When I was just eight years old my mom taught me how to do magic. Those of little imagination call it sewing, I believe. But it really is magic! Just think. You can take something (say a piece of fabric) that may be beautiful - or not so much - in and of itself but usually of limited use, and make something that is not only very useful but also beautiful and interesting. And you can have fun and enjoy a challenge while doing it. I call that magic.
Last week I had a fun afternoon practising some of the best kind of magic - making something great out of something that is no longer needed. We had three pair of pajama bottoms that had been Merin's. They didn't fit Eden the way she liked (too short for her beautiful long legs) and Aubs needed some new pjs. So, time to make magic.
It is actually stupidly simple. You need a pair of old pants or pajama bottoms, a basic pant pattern (I used Butterick # 4647), basic sewing notions (thread, elastic, maybe some bias tape), good scissors, a bit of imagination, and about 45 minutes per pair.
Start by cutting the old bottoms along the crotch seam and down the inseam. So that what you have looks like this.
Lay both legs out together, either right sides facing each other or wrong sides facing (doesn't matter but you want them to match up along the edges and to have the existing seams be both on the inside or outside - this is getting a bit long but trust me, you need to have them match). Lay your pattern piece on the fabric and pin, then cut it out. Because kids grow so very fast I cut the leg length on the long side.
Sew the crotch seam and then the inside leg seam. Make a casing for elastic at the waist and thread a piece of elastic through that is cut to the waist measurement of whoever you are making the pants for.
About now is when the real fun begins because you can get creative. For Aubs I had fun with the 'style' of the hem or bottom. For one pair I made tabs that we tied to hold up the extra length and look style-y.
For another, I took advantage of the nifty hem detail of the original pants and made a casing under it so that there was a little frill. I used the silk tie from the waist of the original pjs to thread through the casing and tie at the ankle. Very cute!
And the last pair, has a simple elastic casing to stop her from tripping over her hems. It makes a darling "bubble" finish at the hem.
Some of the advantages of making over? How about - really soft? really cheap? (free!) really fun? or really magic?
I am the luckiest grandy. I love this little girl soooo much - we have the best time together. It seems like yesterday when I was sewing with her mom hanging over my shoulder. Like mother, like daughter.
Photo credits to Aubrie's mom: Eden Lang. You can see a few more really adorable pictures of the projects on Eden's blog.