Yesterday I finished cutting out all of the pieces for the yellow fox-fabric dress, so now it is all ready to start sewing. Today, however, I got distracted. I had an old pair of jeans that I was going to take to the charity shop because the length and fit of the lower legs was far from flattering: I decided to cut them back into a pair of long shorts, perfect for the warm weather! The vintage liberty-style printed cotton fabric was one of the pieces that I found at a car boot sale at the end of June (see the 26th of June blog picture). It is relatively easy to upcycle a pair of trousers like this, and it is a good stash busting project too!
First I cut the legs of the jeans to the length that I wanted them (without adding a seam allowance, as it isn’t needed). Next, I measured the circumference of the bottom of the legs, at the top of where I wanted the cuff to sit: my finished cuff is 5cms deep, and the legs of the jeans taper, so it is important to measure them at the widest point in contact with the cuff.
I cut one rectangle of cotton print fabric for each leg: the length of the rectangles was equal to the circumference of the jeans leg, and the width was double the depth of the finished cuff (then adding a 1cm seam allowance all round). In order to make the sewing as easy as possible, I folded over and ironed the seam allowance- except for one short end, as this is covered by the other short end in the finished garment- and then ironed the cuff pieces in half horizontally.
The next stage of the project was sewing the cuffs onto the jeans legs. I pinned them in place first, with the folded and ironed short side overlapping the unfolded end to make a neat finish. To give a crisp finish, the cuffs were sewn over the jeans legs with the bottom of the legs sitting inside the cuff, all the way down to the crease at the bottom of the cuff fabric. I sewed the cuffs around the top, about half a centimetre away from the edge of the cuff fabric. Once I had sewn all around the leg, I then sewed down the cuff to fasten the overlap in place.
To make the cuffs look integral to the design of the jeans, I then added some rectangular strips of matching material to the tops of the back pockets. The pocket pieces had to be sewn on by hand, rather than with the sewing machine, to avoid the pockets being sewn shut in the process!
Ta da, finished cut off jeans ready for some sunny weather!