I have a confession. I can't sew. They tried. Boy did they try. My mother. Both grandmothers. Both of my grandmothers were extraordinarily handy with a needle and thread. I can just about re-attach a button. That's it. I can't hem. I can't "darn." And yet, oddly enough when I reached a certain age I wanted a sewing machine. I wanted to learn how to stitch things together. I wanted to make my own clothes, duvet covers, napkins for the table, pillowcases for the couch. I never learned. I won't give up faith. There's still time. I think this old dog can learn a trick or two. But this has nothing to do with sewing. Quite the opposite really. It's all about deconstruction. I love to deconstruct! No needles and no thread here. Simply a pair of sharp scissors and a seam ripper. No needles! No thread!
Over the past few months I've been noticing un-hemmed jeans everywhere. Sometimes the edges look freshly cut with a few wispy threads, sometimes the bottom of the pant is completed with a tidy row of of perfectly manicured fringe, and sometimes that fringe is longer, wilder, more dramatic. I happen to love them all. I was inspired after reading how easy it was on Ridgely's Radar and went out and bought a sharp new pair of scissors and a seam ripper. We all have jeans in our closet that we either don't wear or wear less frequently for whatever reason. I have 2 pairs of skinny jeans that are almost identical. One pair, it seems, makes my legs look skinnier than the other and so the other tends to sit in the closet more often. I also have a pair of black jeans that I don't wear as often. I don't like how they look on my waist. (I can always wear a longer sweater or shirt with them - or lose a couple of pounds!)
These seemed like the two perfect pairs to try with. I started with the skinny jeans. I cut off the hemmed bottom and about a quarter of an inch more. I did the same with the black jeans. Then I started gently, carefully, picking away and tugging at the loose threads. Slowly, very slowly, the jeans started to unravel. As I needed more help and wanted to make the fringe more dramatic, I would tug more with the seam ripper util the desired effect was achieved. I love the way they turned out. Now I'm thinking I'll do this with a pair of colored jeans... I have a red pair I don't wear all that often... Does this work with corduroy too?
I hope the images below will inspire you to do the same with a pair of jeans that have been pushed all the way to the back of your closet.
I think they turned out well, don't you? The black pair were cropped with a slight flare. The dark blue pair are skinny jeans, tapered more at the ankles. Both pairs look as good with flats as they do with heels.
What I did. The dark blue pair were longer. I always rolled them slightly. So I cut 1 inch above the hem and then gently started to tub at the loose frayed edges working at them carefully and methodically until I got the look and length of fringe I desired. In some cases I went in with my hands and gently pulled sections of denim apart until they were just loose threads. The black pair were already cropped so I just cut along the hemline and not a bit more and repeated steps above. Each pair of jeans took about an hour to complete. I'm thinking I might work on the sleeves of my denim jacket. The arms seem unusually long... Note: Don't fray dark jeans on a white couch!!