Jun 18, 2013

Denim & Frills: a mini tutorial

The sun is finally here to stay in the PNW, the kids are sitting in their last day of class, and we are super excited about it! In light of all this I decided that it was time to audios the pants to make way for the shorts! And then I went into the girls room and realized that my kids only have one or two pairs of shorts. I know people think it only rains up here, but yesterday it was 87; we do get some sun up here people. We need shorts too! My oldest got to go shopping for a  few new pairs of shorts because they have to last through her and her two sisters, but the other two girls had to settle with one new pair and then whatever I can find in the summer box. The problem was, when I pulled out the summer box, there were only two shorts in it. Apparently the others did not make it through last summer. So I had to come up with a plan 'B" which turned out to be a spectacular plan when all was said and done.

Old Jeans + New Lace =Denim and Frills
So, I went through their the drawers and pulled out all the pants with holes in the knees (this became a chore in of it's self), grabbed some lace, the sewing machine, my trustee scissors, and went to work! The first thing to do is cut your jeans at the top of the hole. I forgot to take a picture of this step, but the key is to make it as straight of a cut as possible. Then grab your lace and measure out how much you will need by pinning the lace onto your jeans. The trick here is to pin it on the outside (or right side) of your jeans with the bottom of the lace facing the top of your jeans.
Over lap your lace a bit to make sure you have enough, then pinch the excess together and either pin it and run a zig-zag stitch through it or cheat on the serger like I did.
Fold over your excess lace(there should only be a little) and pin it onto your jeans, completing your circle.
Now stitch the lace onto the jeans. I would suggest changing out your needle to a 'jeans'  needle if you have one. If you don't just say "bibbidi bobbidi boo" and pretend you just changed it with your magical powers.
Now you can press the lace under so that the raw edges are hidden on the inside (or wrong side) of your jeans. Be sure to really press this good,it will help in the next step.
I have a good friend who runs an altering business out of her house and she showed me this trick a while ago when I asked her why she keeps a hammer in her sewing room. If you pound you bulky jean-seams with the hammer before you stitch them, your sewing machine will not have to work so hard and chances are you will not have to tug at your jeans or yell at your sewing machine when it quits on ya. Really it works! After you take your aggression out on the jean-seams you are going to top stitch your new shorts at the base of each leg. I did this from the wrong side because the lace I used did not give me much wiggle room and you want to make sure that you are stitching the lace and the fold in the jeans.
That's it. You are done! Your little ones now have shorts, not 'wholly' jeans.

When I told Shenna about this little project she pulled a huge box out of her garage for me. I guess I have some work to do. I also plan to try this using fabric scraps that I will essentially turn into thick bias tape, so be sure  to like us on Facebook so you can see how that works out for me. Thanks for stopping by, now go dig through the drawers and turn some of your jeans into shorts.



  1. I love these! The lace makes these little shorts so girly.
    ~ Megin of VMG206
    Please Link Up at my NEW party!! Open NOW (Sat thru Fri) @ DIY Showcase Link Party

    1. I am glad you came to visit and I linked up to your party, thanks!

  2. Replies
    1. Thanks Steph, congrats on the CW team. You sure are keeping busy

  3. How cute! Love this idea - makes them special and fancy. So glad you linked up with us at the BeBetsy BRAG ABOUT IT Link and Hop
    Thanks for the inspiration! ~Sharon and Denise
    Follow us:
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    1. Thanks for stopping by and for the fun party!

  4. Adorable and so girly!! Thanks for the tip on using the hammer on your jeans - I'll definitely have to give that one a try.

    If you're interested, I'd love to have you share this at my Show & Tell link party today.

  5. Thanks for the invite, I linked up and took a peek around. Fun blog, I will be back! So glad you stopped by I hope you come to visit again.

  6. Totally cute!

    So glad you linked up with us at the BeBetsy BRAG ABOUT IT Link and Hop.

    Thanks for taking the time to link back to BeBetsy. We appreciate it.

    Have a great weekend~xo
    Sharon and Denise!

  7. so cute! thanks for linking up to Tasteful Tuesdays at Nap-Time Creations... I'm posting a fabulous round up of sewing features and you are part of it... Please come on over and check it out! I would love for you to Pin, G+, Tweet or share on FB the collage that your project is in! Thanks so much! Emily

    1. Emily, that's awesome! Thank you so much for including us in your wonderful colelction! :)

  8. Adorable! I love that it's such a simple, easy change!


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