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Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Got a pair of outlet slacks?

I did! I bought these Ann Taylor pants last year for $7. But they look like shapeless bags. When I put them on I felt like a 55 year old on the way to a chiropractor appointment. Enter home-solution for frumpy pants!
You can easily alter pants to a slim-fitting Audrey Hepburn style if:
- Your pants are cotton or cotton blend (rather stiff fabric is required as slim cut stretchy material = leggings)
- Your pants are a little too short OR you can quickly hem them (ie, turn them up and stitch down). Or you can wear a skinny longer leg. I prefer the just-below-the-ankle look, but then all my pants are always too short anyway so this works well for me.
- You have a needle and thread or a sewing machine.
- You own another pair of pants or jeans that are slim cut to use as a pattern OR you have a pal to help you size them to fit you.
This is simple.
1. Lay the pants down, inside out.
2. Lay your "pattern" pants on top, matching the crotches and inside seams.
*if you don't have pattern pants, lay on top of the pants and have a friend pin around your outline*
3. Pin around the pattern pants so you will know what to trim off. You should only be pinning on the outside leg seam - that way you'll only have to sew one seam on each pant leg. *If you're pinning around your own legs as a pattern, again, only pin on the outside seam. Leave room as you pin to allow for the curve of your leg*
Try pants on inside-out after you pin and before you sew to make sure you like the fit.
4. Sew along your line of pins with a sewing machine or a needle and thread using plain old straight stitch. Your outer leg seam does not get a lot of wear and tear, so this doesn't have to be the world's best seamstressing.
5. Trim off excess fabric. Turn right side out and try on pants. If they are too long, you can hem them up at this point.
Before: Blah.

After: Much better! Boy, is it hard to take a mirror picture and not get the camera in it!


  1. I would totally ruin a pair of pants if I tried to do this. I can repair a hem and sew a button and for that I'm thankful :) You rock that you're able to do this!!

  2. Yep, I'd probably ruin them too! You did an awesome job!!! I love the skinny leg fit in pants.

  3. I think the beauty of her technique is that since you don't cut the seam until after you sew them, you could rip out all the stitches if you don't like the way they look.
    Grace, this comes at a perfect time since I'm feeling awfully frump-tastic in my work pants lately. I'll have to try this out!

  4. Wow. Well done. yah, I totally could not do this. I mean, I struggle to sew on a button. My mom tried to teach me to sew. Epic Fail.

    They look great!

  5. YAY you. HOLY CRAP. They look AMAZING!!