Friday, October 25, 2013

A Simple and Easy Wardrobe Fix

Currently I rotate two pairs of jeans. All my others are a bit tight and I'm ok with that right now. Maybe I took the advice of an Italian boutique girl too literally when she told me to 'buy the tightest pair you can button'. If they are too tight I don't want to wear them!

So for now I'm enjoying alternating my two comfortable pairs. They are by Diesel and the style is Ronhoir (‘regular boot cut’). I tried on a million pairs of Diesel jeans at the time and these fitted me best around the waist and hips so I bought a blue wash and a dark-ish brown blue wash in the same style.

You may already know that Diesel jeans are not cheap, and in the past I’ve been a cheap jeans wearer. Well, I took my husband’s advice that ‘jeans are worth spending money on’ and now I am a convert too. I love their comfort and how they look on me, but I always coveted a straight or skinny pair.

Our Diesel shoes sales rep told me he knows of people who have taken their jeans in successfully. At the time I thought to myself, I’m not going to pay ‘that’ much on jeans and then cut them up, but after quite some time had passed and my jeans weren’t brand new anymore (even though they have kept their shape beautifully and still look good) I decided to give it a go.

This is how I did it. It was such a great success that I did my second pair just the same, and I’ve been loving them ever since. It’s easy if you have a sewing machine, or a tailor could do it in not too much time (so not too much cost). It’s the best wardrobe fix ever if you have jeans that you like the fit but want to update the leg.

I washed them and then turned inside out. I unpicked the hems right round and ironed flat. Then I laid the jeans out on the carpet and actually pinned them onto the carpet, to keep them flat and smooth. I took them in on the outside seam, because that seam did not have top-stitching on the outside, whereas the inside seam did.

I ruled a straight line from just below where the pocket/outside seam topstitching ended (about mid-thigh) to the bottom hem fold line, where I had marked about 1.5 inches in. I initially tried 2 inches in from the outside seam (that's double overall, as there is two inches on each side) but when I did a tacking stitch line to try them on they were too tight. I didn’t want them to look like leggings.

You don’t have to be too perfect about it, especially if there’s a bit of stretch in the denim. My first pair was a hand-drawn line pinned, and it looks the same as my second pair where I got more perfect with a pinned out tape measure to give me a straighter line.

After you’ve stitched your seam, zig-zag or overlock and then trim the fabric off. Try on along the way before you commit to the seam finishing and trimming. Next, simply flip the hem back up again and stitch around (it will go up easily since the folds were there to start with, just make sure you match the fold lines when you pin and stitch).

If you are like I was you will get an excited feeling in your tummy that you have a new and stylish (and sexy!) pair of jeans in place of your previous nice but slightly boring and mumsy ones. No purchase or decluttering necessary.

This simple change has made a huge difference to my current uniform of either an ironed blouse/shirt or knit top/t-shirt with my ‘new’ jeans and either heels or ballet flats. I feel more gamine and youthful and French and chic, and who doesn’t love that.

Today I have them rolled up to a) to feel summery and b) so I don’t get dark blue denim marks on my red suede Clarks ballets.

Here are some images from of the original leg shape, on a lovely model of course. Another bonus of taking the legs in is that my two pairs were never quite long enough, because the store did not have the longer leg length. With a narrower leg that doesn't matter so much and now they are perfect for me.


  1. Smart and practical!
    And who said knowing how to sew is a waste of time?!
    Well done!

  2. I am officially impressed! What a great solution. Your shoes are adorably chic!

  3. That pairing (your shoes and jeans) are perfect. For years I have been playing with the idea of designing my own clothing because I am terminally frustrated every time I go shopping. I can never find what I'm looking for (simple & classic) without an enormous price tag attached to it or having some type of trendy embellishment on it. I wish I had your sewing skills!

  4. Oh I wished you were here for the conversation that i exchanged with my husband when he came home from work today! My favourite Vera Wang boyfriend jeans are so baggy now that I have lost 23 pounds...there is no way I can wear them anymore...
    so I did what I thought was right...I hightailed it to the thrift shop and bought a smaller size!
    Good things do come in smaller packages...
    I salute you Fiona!

  5. I love your red ballerinas BTW. I think it's a great advantage to be a shoes shop owner :)))

  6. Very clever. Adorable and chic look!

  7. what a good idea. I have a lot of my clothes altered but never thought of jeans. I have two old pairs I might try it with. I will use my dressmaker.

  8. Impressive! Not sure I could do it (as I have read through your instructions three times and I am still scratching my head) but maybe one day I will try. : ) Nice job.

  9. What a good idea. Even though I am a sewer I never thought to update my jeans. Will give it a try. Thanks for writing the blog I enjoy reading it and it is lovely to read something local.

  10. I am so happy you are back! I missed your blog! :)

    Adelaide from Canada


Merci for your comment. Wishing you a chic day!

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