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Refashionista Basics // Altering pant leg width

I must say, getting back into blogging is hard once you’ve stepped off of that train for a while. We are such creatures of habit, that when you’re used to posting 5-7 times a week, 3 seems child’s play, but once you stop for a month or two, putting even one post a week up seems like a lot. All of this to say “Long time, no see!”

Today I’ll be sharing some tips on altering pant leg width for a better fit. I know, it’s not the most exciting refashion, but it’s a necessary one. And, let’s be honest, the basic refashioning fixes come in handy way more often than those fancy and surprising makeovers.

I loved the overall look of these pants right off the bat, but they were a tad too wide and that made them look baggy. I wore them a few times as they were, but it still bothered me, so I knew I had to do something about it.

Before we dive into the alteration process, I have to say, I don’t like mending and altering clothing. It’s annoying and I keep that to-be-mended pile hidden in the bottom drawer. But sometimes, it’s the smallest little modification that can give a garment a new lease on life, and that’s worth getting over boredom, or the craving for a surprise total makeover. Sometimes, the simplest fix is the best.

STEP 1 – Fitting

I recommend turning the pants inside out before trying them on. This way, you don’t have to move any pins you put into place.

When taking in pant legs, always take in from both sides of the leg. I’ve seen tutorials where you’re instructed to only take in from the one side, and although the results seem to look fine on photos, I haven’t seen a pair of pants where this type of take-in wouldn’t result in a twisted leg. When you narrow from both sides, you’re keeping the straight grain straight, which will make the fit so much better. Unless you don’t mind the side seems twisting to the front of your leg when you walk. In which case, to what you want.

You only need to pin one leg, because you can then transfer those marking to the other leg. It’s more precise this way as well.

STEP 2 – Cutting and sewing

Next comes the time to sew new pant leg seams and cut away any extra length . I actually recommend cutting the right length (plus hem allowance!) first, and the sewing the seams.

If you don’t need to make your pants shorter, you need to unpick your hem before sewing the leg sides. This way you’ll get a nice clean finish once you re-hem, and it’s also pretty tricky to get the hem to line up perfectly.

I used my serger to trim down the seam allowances for the side seams, but you could use the zig-zag stitch for that just as well.

Before you go cutting away that extra fabric, though, make sure to put the pants on and see if everything fits ok. There’s no getting that extra width back once you’ve cut it off. Measure twice, cut once, you know?

STEP 3 – (Re-)hemming

All there’s left to do now, is to hem or re-hem the pants. This is by far the easiest part for me, since I’ve hemmed like a bajillion pairs of pants (everyone in my family has really short legs). Side note: If you ever need your pants hemmed, I can get it done in less than 15 minutes.

If you’re unfamiliar with hemming, it the simple act of folding the unfinished hem twice and securing that fold into place. I usually to a 1.5cm hem on pants, which means the folded hem is 1.5cm wide/high. I always press all hems before sewing because this secures them into place and the fabric won’t move as much during sewing (or unfold), plus it let’s me skip pins.

I really contemplated whether to write this post or not. On the one hand, this seems basic sewing knowledge to me. Something I’m sure anyone can do. But, then I remembered that I didn’t consider this basic when I was first starting out. Then everything seemed new, and, most of times, confusing. So, I hope that this helped someone gain more confidence in tackling their first simple refashion.

For more basic refashioning techniques check out my tips for dying clothes, how to add ankle zippers to skinny jeans, make a granny blouse fit better, lengthen a blouse with color blocks, and how to fix a ripped sleeve by going sleeveless.

xo. Hanna


Celebrating 600 posts on Pearls & Scissors!

This is my 601st post on Pearls & Scissors! Wow. I think we need to stop and celebrate this for a moment. This means that I’ve spent over 3600 hours creating content for this blog. So, over the last 3 years, I’ve spent at least 300 days creating, photographing, editing and writing.

Blogging has taught me a lot, and opened up a whole new world to me. I’ve been incredibly inspired by all the other talented bloggers and crafters. I’ve been pushed to develop my skills and stretch my creative muscles. I’ve been motivated to discover new avenues and see new options.

Most of all, I have enjoyed connecting with all of you, my lovely readers. Some of you I know by name, and we e-mail from time to time. Some of you I know only from you blog comments. And some of you, I’ve yet to come to know. But, I hope to someday.

I’m not completely sure what will become of Pearls & Scissors in the future. I’ve went from an eager hobbyist, to doing it full time, to… well, finding a better balance. What I do know for sure, though, is that this blog is not going anywhere. It’s my passion project. My one little happy corner of the internet, where I can meet up with crafting friends, and share my inspiration, my creative successes, and failures.

So, to celebrate this incredible milestone, I thought I’d list 10 15 of my all time favourite posts on Pearls and Scissors.

  1. Being one of the very first posts, this maxi skirt refashion is still close to my heart. It’s definitely the most worn refashion I’ve ever made, and it still has a place in my wardrobe even today.
  2. I love this refashion because of it’s stroke of genius. I don’t come up with that cool of an idea every day, so it has a rightful place in the top 15.
  3. My very favorite men’s refashion. It makes my hubby look hot!
  4. This one is a no-brainer. I wore it to shreds, and it’s still the most popular post on this blog.
  5. I love how this belt turned out. It taught me that the skies the limit when making stuff.
  6. This is my favorite paper craft ever.
  7. My favorite blanket and knit project. I use it every day. In fact, I’m curled under it right now.
  8. I definitely have to include my concert gown in this list. It was actually a series of posts, but it was one giant project. It’s the sewing project I’m most proud of.
  9. This one is still my favorite wardrobe reinvention post of all time. I doubt I’ll ever be able to beat it.
  10. I love this outfit because it reminds me of how we had so much fun picking outfits for each other with Mari Krõõt (miss you, girl!).
  11. We’ve only done 3 couples style posts, but I love them all. Especially this one.
  12. This post was one of the hardest to write, but also the most freeing.
  13. I’ve struggled with finding my place as a psychologist for the longest time, and this post helped me take steps in the right direction.
  14. It’s almost impossible to choose one favorite from our wedding posts, since they’re all very special to me. But, if I had to, I’d go with this one because it sums a lot of the preparation together, and is hopefully also helpful to someone else.
  15. Last, but not least, my favorite quote. It helped me have perspective at a tough time and move on. So, if you’ve faced failure recently, I highly recommend reading it over and over again.

Thank you for still sticking with me and following along on this crazy journey!

Now I’d love to hear from you – what’s your favorite post on Pearls & Scissors?

xo. Hanna


Style Pearls // It’s been a while

emerald green outfit 4 emerald green outfit 3 emerald green outfit 1 emerald green outfit 2

Wearing: Leopard peplum top – thrifted + refashioned // Leather jacket – thrifted // Jeans – C&A + refashioned // Scarf – thrifted // Emerald fringe clutch – DIY // Emerald shoes – thrifted

emerald green shoes

Yes, it’s been a while since I last posted. After making the decision to pull back, I had every intention to keep on blogging. As always, life is weird, and it happens to you when you least expect it. Well, I had some health issues, so all of a sudden I was forced to take a step back and just let things sit for a while.

I have to say, it’s been good to take time off from blogging. I’ve gained more perspective, and new inspiration for future projects. I admire bloggers who’ve been at it for years, and post 5 or 6 times a week, every week. It’s a huge commitment, and if you’re a craft blogger, it can simply drain your well of creativity, because the pressure to create more and more in a very short amount of time is real. I never ran out of ideas, I just ran out of steam to turn them into actual projects, photos, and tutorials.

I still love blogging, though. I have found so many wonderful people through it, and sharing my DIY ideas and results with you is still my favourite thing.

What am I working on at the moment?

I’ve been working on getting the Start Sewing  courses ready to be re-released. I struggled with the technical setup for awhile, but now it’s just a matter of sitting down, and getting things done. Could become the perfect Christmas present for yourself (wink wink!).

I’ve also launched a new business! This is something I’ve been thinking about for many months now, and I finally decided to take the leap. It’s still in the very early stages of its development, and I’m so excited for its future. I’m going to share more info and behind the scenes thoughts soon, but until then, you can check out the new site here.

Thank you for continuing to stop by! You make this little corner of the internet a much happier place.

xo. Hanna

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