Who doesn’t love a free sample? The chance to try new makeup, perfume, chocolate, cereal or whatever at no cost is one of life’s little pleasures. So years ago, when my friend offered me free sample jeans thanks to his job doing fashion PR in Tokyo, I couldn’t resist. Only problem was, the samples all had faults – this particular pair had mismatched side seams, as I’m trying to show you here in the “before” shots:
I apologise if I’ve given you eye strain from trying to actually see what’s wrong with the seams, but I assure you that in real life it was much more obvious (details of black clothing really don’t show up so well on screen!) that the seam on the right leg was way too far forward, which is what I’m pointing at in the photos. (What doesn’t require any pointing out whatsoever is my lack of skill at taking selfies and doing any kind of photo editing, but I digress.)
Up until now I’ve been wearing the jeans on occasions when it doesn’t matter, but I wanted to try the jeans-cropped-at-the-ankle trend and decided these were the pair to experiment with – after I fixed the seam issue, that is. But what to do?
I wasn’t going to unpick everything and try my luck at sewing the jeans up properly, so I went for the disguising option instead – basically sewing a strip of black material down each side to cover up the uneven seams, positioning the strip a bit further back on the left leg to compensate for the too-far-forward seam. The left edge of the fabric strip is sitting flush with the seam in the photo below, so that gives you an idea how far forward the seam actually was.
Sewing technicalities aside, the jeans look better now (especially if I stand front-on and you can’t see the side seams anyway, haha)!
Oh, and obviously I also cut off a bit of the hems as I wanted ankle-grazers. I’m thinking I might chop off a bit more but am dithering as usual. Thoughts?
Of course, you don’t need mismatched seams to try this DIY – why not give it a go just to dress up some denim? Before going for the fabric strips the same colour as the jeans I considered using something like bias binding or ricrac in a bright or metallic colour, or using silky black ribbon for a kind of tuxedo look, or fringing, or even just doing big stitches. The possibilities are endless, although it depends on the colour of the jeans, and I’m always a bit careful with denim as there is so much potential for it to look really trashy or too “trendy” (read: you’ll only wear it for a week before it looks ridiculous). The other thing I’m careful about is not adding to my fabric stash (which is already threatening to take over an entire room) – and so I decided to use up scraps instead.
As a little bonus to this post, here’s a big thank you to someone else who uses up scraps (pretty smooth segue, hey?!): Gabriella Ferrante, who custom-made me this bag from leather offcuts.
Red mock-croc, bright pink suede and a yellow chain (which can be removed if I want to carry the bag like a big clutch or use a different strap) – yes, of course when given the chance to design a bag, I went for the brightest colours possible!
Gabriella’s bags are all unique because she uses remnants and recycled leather. So if you’re looking for something one-off (and sustainable) in the bag department, she’s your girl. Got to love someone else who makes stuff out of scrap!