Sunday, January 25, 2009

My first tutorial (like I know what I'm talking about lol)

I thought I would post a tutorial to show what I do if my kids pants are too long, but fit elsewhere (bum, waist). It is particularly handy if you have a stack of hand-me-down pants or thrift store finds in, say, a size 3 when your baby is in need of a size 2. Do you need to run out and buy more pants? No! And don't get your panties in a knot thinking that I am expecting you to have any sewing experience.

But I digress...

So first you start with a pair of pants. These pants are knit, but this method works with fleece or cotton pants as well.

Find the inside seam, meaning the seam that leads up to the crotch. With some teeny, sharp scissors, make a small hole in the hem near the inside seam. It should be really teeny...just big enough to pass a tiny safety pin through. Make sure that you only pierce one layer of fabric and don't go all the way through!!!

Alternately, if your pants are a woven fabric, like cotton or up 3 or 4 stitches in the hem, near the inside seam. Unless you're dealing with super-crappy craftsmanship, the rest of the hem should not open up due to these few stitches being removed. This will be your entry point for the safety pin and elastic.

You need the skinny elastic for this, measuring about 1/8" across. I buy it by the metre, but you can also get this in a ream at Wal Mart for about $1. Figure out how long you need to go around your child's ankle comfortably, and cut two pieces this length plus 1" for knotting. I'm not about to tell you what this measurement may be, because quite frankly I suck at estimating and always make it too long. But that's no biggy, as you can trim it later.

Spear one piece of elastic with a teeny safety pin and thread it through the hole. Keep feeding the elastic through until the safety pin has gone all the way around and comes back out through the same hole it went in through.

Grab both ends and twist into a knot (make sure the knot is tight). Stuff your baby's foot in the hole to see if it is a comfortable fit. If it's too big, knot it again, a little closer to the hole. You can trim the ends off when you're happy with the fit.

The knot will sneak back into the hole and you won't see it again. When the day comes that the pants are a good length and you no longer want the elastic, stretch out a paper clip or use some tweezers to fish the elastic through the hole (or a small-size crochet hook would be perfect). Snip the elastic and pull it out :D .

Et voila! The finished product: size 3 pants on a size 2 body. In this case, the pants are some cute Gap flares from the VV Boutique, bought for $2 (as a matter of fact, Kylie wore these pants when she was Sam's age...they've been washed countless times and the teeny hole didn't rip or get bigger with age. If you're unsure of your fabric, throw some Fray-Stop on the hole for added assurance)

I've done this for all 3 kids as babies, and I still do it for the big kid's pants, like PJ pants or too-long track pants. To cover Sam's big cloth-diapered bum, she is wearing size 3 pants. This method ensures that she isn't tripping over her pant legs when she toddles off to find her dolly :) .

Happy elasticizing :D .


Coolcook said...

Such a clever lady, and so thrifty too. I used to do hand-me-downs for my boys when they were young, but once they got older they wore everything down to the bare threads.
My Mom was a great seamstress and she mad a lot of clothes for Hope and her dollies.

Stef said...

great idea! :)

Tracey said...

Nice job on the tutorial format! Love the 'Et Voila'! You're a natural.. and this trick is surely a great one, which I will be trying in the near future I think! :)

Cheerios_Addict said...

Neat idea. Nice tutorial!

Tracey said...

OK! I did it! I did it!
It worked out great. My only setback was that I realized too late that I should have cut both the elastic pieces at the same time so that they would be easy to make both legs the identical (or close to) tightness... oh well though, turned out really great and now I think we'll get an extra year out of a cute pair of Please Mum sweats that Julie got for Christmas!

Kylie's Mom said...

So glad it worked for you, Tracey!