Sunday, September 8, 2013

The skinny on my skinnies

I own a lot of work pants. The problem with about ten pairs is that they don't look good with flats and heels. In fact, I struggle to find any shoes that go well with them. (I bought most of them years ago, and I bought them solely because I liked the color and the price.)

I decided to keep the pants because I thought I might have an epiphany about how to wear them. And an epiphany I had. I realized that the only part of these pants that annoyed me was the cut. Plus, every time I hunted for the same colors in a fit that I liked, I came up empty. Enter my epiphany. I did a little search on Pinterest for "making skinny pants." (Feel free to peruse my DIY Fashion board here.) Note: I could have taken these pants to a tailor, but that was money I did not want to spend. I also like learning new things :)

For these pants, I read this tutorial and this one. However, after my troubles, I viewed this video, which comes from this blog. I like her method much better. Plus, she explains how to avoid some of the same problems I ran into while on my adventure of pant fixing.

I'm not going to provide you a tutorial because these work just fine, but I'll tell you some tips (from a novice) and materials.

Necessary materials: seam ripper, sewing scissors, pins, chalk/fabric marker, and sewing machine.


  • Do NOT cut your pants until you've tried them on with the new stitching. For the first leg I did, I couldn't squeeze my calf into the pants. I needed my handy seam ripper to fix that mistake. 
  • If you don't have a fabric marker, chalk works just fine. You moms out there probably have sidewalk chalk just chilling in your house. (One tutorial recommends a Sharpie. If you use the first two tutorials, I do not recommend Sharpie because it can get on the pants you're using as a pattern, which is another reason I suggest the video.) 
  • Read both tutorials and watch the video before you begin. 
  • I completely finished one leg before the other, which I thought was good because I could measure the unfinished leg against the finished one. I sort of used the finished leg as a pattern for the other one. It helped me keep them identical. 
  • If you don't want to sew and have a good tailor, they can do this for you :) 

pant leg comparison in my seemingly yellow hallway...

My pseudo emo look 

Originally, I had "charcoal straight/skinny work pants (must have belt loops)" on my closet holes list. I now can cross that item off the list without having spent any money. Win! 
The shirt is recent and from Old Navy. The heels are NOT recent and are Aerosoles from Marshall's. 
Once we sell this house and I don't have to worry constantly about not making messes, I will move on to my pair of brown work pants. I think I'll go for more of a straight leg with those. 

I hope this post prevents you from donating/selling a pair of pants just because you dislike the bottom half of your bottoms :)


  1. You know, I've been thinking about doing this. But I should probably get a sewing machine first. Your pants turned out great! Thanks for sharing all the links for the tutorial!

  2. You know, I've been thinking about doing this. But I should probably get a sewing machine first. Your pants turned out great! Thanks for sharing all the links for the tutorial!

  3. I have done this to so many my old flared pants. It's so exciting to give life to a old pair of pants without spending any money :)

  4. I.m going to get some of the pants out of my donate bag and try this! I was donating because I though they were too flared....

  5. this is awesome! Way to be creative and save some money! They look perfect!

  6. You did such a great job with these! I am terrible at sewing, but thankfully I have a great tailor. I'm going to have to check my closet for any pants I don't wear now...

  7. What a clever idea! This has never crossed my mind. You look great!

  8. Wow, what a difference that made!! I never would have thought to do the alterations on pant legs myself! Very clever, they look ah-mazing!

    Exploring My Style

  9. Ummm, this is brilliant! I, too, really hate baggy dress pants and feel they are not flattering on me at all. Plus, I have deceivingly long legs and dress pants are often too short for me. Skinnying the ones I have is a great way to slim them down, and perhaps hem them up so they are ankle pants and not just awkwardly too-short dress pants :) I have a pair or two in the donate pile that I'll need to fish out to try this!!


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