Wednesday, August 20, 2008


For some time now, I've been admiring a pair of daughter Laurie's capris. They're denim, with a wide turned-up cuff.

Funny, isn't it? Fashions seem to have about a twenty-five to thirty year turn-around. I had a pair as a child, and then when my eldest was about twelve they came back into style, and now, here they are again. That daughter is now 36, but I'm never going to forget trying to find a pair that fit her "back in the day".

The women on Mama's side of the family all have actual calf muscles. Let me tell you, there are no bird-legged women in this family, or even close. (It's probably all the Native American blood.) By the time I found a pair that would fit around Mel's calves, which were even stronger than heredity gifted her with, due to years of soccer, the waist and hips were miles too large. Oh, well. And I digress.

Suffice to say, I wanted a pair of those denim capris for myself. I just didn't want the pain of shopping for them! So, Monday, I pulled a pair of pegged (Do they still call them that?) jeans from the drawer and went to work.

Here's what I did:

First I tried them on, turning up the cuffs to the desired length, and making sure they were both exactly the same.

Then I marked the place where the fold fell, and split the outside seam to that point. That's easier than splitting the inseam, since most jeans have a flat fell seam there, but not on the outside.

Then I ironed a crease at the bottom. Because the legs narrowed all the way to the ankle, turning the cuffs up left a V-shaped opening at the side seams, and the hem was not horizontal, at right angles to the inseam. I cut off the hem, and straightened what was now the top of the cuff as I did so.

(The tops aren't straightened in this shot, and I also cut off the seam allowances where I'd split the seam.)

I thought I was going to do a narrow hem and leave the cuffs like that, with embroidery around the edges, but when I tried the jeans on that way, they looked like a pirate's trousers! Well, that wasn't gonna work, not for me, lol.

So I folded the points of the cuffs down, forming a triangle of reversed fabric on the fronts and backs of the legs, with the bottom at lower outer seam edge, and the top on the inseam. I tacked the edges invisibly, stacked two red buttons on top of each other for a trim, and sewed them on, and Presto! New capris from old jeans!

Now the only problem is that they aren't actually what I was trying to make, although DH has declared them "Really cute!" (And I do just love it when he uses words like that, which are totally uncharacteristic of him.) Tch. I don't know. I may have to try it again. In the meantime, though, these have become my new favorite pants. YES!


Debbie said...

those are awesome

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