Fancy Pants

I know it seems as if all of my posts begin with “it’s been a while”, but it seems as if there is never enough time to post on the blog at the end of a busy day after sewing and family.  Many of you from Facebook and Instagram have asked how I altered my jeans to add the motif at the bottom, so I thought I’d make a post/tutorial to share how I did it.

I purchased a pair of Levi Mid Rise Skinny jeans from Walmart.  I tried them on and rolled them up in the fitting room to be sure I liked the way they fit around the bottom after rolling up.

I used Floriani FTCU software to add the motif.  I thought one of the motifs in the software was perfect for my jeans, although many top of the line sewing machines now offer the capability to add motifs as well.  Also, most digitizing softwares offer unlimited motif options to chose from.   So lets get started…

  1. Wash and Dry your jeans. Do not skip this step!  It is very important that you shrink your jeans before embroidering.  If you do not pre-wash, your embroidery may be distorted if the fabric underneath shrinks.
  2. Try on your jeans and turn up and measure the amount of cuff you wish to embroider. I settled on a 5” cuff.
  3. Use a seam ripper to open the inside seam. Be sure and open the leg enough to lay flat on the embroidery hoop.   I used a lint roller to get all the little strings off before embroidering, so they won’t get stuck under the stitches.
  4. I want 5” of my stitching to show on the outside of my jeans. I added 1.5” so the stitching would roll to the underside. The open leg of my jeans measured 11”wide, so I added 2’” to that measurement so the stitching would stitch off the edge.  Therefore I want to draw a rectangle 6.5” high and 13”long.
  5. Using FTCU choose the “input shapes” icon on the top toolbar.   (See picture below) This tool opens the shapes list allowing you to add rectangles, circles, triangles, or other shapes to a page.  Choose the rectangle and draw a rectangle in the work area.  Any size rectangle, because we will be changing the size in the properties box.  After drawing your rectangle, click on the top red arrow on the left tool bar.  This will open a properties box on the right side of the work space.   Click on Transform, this will give you the opportunity to enter the exact width and height you want your rectangle motif to stitch.   Be sure to uncheck the “Maintain Aspect Ratio” box.  This allows the software to use the exact measurements you enter.
  6. Now you are ready to choose your motif. The “motif fill” tool is the gray star on the bottom toolbar.  This will open the properties box on the right side of your screen with many options to choose and personalize your motifs.  Be sure and play with the different motifs and pattern sizes.  I settled on motif pattern f099 with a pattern size of 15.0mm.  The options are endless.  It’s a good idea to get a notebook handy and record the motifs you like best.   Now you are ready to save your design to stitch.
  7. Hoop with a sticky water soluble stabilizer.  I used Embellish Sticky Rinse-Away Mesh to secure my jeans on the hoop.  The stabilizer will wash away, leaving only the stitching after the embroidery is complete.
  8. Before stitching I used stitch perfection tape to hold down the outside side seam from twisting or getting caught on the embroidery foot. Stitch perfection tape is a water-soluble double-sided tape.    
  9. I used the scan feature on my Baby Lock Destiny machine to nestle the rectangle to the original hem on the jeans. I love this feature of the machine to place designs exactly where I want them. 
  10. After stitching, rinse the legs in warm water, then soak for 15 minutes in water with a splash of fabric softener to remove the rest of the glue from the sticky stabilizer.
  11. After your jeans are dry, stitch the inside seams back together and turn up to your desired cuff height.
  12. I tacked down the cuffs to keep them from moving.
  13. The hardest part of this project for me was deciding which buttons to use.  I have a box of vintage buttons from my friend’s mother.  I couldn’t decide which button to use, so I used 6 different buttons.

Now you too can have a recycled pair of cute summer capri jeans.  Enjoy wearing them, getting  the compliments and the smiles as you explain how you made them!


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