Two years ago I found these vintage black leather pants at Salvation Army for $4. I had no idea if they would fit as I hadn’t tried them on but for the price it really didn’t matter. They turned out not to be a flawless fit, yet I wore them for a while anyway.
Last month while going through my clothing I realized that I really hadn’t worn these pants at all this past winter. I think the 80’s style cut had a lot to do with it. I decided to make a few changes and create something a bit more current and fun to wear instead.
1. Because of the relaxed fit cut of the pants, yet with a tiny high waist band, these pants were a bit too snug on me.
2. I was more than happy to take my seam ripper and remove the waist band. I then measured 1.5 inches down from the waist band and marked the leather with a pencil. I created a stitch along the new waist band. I used a specific sewing machine needle especially for working with leather. I made sure to keep the gathers along the top during this process as well as ensure the lining was properly attached.
3. I measured 6 inches for the inseam and cut the pants with excitement. I didn’t want them to be too short, but I figured that a 5 inch inseam once hemmed would be okay.
4. I used strips of leather from the legs of the pants to create the new waist band.
5. I pinned the leather strips inside out to the top of the shorts.
6. I folded the new waist band a little more than half and created another seam to bring it all together. As some of you know, I am not a seamstress by any means. I just have an idea and go for it. I’m sure there is a proper way to do this, but this is just what I did. This waist band did not come out as Virgo perfection, but it worked out pretty well.
With this project adhesive bonding tape for the hem of the pants and lining were my best friend. I ironed the hem of the leather with the bonding tape to create a clean finish for these shorts.
My Final Product…
I am so happy that I took the scissors to these leather pants that I can’t even explain it. When thrifting you definitely have to be open to take some risks, and sometimes have a vision beyond what the piece initially looks like. With these pants there was really nothing to lose for the amount of money I spent on them. They are by no means a perfect alteration, yet for me they will be divine. I also like that I have another piece for my capsule wardrobe that will work for cool summer evenings, and also for the fall season with tights.
For tips on thrifting go here. If your interested in creating a capsule wardrobe then definitely read this!
(Images by Dawn Michelle)