This was something that my husband had asked me to do a looooong time back and as usual, I was putting it off for another day. And, that ‘another day’ finally arrived because I did not have to go to work (I had quit), my elder daughter decided to be with my mother-in-law for a few hours and the younger daughter was at day care!
This was a pair of loose-fitting, comfortable jeans (Levis 559 I guess) which had frayed at the end. My husband is so fond of this pair of jeans (because it is not available in India) that he wanted the jeans to be made in to a pair of shorts with a elastic waistband. I had bought the elastic band more than two months back (procrastination is a way of life for me).
This is how I did it:
Step 1: Using another pair of denim shorts, I cut the pair of jeans leaving about one to two inches for seam allowance.
Step 2: Fold once and sew (I sewed by hand using needle and thread).
Step 3: Fold once more and sew (I used the machine).
Step 4: The waistband was made of two pieces running all the way from one end to the other. Which meant that I could run the elastic band through the waistband (instead of adding a layer on the inside to hold it together). Cut a hole (only on the inner fabric of the waistband) on either end. Make sure that the hole is bigger than the width of the elastic band.
Step 5: Cut the elastic with the ratio of 92% of the waist circumference plus 2 inches for seam.
Step 6: Attach a safety pin to each end of the elastic band. With the help of a safety pin on one end of the elastic band, insert the elastic band through one hole and bring it out to the other. Before you straighten the elastic inside waistband, ensure the other end of the elastic band is pinned to the hole so that it does not disappear in to the waistband and you will need to do it all over again. The Levis patch on the back of the waistband had to be ripped so that the elastic band could go through the waistband.
Note: The denim fabric was so soft that sliding the elastic band was very easy and quick. I tried it on a pair of old navy jeans and gave up. The safety pin opened up at least thrice while inside and it took about 30 minutes for me to slide the elastic through the waist band. So, if the fabric is hard and tough, the better way may be to sew a layer of soft fabric on the inside of the waistband and slide the elastic band through that instead of through the denim fabric.
Step 7: Sew both ends of the elastic band together. Now, you are left with a cool pair of denim shorts plus 2 pieces of good denim fabric (except for frayed ends) for doing something else.
My husband was very happy to get this pair of shorts (though he would have preferred if I has used a different thread; erm, sorry). The next post is about what I did with the left over pieces of the denim fabric!