Emmie has been going through her clothes, bringing me the ones that don’t fit her anymore, and I ended up with a stack of jeans. She has moved from a size 12, to a size 14, and although the 14 is still loose on her, there is just no way she is going to squeeze herself into the twelves.
So, after thinking about it for a minute, I decided to try to see if I could save some of her cute jeans (I may try to save some of the blue jeans, but I haven’t decided yet since they tend to have more studs and stitching.) I began by unpicking the side seam on both legs of her jeans; I used the outer side seam since that one is less top stitched, and will look more decorative with the additional fabric. I cut through the waistband, being careful not to cut the adjustable waist elastic.
Next I cut a 2 inch wide strip of white heavy cotton twill fabric that I sewed up the side of the pants, using the same seam allowance that was originally in the pants (I did not sew onto the waistband, only onto the legs, the waistband will be handled separately, so you have to pick the waistband back a little on either side to get access to the seam allowance.)
After sewing the leg stripe on, I also did a little top stitching where I had unpicked some top stitching when opening up the leg.
Next I inserted some white fabric in front and back on the waist band, to bridge the gap created by the side stripe.
The side sort of ends up looking like a T, since it takes some seam allowance, to sew the waistband patch in. Make sure you don’t accidentally catch the adjustable waistband elastic in the seam, since you still may want to use it.
I used a triple stitch to then top stitch the waistband down, making sure I folded the raw edges in on both the inside and out. (Again be sure not to catch the adjustable waist elastic in your stitches.)
Here’s what the inside looks like, as you can see I zig zag stitched over the raw edges down the length of the stripe, I was being too lazy to put white thread in my serger 🙂
For the hem I just unpicked it back a little on either side before sewing the stripe in, and then double folded the white up, and re top stitched the hem in place. These pants were already cropped, so I didn’t need to add any length to them, since they are supposed to be short, so I am not going to bother discussing adding length in this blog post.
And here is the end result, Emmie in her now well fitting pants!
They are big enough now, that we have the adjustable elastic buttoned up so she has a little room to grow.
The fabric has lycra in it, so there is a little stretch already built in, so they are even a little loose and ready for growth technically. This process only works if the rise is high enough still, or it will fall off their backsides.
I think this solution would work perfectly on an adult pair of jeans that are just a little small, and I also think there are a lot of alternative things you could do other than a white stripe, you could do fabric backed lace, a fancy fabric, decorative ribbon, sequined fabric, etc. and it could be a super awesome feature, and not just a size fix.
EDIT: so I got ambitious, and decided to try blue jeans, Emmie had a favorite pair that were just too tight, so I thought I would see if they could be saved 🙂
I used a gold foiled denim I had in my stash to add 2 1/4″ strips to the sides.
I used jeans thread to sew the top stitching in again so it looked right.
Emmie says she loves them even more now!
I made the poor baby model these for me at 9:40 at night when she had been deep cleaning her room all afternoon, so I’m sorry about the pictures Emmie 🙂
Now I just have something like 5 more pairs of pants she wants me to do this to 🙂