Wednesday, October 23, 2013

"Cheap Trick" Wednesday. *Consume no more* Sewing, Alterations, and Saving your money.

Over the weekend I was handed 6 pairs of very nice jeans that were just my size. You see, after breastfeeding for 27 mths I had packed on some spare weight. Last January, when I decided to retire my job as a source of food for my little, marked the beginning of a new era and turned my instinctual "must store fat" response into one that has gradually had me return to my pre-pregnancy weight. -30lbs later, I was still wearing my size 10 jeans and subsequently looked as though I was either *really frumpy* or like I was packing something in the trunk. It wasn't until a friend of mine insisted that I try on her new (and much smaller jeans) that I realized how much smaller I really was, and also that my current jean collection was very much in need of retirement. On our trip to Moncton last week I did splurge and purchase a very nice and well fitting pair of jeans. Yay! Then, to my surprise, this past weekend, my sister-in-law handed down to me 6 pairs of jeans in my new size! I was absolutely ecstatic! Trying them all on though, I quickly discovered how much my sister is in love with flare & boot cuts. This I am not. I freeze to death in the winter as the chilled, snapping air whipps around and up my leg though the gaping fabric of a flare leg pant. So, I knew something had to be done. Being thrifty, I set into altering them. All 6 pairs. Above is a before and after photo. 

I will add this post to my "Cheap Tricks" labels. I intend to, as promised, share tips for saving money onward in form of blogging. This is the first. This is a prime example of how we, as "consumers" can have the temptation to go off and in this situation purchase many new jeans. Instead, if you have gone down only a few pant sizes, why not try salvaging what you have? In my case, I went down 6 sizes and so that large of an alteration just wasn't in the cards. Those pants, that are too big to alter, will be passed on to my sister-in-law, who is expectant with child and will be needing after baby pants. In this case, I simply altered these fitting pants to suit my own specific taste. I grew up in an era of bell bottoms and big flares, but since the re-emergence of the straight leg, and skinny jeans (which I cannot tolerate wearing), I fall into that place where I can pretty much choose what I want without standing out as a weird eyesore marked "fashion faux pas"...even so, I do on occasion find myself wearing some pretty "out-of-the-box" ensembles. Back on topic, I am sure that because of the recent switch form flare to skinny, there are many mothers out there with teenage daughters that are asking for the new fashion rave. Although I do not support the trend in these "barbie doll" style jeans (simply because they give girls a false since of body image), altering their current stash of jeans to narrow up the legs may save many families a lot of cash. Why toss good jeans simply to buy more good jeans? Anyhow..if you are the least bit handy with a needle, this is pretty beginner stuff. Go and use a friends machine and get your pants right, instead of worrying about buying any new ones. If you don't sew and don't have the courage to try it out, then bring your pants here. I can walk you through it step by step. 


1) Here I started out but trying on the pant to determine if, and how much I wanted to alter. 


2) Then, turning the pant inside out, I mark with a pin where exactly I want the pant to fit. For me, I started bringing it in just at the knee, and where it started to flare. I marked one pant only. Take special care when taking the jeans off, as the sharp pins may scratch you or come out. 

3) Laying the jeans out on the table I lined up both pant legs so as to measure and match the alterations. I put the leg with the pin on the bottom, and the unmarked leg on top. As I set the pin in the top leg, I gently lift it and poke through at just the same place the pin is on the bottom leg. 

4) Sew in a rather straight line all the way down the pin line. Be sure to back sew, front sew, & repeat a few times when first starting to sew, and then again when finishing off. This makes sure that your stitching is tied off at both ends and won't come apart when in the wash.

5) Sew a second line just to the right of your first line using a wide stitch. I set my stitch length at 2 for this..making it a good solid fray barrier. If I had my mothers serger here, I would serge this edge. 

6) Finally, cut off the excess material. If you are concerned, you can try them on first, but I suggest trying them on inside out. If you flip them right side out, they may seem taught as the extra fabric will take up space. 

Again, here is the after photo..

..and I have 3 more jeans to go. 

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