Short trews

marina in short trousers

From a pair of unflattering shorts comes a pair of short trews for our little miss. The shorts are low rise, pegged and cut my thighs off at their widest – so rarely get worn, funnily enough. But a nice fabric and decently made, so I hang on to them for years longer than I oughta.

It’s the low-rise that does it – a few sunny weeks back I find myself thinking they are so ridiculously low, they’ll probably fit Marina in a matter of months… so I measure them against a pair of her trousers and the infinitesimal difference inspires me to make sure SOMEONE wears them before summer disappears.

A few refashioning hours later they are transformed, after I

  • remove 20cm from the overall waistband and leg width
  • fake a ruffled hip pocket from the spare fabric trimmed off
  • insert elastic into the waistband
  • insert new but thrifted button on waistband
  • remove 5cm from the legs at the back yoke seam (this brings the back waistband down so the difference between it and the front is only about 3cm)
  • reposition the back pockets, having sewn in small pleats at the top to reduce width
  • gather the leg hems into an elastic
marina stands in short trews
The shape is by eye and I make it up as I go along. The 14-month old figure is pretty straight up and down, so the side seams are at a right angle to the bottom hem. Levelling out the waistband – again by eye, but also using another pair of shorts for reference. Back pockets are pleated so they fit onto the back leg, but keep the lovely curve and point of the original design.
short trews pocket and yoke
With hindsight, it is a pretty easy project. But I am mightily pleased to have finished these, as I’d forgotten how faffy refashioning can be – realising you could have done something better, dithering over whether to unpick and redo, not measuring my daughter so not knowing how tight to make the waistband and regretting sewing while she’s asleep but knowing it’s not possible when she’s up and about. Beginner’s mistakes after decades of sewing, but they come back time and time again.
short trews fake frill pocket
But do you know what was the biggest surprise? I thought, I even wrote (see two paras above), that I dreamed this design up – the feminine frills at the pocket, the gathered rear pockets, and elasticated leg cuffs.
side by side short trews
But NO. I only realised it when I pulled these H&M jeans from the washing machine… what a rip-off!
Oops! Don’t tell anyone, will you?

Sailor trews – updated

maternity sailor trousers

Another essential update – I need a pair of trousers that I can wear to work, without letting it all hang out. These two-year old Boden sailor trousers already got a new lease of life courtesy of some Dylon Navy Blue (well khaki green wouldn’t have really gone with all that nautical styling, would it?) machine dye and some jauntier vintage buttons.

But how to make them fit for longer/bigger? The wide pocket facing can easily accommodate a bunch more belly by just moving the buttons over. Buddy Cat shows us how in case you missed the pink  arrows :)

buddy shows where buttons move

I do this and wear trousers proudly for an afternoon. But they keep falling down. Nothing like hitching up your trousers every three steps to draw attention to the fact they don’t fit. Or wearing them in the rain, for a miserable, damp-ankled experience.

So, this morning, I… 

  • put a couple of buttonholes into the back of the waistband
  • sew in a button next to each button hole and
  • run a strip of elastic through the waistband.
  • Three buttonholes at each end of the elastic attach to the buttons, and can be let in/out as expansion/contraction takes place.

waistband with elastic


It’s great practise for making buttonholes. And a quick look in my Bernina instruction booklet buttonhole bobbin-threadingreminds me that you should thread your bobbin thread through the hole in the finger of the bobbin case. Apparently it increases the tension.

maternity sailor side viewmaternity sailor trousers belly viewmaternity sailor trousers backside view

The positioning of the buttonholes def needs adjustment so they fit smoother, but as my future shape is not entirely certain, I’ll just stick with this for the time being. Who knows? They might fit perfectly in a week’s time!

About me

I started this blog to help me Get Things Done: sewing and knitting mostly.
But now I have a daughter! So I continue to daydream in enormous detail about what I'd like to make, but squeeze the 'doing' into precious naptimes and evenings.

Can I keep it up? Time will tell!

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