There are some thing you make and you step back and think, well, that was easy and fun, and you don’t think much of it. That’s how I felt when I first made regular jeans into “hippie” jeans. I think I must have seen something on ebay or etsy and thought that I could do it. I think it was more that I really, really wanted to learn how to make yo-yos and once I did that, I wanted something quick and easy to go with the little shirt I put them on. Honestly, the yo-yos were much harder than these jeans!
So I really can’t believe the comments we get when Megan wears these jeans. We get stopped all the time and told how cute they are; I guess retro is really in!
Side note: no one notices the yo-yos. I think they are something only another sewer would get. Oh well!
Start with some jeans (preferebly cheap). Cut them off just below the knee.
Do try to cut them off straight, but don’t stress out if they are a little wonky. What to do with the legs? Make skirts for your American Dolls, of course!
Now we are going to do some math: don’t freak out! It is really easy. Start with the length. I cut off 12 inches off the jeans (yes, make it easy on yourself and try for round numbers), and I need to add seam allowance and hem allowance. I am going to add 0.5 inches for each. That makes 0.5 inch seam allowance at the top and 2 tiny, 0.25 inch, folds for the hem. That gives me a length of 13 inches. Now for the width: measure the width of the jeans where you cut them off. Mine were 5.5 across (folded), which I multiplied by 2 to get a total width of each leg of 11. I am going to have 6 panels, so 11 divided by 6 is 1.83. We need to add seam allowance, 0.5 twice for each side. 1.83 plus 1 is 2.83. You can do smaller seam allowances if you want, I like the simplicity of half inch allowances. Now I am ready to draw!
Take some paper, whatever you like to make patterns out of, and draw two marks, your final width, apart. Mine was 2.83.
Now draw two lines up from those marks, the length of your panel (mine was 13 inches). Then draw a line across. You should have a nice rectangle.
Now make two marks one inch on the outside from your starting marks on the bottom.
Now draw a line from those marks to the top corners of your rectangle, making an A-shape.
Cut it out. You’ve finished the hard part! This is a good time to take a break if someone is asking you to check her homework.
Cut out your panels. I want six for each leg, so I am going to cut out six panels (even numbers are your friend here). I like to spread them out and see how they look.
Sew the panels together, right side together, being mindful of the seam allowance you chose (that’s why I like to keep everything to a half an inch). Serge or zig zag stitch the inside seams. I iron the seams all one way to make things easier, inside out and then right side out. Sew the hem and any embellishments to the bottom. Ruffles are cute, but remember to add them into your figuring so your jeans don’t end up too long. With these, I am only going to add a ribbon to the bottom, which I will have to do after Megan’s riding lesson.
Hmm, it does not seem that my hem is 0.25 inches like it is supposed to be, but these jeans were a little long to begin with so I am not going to worry about it.
Now you are ready to attach to the jeans. Turn your panels inside out and line up with the cut part of your jeans, right sides together. Do NOT freak out if your math skills failed you and you have more panel than jeans, just make a tuck in the back. No one will ever notice, I promise!
Sew around and then serge or zig zag stitch around. That’s it! You can embellish as you like, I tend to think a little ric rac hides a lot of flaws!
Thanks for reading! Please let me know if you try them and what you think.