Inserting a wedge-shaped panel of fabric into the leg of a pair of old jeans is a creative way to rejuvenate your wardrobe. By putting a triangle of fabric into the pant leg, the opening of the leg is widened to create a fashionable flare. This style was especially popular during the counterculture movement of the 1960s and became more mainstream during the 1970s, according to the website HippieDistrict.com--and it has come back into style with a vengeance. Using a fabric insert to get the flare style allows you to customize your jeans with both your fabric choice and the size of the bell.
Choose fabric to create your wedge. For a bold, funky look, pick a colorful, patterned fabric. If you simply want to create a bell shape without adding too much visually to the jeans, choose a blue or other plain-colored fabric.
Seam rip the outside seam on both legs of your jeans from the ankle hem to the knee, and remove any stray threads.
Measure the length of the new opening from the hem to the end of the ripped seam.
Use your opening measurement and the fabric chalk to draw a triangle onto your chosen fabric. The two long sides should be equal to the measurement of the leg opening, and the bottom edge of the triangle can be as wide as you like. The wider the angle, the more width will be added to the diameter of the leg.
With the fabric shears, cut your triangle out, leaving an additional 1/2 inch outside your chalk lines for a seam allowance. Cut a second identical wedge from your fabric using your first one as a template.
Pin the first triangle into the leg opening with the right side of your fabric facing out and the seam allowance on the inside of the pant leg. Pin it in place with 1/2 inch hanging down below the hem. Repeat with the second triangle on the opposite leg.
Sew the panels into the legs, either by running a straight line of machine stitching up each of the sides of the opening or by carefully hand stitching using a needle and thread.
Fold the hem allowance on your fabric panel to the inside of the pant leg and sew it in place with a line of stitches about 3/8 of an inch from the fold. Be sure to begin your hem on the denim, stitch all the way across the panel, and end on the denim on the other side to make your hem flush with that of the jeans. Repeat on the opposite leg.
Remove all pins from your work and trim any loose threads.
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Genevieve Adams has been a freelance writer since 2007 and is also regulatory compliance analyst for a community bank in the Pacific Northwest. Her work, covering primarily finance, crafting and fashion, appears on various websites. She has a Bachelor of Arts in theater from Clark Honors College at the University of Oregon.