Browse Tag: alter

How to Hem Jeans

If you cannot view this video please view it on YouTube at:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p3_lYrfOSN0

I went through all my blog posts and was surprised to see I haven’t posted a tutorial on how to hem your jeans or pants! I have done this basic tutorial in the form of a YouTube video so that you can follow step by step how I change my pants to be slightly shorter. I find most women do not sew anything for themselves, let alone alter their own pants to fit. Unless you’re buying new you can’t pick and chose the length of your jeans! Most times I end up with pants that are way too long. The only time I don’t have to alter them is the boyfriend or cropped style which is mean to be capri length.

I hope you find this tutorial useful! Be warned if you are highly trained in the art of sewing, I do not use correct terminology – technique or fancy bells and whistles. This is a basic, beginner tutorial to get by!

Blue Jessica Dress

bluewhitejessicadress It’s finally dress season in Ontario, gorgeous warm May weather inspires me to style up fun dresses with belts, flats and bold jewellery. Two weeks ago there was a half price sale at Value Village so I thought I ought to pop in “just in case” to see if there was anything I had to have.

Using my technique to prevent splurge shopping, I photographed some items I liked and tried on the day before. The only item that was of interest from that list of items was this blue and white print dress by Jessica. Every now and again Jessica surprises me by having very stylish prints… I must say I’m impressed!

Now this dress I found in the 16 section of the dresses. I am by no means a 16 but there is also no way that this dress is a true 16… I am guessing it was mislabelled in the factory as Jessica is a brand that tends to be on the larger side. I knew it would be an easy alteration if it was indeed a large size. When I tried it on the next morning at home I was very surprised at how nice it fit around the thigh/hip area. Anyone bigger than an 8 would not be able to fit in this dress! The top half however had way too much room for my frame so a few adjustments were in order.

I simply removed the pointless side zipper for comfort and sliced the dress in half. I loved the bottom trim but unfortunately the dress was an unflattering below the knee length. I cut it across the waistline and hemmed it by a few inches (hidden under the belt). I think it turned out rather well!

Tutorial: How to Close the Gap!

I have come to believe that all clothing is made to fit a variety of shapes and sizes, but that “fit” might not be what’s best for you no matter what you try. We are not built the same, our bodies retain weight in different areas and we sometimes never lose or gain it in the places we hope for. For instance my shape is very hour glass, my thighs and hips are a healthy size – small waist – and then back out for my ribcage. Now most would think this is an easily flattering womanly shape to have, but if you are this shape, you know that isn’t always an easy task.

I cannot speak to all shapes but having seen thousands of women try on clothing at the store, I know its very few and far between when an outfit fits your shape perfectly first try. More often than not is the “model-esque” bodies that appear to look the best in everything, but that is mainly the result of these women having essentially no body fat or curves to worry about. The clothing appears to hang loosely off their body as the designer probably intended. Often we will sigh and say the designers these days just aren’t making clothes to fit “real” women, when really we should be saying to ourselves: this doesn’t work for me, but there will be one that will.

How to Close the GapIn my case bottoms are a real challenge. I have a sizable behind, wide hips and thick thighs – but my waist is very small. Naturally I have to go a size up to fit in the thigh and bum. This also means I will have a lovely gap at the back of my pants due to the serious difference in size between said tush and waist area. Luckily there is a rather simple fix to this issue, so long as you are will to spend a few minutes sewing!

How to Close the Gap I’m now at a point where I don’t really have to measure the amount that it needs to come in, its a rough 1 inch typically. After analysing the fit of the pants in the mirror I estimate how much needs to be taken in. Flipping the pants inside out, I can fold the amount that needs to be removed from the top of the waist to the point where it will meet my bum. This is the length that the “dart” will need to be.

How to Close the Gap Now that you have an idea of how much space needs to be removed, my first step is to unpick the label that is inevitably sewn right into the back of the pants. If you’re lucky it’ll be screen printed to the actual fabric and you won’t have to do this tedious task! Once the label is out you will have an easier time removing the belt loop. Set it aside for reattaching later.

How to Close the Gap With the belt loop off and the label removed you can now fold the centre back of the pants at the seam. I like to fold it tightly and pin so that it doesn’t shift, making sure the reverse side seam is lined up. This isn’t crucial its just a nice little detail to be aware of. I often forget!

How to Close the Gap With my sewing machine I begin with a stitch that runs from the top of the fold (in this case about 1 cm into the fold) and angle the stitch slowly toward the edge of the pant. This so called “dart” makes the alteration taper nicely, unnoticeable even!

How to Close the Gap Once your folded stitch has been completed – I usually do it a max of 2 inches long – try the pants on to see how they fit. If all has gone smoothly you won’t have to make any further adjustments. Worst case scenario you’ll have to remove the thread with a seam ripper and try again either folding more fabric or less, perhaps making the length of the dart longer or shorter depending on the issue.

IMG_7116 And finally, once you are completely happy with the adjustments you’ve made you may (if you want it to be permanent) trim the excess from the fold and reattach the belt loop by stitching it on manually.

Redesigning Your Shoes

ACo FlatsI’ve talked about the wonders of redesigning your footwear a number of times but I have revisited it quite a bit lately for two reasons:

1. The store doesn’t sell my size in the colour or style I want.
2. I realize after the fact that my toe nails dig into the end of the shoe.

Most people would be afraid to attempt such a feat, but I however, love a challenge!

Ardene is currently having an 80% sale storewide so I took the opportunity to see what they had in regards to my beloved flats. Yes not the most comfortable in regards to standing all day long without support, but they seem to be the only shoes I can wear. After perusing the nearest store, I found only 3 pairs of size 6 in the entire store. If I hear a woman with larger (8, 9, 10) sized feet come into work and complain about there “never being any shoes in my size” I will flip my lid!


Redesigned Shoes I managed to find blah beige flats that would be great for painting. As you can see with this work in progress shot, it sure isn’t hard to paint a pair of simple flats! These are a very cool gradient from white to mint blue! I have prepped a second pair from stone to white and still have one more pair that I haven’t decided what to do with. Perhaps maybe pink?


American Eagle Navy Flats My second issue with footwear is the fact that my toenails point upwards, at least on my big toes. This you’ll find, digs a hole into the top of the shoe! Even if I have them filed down it still seems to happen, its just the nature of my feet. This latest pair of navy blue flats I thought were too adorable to pass up, and at the time fit quite well.

Unfortunately when I got home and wore them around with a potential outfit, I noticed my toes were starting to pinch in the usual area. So taking inspiration from another pair I had altered, I grabbed the scissors and created a new pair of peep toes!

H&M Bow Print Skirt

H&M Bow SkirtH&M Bow Skirt

I was completely thrilled with how today’s outfit turned out! I had mentioned being frustrated with trying to match the navy in the skirt I had thrifted recently – I’m sure you know the feeling if you’ve ever tried to match blue before. There are just too many shades! Quite randomly this little short sleeve blazer was brought into the Store and is just about a perfect match. I was thinking over the course of that week that I’d have to wait for an H&M navy blue blazer to come in as their colours tend to stay consistent. But this little number is by Dynamite.

Now it took some work to get the details right as I need layers for work (I work where there are no windows and it stays quite cool). The blazer is short sleeved and the blouse by Zara I wanted to wear is sleeveless – with some quick thinking and a stroke of luck, my go-to cream coloured blouse blended flawlessly underneath!

In typical Pamela-fashion, I wanted the skirt to be longer and more flattering to my figure. This lace my mom and I found at Fabricland works perfectly on so many outfits! The bow print is white, but the lace is cream coloured and happens to pull the look together quite nicely.