Easy Upcycle Tutorial: How to DIY Patchwork Flare Jeans

A while ago, I upsized a pair of jeans by inserting strips of contrasting fabric in the side seams.

Those jeans still fit me, but I decided that I was tired of the straight-leg look and wanted a pair of boho style patchwork flare jeans.

I knew I had the perfect fabric in my stash, a lined patchwork throw over sofa cover I’d made some years ago.

So whether you want to add flares to jeans that fit you perfectly or to learn how to make your jeans bigger at the same time, this tutorial is exactly what you need.

Tools and materials:

  • Jeans
  • Patchwork fabric
  • Lining fabric
  • Measuring tape
  • Scissors
  • Pinking shears
  • Pins
  • Iron
  • Sewing machine
Preparing the jeans

1. Prepare your jeans

I’d previously inserted a fabric strip into these jeans from the waistband to the hem. The insert is about 2 - 2.5 inches (5-6 cm) wide including the seam allowance.

Whether you’re starting with upsized jeans like mine or an unaltered pair, the method is the same.

Preparing the jeans

Remove the inserts or the original seams by cutting them off completely rather than unpicking them.

Cutting the fabric

2. Cut the flare shape

The new inserts will be long triangle shaped pieces.

The waistband end needs to be at least as wide as the section or seams that you cut off, plus a seam allowance on each side.

The length should be about 2 inches (5 cm) longer than the total length of the jeans, to allow for a hem.

Decide how much of a flare you want at the hem edge.

Cut one triangle and use it as a template to cut the second one, so they’re of equal size.

Cutting the fabric

3. Lining

If you’re using an unlined patchwork fabric made of multiple pieces sewn together, I suggest that you cut a lining to the same size so the raw edges won’t irritate your legs.

The lining will also give the patchwork some extra firmness and stability.

Sewing the lining

Sew the lining to the patchwork with the right sides facing.

Trim the edges with pinking shears.

Prepping the fabric

Turn the pieces right side out and press.

Attaching the inserts

4. Attach the inserts

Place the back of the jeans with the right side uppermost.

Line up one insert with the top of the waistband, with the right sides together.

Attaching the inserts

Pin and sew one side of the insert to the back of the jeans, from the waistband to just above the hem.

Repeat with the other three edges.

Hemming the jeans

5. Hem the jeans

There are two ways you can finish the bottom of the inserts.

For both methods, sew the insert to about 1 inch (2.5 cm) above the existing hem of the jeans.

Hemming the jeans

For a simple hem, turn the excess length of the insert to the inside.

Match it perfectly to the bottom hem of the jeans before trimming the excess and sewing the hem in place.

Hemming the jeans

The other method, which is the one I used on these jeans, is to cut another strip of fabric to bind the edges of the insert and the jeans.

To do this, cut the insert to the same length as the existing hem.

Sew the strip to the hem with the right sides together and the raw edges aligned.

Fold the strip to the inside, turn the raw edge under and top stitch it in place on the right side.

DIY patchwork flare jeans
DIY patchwork flare jeans

DIY patchwork flare jeans

I am so delighted with the way these patchwork flare pants turned out! They are the most awesome pair of jeans in my closet.

They fit perfectly and I absolutely love the flares, I think they’re the perfect width.

They make even the plainest top look special and they’re going to be such fun to dress up for evening wear.

I do hope you try this with a pair you own. Don’t forget to let me know how you get on by dropping me a comment below.

And if you have something you want to refashion but don’t know how, tell me in the comments and I’ll see what I can come up with.

Next, learn How to DIY a Cute Vintage Upcycled Bag.

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