Sunday, 9 June 2013

Turning leopard print trousers into pedal pushers


I didn't think leopard print could be ugly until I laid eyes on these trousers in an op-shop.

Yuck. They're kind of 90's-does-vintage-and-murders-it.

However, I could see potential and this time I remembered to document the process. Every time I alter something I buy in an opshop, I forget to take 'before' photos because whatever it is I'm altering is so hideous. So here we go.

I like pedal pushers to end just below the knee. If they're much longer they feel like short (as in shrunken) trousers.  So first, I took 15 inches off the length, leaving an inch for a seam allowance. In these photos, I've pinned the left leg into a dart at the back to make it more fitted. The bootcut of these trousers means they need to be taken in a lot.

To make the legs narrower, I added a dart all the way up the centre back of the leg. I've realised that the backs of trouser legs are always cut wider than the front, so simply taking in the side seams doesn't work. It makes the front of the legs too narrow, usually resulting in a weird fit around the crotch.

I drew a line up the center of the back... 

(click on any of these to see them larger)

...and used it as a guide to pin the dart. I also used the lower edges of the back pockets as a guide.

This is with the dart still pinned. They're way more fitted now, but still a bit wide at the opening because of the original bootcut.

I took the darts in further in the lower half of the leg to eradicate that awful bootcut flare around the knee

A quick hem, and here is the finished product.

(just ignore my awesomely hardcore weekend tshirt...)

Now I just need to wait 6 months for summer to come around so I can wear the silly things...


  1. Oh this is wonderful! I'm not really a fan of leopard print, but I absolutely love this and I think it works great with you hardcore weekend shirt =]. I actually just made a more detailed post about my before/after as well haha. I'm just usually excited about the after that I don't slow down to do before photos. =D

  2. They look really sexy with the red shoes.
    Well done.

  3. I love the finished result though I think I would make a right mess of it if I tried it myself. The leopard print looks great with the t shirt and red shoes. xx

  4. Cute, cute, cute!!!!! I love what you did with them. Yes, they were quite atrocious at first, but you made them hot! I'll have to look back to this whenever I need to alter some jeans into pedal pushers/clamdiggers.

  5. This is spectacular! I love capris pants and peddle pushers. They need to fit a certain way in the waist to work on me, but when I find that does, I wear them in the ground. My go-to pair for the past couple of years has been a classic denim pair, but I'm looking to branch out, and would gleefully spor leopard print ones like these, too.

    Everything you create is so, so marvelous, dear gal. I really mean that.

    *PS* If you ever want to borrow my idea and do Fashionista Friday posts of your own, I'd be totally ok with that. It's awesome to know that you enjoy that series so much.

    *PSS* I am a huge Fraser fan. I've seen every episode (and most at least two times, some many more) and know the exact one you meant. That really is uncanny timing indeed. So neat!

  6. SO much better!
    I too, have seen some unexpectedly ugly leopard print.......shocking, isn't it?!
    As pedal pushers they are hot and you'll get loads of wear out of them! Having the vision is so vital!

  7. Wow, these look fabulous, what a great refashion. The shoes and the tee shirt look great with this outfit. Bring on the warmer weather so we can see you wearing them again!

  8. The pedal pushers are awesome and your arse looks FABULARSE in them!!!

    Sarah xxx

  9. You are invited to my "International Giveaway sponsored by Naked Minerals."


  10. Wow, you've really made these wearable! I think I had these pants when I was in 6th grade.

    Thanks for your hair commiserating comment and sorry I never replied to it. I quit my job and now I'm busy finding a new one uuuggghh. Anyway, we really are hair twins, though I haven't ventured into the world of colors like purple and such. Yet. I use hair chalk in pink and red and blue and purple and it washes out.

    Life of Mabel

  11. You are a mad genius! I LOVE them and they are perfect with your red heels and Betty Boop tattoo!

  12. you are just fabulous! you changed this pants from being a ugly leopard printed unstylish piece of fabric into my new 'wish list piece'. those new capri pants look fantastic on you. great job.