How to Turn My Skinny Jeans Into Flare Jeans

Give skinny jeans more flair with flare bottoms.

Photo: Polka Dot Images/Polka Dot/Getty Images

If you're tired of your skinny jeans and want to change it up with some retro flares, you don't have to buy a new pair of jeans. Transform your skinny-leg jeans into flare-leg jeans by making panels from a piece of denim. Preshrink the fabric for your flare panels by washing it in hot water before you cut it out. If you want to go really retro, add rick-rack or colorful ribbon to add extra flair to your flares.


Put on your skinny jeans, and mark the point on the inside and outside of each leg where you want them to starting flaring out. Go as high as you want, but make it at least 1 foot up from the hemline.


Take the jeans off. Cut open each seam, using the scissors. Start cutting at the ankle, and go up until you reach the chalk dot you made. Don't cut past the dot, or the flares will go higher than planned.


Decide how much flare you want to add to your jeans; and cut out four triangles from your fabric. To calculate the height of your fabric triangles, measure the length of the cuts you made in the jeans; then add 1 inch. If you want a slight flare, make the bases of each triangle 3 inches across. If you want to make a wide flare (like you would see on a pair of 1970s groovy bell-bottoms) make the bases of each triangle wider; bases can be up to 9 inches across.


Put the yardstick on the fabric, draw the triangles with tailor's chalk, and cut out around the chalk lines.


Set your sewing machine to make a short, straight stitch, and sew a straight line 1/2 inch from the edge across the bases of the flare triangles. This is not meant to be a traditional finishing stitch; it will let the bottom of the fabric fray when the jeans are washed.


Switch the machine to a zigzag stitch and sew along the other cut edges of the flare triangles to halt fraying.


Turn the jeans inside out. Position the triangles face down on the slits along the seams with the points at the top. Line up the bottom edges of the triangles with the hemline of the jeans. The triangle fabric should overlap the edges of the jean fabric along the slits by 1/2 inch to create a sew-able seam. Pin the flares in place.


Set the machine back on a straight stitch and sew 1/4 inch from the edge of the triangles through both the triangle fabric and the jean material. Take the pins out before the needle has a chance to hit them. The machine will be working hard to push the needle through the heavy fabric, and hitting a pin can break your needle.


Turn the jeans right side out. The cut edge of the jeans will form a 1/4-inch flap, or overlap, that rests on top of the flare. It will fray when you wash the jeans. If you do not want the frayed edge to show after washing, finish the cut edge. Set the machine on a zigzag or decorative stitch. Position the cut edge of the jeans fabric under the sewing machine needle, and sew. Keep the cut edge centered as you sew over it to finish the seam.

Things You'll Need


1.Tailor's chalk


5.Sewing machine

7.Matching thread



6.Heavy-duty denim needle

8.Straight pins


Tips & Tricks


If you want to add rick-rack or colorful ribbon to trim the flares, pin it in place on top of the seams joining the sides of the flares. Then, you can sew it down using a medium-length straight stitch, staying close to the trim's edge.

If you have an old pair of jeans that match the pair getting new flares, you can cut the fabric out of them rather than buying fabric. You can also use a completely different color or pattern of fabric for the flares if you want to draw extra attention to your handiwork.


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