Previously on Makeover Monday: A pair of too-short jeans gets a glam fix with the addition of deep hem bands in bronze-metallic-finished denim! But when I discovered I didn’t have enough of the contrast fabric to do a double-layer cuff, I got to thinking…
What if I added a different fabric to line the cuff? Then, in addition to the full-length look with the bronze bands, I could fold the cuffs up to capri length, showing the second fabric, and have a whole new look! I thought about the type of fabric for a minute; my first instinct (as usual) was to use something fabulous in sequins (I have lots of scraps under this heading), but I reflected that that might not feel too comfortable against my shins when I wear the jeans at full length. (Boo.) A quick rummage through my stash yielded this:
My new fabric is actually printed to look like black lace over ivory; it’s 100% polyester, so it’s laundry-compatible with the jeans. (I don’t usually buy polyester, not because I’m a fiber snob, but mostly because I often find it hard to get a professional finish with it; it seems to resist being pressed really flat. However, I simply couldn’t pass up this print. Hope I have enough left for the pencil skirt I had planned to make with it…)
Tip: When considering fabrics for your cuffs, keep in mind the total combined thickness/weight, relative to the weight of your original jeans (or whatever you’re adding bands to). In my case, the bronze-lacquered denim was a bit lighter-weight than my jeans, so the addition of the fairly-light lace print was beneficial. I’m sure I don’t need to mention that this project is a fantastic way to use up those fabric scraps that are too small for a garment, but too nice to toss out. You know you have them!
On to the project! Referring to last week’s post, I cut my lace print to the same size as the bronze cuffs: 9″ wide x 8″ high (like the original bands, I cut 4, 2 for each leg):
From here, the plan is simple:
Step 1. Sew the side seams of the new cuffs; serge and press.
Step 2. Attach new cuffs to the bottom of the bronze cuffs on jeans; serge, press, turn to right side, press new hem edge.
Step 3. Secure top edge of new cuffs on the inside of the jeans’ legs.
Here we go. In the photo below, after finishing Step 1, I’ve pinned my new cuffs to the lower edge of the bronze band prior to stitching. Make sure the right sides of both pieces are facing each other; what you’re seeing in this photo is the wrong side of the lace-print fabric, so the right side is against the right side of the jeans.
Tip: You can see in this photo (below) the the selvedge edge of the new cuff is not the edge I’m attaching to the jeans at the bottom of the leg; I cut my pieces this way deliberately, so that, when I fold the new cuff to the inside and attach it in Step 3, I won’t have to fold a raw edge under, which creates more bulk. This will help make a smoother bend in the layers when I want to wear the cuffs folded up into capris.
When Step 2 is complete, here’s what I’ve got:
For Step 3, attaching the free edge of the new cuffs to the inside of the jeans’ legs, the plan is to pin them in place, then, working on the outside of the jeans leg, stitch in the ditch: in this case that’s the space right next to the seam where the bronze cuff attaches to the jeans leg.
Tip: My best suggestion for getting this part done is to use your sewing machine’s free-arm feature (if it has this). I hardly ever use mine, but when I need it for sewing narrow tubes like sleeve cuffs and these jeans legs, there’s nothing like it! Here’s what it looks like:
Here’s what the leg looks like with the new cuff folded to the inside of the jeans leg, then pinned in place:
All that’s left to do now is stitch the new cuff in place! This just involves sewing around the cuff, stitching in the ditch (see Tip below).
Here, I’m ready to start stitching in the ditch, making good use of my machine’s free arm:
Tip: If you’re not familiar with the stitch-in-the-ditch concept, it just means that your stitching line will be as close to an existing seamline as possible, without stitching at all on the fold created by pressing that seam after stitching. Here’s a look:
And here’s the finished stitching line:
And on the inside of the jeans leg, here’s what I have after this bit of sewing:
Remember my jeans before this makeover? (That’s okay. Frankly, they weren’t really memorable.)
And now, the Really Big Dramatic Reveal! Here are my “after” jeans, shown in 2 different outfits to showcase the versatility of their glam new look!
Tip: You might recognize the beautiful silk one-shouldered top (at right in the photo) from my Santa Fe Travel Wardrobe posts from last fall; I made this top with McCall’s pattern 6118. (I’m including this link even though the page says the pattern is out of print; but as of today, March 11, 2013, they’re having a sale on out-of-print patterns! So if you like this style, you might want to grab the pattern now!) I also made the silk top on the left, using Vogue 1195.
Oh! In all this post-makeover-reveal excitement, I almost forgot the all-important Step 4!
Step 4. Wear with cuffs folded or unfolded. Admire your handiwork, and don’t forget to feel smug about using up some of your fabric stash!
Join me again next week for another thrill-packed episode of (say it with me)… Makeover Monday!