Thursday, April 1, 2010

Skinnied jeans

Skinnied jeans, originally uploaded by Cohabitating_Closet.

I had no college-related activities today. I realize that this is another one of those outfits that my colleagues say, "You look like an undergrad today." I remain flattered and pleased with such comments

Blokey and I have made spring break very very productive, although not necessarily in terms of "work." Today was beautiful, so of course we did a massive trip to Ikea that basically ate up the whole day. Before leaving, I decided to skinny and old pair of jeans. I forgot to take a before picture but luckily someone else did a long time ago, when my hair was still very long and I used to speak at rallies.

Back when Rad was a grad (student). I'm on the extreme right, in case you were wondering. Why did I ever wear my hair that long?

I learned that non expert sewers can skinny their own jeans through other bloggers, such as E. from Academichic and Amber from Painfully Hip (and her features). It's pretty easy. I turned a pair of older jeans inside out and traced the difference between the leg seams of another pair of similar skinny jeans. Or you can turn them inside out, put them on and then pin where you'd like the skinny part to start. I then marked it with my tailor's chaulk, and sewed in 2 straight seams (my favorite kind). Then I cut off the excess fabric.
But what to do with the edges? Denim frays like crazy. You can either use pinking shears or a zigzag stitch, but luckily, my sewing machine has a crazy mock overlock stitch, which does a good job of faking the stitches of a serger. I used a red thread, mostly because I have alot of it and these stitches are thread heavy. I had to adjust the tension a bit and found that faster speeds worked best.

The top is the new, Rad-ified finished seam

My Janome's fake overlock (I should have cut the seam extras bit shorter)

real overlock stitch made by a commercial serger

I also ended up trying it on, realizing that my rights leg was a bit snugger than the other, and I went and retraced the seam on the left leg, using the right leg as a guide. I dig these "new" jeans because unlike my snooty Blank jeans, which are all trendy and aspire to be boutiquey, these are more relaxing fitting (yet are skinny.)
Blokey was really impressed and considered letting me skinny his jeans, but then took it back after he realized that I could not just de-skinny the jeans. Ah, the mind of my man.

Jeans: very old Levis, Macys, skinnied by me
Shirt: little boy's western shirt, via Ebay
Belt: old Gap
Shoes: Ecco (not comfy, strangely, despite the high price tag)


  1. You are seriously WEARING those jeans. What a great idea - especially for someone with the perfect skinny-jean body!

    'Any chance you'll tell us about the rallies at which you used to speak?

  2. You did that yourself? Wow, those look great! Does the outside seam look any different? Head-on they look like you bought them that way. I think you may have had slightly longer hair than now when I met you, but it looks really nice long too! I'm guessing it was too much work? That's why I stick with a nice bob myself :)

  3. So impressed. And the finished product is utterly fantastic. How fun to make your OWN custom skinnies.

  4. AW: it may or may not have been a general "angry at the university" rally in which we shouted at the administration in front of their building about their cut backs to staff (especially clerical workers) during a strike.
    Thanks for the compliments. Now I want to skinny ALL my jeans but I will refrain for now (I mean, skinny jeans won't be fashionable forever).

  5. Great job on the jeans!

    I'm been skinnying a lot of my flare leg pants lately. So far, the newly-skinny pants have hung well enough that I haven't had to cut the extra material. I try to avoid cutting if I don't need to b/c I don't have an overlock. If I do ever need to cut, I won't cut too close to the seam and I'll finish it with a zig-zag stitch. I used that method of finishing seams a lot when I first started sewing.