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How To Turn 3 Years Ago’s Bootcuts Into This Season’s Skinny Jeans – A Quick and Dirty Tutorial

It’s spring break and the kids are in Dallas with their Fairy Grandma Linda. That’s right, all of the kids are gone. I know, take a moment for that to sink in, it’s hard for me to comprehend, too.

I had all these grand ideas of debauchery (Happy hour every night! Breakfast cocktails! Random nudity for no reason whatsoever!), indulgence (Ballet classes twice a day! A haircut!) and getting things done (Completely clean house! Laundry all put away!). But now we’ve been kid-free for 36 hours and I haven’t been to a happy hour or ballet class even once, the house is messier than it was when the kids left and Jason and I have both fallen asleep on the couches at 10pm exactly like we do when the kids are home.

Also? I miss the little hell-raisers. I’m pathetic.

But I guess the point is; we are who we are. And who am I, you ask? Well I’m the girl who instead of cleaning or folding laundry when she had the time yesterday, instead of getting ahead of my to-do list, getting the mail that’s been in the box for a week, paying bills, doing the dishes or doing any number of tasks that really probably need to be done and would be the practical choice, instead of even just being on time to the birthday party I was headed to, decided to taper her own jeans from boot cut to skinny jean and take pictures so as to blog you a tutorial.

Yep, I’ve got a quick and dirty tutorial for how to turn 3 years ago’s jeans into appropriate apparel for going out in public in 2012 in 20 minutes flat.


Your closet (assuming, like me, you never get rid of anything that ever looked cute at one time)
30 or so large safety pins
A sewing machine


Step 1 – Find a really cute top to wear to a party that evening. Try on several pairs of jeans and shorts, but realize none rise to the level of cuteness of the top. Finally find a pair of jeans that would have been adorable with the top… 5 years ago.

Step 2 – Realize that the jeans fit perfectly and that really the only problem is the silhouette. If they were only skinny jeans instead of boot cut, you’d be good to go. Decide it can’t possibly be that hard to taper your own jeans.

Step 3 – Turn the jeans inside out and put them back on.

Step 4 – Safety pin the inseam of the jeans along the line of your leg, starting just above your knee. Remember to not make it too tight. Leave extra room near the knee and at the ankle especially.

Step 5 – Take the jeans off (if you can’t get them off, you already did it wrong. Do it again, but less tight), turn them right side out and put them back on to check and see if you like the fit. If you don’t, take out the pins and return to Step 3. If it looks super rad and you’re already fairly proud of yourself, move on to Step 5.

Step 6 – Take the jeans off and turn them back inside-out. Lay them on the ground and use a green highlighter to trace the line of the safety pins (on the side closest to your leg). Hmm, I forgot to put ‘green highlighter’ on the list of materials. Crap. You need a green highlighter. (What do you want, this is a free, super half-assed sewing tutorial. Place complaints in the circular file next to the desk.)

Step 7 – Pull out your sewing machine and blow the dust off it. Find black thread and a new needle (Whoops! You need black thread and a new needle, too!) and get the thing all threaded and ready.

Step 8 – Starting at the ankle, sew along the line of the green highlighter. Remove safety pins as you go if necessary. Don’t forget to reverse to bind your stitch at both ends.

Step 9 – Remove remaining safety pins and turn right-side-out. I do not recommend trimming the extra fabric. First of all, if you totally screwed it up and you want to start over, you can always do that if you left the fabric intact. Secondly, in 7 years, when bootcut is totally back in fashion, you can rip these seams and have the perfect pair of appropriately cut jeans again.

Step 10 – Wear your ‘new’ old jeans to the party and try really hard not to confess that you just Project Runway-ed them yourself two minutes before you came, but fail wildly after a  single glass of wine (it wasn’t the alcohol, you just have a big mouth). Everyone at the party will tell you they look awesome and were just about to ask you where you got them. You’re not sure if they’re being truthful or just saying that, but ultimately it doesn’t matter because they look rad and you know it.

OK, I’ve got 48 hours left to take ballet, clean my house and act like a college kid again. I better get on it!

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