Friday, March 4, 2011

Featured Friday: Jennifer from An Iowa Expat Wanders About the South


Jennifer, from An Iowa Expat Wanders About the South, began blogging in 2008 mostly for herself and to communicate with her mom. As a displaced midwesterner still adjusting to life in the mid-south after 10+ years, her audience has expanded to additional family and friends, and now she has followers she's never met, which she finds exceedingly cool. With no aspirations of becoming a big-time blogger, she enjoys sharing bits of her daily life as wife, mom, elementary school counselor, voracious reader, warm-weather runner, lukewarm sewist and practical thinker with occasional creative twinges.

My kid can eat more than me, but she just gets taller--I would love to have that problem. Therefore, her pants still fit at the waist, but are rising up past her ankles. What's a mama to do (especially since the girl in question HATES to shop)? Make the pants longer, of course.

I won't claim to have thought this up on my own. My mom lengthened a pair of jeans for the assistant this way last spring, and even made a spiffy belt to match...such a clever and creative mommy I have. So I copied her, and made a tutorial for you:

First, determine how much longer you want the pants and add .5 inch, then double. I wanted to add 2 inches to the length, so my strip is 5 inches wide. Measure the width of the pants at the hem from seam to seam, and multiply times 4. Her pants were 8 inches wide so my strip was 32 inches long. Cut two.
With right sides together, sew the short sides with a narrow seam. Press the seam open.
 Fold the long tube in half, wrong sides together, and press.
Finish the raw edge. If you have a serger--lucky you. If not, zip-zag the edge to minimize fraying. It'll be on the inside anyway, but it will be pretty.
Now, set your sewing machine to the longest stitch and sew all around the side with the zig zag, about .5 inch in. Don't backstitch, as you will be pulling your bobbin thread to make a ruffle. After you sew, find the halfway point in your tube (across from the seam) and pin. This helps you gather the two sides evenly.
Gently pull the bobbin thread and gather your seam. Pull gently so you don't break the thread. Measure the ruffle against the hem of the pants until they are the same size. Pin the ruffle to the inside of the hem, right side of ruffle to wrong side of pants, matching up the gathered seam of the ruffle to the stitching where the pants hem is already sewn (you're going to sew on top the the existing seam with matching thread to make it look like they were custom made.)
You can see that I pinned on the underside on this first leg. DON'T DO THAT. You can't take the pins out as you sew. Put the ruffle seam on the inner leg seam of the jeans, and the pin should match up to the outside leg seam. If not, readjust your gathers. 
Change to a heavy duty needle since you're sewing through ruffle and denim. Sew the ruffle onto the pants, backstitching at the beginning and end of the seam. Repeat.
Viola! Longer pants!



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3 comments :

laxsupermom said...

So cute & bohemian! Love the pink ruffles! Thanks for sharing.

Bethany said...

Oh my!! I want to put pink ruffles on ALL my jeans right now! So nifty!

Last Minute Mel said...

this is a fantastic idea...especially with a matching belt. too cute :)

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