Hello! I'm Suzannah, a serious DIYer and mom of two little ones. Follow along with my DIY fixer upper house renovations, sewing and crafty projects, real food recipes, and de-stressing goals.
I believe you can love your home just the way it is, AND have the power to design and make big changes to make it better.
I'm also the author of DIY Wardrobe Makeovers!

Trouser Refashion Swap: Colorblocking!

Super fun series debuting today, readers... the ultimate in refashioning and upcycling... the stakes are higher... the plot thickens... DUN DUN DUN....

No, it's not a new reality show; it's the second in the group refashioning projects organized by the great crew of the men's shirt refashion swap from early this summer. Miranda of One Little Minute got a bunch of us together and matched us up randomly to remake men's shirts into creative projects for one another. It was so much fun and everyone had such creative ideas, so this time she up'ed the ante... we refashioned PANTS this time!

So, this week I'm sharing with you the pants that I refashioned for Liz, my "customer." Next week, I'll show you how I wear the pants that Miranda, my seamstress, made for me! So my challenge was, take a pair of pants (not jeans, pants) and refashion them into something cute my partner would want to wear!

Liz wears brights and skinny jeans so well, I leaned that direction from the start. I had a few ideas for pants refashioning, although nothing too ground-breaking, but I wanted them to be fun and versatile for early fall--and hopefully work with Liz's bright and cheery style!

I wanted to do colored pants, sooo much fun, but my Goodwills didn't produce the perfect subject and I went a bunch of times! Oh, well. Since I wasn't stuck on any of my design ideas (center front ankle slit? Stencil? Colorblock somewhere?), it was more open. So I found these Old Navy khakis at Goodwill--they looked like they hadn't been worn much, newer style, lightweight cotton stretch, and I figured, good blank canvas!

So here's the refashion!

Before: Booooring. Kind of flared but not really, more just sort of shapeless from the thigh down, I bet.

After: Skinny fit, colorblock hem!!

It may not look like a huge change, but I'm sure they'll feel like a whole new pair of pants. I took them in all over to fit Liz, and to have that straight/skinny fit through the legs and ankles.

Then of course I added the color block--I used a bright red cotton stretch sateen, and cut four pieces to match the fronts and backs of the legs. Sewed together on the side seams, then sewed right sides together...

Then to show off the edge, I pressed and turned and pressed under 1/2" on the red, and folded it to just 1/8" or so beyond the joining seam. Then I stitched in the ditch and had a visible hem band, basically. I kept saying "cuff" in my head--colorblock cuff, but really it's not a cuff since it doesn't fold back on itself. I could have done a cuff, I guess... but I like that these are smoother--makes it more of an actual colorblock, less of just a contrast cuff. So, it's a colorblock hem, I guess.

Annnnnnyway... I can't wait to see them on Liz, which she'll post about next Wednesday, October 1st. Today you can see the refashions of all the other talented bloggers on their blogs, and on Wednesday we'll be modeling what was made for us! Here's the crew:

Miriam of MadMim
Miranda of One Little Minute
Melissa of I Still Love You
Krista of Lazy Saturdays
Kelli of True Bias
Kate of See Kate Sew
Jennifer of Grainline Studio

Check 'em out! Are you inspired for refashioning yet?? ;)


  1. Suzannah I can totally see Liz rocking these, I think this is awesome. It's amazing what fit and a pop of color can do!

  2. Those remind me of some I just saw this morning at JCrew. I love them.

    1. I was just thinking the same thing! So cute :)

  3. great! I would like to know how to do that..

    check out eFoxCity.com giveaway on my blog: http://the-caramel-dream.blogspot.com/2012/09/efoxcity-100-giveaway.html

  4. I love these! Simple and classy with a cute pop. As usual, I want a pair now, too!

  5. Great feature!

    On an unrelated note, do you have a twin? http://galmeetsglam.blogspot.com/2012/09/one-top-two-ways.html

  6. Anonymous9/26/2012

    Oh this is super cute! Out of every tutorial and garment you have made, this is my favorite!

  7. Those are ridiculous cute. I love that pop of color. I wonder if it wouldn't be possible to make an exchangeable cuff so someone could easily switch out colors to go with what they are wearing.

  8. Katherine9/26/2012

    I love it! It has just sparked an idea (that you had on an earlier blog post with your mint pants, but this reminded me of it) to "fix" a pair of stained khakis I love by dying it a different color. :)

  9. I love the pop of color on the bottom!

  10. So cute! I love it! I wish my sewing machine was up and running so I could do something similar-you are a huge inspiration!
    Bonnie MS

  11. I love how this turned out! Color block pants are awesome!

  12. Anonymous9/27/2012

    I love these! They're so simple and cute!

  13. So simple and so great!

  14. These are SO cute! I hate how I always flash back to private school when I am wearing khakis, but not in these!!

    1. So true, I have that problem with light-colored pants but I guess this would be a good change!

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  16. They turned out so great! I love the colored cuff!

  17. in case you haven't seen yet- you were featured on craftgossip.com. the cuff is great. such an easy but stunning change that I've never seen before.

  18. So - the side seam. I've run into this too when making skinnies. Is there any avoiding that side seam wrapping around? (I think I know the answer - and that is, well, yes, Georgia, there is, if you want to calculate just the right amount to take in EACH side seam...and if you want to re-French seam the outside leg - is that right?). I guess I'll just have to accept it, move on, and OWN those new skinnies!



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