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
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.
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.
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.
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?