Turn Old Jeans Into Capris
Everybody's got an old, ratty pair of jeans with holes in the knees. I'm going to show you a quick, easy way to turn those jeans into capris. All you need is a needle and thread. You do not have to be a master sewer, and the finished project does not look home sewn.
The Problem With Jeans
My mom is a master at sewing. When I was a kid she made all my clothes...except jeans. Because you cannot home sew jeans. They just look weird. So I had to come up with a way to sew jeans without making them look home-sewn.
Anybody can make these capris. It's only a couple of cuts and a couple of lines of basic stitching--and the stitching is all invisible so these capris do not have a home-sewn look. You don't even have to be particularly good at sewing, because the stitches are hidden. You'll see why in a minute. You could even use hem tape (I've never tried it) if you really can't stand sewing.
This is also a great way to save kids' jeans. Whether they've knocked holes in the knees, or have just grown too tall for the jeans, this is an easy way to save perfectly good pants from the garbage.
Step 1: What you need
The best candidate for this project will be boot cut jeans. Slightly flared is OK, but if there's more than a 3" difference between the width at the knees and the width at the bottom it won't look right. Same for tapered jeans--those won't work either.
My jeans, you can't really tell from the picture, had a 4" hole in one of the legs.
You also need scissors, a needle and thread, and pins / safety pins. This would be faster with a machine, but even by hand it took me less than an hour, and that was with me snapping a bunch of pictures every five minutes.
Step 2: Chop Chop!
If your jeans have holes, cut the legs off right before the hole starts--you don't want any of the hole to remain because the fabric around it is likely weak. For my jeans, this was 18" from the bottom.
Don't throw those useless pant legs away just yet! Cut a band 4" from the bottom on each leg. This band will be your new cuffs.
Step 3: Match it up
All jeans have two seams that run down each leg. Take your cuffs and match the seams up with the seams from the pants. Left leg with left leg, right leg with right leg. Pin everything in place, then sew, with a 1/2" hem.
Don't worry about what your stitches look like. Nobody will see them.
Step 3B: Further explanation
Another picture so you can see what I'm talking about. The cuffs go inside the pant legs. So the "good" sides are facing away from each other, the bad sides are toward each other. The rough edges, the parts that you just cut two minutes ago, are facing each other and you are sewing these together.
Step 4: Frankenpants!
What the heck did I just make?
So turn that cuff rightside out. At this point you're probably going "uh...what?" , because this looks totally stupid. See picture.
Step 5: Roll it up
But then just roll that cuff up about 3" and ta-da. What was once the bottom of your jeans has been cut off, re-attached, and rolled up to be the cuff of your new capris. This is why you had to sew the two facing each other. None of your stitches that are attaching the two are visible because the rolled-up cuff is hiding them.
Step 6: Keeping the cuffs in place
You don't want your cuffs to roll down and expose your frankenpants, so just make a couple of stitches on each side of each leg to hold them up. You can go underneath the seams of the jeans so nobody will see these stitches.
Result: Easy Capris!
I've run these through the wash 10+ times since I made them and have had no problems. An added bonus is that since they're only rolled over once, they allow plenty of breathing room. At work (rural mail carrier) I need something I can stay cool in but can't wear short-shorts or anything inappropriate and these are great for that.
Comments / Suggestions
QuiltFinger from Tennessee on July 19, 2012:
This is such a great lens, What a crafty project and very well explained!
P.S. Thanks so much for commenting on my sun-dried tomato lens!!
Jo Gavilan (author) on July 07, 2012:
@ClassyGals: Thanks so much for the like!