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DIY Bell Bottom Jeans

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henry happened: DIY Bell Bottom Jeans

Monday, May 23, 2011

DIY Bell Bottom Jeans

Remember my ugly jeans? When life gives you an extra 10 pounds lemons, I say make lemonade! First we turned them into cuffed jean shorts. And guess what we're using the leftover scraps for? Yes, bell bottoms!

The flair trend is great for us pear shapes for a couple of reasons. First, it balances the hip width. And second, it forces me to wear heels for desperately needed height!

Enough rambling, ready for the how to? This one is a bit more complex than the shorts so stay with me. You will need:
  • A pair of fitted jeans (not jeggings but not baggy)
  • Denim scraps from making shorts
  • Seam ripper (scissors will also work)
  • Scissors or fabric cutter
  • Sewing machine (or a friend with one, thanks Nikki!)
  • Pins

First, open the outer leg seam of the jeans. I went up about 18 inches, which was not quite knee height. I used a seam ripper to get started and then just ripped it to where I had marked. I also opened about an inch of the hem on each side of the seam.  

You can open the entire hem if you don't want to re-hem at the end. This will just add about an inch to the length. Clean up the open seam and pull out the loose threads.

Next, take your bottom denim pieces from making the shorts. Cut down the side seam to open up the fabric into one flat piece. Now fold over and measure 18 inches.

This is the slightly tricky part for me. You are basically cutting a triangle piece to sew into the leg seam. You want the base of the triangle to be 6 inches wide and the top to be 2 inches wide. (Of course, you can go wider if you want more flare.)

After you fold over the fabric, use a ruler to mark 1 inch in at the top and 3 inches in at the bottom. Then draw a line to connect or use a ruler and cut on the diagonal to make your triangle.

The next piece is easy because you can just use the first one as your guide. Then put them together to see if they match up (right side facing in) and trim up an errors.

Now turn your jeans inside out and pin in the fabric triangle, making sure you match up the end open hems. Then sew it in.

Finally re-hem. You may have to do this by hand if your sewing machine won't go through the denim layers.

Voila! Super cute bell bottoms! I kinda wish I had gone even wider ... though I'm not quite ready to try any crazy fabric quite yet.

What do you guys think of this trend? Is it something you would wear?

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