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Thursday, July 19, 2012

[TUTORIAL] Dress Pants to Skinny Ankle (Cigarette) Pants

Woah! I've been up FOREVER! Well, since 1pm yesterday, took a small nap, but I've been up since! I even ran this morning at 6am!

So, this post is about what I've done all night. I'm a little slow on fashion trends, but I LOVE those ankle length skinny pants, otherwise known as "cigarette" pants. While I was studying abroad in London in June 2007, these were already in style and I saw them EVERYWHERE in Camden Town. The one thing that's different with these new pants are that they're more sleek and office-approved than the skin tight cigarettes of the UK.

MONTHS ago, I bought 3 pairs of dress slacks at the thrift store: navy, black, and grey. I had the intention of making these into cigarette pants, but I FINALLY got around to trying one this morning. I found Miss Allie Jane's tutorial and was inspired! Don't get me wrong, I love her tutorial, but it didn't seem to go into deep detail so I decided to make my own tutorial covering all the little things.



So, here is a before pic of the pants. These are my navy George brand ones I bought brand new, with tags at the Palmer Home.


First, get your seam ripper/scissors and let out the hem on the bottom of both legs:

Should look like this when you're done:


Now put your pants on INSIDE OUT. Yes, I know this looks silly, but trust me. Get a tape measure and measure from the the top of the pants (wherever it sits on your waist/hips) and measure to right above your ankle bone (the knobby bone at the bottom of your leg.). You may need some assistance with this. I got my husband to help. 


My measurement was 34 inches. You'll want to add a seam allowance of at least 0.25 inch and however many inches you want your hem to be. I just measured the original hem which was 1.5 inches which made the total length 36 inches. So, I got my yard stick and marked from the top of the pants and marked where it needed to cut off.


Mark both legs and snip off the extra fabric. Remember! Measure twice, cut once!

Sorry, my dog sheds a lot and I don't vacuum fast enough to keep up.
Now. Put your pants back on INSIDE OUT and mark where you want your pants to START tapering/skinny-ing. 


I marked mine right about the middle of my thigh. it measured about 15 inches down from the top of my pants so I marked it on both sides.


Marking the taper point on the other leg.
Next, you want to find out how big you want your leg opening to be. I didn't have any skinny pants to measure so I looked up the measurements on some designer brands and found one that had listed their leg opening at 13 inches. I halved that so I marked 6.5 inches at the bottom of the leg like so:


So now you have marked the taper point at the thigh (or wherever you guys marked it) and marked the leg opening. Now, connect those two points using a straight edge ruler. Your line should look like this:


Do the same for the other leg. Then get your pins and pin down the pants so the fabric is flat and smooth. The pins will help keep the fabric from sliding around while sewing.


Now, head on over to your sewing machine and sew away!

After you're done sewing both sides, try your pants on again to see if it's skinny enough for you. Mine was NOT. :(

Bleh. Looks even worse.
Now, if your pants look pretty good, you can skip this next part and go straight to hemming. But here is my other little processes to get it looking skinnier. So I decided to take in more higher up starting below the pockets and take in some on the inseam starting the taper at the knees.

Marking the inseam taper point.


Also, I decided to make the leg opening a little smaller. Since I marked 6.5 inches before, I decided to bring it in another inch from the other side.


So from the knee taper point and this new leg opening point, join those 2 points with your straight edge ruler like you did earlier on the other 2 points. Erhmagerd guyz this is like geometry.


Mark both legs and PIN IT DOOOOWWWNN. (Yes. I am sleep deprived, thank you very much.)


Bring it on over to your sewing machine and sew away! I didn't take any pics of me sewing because that's becoming redundant. Instead, look at my obligatory cat dog-in-craft-room pic:

Don't let those sad eyes fool you. He is actually a criminal mastermind.
So. Are you done sewing and adjust both sides and the inseam? Good. Now try it on AGAIN.

I could have made them skinnier but I don't want to go hooker crazy.
Now that it's looking like you want it snip off the extra fabric on the seams (if you haven't already) to make it not look so bulky.


Then, zigzag stitch the raw cut edges so your fabric doesn't fray.


Zigzag stitch the bottom of the legs to get them ready for hemming like so:


I folded up the bottom 1.5 inches and ironed it to help it lie flat for hemming.



I chose to blind hem stitch for the bottoms. I've never actually done it on my sewing machine until now and I almost tore my hair out doing it. I suggest looking at Make It and Love It's tutorial on how to do a blind hem stitch with your sewing machine. I didn't take any photos of the process because I was so frustrated I nearly broke my camera. Eek.

You can either double fold the hem and just sew it down or hand stitch a blind hem. Whatever floats your boat, man. I just like the smooth look of blind hems on slacks and skirts.

Here is how mine looks! I know I'm wearing a black blazer with navy pants..... oh no! fashion faux pas! Spare me, fashion police!!

They're not as skinny as I would like, but I didn't want to go overboard and make them TOO skinny like my old skinny jeans that I CAN'T FIT anymore. :( Yeah. I skinnified my skinny jeans too much. Okay. You can call me stupid. Hurr durrr.

If you have any questions or comments, just leave them below! Thanks for reading!

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