Fashion Forward February: Quick Fixes for Short Pants
by Amy Brayfield
If your children are anything like mine, they have the amazing ability to outgrow their entire wardrobes overnight. I don’t spend a lot of money on my children’s clothes because of this, but it still makes me crazy when something they’ve only worn a couple of times suddenly doesn’t fit. Because of this, I’ve gotten into reconstructing lots of their clothes so that they can continue to wear things for a little while longer. My son is 1, so he doesn’t much care one way or the other, but my 7-year-old daughter loves that her clothes are one-of-a-kind. Repurposing clothes is surprisingly easy — you don’t need fancy sewing skills or even a sewing machine. (I do a lot by hand while we’re watching “24.”) It’s also a great way to get more out of thrift store buys that are almost-but-not-quite right. So all this month, I’ll be sharing some of my favorite ways to extend the life of our children’s clothes.
I’m starting with pants, which my skinny kids outgrow in length way before they outgrow them in the waist and hips. I basically have three tricks for making pants last longer.
#1: Add a fancy border
This is probably the easiest way to make pants that fit every way but length live a little longer: Just add a decorative border to the end of the pant legs. You can buy decorative ribbon in various weights and widths — in general, I try to match the weight of the ribbon the weight of the pant fabric, but I’ve used embroidered silks at the ends of jeans sometimes because my daughter likes them.
What You Need:
- 3- to 4-inch thick plain or decorative ribbon
- Thread (I usually go for a color that matches the original pants, but I think contrasting thread could also be really cute.)
Start by measuring out the amount of ribbon you need for each pant leg. Arrange one pant hem flat in front of you, and wrap the ribbon around it. Snip. (If you’re a nervous cutter, a little more is better than a little less here.) Use that snipped piece of ribbon to cut the ribbon for your other leg.