The straight leg phenomenon seen all around Hollywood will hit the streets of Everytown, USA. However, rather than go out and buy new jeans that may be trendy for only one or two seasons, this guide will show you how to alter your bootleg jeans or pants into the more fashionable straight leg jeans or pants
There are two different ways to alter your bootlegs – both will require a sewing machine, seam ripper, and scissors.
1. Using a seam ripper, open the inseam and side seams of your bootleg jeans from the cuff up to where the flare of the bootleg begins. This is usually around mid-calf or just below the knees. Lay your jeans out as if you were going to iron them to help you determine where the flare begins.
2. Now, put the pants on and overlap the seams to where they fit on your legs. Straight leg jeans usually fit tight all the way down to the ankle. This will be easier if you have someone to help you since bending over to do it yourself will change the way the pants fit. On both sides of your open seam, stick a pin in where the new seam should be sewn together. You can also use chalk or a washable marker to mark the new seams.
3. Making the new seams will be different depending on what kind of seams the bootleg pants had to begin with. If they had internal seams where you can’t see any stitching from the outside (dress pants usually fit this category), you’ll need to turn the pants inside out to make the new seams. Mark the seam line on the inside of the pants, pin them together and stitch along the new seam you’ve marked. Don’t forget to iron the seams open so that they lie flat against the pants.
If you can see stitching from the outside, then your pants are outside seams (jeans and cords usually fit into this category). In order to great the new seam, you’ll need to fold the outside edge of the seam over the inside edge – just continue along the existing seam. Then you can stitch from the outside to create the new seams along the line you originally marked in step 2. It is a good idea to stitch over the top of the old seam in order to make sure the new seam lines up well with the existing one.
4. Lastly, fix any hems that may have been ripped out while you were ripping the seams. Now you have a pair of straight leg jeans or pants.
This technique is similar to the one above except you don’t actually rip out any of the bootleg pants’ existing seams. You simply stitch in a new seam by folding the pants over themselves when you try them on. This is quicker and easier, but doesn’t look quite as natural as the first technique. If the pants bunch a lot when you try this technique, you can cut away the extra fabric from the inside of the straight leg pants when you are done.
* If you are not familiar with sewing, it might be best to simply take your bootleg pants into a seamstress or a dry cleaner who offers alterations. Depending on where you live, it will most likely be cheaper than buying a new pair of straight leg pants and it will look professional.
* If you are doing these alterations on denim, be sure to have a heavy-duty needle for your machine. They can be purchased at any arts and crafts or fabric store. A regular needle will most likely break – causing you plenty of frustration!
* If your pants have outside seams, be sure to match the thread you are using to the thread color used in the existing seam. Look carefully! Some jeans use navy stitching while others use a golden yellow. You can look at your fabric store for “jean thread” which is specially made to be used with denim,
Best of luck to you! Once you get started, you will find that altering your own clothes is not as difficult as it first appears. You can keep up with the latest trends and fashions without breaking your bank. Consider using some of that extra money on a belt or accessory that shows off your “trendy” side!