Monday, July 19, 2010

How to Make Capris from Jeans With a Gusset…so they fit and look good!

At the beginning of the season I bought a pair of shorts/capris with fantastic little gusset on the inside of the leg that widens them a bit and improves the fit marvelously. They have become my go-to shorts this summer…I love them. I was needing something in between holey, stained painting shorts and wear in public shorts so have been refashioning a few pairs of jeans in the pattern of my favorites! Now I can look cute even while getting dirty dirty dirty working in the garden and playing in the sandbox and rolling down the hill and building fairy houses under trees and…..! Though it was a bit of an experiment the first time around it turns out it’s quite simple. Care to have a go at it!!!

Materials: Jeans! – straighter leg styles work best…no skinny jeans!

Basic sewing paraphernalia


1. Cut your jeans off 1 1/2” – 2” BELOW where you want the hem.


2. Save the bottom of the pant leg and cut a panel centering the inner seam.


3. With right side out cut very close, but leaving the top stitching, along the inner seam until approximately 4-5” from the crotch seam.


4. Slide the panel inside the pant leg lining up the seams exactly…or your leg will look a bit wonky!


5. Iron the slit edges flat and allow them to find their angle. This step might sound strange but the fabric want to lay flat and was pulled in on the original jeans…you’re just allowing it to do what it wants…aren’t you awesome!

6. Align the bottom of the topstitched edge 1 1/2” from the center seam of the panel. (this is a personal taste thing…you can make your gusset as wide as you like!!) Pin the top stitched edge to the panel being careful not to catch the other side of the pant leg.



7. Stitch along the top stitching. (I used a bluish grey thread that is basically invisible on the denim so the original top stitching looks…well…original!105_6911105_6897

8. On the panel make a mark 2” from the center seam. (Again…this is a personal taste…whatever size you make your gusset you will want the “back” side to be wider than the front.)


9. Pull the panel out of the pants.105_6902

10. At the top of the slit pin the raw edge 1/4” over onto the panel while matching the edge of the bottom to the mark on the panel.


11. Place a pin in the mark on the panel. Match the raw edge of the slit 1/4” past the mark on the panel to give yourself a seam allowance. The hem will not match up evenly…this will need to be trimmed later…no big deal! 105_6903105_6904

12. Stitch!


13. Trim the panel to leave ~1/4” seam allowance. Finish the edges with a zigzag stitch or with a serger.


14. Trim the hem even.

15. Fold and press the bottom edge over 1/4” then again 1 1/4” from the pressed edge to form the hem. (Also a personal taste thing…make your hem however you like!!!)


16. Stitch…wear…enjoy!