Freckles in April: DIY Knockoff Chanel Pants

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

DIY Knockoff Chanel Pants

For Christmas Aaron got me this book on couture sewing (I'm so proud. He put real thought into that one). I've never cared much about the big design houses but knowing a little about their history and the care that goes into each of the pieces has gotten me really interested.

I've spent an inordinate amount of time over the past couple weeks browsing through collections from the past couple years. I'd give an arm to look at some of that construction up close. Did you know that they do the vast majority of their sewing by hand?

Mind is boggled.

I was looking through Chanel's 2011 Spring collection the other day and fell in deep and abiding love with these pants:




Perfectly skinny and I love the buttons at the bottom. It seemed like it would be an easy enough DIY.

There are multiple ways of doing this but I was limited by the amount of fabric in the pair of jeans I started with so my pair only has 2 functional buttons and 3 that were just stitched on. Also, I was using my iPhone at night while doing this, so, you know, real high quality tutorial pictures going on over here.

This would be a really fast project if you use a machine. I went for the real couture experience and did everything but the buttonholes by hand. I hand basted everything, adjusted the fit then hand basted again. I checked the fit one last time then sewed everything with thread strengthened with beeswax (didn't know that was a thing. Thank you, new book). It was actually kind of fun, though I can't imagine doing an entire garment that way. My fingers were pretty sore and I only had to do a few seams.



I started with a pair of Gap jeans that fit me well in the hips and thighs. 


I put them on inside out and pinned two places: one pin at the knee where I was going to start taking them in and one a little ways above my ankle where I wanted the split to be (pulled in to a comfortable skinniness). I also pinched the extra fabric at the bottom to see how much I wanted to take them in (about 2 inches from both front and back).



Then I used my seam ripper to open up the side seams to the pin at the knee.


I turned them inside out and drew myself a sewing line from the knee pin down to the second pin. Then I hand basted along that line (I give you permission to use a sewing machine instead) After adjusting the fit a couple times I sewed my permanent stitches.

This gave me a rather large, triangular seam allowance. I pressed them both toward the front.


This creates a kind of placket for the button holes on the front side of the jeans. I blind stitched it in place.


You can kind of see here how the back portion (on the left between my fingers) now lies behind the button placket (stitched down on the right).

Then I measured where to put buttons and button holes and got sewing yet again.


After these pictures this shirt went into the donation pile. Thank you, photos, for helping me to realize I don't like this shirt anymore.




Say hello to my new favorite pants. I LOVE these suckers. They were a fun project and a near perfect end result.

If I were to do it again I'd start with wide legged jeans so I would have enough fabric to do working buttons all the way up. I'd also do the button holes in the same gold colored thread the manufacturer used for hemming and other details. I picked a blue that matched the denim because that's what the fly buttonhole is done with but I think more visible buttonholes would be better (you can sort of see them above in the up-close pic). I actually think I might go thread shopping this week then go back and redo those (I left them closed just in case) and put faux buttonholes behind the buttons that are just stitched on. Because I can.

25 comments:

  1. I die... and bow before your superior sewing skillz.... seriously. I'm jealous. And a big enough person to realize that I'm not ever going to do this for myself. Yup, I'm too lazy. :)

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  2. I love these! It's such a fun twist on the skinny jean, and I love the level of embellishment. Not enough to ever get the word "bling" attached, but awesomely noticeable. Well done!

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  3. Maggie B. took the words right out of my mouth. Since I will never make them myself, I'm hoping F21 makes some knockoffs because those Chanel pants are AMAZING.

    North Meets South

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  4. Those Chanel pants are AWESOME! And your jeans turned out great! Can you make me a pair since I'm completely hopeless when it comes to sewing.

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  5. Your pants are so great! And, your hair is gorgeous in these pictures. So far I've been too nervous to attempt jeans, but I have a pair that would be perfect for this.

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  6. This is AWESOME! I'm pinning these not because I'll ever do it, but because OTHER people should see how awesome these are.

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  7. These are super cute! I'm so impressed that you sewed them almost entirely by hand! What a crafty lady you are!

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  8. Um, awesome. Yes, that is what this is. Pure Awesomosity.

    xox

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  9. You are so freaking awesome! I really love your blog! You've inspired me to buy clothes that are a great price, but just need a little tweaking to make them perfect. I have shirt I'm working on right now in fact that!

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  10. This is one of the best jean re-makes I've ever seen. love how it turned out!

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  11. Those look awesome! Great job!

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  12. Have an itch to come to CA any time soon??? I'll beg you to make me a pair. They are amazing!

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  13. so cool. would love these in black.

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  14. I love these Kayla. So stinkin cute. Are you designing blogs for others yet? Mine needs an update.

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  15. Your sewing skills are amazing! Love the jeans. I mut admit I'm a huge fashion lover and the really big fashion houses do some amazing work. Did you know, for example, that if a celebrity is going to wear anything Versace, and it needs alterations, the seamstress from Italy is flown in or the garment is sent there to be done by hand. I guess if you're paying the much you're going to get good quality!

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  16. sweet! gap had some like this a while ago (i think it was gap ... )my little sister wore them all the time and i almost stole them off of her. i love buttons! but i hate making button holes.

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  17. I actually like yours better than the Channel ones. Good work. You can find denim thread (that is the same color as the stitching on jeans) at JoAnns. I used it when making Scott a denim quilt, like the one here (should you care to look): http://scottandlonica.com/blog/?p=1460

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  18. What an amazing tutorial, those jeans rock! I am new to your blog and look forward to taking part in your Open to Interpretation someday!

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  19. I keep coming back to admire these jeans! I think I need to find some jeans I can alter :)

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  20. Love these!!! I might have to have a date with my sewing machine this weekend!

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  21. I am DYING!!! I LOVE those jeans!!! I think you should make/sell them... I'd buy 'em!! ;)

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  22. A.MAZ.ING

    Oh to have skinny legs...

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  23. Those are fabulous! Great job!

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  24. What a great idea! Thank you! I've been wondering if that could be done!

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