think my mom bought them for me from Anthropologie when I was ' />

Wide Leg Trouser Refashion (Tutorial)

I’ve had this pair of light yellow trousers for ages. I think my mom bought them for me from Anthropologie when I was in high school, but honestly I’m not sure.

Anyway, last year when everyone was wearing white jeans, I considered bleaching them bright white, and then I never got around to it. Then this year, pastels are suddenly popping up everywhere, and now I’m glad I didn’t touch them. But they did need a bit of updating and “casualizing.”

Here’s what I did:

Step 1: turn your pants inside out and put them on. Pin along the inside of one pant leg, marking how skinny you want them (I was going for a slightly looser skinny pant, rather than making them jegging-tight). Carefully remove the pants.

Step 2: Many pants like these have a double seam on the inside of the leg, as seen in the two photos below: 

Unpick the seam marked “bottom seam,” as seen below. This will be the one closest to the serged edge (as you can see), and will NOT make a hole in your pants if you unpick it. If you suddenly have a hole, you’ve unpicked the wrong one.

I only unpicked a few inches because the seam to skinnify the pants angles away from these seams and they won’t be in the way after a few inches of sewing. But to begin your “skinnifying” seam, you will start sewing on the original “top seam,” so you need at least a few inches of access to it.

Step 3: Once your extra seam is unpicked, sew along your pinned line. Begin your seam at the first pin, sewing over the original inside pant seam for a few stitches, then angling gradually away to make a nice angle down the leg toward the ankle.

[try on the pants at this point, if you’d like, to make sure the seam is straight and they are skinny enough for you]

Step 4: Cut off the extra fabric about a centimeter away from the seam you just made (the photo below is a bit deceiving. That crease is not the seam, it’s just an accidental crease. The seam is 1 cm to the right of the scissors):

Step 5: Zigzag or serge the raw edge so it doesn’t fray.

Step 6: Turn the pants inside out again and repeat steps 1-5 on the other leg. 

Step 7: (optional) roll the pant legs up for a more casual look. And, voila! My new favorite pants for spring.

Any questions??

top: old navy (shop), belt: Philip’s, sparkly flats: payless (shop)


  1. Annie says:

    These look awesome! Loving the pretty pastel color, and how you rolled them – so cute. This makes me WISH I could sew πŸ™‚

    The Other Side of Gray

  2. Elissa says:

    I love them! I've really got to get a little sewing machine or something – there are so many unworn jeans and pants sitting my closet because they are out of style!

  3. Katie says:

    I LOVE this! I am pinning it so I can try it with a few of my pants!

  4. Kayla says:

    Lovely merrick! It's awesome you had those lying around… Pastel pants are suddenly all the rage and these are now so adorable!

  5. I love this!

  6. I must say, I love that light switch always making an appearance. πŸ™‚

    I also loved the word you invented. You should trademark the word skinnifying!

    They turned out super cute!

  7. Rachel says:

    They turned out really cute Merrick!! I have so many pants I need to do that too.. so many. I love that blue top too, adorable!

  8. TheTinyHeart says:

    Your pants came out awesome! I don't sew but my mom does so maybe I'll show this tutorial to her, hehe.

    The Tiny Heart

  9. Josh&Sharsti says:

    So cute, you inspire me to try refashioning. Once I figure out my new sewing machine…

  10. ashlynn says:

    Hi – I just starting reading your blog a couple of weeks ago via pinterest. I just refashioned some pink trousers I bought at Savers for $1.50 last night. πŸ™‚

  11. .Chrissy says:

    These really did turn out amazing!!! Nice job!

  12. What a great transformation! I love the yellow in these pants!

  13. Ahhhhhh so cute! I tried to do this with a tutorial from Cotton & Curls and that was not a helpful tutorial. I think I can try again with yours! And I love your pants paired with that cute bold top.

  14. these are so cute! they don't look bad before so i was curious what you'd do to them and the rolled look is so in! πŸ™‚

  15. MiniMeStyle says:

    What a fantastic update … you are so talented, and have inspired me to take up mom's offer to teach me to sew. She's been trying for years. πŸ˜‰

  16. I bow down to you and your sewing skills! You make it look too easy…I'm struggling to thread me machine! Adorable refashion!!

  17. kaila sue says:

    Cute! And I love that you rolled them!

  18. Kensie Cook says:

    You're going to have to help me fix up a pair of khaki's I have. These look so great!!

  19. totally LOVE what you did!!!

  20. Love the refashion! I skinnied a pair of denim pants and have been meaning to do the same with a couple trousers–you've inspired me to not put off this project. Those pants now look fresh and on trend for spring!

    Van @ The Clothes We Wear

  21. Kelly says:

    Woman, you are brilliant. These jeans are completely fabulous. I have been wanting some light yellow jeans for a while now and I'm super jealous of your re-fashioning skills!

  22. Virginia says:

    Amazing! And you're so adorable. New follower. I love your blog.

  23. Jenn says:

    Oh man! I love the transformation! It looks so chic now. I'm so jealous of your skills!

  24. Oh thanks a lot! I have a pair of pants that is just lying there and I wanted to do something with it. I was going to have it hemmed but I guess I can try that. It's pretty much what I had in mind!

  25. I may just be doing this to all of my pants now. And I just realized I never emailed you back. So I'll do that…now.

  26. Krista Wells says:

    I don't often leave comments on blogs-I confess I'm a lurker- but I gotta say that I've been following your blog for ages and you are too stinkin' cute. Between this tutorial and the backwards retro-fitted shirt you did a few weeks ago I'm sold. You rock girl! Totally turning some awkward pants into skinnies.

  27. Love this! I just bought a pair of pants that could use this and wasn't sure where to start! Thanks!

  28. Katie says:

    I have a question! maybe this is a dumb one but figured I'd ask because I want to do this tomorrow to a pair of pants. So you only have to sew on ONE side of each pant leg right? and why do you have to do the seam ripper if you're just going to sew past that part anyway and then cut it off? hope that makes sense! thank you!!

  29. Karri says:

    THANK YOU for posting this! I just snagged a very similar pair of pants at a consignment boutique that fit perfectly, but have that flared bottom (which i dont find flattering on me). I was scared to alter them, but I think I can do it, given this tute. So thanks πŸ™‚

  30. I've been looking for something just like this. Perfect, and so clearly explained. Thanks!

  31. These tutorials are amazing! I got a sewing machine for XMAS and haven't learned how to sew yet! Looks like there is SO many things you can do!

  32. Karin says:

    I saw a pin on Pinterest of your guy's shirt refashion. I found this post, and I totally refashioned my decade-old American Eagle pants to be slim fit. So excited to wear them now. You are amazing–and adorable! πŸ˜‰

  33. Anna Marie says:

    NOW I can tell a difference in these….nice job!

  34. astrohm says:

    omg can i just hire you to fix all my pants?! these look great, wish i could sew

  35. letsbeamie says:

    love it! I am thinking of this for some really out-dated dress pants for work. A thinner leg is very Audrey, and it suits you very well.

  36. Hannah Evans says:

    I have just come across these and they are FANTASTIC! In the past year I have bought 3 pairs of Gap Khakis for great prices in their sales and although I liked them already, making them into straight cut or the skinny pants with roll ups they will be even better!! Thanks for the tutorial, can't wait to try it πŸ˜€

    Hannah β™«

  37. Kriptali says:

    Gona try this now with my black work pants. Hope it works. Doing it all by hand and will be my first attempt at sewing anything ever. Wish me luck!

  38. Jean says:

    Sadly, there are too many adverts hiding the instructions. Very frustrating.

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