Being a skinny jeans kinda gal, the arrival of the hot weather here in the UK a few weeks back, left me a in a bit of a spot. Way too hot for skinnies. It’ was beginning to dawn on me that my uniform of skinny jeans and long tops just ain’t gonna cut it over the summer. I needed more lightweight and looser fitting trousers. I didn’t have any. What does a refashioner do when faced with a gap in their wardrobe?
These M&S softly tailored trousers in, gasp, powder grey (!) were so soft and drapey; featured my perfect waistband (I Iike a wide, shaped waistband) and perfect front pleating; and perfect pockets! Basically…perfect! Brand new. £4.
Ooooonly problem was the hems. As you can see in the “before” picture above; REALLY long. I mean, I’m not particularly short. They weren’t marked as tall/long so not sure what was going on there!
Anyhow, as well as shortening I had a plan for reshaping them too. It was a really cool plan too. It was supposed to look really awesome. But it didn’t quite work out so I had to back track and opt for a simple tapering of the side seams to narrow the hems. But it WAS a cool idea and I think it could still work on a different fabric so thought I’d share anyway!
The obvious first step is to establish where you want the new hem to be. I mark mine with a pin while I’m wearing them. Then cut just below the line.
Then finish the raw edge with zig zag or serger.
So this was the original plan. A box pleat at the ankle to echo and balance the pleating at the waistband. Has the effect of narrowing and tapering the leg and adding a fun and quirky design element.
See?! It was looking really good! Then I tried them on. It didn’t hang quite how I had envisaged but I still liked the overall effect. It was the bulk of fabric at the hem caused by the box pleat that was proving problematic with hemming. It was impossible to hem the trousers without making the ankle really bulky, which is not the effect I wanted. Hemming was also messing up the drape of the pleat which defeated the whole point. So, I conceded defeat (for now)….
I opted for the old TNT technique of simply reshaping at the side seams. Marking my shape out with pins, sewing along that line and then serging off the excess.
The outcome. I’m happy. LOVE these trousers. What they do do, is completely change my usual silhouette of skinny jeans and long, loose tops. I think the looser fit of these trousers calls for a shorter more fitted top half to balance it out. So plugging one hole in my wardrobe has essentially created another because I don’t have alot of tops of that style either, lol! Luckily this hemlock tee variation/hack that I made recently is the perfect partner for this outfit. (separate blog post lined up because it has slightly fun/different hem and neckline details). I am inclined to explore this silhouette a little further (spoiler: I have been playing with this pattern. Deets to follow) and it could be a new, or at least additional, direction for me in terms of silhouette. You know when you get an outfit that you juuuust feel great in? This was it for me. I felt cool (in both senses of the word) and comfortable all day. Physically comfortable AND like this outfit is just…well…me! 🙂
The best thing is it only cost me £4 to experiment and find out out was a shape I now love. Gotta love refashioning!!