Refashion: My new favourite trousers

Reshaping trousers at www.makery.uk

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?

Raid the local charity shop of course 😉Reshaping trousers at www.makery.uk

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!

Reshaping trousers at www.makery.uk

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!

Reshaping trousers at www.makery.uk

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.

Reshaping trousers at www.makery.uk

Then finish the raw edge with zig zag or serger.

Reshaping trousers at www.makery.uk

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.

Reshaping trousers at www.makery.uk

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)….

Reshaping trousers at www.makery.uk

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.

Reshaping trousers at www.makery.uk

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!!

 

 

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38 Comments

  1. Fiona July 21, 2015

    Love these!! I did something similar a few weeks ago. Whilst having a wardrobe purge I decided to refashion my white linen wide legged trousers that hadn’t been worn for two years. I tapered the legs and then for added good measure I stuck them in a bucket of olive green dye. Now I have the perfect lightweight summer trousers and wear them all the time!!

    Reply
    • portia July 21, 2015

      Great minds Fiona 🙂 🙂 I LOVE olive green. How did the dye job come out??

      Reply
      • Fiona July 21, 2015

        The colour came out really well – very even and so far it hasn’t faded in the wash. The stitching stayed white which adds a nice contrast and I just changed the white buttons for some green ones 🙂

        Reply
        • portia July 22, 2015

          Yeah, sometimes the resulting contrast stitching works really well 🙂

          Reply
  2. Sarah July 21, 2015

    Very chic! I have an old pair of rtw wide cropped trousers that have a few little box pleats around the hem to bring them in slightly, then the hem is finished with a separate wide cuff band, similar to how you’d finish a blouse sleeve…. Might be the solution for future cropping for you!

    Reply
    • portia July 21, 2015

      That was one of the options I’ve been pondering Sarah!! Any chance you could take a pic and send it to me on FB or something?? or is that really cheeky, lol?!

      Reply
      • Sarah July 21, 2015

        Sure, I’ll IG you. They’re in storage so I’ll haul them out tomorrow. It’s no trouble – it’s a great idea and I’ve got some trousers of my own in the pipe works that might need a similar treatment.

        Reply
  3. Laura July 21, 2015

    Beautiful fit! And that haircut… it really suits you! Two thumbs up! 🙂

    Reply
    • portia July 21, 2015

      Ah thanks Laura! The hair is seriously grown out right now and haven’t got a cut booked until end of August, aaaargh! But I am loving having short hair I have to say!

      Reply
  4. Lesley July 21, 2015

    Loving your blog. I gad my colours done years ago and bought op shop T shirts to try wearing the colours I wasn’t familiar with. Just live a redo! Very tempted to join your shirt refashioning comp. too.

    Reply
    • portia July 22, 2015

      Thank you Lesley Op shop is a great low risk way of trying things out. Say no more!!! I have invited you to the board!!!

      Reply
  5. Hélène July 21, 2015

    Wow! These refashioned trousers are just great. They remind me of Keira Knightly’s looks in the movie Begin Again. Paired with you hemlock tee hack AND your new haircut, you have the coolest style of the summer. Bravo!

    Reply
    • portia July 22, 2015

      Wow, I’ll take that Helene, lol! Thank you. You are too too kind!

      Reply
  6. Trish Dawsin July 21, 2015

    Great idea Portia! The pants really look smart on you!

    Reply
    • portia July 22, 2015

      Thanks so much Trish!

      Reply
  7. katy July 21, 2015

    Awesome! This is very inspiring! What a great project and great look!

    Reply
    • portia July 22, 2015

      Thank you Katy!

      Reply
  8. These look great. I have the Named Alexandria pattern, which is along these lines. Must move that up the queue!

    Reply
    • portia July 22, 2015

      I was looking at those Helen. Look forward to seeing how they turn out! Playing with the Suzy Pants pattern at the moment!

      Reply
  9. Claire July 21, 2015

    Great job on the trousers, they really do look a lot better now, and the colour is lovely and so is your hair! I’m getting into refashioning again after struggling to find a broderie anglaise top, so I’ve winged it with a £1 charity shopped skirt! Nothing to lose at that price.

    Reply
    • portia July 22, 2015

      Exactly!!!

      Reply
  10. Seamsoddlouise July 21, 2015

    These are so soft looking- if that’s a thing! I love tinkering with charity shop scores, these are lovely

    Reply
    • portia July 22, 2015

      That’s definitely a thing 😉

      Reply
  11. Elke July 22, 2015

    Lovely refashion. These pants suit you really well. I should look into my husbands wardrobe… hmmm.

    Reply
    • portia July 22, 2015

      Ah thanks Elke! Look out hubby!!! 😉

      Reply
  12. Ann July 22, 2015

    I have a couple of pairs of really wide leg trousers, too nice and too expensive to give/throw away. I think I’ll have a go at one of these, they are a lovely grey colour but they have turn-ups and I have not done sewing for a long time so a bit of careful planning is needed.

    I love you haircut, it really suits you.

    I also love your sandals – where did you get them, they look so comfortable.

    Reply
    • portia July 22, 2015

      Defo give this a go Ann! Thank you on the hair and sandals! They are from TK Maxx and yes, they are as comfy as they look 🙂

      Reply
      • Ann July 23, 2015

        Thank you for the encouragement and where you got the sandals from.

        I was also thinking of buying a new sewing machine, do you think that Jenome are any good? They seem to have quite a range and not too expensive, my present one is a Brother but it’s not working very well.

        Reply
        • portia July 23, 2015

          Hi Ann! Had my Janome for a few months and so far I’m pleased enough. Mine is a lower mid range one and my only gripe so far is it doesn’t seem to be a massive fan of jersey. Otherwise it’s smooth and the stitches are neat and clean. I had a Brother previously. Not impressed. We fell out big time, lol!

          Reply
          • Ann July 24, 2015

            Thank you so much x


  13. Adri July 22, 2015

    hey! Trousers are amazing… though I think there’s another highlight on this post… hello, new haircut! You look great, and thanks for sharing, I do have a couple candidates parked in my closet for ages.

    Reply
    • portia July 23, 2015

      Ah the haircut Adri, yes! I forgot I hadn’t done an outfit post on here since I had the chop, lol! Thank you. I like it short now. Sooooop easy!

      Reply
  14. Sonja July 22, 2015

    These are fantastic! I love them so much!!!

    Reply
    • portia July 23, 2015

      Thanks lovely 🙂 I do quite love these too, lol! Px

      Reply
  15. Ingrid July 22, 2015

    Amazing! And where did you buy those shoes? Think I’ll definitely need a pair of those!

    Reply
    • portia July 23, 2015

      TK Maxx Ingrid! Only place I really ever buy RTW 🙂 Px

      Reply
  16. Nicola July 27, 2015

    What a lucky find in the first place, and I really like what you’ve done with them. Thanks for the inspiration!

    Reply
    • portia July 27, 2015

      Total score Nicola! 🙂

      Reply

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