Thrifted Trousers Turned Skinny – A Tutorial

Since moving to Dallas, life has been a whirlwind of activity that goes by both ferociously fast and painfully slow. Starting with the move, and going into the organizing/nesting, the navigating, the exploring, the discovering, the cooking/home projects, the job search, and the routine setting, we haven’t really stopped! It has all been wonderful. I feel so blessed. Through it all, I have come to a startlingly realization! I need some new clothes for Fall!

Now I’m the kind of person who does NOT like to spend a bunch of money on clothes. It just doesn’t make me happy, and I get way more enjoyment out of a piece of clothing if I have worked hard to make it, worked hard to find it, and worked hard to get a bargain on it! Well, this weekend, I have combined all three and I’m ready for the big unveil of article number one!


Now you’re in luck, because I managed to persuade hubby to take some snazzy photos throughout the process of altering the trousers for your enjoyment and education! Who has been loving the colored skinny jeans going on this summer? I have and I’ve never owned a pair. Fall is coming, and I wanted some that weren’t pastel, and I could wear on through winter. How else would I be able to work the boots? (I mean, I can’t just cover them up! Who came up with the idea of bootcut anyway…)

After going to a local thrift store (and weighing the idea of actually entering the store… it really wasn’t a great part of town…) I scored two pairs of these splendid colored trousers. The green ones happen to be Old Navy, and the others (not pictured) are from Ann Taylor. Now the awesome part? I got both pairs for a grand total of five bucks! That’s right, each pair for a mere two dollars and fifty cents! Now that’s a bargain!

So, I’ve found some great pants, I’ve gotten a sweet bargain on them, so that means it’s time to make them even more awesome.

You will need:

– Pair of fabulous trousers

– Sewing machine (and supplies)

– Pins (Yeah, remember when you bought out the store because they were on sale and had pretty colors on the tips? Cheers to your foresight!)

– Scissors

– Seam Ripper (optional)

– The ability to try on your pants millions of times without hating them by the end.

To start with, try on your pants. Determine by pinching the inside seam how much you would like to take in.


Next, put them on inside out and begin pinning the inside seam all the way from the inseam to the hem. It’s important to do the inside seam because pants often have a professional seam on the outside seam that you don’t want to disrupt. Don’t pin your pants too tight. It’s better to be able to take them in some more than have to rip your stitches out. But don’t worry if you do, it’s fixable. If the inseam of your pants is a little low or baggy, go ahead and measure what you want to take in and do the same as you have for the vertical seam.


Take them off and put a baste stitch on your sewing machine. Go ahead and follow the pins all the way from the hem to the inseam and do the same for the other side. Turn them right side out, and try them on. Do they fit? If so, turn them back inside out and follow your baste stitch with a regular stitch (making sure to reinforce the start and finish of your seams for the best wear). If they were too tight, use a seam ripper and take out your seams. Repeat the pinning process and give yourself a little more allowance. Try them on, and when they fit to your satisfaction, take them off and cut the extra fabric off to minimize bulk on your legs. Ta-da! How do you like your new skinnies?




One thought on “Thrifted Trousers Turned Skinny – A Tutorial

  1. Pingback: A Chapter in a Life (Ch. 6) | The Inked Archives

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