25 May 2007

tutorial: pants-to-skirt remix

I've gotten a few requests for info on how the pants-to-skirt remix, so here are some tips. Warning, I don't work well with rulers or precise measurements so you may have to tweak my estimates. Another warning, if you could care less about boring sewing instructions, skip this post and have a lovely evening.

The scoop:
    1. I cut off the desired length (plus an additional two inches or so to account for the ruffle). You don't need to take into account hem allowances, because we are attaching a ruffle to the bottom. With a stitch ripper, open the seams on the inner leg up beyond the crotchal region.

    2. This leaves you with some funny little flaps from the crotch of the pants that you need to even up and cut off. Still, the fabric won't match up into a perfect seam but it seems to be a trend I've seen with jean skirts so I figured it was ok (see the note on the picture here and you'll understand what I mean).
    3. From here I folded under the raw edges about 1/4" and topstitched the two sides together on both front and back. I always have trouble at this part because I don't lie the fabric flat or taut enough and end up creating really awkward pouches and points and puckers. Went ok this time.

    4. For the ruffle, I cut off the existing hem from each leg of the lounge pants, ripped open one short seam on each and then attached the short ends together so i had one gigantic hem. It should look like the bottom of one leg of a massive pair of pants. I used pinking shears to finish off the top of the ruffle because I attached it to the top of the skirt and didn't want a raw edge to fray. You could also fold under the raw edge or, of course, attach the ruffle so that you don't see the raw edge at all. (With right sides together, match the raw edges of the ruffle and skirt and straight stitch around. Press seam towards hem.)
    5. I pinned this new hem it to the raw bottom edge of the skirt (with approx. 1" overlap), folding it back on itself (approx. 1/2") every 5 inches to create the ruffle. Then I straight stitched close to the top of the ruffle.

    By pure coincidence, the pattern matches up fairly well in its skirt form. Hasta luego, wide-legged monsters. These directions are probably confusing, so feel free to email/comment with any questions.

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