June 1, 2011

The Blue Jean Baby Project: Turn Jeans into Bellbottoms

This is the third pair in a five-pair series of refashioned jeans featured here on the blog every Wednesday. Did you see the first pair and the second pair?

Bellbottoms this outlandish aren't for everyone, but they make me really, really happy.

The jeans: A pair of Gap Curvy Low Rise Boot Cut Jeans from years ago
The inspiration: These Free People pants, but of course. I have 'em in black and have worn them tons ever since I found them in the FP sale room this winter.
The cost: $0, assuming you have fabric and basic sewing supplies
The time: 2 hours tops
Resources I used and loved:
The process:
1) Use a seam-ripper to tear out the outside seams of your jeans all the way up to your knees (about 18 inches up depending on your height). Leave the bottom hem of your jeans in tact.

2) Measure and cut the fabric or denim you'll be using to create your "bells." If you want a less dramatic bell-bottom look, pick some similarly colored scrap denim to create your bellbottoms. Or pick a funky, retroy-y fabric like I did. (Mine was on sale on Sew, Mama, Sew, which has the best fabrics that you can order tiny bits of if you want. Plus they arrive at your door in two days time.)

I wanted pretty wide bellbottoms so I measured my fabric to be 2" at the top and taper down to 8" at the bottom. I also measured and cut two more pieces of a solid-colored fabric to use for a lining. (This way my mushroom fabric has more stability.)

3) Press well. Sew your lining to your fabric leaving a tiny 1/8" inseam. Also fold the bottom up to create a neat 1" hem for your bells. Stitch in place.

4) Pin the fabric to the openings in your jeans, one side at a time, and sew. You can use a machine to do this or hand-sew it. I used a machine up until I got to within one-inch of the top of the bell. This part I did by hand because it needed more TLC to get it to lay right. You can see where I did a little hand-stitching below:

And you're done!

**I also added a little mushroom embroidery to one of the back pockets using a free Doe-c-Doe pattern. Have you seen all the amazing free embroidery transfers they have?