The skinny on alterations

I’m short. I’ve always been short. I didn’t like it when I was younger, but now I’ve grown accustomed to it and even appreciate it being one of my more defining traits.

Wait for me I have little legs

In my world, there’s always an excuse for a Full House reference.

But one of the biggest downsides to being short is that my pants are usually too long. Sometimes I take them to the dry cleaner for hemming,  but I really don’t enjoy doing that. It’s an extra errand, it costs money and I always have a fear that strangers are going to lose or damage my clothes (maybe I should just stop reading Yelp reviews for dry cleaners). Most of the time, I just try to find pants that “work,” which means they’re still a smidge too long and drag on the ground just enough to be annoying.

I’ve been sewing for a few years now, but I’ve always avoided alterations for a variety of reasons. For one thing, I still view myself as a beginner, even though I’m starting to realize that maybe I’ve learned a thing or two and I’m not as much of a beginner as I thought. Still, I’ve never had great luck with garments, and they continue to intimidate me. I also didn’t have a serger for a long time, and I didn’t think I’d be able to do a “nice” job without one.

But most notably… alterations are boring. Like, really boring. Falling into the same bucket as the DMV, mortgages and watching the little hour glass spin on a computer screen.


If alterations are boring, why am I writing about them? Well, here’s the backstory: I received a pair of designer flats for Christmas — and I love them! But as soon as I wore them with a pair of my flared jeans, I felt like a dweeb. These days, skinny jeans are the in ‘thang and I knew I wasn’t doing my flats any justice by letting flared, baggy jeans fall over them. Trendy flats are meant to be paired with skinny jeans! But skinny jeans make me feel claustrophobic, which is why I don’t buy them.

The flats that inspired it all.

The flats that inspired it all.

Then I found this tutorial showing how to turn flared or boot leg jeans into skinny jeans by WithWendy. Despite my fear of alterations, I was intrigued.

I pulled out a pair of old jeans – which are also WAY too long, so I’d always been forced to wear them with tall heels – and decided to try this thing out. As a bonus, a follow-up tutorial by the same person showed how to reduce the length of jeans while retaining the original hem. Really cool — and professional!


By following the instructions in the video, I was able to turn my jeans into skinny jeans that were just the right amount of “skinny” for me (non-claustrophobic!) and also adjust them to ensure they were the exact length I needed.

When I finished the project last week, I was satisfied with my work, but I didn’t think much of it – that is, until I was able to wear the jeans all weekend long and realized how much I LOVE THEM. Which led to this conclusion: alterations are infinitely boring while they’re still a work in progress, but when they’re finished – WOW. Instant acceleration from the most boring end to the most magical end of the spectrum.


Now standby while I empty my dresser drawers and HEM ALL THE THINGS!


3 thoughts on “The skinny on alterations

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