt when you're finished. And if you want, add some appliques: